Kino is a not-for-profit, and completely unfunded, arts space.
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to work with promoters, groups, organisations, and individuals who share
the qualities, outlooks and values that are important to us.
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heavily on the voluntary time and effort given by our staff, who work
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THU 21 JUN 12
(Katerina Kitidi & Aris Chatzistefanou / 87 min / 2012 / Greece)
In Catastroika, Aris Chatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi, the
creators of Debtocracy, travel round the world to gather data
on privatization in developed countries and search for clues on the day
after Greece’s massive privatization program.
It was at the beginning of 1989 when the French academic Jacques Rupnik
sat at his desk, in order to prepare a report on the state of the economic
reforms in Mikhail Gorbatsov’s Soviet Union. The term that he used
in describing the death rattle of the empire was “Catastroika”.
In Yeltsin’s time, when Russia instituted maybe the biggest and
least successful privatization experiment in the history of humanity,
a group of Guardian reports assigned a different meaning to Rupnik’s
term. “Catastroika” became synonym of the country’s
complete destruction by market forces; the sell off of public property;
and the steep deterioration of citizens’ living standards. Now,
Catastroika’s unit of measurement was unemployment, social impoverishment,
declining life expectancy, as well as the creation of a new cast of oligarchs,
who took over the country’s reins. A few years later, a similar
effort to massively privatise public property in unified Germany (which
is presented as a model for Greece) created millions of unemployed and
some of the biggest scandals in European history.
It is this “Catastroika” that is now coming to Greece; to
“Europe’s last Soviet Republic,” as the MPs and the
ministers of its former “socialist” government liked to call
it. Catastroika is the logical aftermath and continuation of “Debtocracy,”
the subject of Chatzistefanou and Kitidi's first documentary, which examined
the causes of the debt crisis in Greece and the European periphery as
Nevertheless, Catastroika is a virus that attacks not only the countries
that radically change their economic system (like Russia) or countries
under financial occupation. In fact, maybe the most unsuccessful privatization
examples occur in financial superpowers that theoretically have the financial
strength to control their negative consequences.
Catastroika can be spotted in post-Thatcherite Britain, where citizens
were killed in accidents at the privatized rail network. It can be detected
in the Dutch privatized and liberalized postal sector, where thousands
of jobs have been cut and mail arrives at one’s door two to three
times per day. It can be detected even in California, which left citizens
in the dark when it deregulated the energy market.
However, its consequences are the gravest and most frightening at countries
which fell in the trap of foreign lenders and are obliged to proceed to
mass privatization. The public property sell-off which takes place in
Greece has been tried several times in similar circumstances. The same
people, who undertook the selling of public utilities in Latin American
countries, now have moved their office in countries of the European periphery
– and the most competent among them have been travelling to Athens
during the last months.
This event is the second of two screenings at Cafe Kino of the crowd-funded
documentaries of Katerina
Kitidi and Aris Chatzistefanou. On Thursday 14th June, we will be showing
Debtocracy, their first film, which analyses causes
of the debt crisis and proposes solutions sidelined by the government
and the dominant media. Click
here for more info...