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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Nikos Papstergiadis talks of his (1984) essay on multiculturalism, with folkloric as a diversion

Nikos Papastergiadis.



Date Added:

09 April 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

3.5 MB




The first thing I wrote was an essay on multiculturalism and the first line in that essay was: A souvlaki wrapped in pita served by a waiter with broken English is not an example of multiculturalism. That was in 1984, in the journal Chroniko. And at that time, a lot of us we thought the version of multiculturalism that was being promoted by the Australian Governments both the Labor and Liberal was always in a sense, avoiding the deeper structural issues of how different cultures actually can find a place in the society. And a lot of us at that time complained about the fact that the debate was confined to just food and dance and that these folkloric elements and these div were just a diversion in a sense from the deeper need to engage with the issues of education, health, welfare.

Twenty years later we think, well the only thing that is enjoyed and at any part of the public consciousness is the food and dance part  even hanging on to that is some achievement these days.