Tag Archives: Facebook

On the Greece Debt Free campaign and other charitable initiatives

I was reading about a new Greek beer that is produced on the island of Santorini, famous for its volcano and magic scenery. The beer is, not surprisingly, called Volkan and is brewed with rare Cycladic ingredients. Its brewing method includes the conditioning of the water using Santorini basalt in a so-called “Lava Rock Filter”.

Volkan beer

I visited their website and noticed that the brand is part of a campaign called “Greece Debt Free” (GDF). It means that for every euro spent on their products, 50 cents will be donated to reduce the Greek national debt. So far the only member of the GDF campaign is Volkan beer. Here’s their Facebook page and below you can watch their promo video.

The whole campaign is aiming either to the patriotic feeling of Greek consumers (help your country while sipping your beloved beer) or to the charitable feeling of tourists (while you’re having your holidays in Greece, help this poor country). My excitement about a new creative Greek product, at a time when Greece is obviously producing less and less, has been compromised by the whole idea behind campaign like GDF. What’s the point? Are we supposed to get drunk in order to help Greece get out of the mess? What is the GDF-supported company’s role in this chaos? And what if we manage to save Greece with the GDF campaign, as their vision suggests? The wrongdoings of those in power who mismanaged Greece for all these years will be forgotten. They, not just Greece, will be saved. No justice will be done. And, of course, it will be repeated. Simply see the criticism on charities to understand what I mean.

My objection to such initiatives is that there is no reference to responsibilities. Who brought us here? According to the mainstream narrative, we face the crisis as a natural catastrophe. Well it’s not. There have been people in power (and behind it) who took decisions and hold a part of the responsibility. And if Greece’s financial problem will be solved by offerings and donations, nothing will change.

On another similar occasion I remember, last Spring, when I passed by the Greek Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. There was a notice board where people were invited to donate money in order to reduce the Greek public debt. Like a charity’s box over the counter of a grocery store. “This is where we’ve ended” we said with my friends. Where has this country’s dignity gone?

"We love Greece - We support Greece" says the poster outside the Greek embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Apparently, there was no funds for a special printing of the poster in Serbian, so the poster is fully in Greek. I guess these posters were printed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and were distributed in Greek embassies worldwide. I wonder how much money this campaign managed to raise.

On Loukanikos, the riot dog

A couple of days ago I’ve read that Loukanikos, Athens’ riot dog, was included among TIME’s Person of the Year feature story. Its central subject was “The Protester”.

Loukanikos posing for TIME Magazine

Loukanikos posing for TIME Magazine

Loukanikos with Patrick Witty and Peter Hapak after his portrait session for the TIME magazine.

Greece has a history in so-called “riot dogs“. There was Kanellos, now we have Loukanikos, who became internationaly known from a BBC video about the Greek protester’s front line dog. TIME Magazine’s website also hosts a collection of photos with Loukanikos’ appearances. Click here to see the gallery.

Thanks to modern technology, Loukanikos manages to become a sort of a pop idol. Videos in YouTube praising his braveness, blogs, facebook groups that want Loukanikos for Prime Minister, etc. Here’s an animation by Norwegian Flash-animator Bjørn-Magne Stuestøl (www.shagrat.net) in collaboration with David Rovics (from his “Big Red Sessions”-album -free for download at www.davidrovics.com– the song “Riot Dog” is David’s salute to this brave dog’s fight for justice in the economic turmoil that has hit Greece).

A high quality Flash edition of the animation can be seen here:
www.shagrat.net/riot.html

One of my favourite photos of Loukanikos had featured in a contest for Nikon.

Loukanikos “I am the Resistance”

The photo was taken by Aris Messinis (AFP/Getty Images) and can be seen in full here.

And here are some pop graphics of the canine resistance idol.

Loukanikos Che Guevara-style

Loukanikos Obama-style

If you’re interested in following Loukanikos’ activity, follow the Rebel Dog blog which posts photos sent from various people who have met the four-feet rebel.

Greek_riot_dog_by_Latuff2

Loukanikos drawn by Brazilian cartoonist Latuff in 2010.

Isn’t he adorable?