The recent German Focus cover which shows the statue of Venus de Milo flipping off the European Union, and calls the Greeks the “cheats of the euro zone” caused major outbursts from the Greek media. The airbrushed statue of Venus expressing the communal German sentiment has provoked massive reactions that lay bare the tension underlying the construction of a universal, seamless European identity. In my essay I will attempt a reading of the Focus-cover and the discourses that have developed around it. In particular, I will examine the relationship between the dominant claim of constructing a unified European identity, and the attempt to master the current social and economic crisis in terms of national identity, drawing from Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and Discourse Theory. The paper is built around the three forms of objectification articulated by Foucault: the production of power-knowledge through discourse, dividing practices, and the turning of the self into a subject.
|Keywords:||Identity, Discourse, Nationalism, Europe, Greece, Germany, Cultural Studies, Social Theory, Psychoanalysis|
Lecturer, Department of History, Archeology, and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly, Athens, Voula/Athens, Greece
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