The keyword that I found very interesting is demographic anxiety. It is related to the stress and tension in a community due to a structural shift in the population. According to Oxford Scholarship, some of the reasons behind this type of anxiety might be the fear of losing national security or having a failing economic system. Most of the times, this term is used in connection to the inflow of migrants in a country and to address the general reaction of the natives of that country to the increasing populations of a different ethnic groups in their community.
Athena Athanasiou, in her text Bloodlines, uses the word ‘anxiety’ at many occasions. Throughout her paper, she keeps on referring to cultural and demographic anxiety while she talks about the increasing stress and tension in Greece due to the population decline of the nationals whose underlying reason is a decline in biological reproduction (230). She talks about this kind of anxiety as a way that stabilizes the social life of the people based on fear of the future (230). From here, Athena uses this phrase to describe the fear of the Greeks of being taken over by neighboring countries or “resident” aliens in the future when their population is too scarce to fight for national community (231). She also points out how demographic anxiety has just become an excuse for a patriarchal approach to take over the bodies of the women in Greece which she points out by discussing a paper written by two Greek women (239)
The reason why I chose this word demographic anxiety is because from all I know about the refugee crisis, the first thing that comes to my mind is this state of unrest, stress, and chaos. Most of these stories of anxiety are focused around the migrants but it is not often found to be surrounding the nationals who have an inflow of migrants in their own countries which is already in crisis. After learning about Crystal Pite’s work, I was able to see how her choreography represented this unrest when she presented the refugees or migrants. This article introduced me to a new phrase and made me think about how this demographic anxiety of the nationals can be addressed through choreography. I really feel that it would be interesting to see this situation through the eyes of the nationals through movement and drama.
Works CitedAthanasiou, Athena. Bloodlines: Performing the Body of the ‘Demos’, Reckoning the time of the ‘Ethnos. -: Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 2006. Oxford Scholarship Online "Demographic Anxiety." Accessed 6 Jan 2018. www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199668687.001.0001/acprof-9780199668687-chapter-3.
This is another great post. You get at the heart of the Athanasiou article – that the refugee crisis only exacerbates an anxiety already present in Greek culture, which is the dwindling population of Greek nationals because of declining birthrate. If “proper” Greeks don’t reproduce, will Greek culture endure? Or (so the logic goes) will Greece change irrevocably because of intermarriage and an increasing population of inhabitants who are not of Greek origin? The question of preserving “Greek” values and culture is serious – as we see from our trip where Greeks take pride in being the “birthplace” of Western culture. So what you identify as the art that imitates the anxiety of the refugees is only showing a portion of the problem – what it is like for the refugees. But what you are asking to do is widen the vision of what art represents and show the conflict that is amplifies because the refugee crisis make the Greeks even more anxious about potentially losing what distinguishes them culturally — and then what they do to remedy that is pressure young women to marry and reproduce as a civic duty — without necessarily caring about the ambitions of the young women themselves. Therefore the refugee crisis consolidates patriarchy.