Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27, 2021 (10:00-15:00)

Artistic labor in Greece: status, policies, perspectives
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Online panel discussions
Live streaming on Facebook (recorded sessions remain on this page):


Rationale & goals

  • The conditions of the pandemic and the ways it has been tackled, affect almost all sectors of artistic labor. It seems that this new environment magnifies several of the peculiarities of artists’ labor, which have long been extended to various other sectors, beyond the arts. In many ways, this new context appears as a convenient opportunity to allow for further deterioration of the already unfavorable conditions under which most artists work. However, it is also possible that the new conditions can forge thinking around new – and possibly groundbreaking – ways to support and protect artists’ labor as well as the goods that they create, the importance of which is multidimensional for society at large. In any case, it is certain that this unprecedented context brings to the fore and makes it urgent to discuss all issues concerning artistic labor and workers’ collectivism in the arts.
  • The aim of this conference is indeed to reinforce this debate, which is still underdeveloped in Greece. In fact, this debate might be most productive, if it connects the world of artistic labor with that of social research. In this context, and through this connection, we seek to:

    • Develop reflection on all issues related to labor and work relations in the fields of art.
    • Highlight aspects of artistic labor rarely understood or even known widely.
    • Discuss new forms of artistic labor and specifically the dire conditions brought about by the pandemic.
    • Present and discuss the lived experience of the artists themselves, both from their point of view and from the perspective of the researchers.

    Finally, an aim of the conference is to improve the research potentials on artistic labor in Greece, firstly by bringing together artists and social scientists, and secondly by facilitating communication and links among researchers on artistic labor, to foster future collaborations or even the foundation of a network.


Issues & topics

The conference will be held in the form of four round tables, coordinated panel discussions, without paper presentations in the standard conference format, with the possibility to present slides or other relevant material. Main topics include:

Employment and labor regimes
Discussion on labor relations, working conditions and labor precarity in the arts; the institutional framework and the various forms of formal and informal labor in the fields of art; regional differences and differences among the center and periphery ⯁ Emerging particularities and new issues that arise in the conditions of the pandemic ⯁ Presentation of research, results, and analyses on artistic labor and its prospects in Greece.

Unions and collective action
Presentation by trade unions and other entities of artists, discussion on their activities and particularities, the current moment and evolving prospects of collective action in the field of art, their importance, and functions – especially vis-à-vis the new conditions ⯁ Presentation of research, results, and analyses on entities and collective action of artists, reflecting on artistic labor and working relationships in the arts.

Politics and policies
Discussion of the ways in which artists themselves experience and perceive public policy for artistic labor in general, and also specific policies affecting their work and labor on multiple levels ⯁ Presentation and discussion of research, analyses, and possibly suggestions for policy in various sectors of the arts.

The research
Presentation of research and findings on artistic labor in Greece; discussion and highlighting of issues of methodology; exchange of research experiences and views with artists ⯁ Prospects and challenges within research on artistic labor in Greece.


Invited participants

Researchers and representatives of artists’ organizations and collectives. Representatives of the following organizations and collectives have been invited and will participate (in alphabetical order): Association of Dance Teachers – Avgi Progidi ● Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece (EETE) – Eva Mela ● Greek Opera Singers Union (ELPA) – Margarita Syggeniotou ● Hellenic Actors Union (SEI) – Aris Laskos ● Ioannina Musicians’ Union “Mutual Aid” – Vassilis Papageorgiou ● Non-profit organization “Aptaliko” – Konstantina Karameri ● Northern Greece Union of Musicians (SMBE) – Dimitris Sfiggos ● Panhellenic Federation of Spectacle Audience (POTHA) – Costas Kechagioglou ● Panhellenic Musicians’ Union (PMU) – Vassilis Paraskevopoulos ● Society of Northern Greece Cinematographers (EKBE) – Alexandra Akanthopoulou ● Stage for Young People in Action (SKI.NI. DRA) – Vasia Paraskevopoulou ● Support Art Workers – Iakovos Mindrinos ● Under the stage (Performing Arts Workers’ collectivity) – Kelly Diapouli & Electra Ellinikioti ● Union International de la Marionnette Hellas (UNIMA Hellas) – Constantis Mizaras ● Union of Singers in Greece (ETE) – Costas Skondras ● Union of Technicians in Live Audiovisual Events (STAZOE) – Vassilis Skouras ● Union of Technicians in the Greek Cinema and TV (Audiovisual Sector) (ETEKTOT) – Panos Papadimitriou ● Union of Workers in the Dance Sector (SEHOHO) – Mina Ananiadou & Chara Kotsali.

In addition to the members of the organizing committee, the following researchers will also participate: Vasilis Avdikos (Panteion University); Eliza‐Anna Delveroudi (theatre & cinema historian); Antigoni Efstratoglou (Lifelong Learning tutor); Athanasios Kalogeresis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); George-Michael Klimis (Panteion University); Panos Kompatsiaris (Higher School of Economics University /HSE/, Moscow); Martha Michailidou (Panteion University); Yannis Mylonas (Higher School of Economics University /HSE/, Moscow); Nikos Potamianos (Institute for Mediterranean Studies-FORTH); Manolis Seiragakis (University of Crete); Ioannis Tsioulakis & Konstantina Karameri (Queen’s University of Belfast & Non-profit organization “Aptaliko”).

 Participants as panel coordinators: Irene Giannara (journalist, radio producer for Greek Radio Television – ERT) and Maria Smilidou (journalist, communication consultant)



Attendance is open to the public and can be taken in Zoom (after registration at Live-streaming on the Facebook page of the event will also be available, allowing for questions in written form ( Please note that the conference will be held in Greek.


Organizing committee

  • Sissie Theodosiou, School of Music Studies, University of Ioannina.
  • Christina Karakioulafi, Department of Sociology, University of Crete.
  • Christina Kokkinou, Department of Sociology, University of Crete.
  • Alexandros Baltzis, School of Journalism & Mass Media Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  • Yiannis Tsioulakis, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast.
  •  K. Vichos, graphic design.


Conference program (brief & detailed)

Download the detailed program in PDF format here. Details on each session can also be seen following the relevant links below.

Friday, February 26, 2021
10:00-10:15 Opening session 
10:15-11:15 Employment & labor regimes
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 Employment & labor regimes (continued)
12:30-12:45 Break
12:45-13:45 Unions & collective action
13:45-14:00 Break
14:00-15:00 Unions & collective action (continued)

Saturday, February 27, 2021
10:00-11:00 Politics & policies
11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:15 Politics & policies (continued)
12:15-12:30 Break
12:30-13:30 Issues of reseach
13:30-13:45 Break
13:45-14:45 Issues of reseach (continued)
14:45-15:00 Closing session