Dear und. readers,
On Monday 25 November 2019, the Greek parliament voted against an amendment that would have rendered any discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and place of origin unconstitutional. In other words, the Greek constitution (still) tolerates discriminations against people based on their gender, sexual orientation and/or ethnicity. This was but one item on a list of amendments that were rejected by Greek parliament, alongside the right to a dignified life, and to make social security a civil right to be safeguarded by the state.
Such a move by Greek legislators constitutes a direct attack on the fight against discriminations in Greece. It is sinister as much as it is despicable to deny constitutional protection to women, LGBTQ+ people and immigrants. It is a move that undermines the safety and welfare of millions of residents in this country, and which further enables phenomena of violence and hate currently at play within Greek society: police violence and unpunished murders, refugee concentration camps (where asylum seekers have been dying due to nightmarish living conditions), fostering the proliferation of neonazi ideology and its concomitant racism, nationalism and xenophobia.
und. stands for underrepresented art, but also for understanding. Our values include respect, tolerance, empathy and humanism without exceptions. It is impossible for us as a public platform for cultural discourse in Greece to remain silent in the face of these events. This is why we have decided to call out the Greek government for its abominable discrimination against its citizens and also protest these moves in any way we can.
Therefore, as of today, und. will boycott all cultural institutions and events affiliated with, funded by or operating under the auspices of the Greek government. We do so in protest, demanding the Greek government to protect all residents in Greece against discrimination and amend the country's constitution accordingly as soon as possible. This means we shall not promote or participate in projects and events that are related to the Greek state, neither on our website nor in our printed editions, until these demands have been met.
We may be small, but our voice is strong within our community. This is our own way to resist this complete disregard of civil rights and human dignity—not only because it affects so many people working in our sector, but also the most sensitive segments of Greek society in general. We hope that our message will resonate with many of our peers, and mobilise them to raise more voices of protest and defiance against these horrid political decisions. Racism and hate have no place in a humane society, and their perpetrators should be called out and isolated without exception or fear.