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Ibrahim Maalouf - Shadows
Great album, this guy is a magician on the trumpet.
“I don't use the concept of diaspora. Diaspora means that there is a center somewhere and we are at the periphery of a center. It's as if the diaspora is always keeping a sense that you are not at home where you are. I am not a diaspora, I am at home. The point for you, as American Muslims, is to make it clear that you are at home here: there is no diaspora. My center when I pray is with a spiritual center, it has nothing to do with my citizenship. ”—
Tariq Ramadan, From the Arab Awakening, Forward: Islam, Democracy & the Pursuit of Civil Society at the University of Michigan
The Immigrant Museum
One of my favorite poems from Washington D.C. based poet Quique Aviles
THE IMMIGRANT MUSEUM
At the Immigrant museum there are accents
dance lessons for people with no rhythm
gypsies and comadres
mafiosos and compadres
The museum halls offer
Negro insight and essays
At the Immigrant Museum, there are accents
historic oil drum barrels from the Persian Gulf
replicas of holding cells for aliens from the tropics
A sequential installation on the life of the nanny
morning tasks: washing, drying, folding, ironing
the first bilingual robot
confusing translation manuals
primitive art for western tourists
At the Immigrant Museum there are accents
bilingual answering machines
the first dream to enter Ellis Island that wasn’t fulfilled
At the Immigrant Museum there are accents
song and prayer
circumcision and baptism
joy dancing in colors
dreams posing as day laborers
At the Immigrant Museum there are accents
“Everyone here is an immigrant. Everyone came from somewhere else.”—Everyone Is an Immigrant by Eliza Griswold
maybe that’s where we need to start with this whole thing.
the parameters of the discussion.
it seems like whiteness is infiltrating it and while we are saying hey don’t homogenize and make monolith our cultures, we are doing it to errbody else.
like Riley pointed out already, this is not about oppression/marginalization because there aren’t those benefits that we usually speak of. no one lives longer because they are trying to or are already participating in some culture. i think what does happen is the value and credit goes somewhere. with African Peoples, it always goes to us. even if it isn’t ours, it will go to us, as fucked up as it may be. people draw things on themselves and wear little clothing, make some pseudo-pattern ting and GIVE US/EXPORT some part of a culture that don’t even exist, adding to the all toowell known picture that i don’t even want to go into detail about because it hurts. all this is to say that we are given acknowledgement as creators sometimes, to a certain degree and extent. so nah don’t get it twisted; a lot of it is all the way fucked up. it appears that with Black US folk and other diasporic folk, that is rarely the case. what is so-called global is not what they the people are choosing to show anyone about their lives and experiences. that’s a much bigger force. while people continue to shout out about how rich and diverse and vast Black US folk cultures is for example, being lied to everyday doesn’t exactly make someone want to continue to believe that sometimes, or so i am assuming. i’ve never lived in the US, just i visited a lot when i was younger and i have a ton of fam there.
another thing is that a lot of these groups we talking about aren’t mutually exclusive, at least i don’t think so. first generation, diasporic, Black US American, African etc…I am all these things except for US-American. I’m Canadian. and actually, this discussion here is interesting for me because of the differences i can see. an example is that people in my city that claim African identities or cultures or just want to make connections are almost always Jamaican (or generally West Indian) and they almost always claim some part of Ghana. also, because in TO we are from here and there (half of us are immigrants w/ first gen kids sometimes), the…need to find, search and be on that journey isn’t something…big. histories and such are important here. i’m sorry if i phrased that in a bad way; i don’t know a better way of putting it. anyway, relying on narratives that outline that is wrong for such and such group to do something can’t exactly apply here. that means that we can appropriate our own cultures, which we can. and so then, do we equate what white people do with what we do?
next is the expression of belonging and connection. white people usually trying to claim that they are respecting the culture they are actually appropriating, and then proceed to dictate the rules and boundaries of the culture they don’t belong to. but this is predicated on access. i forgot who pointed it out (i think it was howtobeterrell), but the access levels are different. the access to the intangibles is very very tough to get. learning one plus of the thousands of languages on the continent, especially when a lot of them can be more oral than written is difficult. trying to understand the essence? cultural practices? habits? customs? difficult. trying to make real live connections about the cultural fusions that are expressed in a lot of mediums like music? difficult. the way that cultures have been retained or tried to reclaim stuff is all the way differing within the diasporas. and when you consider how no one wants diasporic Black folk and the like to live and survive to do anything to their benefit, then it needs to be understood that this is not simply, like to the simplest degree, fetishization. i think making it so actually disrespects the amount of thought and honesty that people put into learning. because it is also African people (none of the groups i’m mentioning are mutually exclusive, remember), i think especially first generation and down that are even having a hard time getting access. more on that later. tangible things like kente cloth, adinkra symbols, ankara fabric, wax print are coming through a lot of sources, and white hegemony is one of them. capitalism and profit and lack of respect of what is sacred. that’s what makes our shit accessible. and think about why it’s almost always Ghanaian Akan stuff and not say, Zimbabwe or Seychelles or a different ethnic group. and i said our because i am Akan and most of what i wrote is ours. at the same time, we need to have a discussion about this idea that entry into any culture can be had with some movies, internet and possibly popcorn (then again, what if people aren’t trying to enter but just wanna know?). like, how simplifying is that? but when people are using these accessible things, which may be all they have, can we call it fetishization and appropriation when they wouldn’t even have access any other way?
because if not then i think WE should be writing down ways for them to do it, if we gon actually sit here and try and tell them about themselves. and who says other folks get access anyway? and if/when folks proceed to acknowledge that they will make mistakes? doing shit with integrity? and that we Africans acknowledge that we cannot dictate to people their reasonings for wanting to do this/needing to heal in this way? when this can even be, i don’t know, healing for even just a moment, no matter how much anger, frustration, pain and all could ensue? when it is nota fruitless journey but rather influenced by resistance, art and revolution movements, studies and tings as so-treu and larepublicadedet? i think we need another name ting for that and it needs to be worked through and seen as effort. because wounds get open wide here. somewhere in here i wanted to put how the investment in the journey to understand many some African cultures was *i think* a helpful example for pride for a lot of people around the world. and so we definitely cannot reduce these journeys to just fetish and cultural appropriation i don’t think. like, what can i really do besides trusting that people will proceed with understanding my culture with integrity, respect and honesty, and acknowledging that that journey is going to be bumpy no doubt?
to add to this access stuff, first generation folk (African Peoples) have issues that are deep and complex and that needs to be acknowledged. like, ima need for folks to acknowledge our voices in a real way and not reduce our feelings to instances or simple anger. we are living breathing people with living cultures, lands, customs and stuff (so this is what is being worked with anytime a journey is being taken), and i’m sure this is not difficult to understand. this isn’t like white folks that have issues understanding NO, THIS AIN’T YOURS. this is issues regarding identities and claims and stuff. because this idea that we are pure, and our bloodlines are linear, we are all African and regarded as such and so we can simply ask someone in our family is flawed. there isn’t privilege here, is what i’m saying. to use myself as an example, not knowing my language does not give me the kind of access i should have. and language in my culture is very fucking important. not knowing the customs or the names of some of our symbols and practices is shameful. and when you around people that will straight up treat you differently as soon as you start speaking english, hurts a lot. no one has ever told me i am not Ghanaian, but it’s like i don’t know as much as i should know, and so i end up fucking up with my own culture. i also cannot afford to even go home. i was not taught a lot, and i still don’t know why when my cousins were, other fam members were. some of y’all on here actually know a lot more than me. i know people who have been in my home more times than me, and they aren’t even Ghanaian. so what i’m saying is that there is a complex that needs to be understood.
the whiteness shows up when we act as if our voices and feelings are not valid. when we act like something should take precedence over something else like it’s not important, we invalidating as fuck. but we shouldn’t confuse who gets to lay claim with who is trying to, even though that is confusing too. because what ideas are we operating on if we’re saying that people of the diasporas are not the ones to be dictating what kind of practice/habit/custom/ is not being done correctly, even when we consider how some folks of the diasporas have retained shit and cultural fusion? i think we know, because we are not working with Africa from hundreds of years ago where things were done differently (how differently, i couldn’t exactly say). we are not working with that world in many respects. lines have been drawn and governing bodies have been made, power has been taken, given, stolen and used. like i said in my other post, those lines have been deadly to our histories, deadly to us and people abroad, deadly to our understandings of each other, and deadly to our lineages. because i could damn well have not too distant family from another region for all i know. so to be honest, i don’t think i truly understand going back on its own because of how much has been changed. like, A LOT has been changed, including the cultural products, practices and pieces that people are invested in. i sort of understand it when we talk about movements and declarations of ancestry in those movements but on its own i don’t really get it. like in an honest, genuine way i’m saying i do not understand.
acknowledging and respecting difference. like to be isn’t to be one. i don’t think African folks are some standard for everyone else because it makes it seem like we ain’t fucked up and ain’t been fuckedup by everyone. that is what people are fed though. that is a very profitable picture. but it isn’t the only one because people are also fed the idea that we are backwards and inferior. can’t go a day without a fucking commercial but back to difference…like, we are culturally different. that’s ok. we speak different languages. that’s ok too. we experience and engage with systems of oppression, identities and stereotypes differently. even that is nuanced for example when we talk about location. that’s ok. like the differences maybe need to be the point of departure, or is it something else? and maybe using anti-blackness specific to wherever it is people are as a way of understanding how this distance between us is made to seem farther?
and lastly, power. we ain’t got it. like, there always needs to be this understanding because we then turn on each other individually when we’re actually talking about structural, thought out blue prints from so long ago that still exist. yes we need to call people out that just fuck up and continue to. yes we need to provide examples and stuff, but we need to do it with care. this isn’t the same as with white folks who want us to be their google, bing and ask jeeves. this is our family we talking about. we talking about family. so we actually DO need to be a lil educational if we can do it. we do need to drop some gems. we do need to provide some knowledge is possible and if appropriate.
like, if we not gon provide ourselves context, we gon get stuck in conversations dominated by whiteness.
this is me attempting to try and make parameters, i guess…
Weaving the world together
The Economist, Nov 19th 2011
IN THE flat world of maps, sharp lines show where one country ends and another begins. The real world is more fluid. Peoples do not have borders the way that parcels of land do. They seep from place to place; they wander; they migrate.
Consider the difference between China and the Chinese people. One is an enormous country in Asia. The other is a nation that spans the planet. More Chinese people live outside mainland China than French people live in France, with some to be found in almost every country. Then there are some 22m ethnic Indians scattered across every continent (the third Indian base in Antarctica will open next year). Hundreds of smaller diasporas knit together far-flung lands: the Lebanese in west Africa and Latin America, the Japanese in Brazil and Peru, the smiling Mormons who knock on your door wherever you live.
Diasporas have been a part of the world for millennia. Today two changes are making them matter much more. First, they are far bigger than they were. The world has some 215m first-generation migrants, 40% more than in 1990. If migrants were a nation, they would be the world’s fifth-largest, a bit more numerous than Brazilians, a little less so than Indonesians.
Second, thanks to cheap flights and communications, people can now stay in touch with the places they came from. A century ago, a migrant might board a ship, sail to America and never see his friends or family again. Today, he texts his mother while still waiting to clear customs. He can wire her money in minutes. He can follow news from his hometown on his laptop. He can fly home regularly to visit relatives or invest his earnings in a new business.
Such migrants do not merely benefit from all the new channels for communication that technology provides; they allow this technology to come into its own, fulfilling its potential to link the world together in a way that it never could if everyone stayed put behind the lines on maps. No other social networks offer the same global reach—or commercial opportunity.
This is because the diaspora networks have three lucrative virtues. First, they speed the flow of information across borders: a Chinese businessman in South Africa who sees a demand for plastic vuvuzelas will quickly inform his cousin who runs a factory in China.
Second, they foster trust. That Chinese factory-owner will believe what his cousin tells him, and act on it fast, perhaps sealing a deal worth millions with a single conversation on Skype.
Third, and most important, diasporas create connections that help people with good ideas collaborate with each other, both within and across ethnicities.
In countries where the rule of law is uncertain—which includes most emerging markets—it is hard to do business with strangers. When courts cannot be trusted to enforce contracts, people prefer to deal with those they have confidence in. Personal ties make this easier.
Chike Obidigbo, for example, runs a factory in Enugu, Nigeria, making soap and other household goods. He needs machines to churn palm oil and chemicals into soap, stamp it into bars and package it in plastic. He buys Chinese equipment, he says, because although it is not as good as European stuff, it is much cheaper. But it is difficult for a Nigerian firm to do business in China. Mr Obidigbo does not speak Chinese, and he cannot fly halfway around the world every time he wants to buy a new soap machine. Worse, if something goes wrong neither the Chinese government nor the Nigerian one is likely to be much help.
Yet Mr Obidigbo’s firm, Hardis and Dromedas, manages quite well with the help of middlemen in the African diaspora. When he wants to inspect a machine he has seen on the internet, he asks an agent from his tribe, the Igbo, who lives in China to go and look at it. He has met several such people at trade fairs. “When you hear people speaking Igbo outside Nigeria, you must go and greet them,” he laughs.
He trusts them partly because they are his ethnic kin, but mostly because an Igbo middleman in Guangdong needs to maintain a good reputation. If a middleman cheats one Igbo, all the others who buy machinery in Guangdong will soon know about it. News travels fast on the diaspora grapevine.
Thanks in part to Mr Obidigbo’s diaspora connections, Hardis and Dromedas is thriving. It employs 300 workers and sells about 300m naira-worth ($2m) of products each year. And it is just one of many African firms that use migrants as their eyes and ears in distant lands. The number of Africans living in China has exploded from hardly any two decades ago to tens of thousands today. One area of Guangzhou is now home to so many African traders that the locals call it Qiao-ke-li Cheng (Chocolate City).
The ability to use informal networks built on trust and a sense of belonging is not restricted to honest businesses such as soap making. Those with dirty hands can build criminal networks on a very similar basis. Many past diasporas have housed a “thing of our own”, or Cosa Nostra, as the Sicilians put it, and some still do. But new technology may tip the scales in favour of those abiding by the law, at least a little. National police forces still do not co-operate seamlessly, but they are much easier to connect than once they were. And the ability of migrants to communicate with home directly leaves less room for sometimes criminal middlemen.
The Chinese and Indian diasporas have long been commercially important. In previous generations, however, China and India themselves were closed economies, so overseas Chinese and Indian traders had to content themselves with linking foreign ports to each other (the Chinese in South-East Asia, for example, and the Indians in parts of Africa). That has completely changed. The overseas Chinese now connect the world to China and China to the world. The Indians do the same for India.
Consider the Riadys, an ethnic Chinese family who have lived in Indonesia for nearly a century. Mochtar Riady established the family fortune after the second world war, first as a bicycle trader, then by buying a bank, then by founding the Lippo Group, a conglomerate.
Throughout his career he relied on his relationships with other Chinese exiles. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) who has written a study of the Riady family, argues that for the Lippo Group, “networking is not just supportive of the business strategy; networking is the business strategy,” and that ethnic ties serve as an “entrepreneurial springboard.” Mr Riady would probably agree. “Without a network, we can do nothing,” he once said.
The Riadys spread from Indonesia into Hong Kong and Singapore. In the 1980s they moved into America, hooking up with Chinese-American firms engaged in trans-Pacific trade. After Indonesia restored normal diplomatic ties with China in 1990, Mr Riady spent eight months touring the Middle Kingdom by car, sniffing out opportunities and forging new friendships. The Lippo Group—which has interests that range from property to supermarkets and newspapers—is investing in a variety of businesses in second-tier Chinese cities, where Western multinationals have been slow to penetrate. John Riady, Mochtar Riady’s grandson, says Chinese contacts “really make us feel at home.” The government in Beijing has set up a ministry to deal with the overseas Chinese.
Small wonder. Most of the foreign direct investment that flows into China is handled by the Chinese diaspora, loosely defined. Of the $105 billion of FDI in 2010, some two-thirds came from places where the population is more or less entirely ethnic Chinese. That includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, which are officially part of China. But these two places operate as if they are part of the diaspora.
While some migrants settle down, others study or work abroad for a while and then return home, and others go first to one place, then another. “People don’t have to choose between countries,” says Kathleen Newland of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC. “They can keep a foot in two or more.” Their ceaseless circulation spreads ideas and expertise as the body’s blood spreads oxygen and glucose.
The benefits can be seen at places such as Fortis, a chain of 50 private hospitals in India. Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, the brothers who built the company up, both studied business in the United States. That imparted what Shivinder calls “a certain discipline”. “If you live only in India, you naturally measure yourself against Indian standards,” he says. “If you have lived abroad, you measure yourself against the best in the world.”
During their father’s terminal cancer the brothers had a sad opportunity to see the American health-care system up close. Shivinder observed that the best American hospitals did not just have good doctors. They were also superbly organised. Doctors follow carefully documented procedures instead of relying solely on their instincts, as Indian doctors tended to. This might cramp the style of one or two medical geniuses, but it also raised ordinary physicians to a consistently high standard.
Fortis hospitals reimagined that American excellence to fit a frugal Indian setting. A leading surgeon in America might perform 250-350 operations a year. A surgeon at a Fortis hospital will perform 1,200. An army of helpers takes care of all the mundane tasks, leaving surgeons free to concentrate on the surgery. So even though the Singhs pay their doctors well, a kidney operation that might cost $100,000 in America costs less than $10,000.
Because migrants see the world through more than one cultural lens, they often spot opportunities invisible to their monocultural neighbours. For example, Cheung Yan, a Chinese woman living in America, noticed that Americans threw out mountains of waste paper and that ships carrying Chinese goods to America often steamed back half-empty. So she gathered up waste paper and shipped it to China for recycling into cardboard boxes, many of which were then returned to America with televisions inside. Her insight made Mrs Cheung a billionaire.
The exceptional creativity of immigrants doubtless reflects the sort of people who up sticks and get visas. But work by William Maddux of INSEAD (a business school) and Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University suggests that exile itself makes people creative.
They compared MBA students who had lived abroad with otherwise similar students who had not, using an experiment in which each was given a candle, a box of matches and a box of drawing pins. The students’ task was to attach the candle to a wall so that it burned properly and did not drip wax on the table or the floor. This Duncker candle problem, as it is known, is considered a good test of creativity because it requires you to imagine something being used for a purpose quite different from its usual one. Some 60% of the migrants saw the solution—pinning the drawing-pin box to the wall as a makeshift sconce—against 42% of non-migrants.
China’s high-tech industry is dominated by returnees from abroad, such as Robin Li and Eric Xu, the founders of Baidu, China’s leading search engine. Asked how many of his top people had worked or studied abroad, N. Chandrasekaran, the boss of Tata Consulting Services, a big Indian IT firm, replies: “All of them.”
I don't understand the Bengali diaspora. And oh, the woes of those with cross-cultural identities.
I just got off the phone with my parents. Another argument, as per usual.
I’m not going to get into it now [edit: so I did, apparently. Sort of]
I understand why my mother says, “I will never mix with white people!” since in Winnipeg, they don’t have the greatest track record… but I don’t understand why she can’t mingle with people of other backgrounds. She used to. I know it’s hard for older people to make friends. She was yelling at me when she asked how I think she should make new friends…on the internet?
I mean my dad grew up here, but the guy has no friends either. And my family’s close friends, they’re all busy now. My dad’s friends are all doctors and they all just work all the time. My mother’s friends are their wives (some also doctors) or just all busy families. Or I don’t know. Some of them moved away. They’re lonely. I guess.
So they go to “parties” and hangout with the Bengali community, all who are 20-30 years younger than them. Now I’m not saying you can’t hang out with people that are 20 years in younger than you- but they have nothing in common other than being Bengali.
I mean I know these guys don’t talk about Doctor Who with my dad, or hockey. Frankly, I don’t think they entirely accept him or in can relate to him. Most of them are immigrants in their thirties. My dad is in his fifties, has a different set of cultural humour yet is constantly clinging to his roots.
Ultimately, he’s a rural Canadian with a terrible Bengali accent. Seriously, I explicitly tell him do not speak a word of Bangla with me because it offends me. Poor guy. It’s not his fault, really. I’ll blame Canada, and England for that. It’s not my grandmother’s fault either. For those that may not know, my father was raised in the UK and rural Canada. Well…and probably my grandfather, who didn’t help out at all. When my grandmother moved to England, she learned English from…Coronation Street. So she spent her home life speaking English with the children. Between the rampant racism, well, they were trying to assimilate.
So my father has a messed up cultural identity, and so does my mother. I don’t really think, “Oh, everyone has a messed up cultural identity.” Because some people don’t. Some people have the privilege of not having to deal with the same factors in the same manner, of course, generally more predominantly white cultures. And others are able to come to terms with it. I would say Toronto was my blessing, really. Or it really erased whatever internalized cultural hatred I had developed from years of white washing. So, no, I don’t have a messed up cultural identity.
And now I am just rambling about nothing and I have seemed to have strayed from my original point.
I don’t agree with my parents’ current segregation. I understand it. But I don’t agree with it.
Agh I could write a huge essay on this, of why I understand this yet why it’s so problematic but I don’t have time for that right now.
Speaking of essays, my father’s life would be interesting to document. That is if I could ever get him to actually talk about it. If there’s ever someone in self-denial about his cultural identity, it’s my father. My mother might have no actual self awareness but at least she can deal with the racism she’s faced. My father likes to pretend his life growing up in rural Manitoba was just peachy keen. Yeah. I’m sure.
So I’m going to go now, before I end up writing a biography of my life. Or…my parents’ lives.
“In a sense, an online identity alleviates traditional ethnic requirements and transforms it into something different more suitable for cyberspace. At the same time, this online identity allows for the recovering of vernacular values and ties. That plastic quality of online identity is extremely important for diaspora users of a particular community...being immigrants or natives no longer matters, because living in the digital era transforms everybody into immigrants.”—An Activist Commons for People Without States by Cybergolem
Improvisation oudKamel Labbaci
Kamel Labbaci - Improvisation Oud (Ibrahim Maalouf - Diasporas 2007)
we should make april 15th (tax day) the national “militant brown girls day” where we go to our everyday institutions and establishments and make ppl pronounce our whole names correctly and honor our name’s diasporic integrity. it’ll be on tax day b/c we’ll be making them pay an imperial tax to the ppl who are oppressed and fucked with.
it’s little compared to the shit we could do.
Revisão Enem - História Geral: Grécia Antiga (Antiguidade Ocidental)
História Geral - Das diásporas gregas ao Helenismo
A Grécia é um país europeu localizado ao sul da Península Balcânica. Seu território é cortado ao meio pelo Estreito de Corinto, que separa a Grécia Continental, ao norte, da Península do Peloponeso, ao sul. A região é bastante montanhosa o que dificultava as comunicações entre as planícies e os pequenos vales férteis, trazendo assim, o surgimento de numerosas comunidades independentes entre si. A existência de um litoral bem recortado e um grande número de ilhas no Mar Egeu, orientou a vocação marítima dos gregos facilitando o contato com o mundo exterior. Seu clima não favorece a agricultura e sua região tem poucas áreas férteis, por isso o pastoreio teve grande importância na economia de formação. A agricultura existente era caracterizada principalmente pelo trigo, cevada, vinhas e oliveiras.
A história da Grécia Antiga pode ser dividida em 5 Períodos:
1º Período – Pré-Homérico (2000 – 1200 A.C)
CChave: Povoamento da Grécia
Os povos aqueus e os jônios (que posteriormente originaram as cidades não espartanas) foram os primeiros a povoar a região com relacionamento amigável, onde criam relações comerciais e culturais harmoniosas. São povos de convivência passiva, ligados à intelectualidade e à disseminação do aprendizado e cultura. Estes formam a civilização cretense.
Essa convivência é quebrada quando os povos dórios, povos mais militarizadosde origem indo-europeia (que posteriormente originarão a cidade de Esparta), invadem a região da civilização cretense, resultando na 1ª Diáspora Grega, lembrando que essa diáspora se trata de uma migração dos povos aqueus e jônios para outras regiões principalmente para regiões da Ásia Menor.
A denominação dos períodos, se dá por conta de um dos únicos registros históricos sobre tal época que se tratam dos escritos de Homero, onde além da historicidade dos relatos há também contextos mitológicos inseridos nas narrativas. Tanto a Ilíada como A Odisseia (livros de Homero) tratam da Guerra de Troia, sendo a Ilíada o relato sobre o motivo e os trâmites da guerra desde seu início até sua resolução e a Odisseia o relato da viagem de Odisseu (Ulisses), um dos nobres gregos retornando à Ítaca, sua terra de soberania.
A Ilíada é nada mais do que uma representação de ataques dórios contra os povos aqueus e jônios localizados na região da Ásia Menor, próxima às ilhas do Mar Egeu. Bem como a Odisseia, uma representação do retorno dórico para suas terras desde a Grécia Continental à ilha de Creta.
2º Período – Homérico (1200 – 800 A.C)
CChave: Sociedade Gentílica
Nessa época, os gregos viviam em pequenas comunidades agrícolas autossuficientes – os genos – cujos membros eram aparentados entre si e obedeciam à autoridade de um patriarca (pater famílias) que tinha poder político, religioso e econômico sobre a sociedade gentílica.
Como a propriedade da terra era coletiva, o crescimento demográfico dos genos ocasionou uma insuficiência da produção. Então os parentes mais próximos do pater famílias, denominados eupátridas, apropriaram-se das terras, transformando-as em propriedade privada e os parentes mais afastados, se transformaram em camponeses sem terra ou então emigraram, o que podemos chamar de 2ª Diáspora Grega. Esses eupátridas passaram a morar em construções fortificadas que com o decorrer do tempo e o desenvolvimento do comércio, deram origem às polis.
3º Período – Arcaico (500 – 340 A.C)
CChave: Formação das Pólis (cidades-estado)
O padrão urbano da civilização clássica começou a se firmar. Fronteiras se fixaram, seguindo linhas naturais onde a cidade e o campo adjacente se transformavam numa comunidade independente, uma cidade-estado.
Como já dito, os eupátridas passaram a se concentrar em fortificações estabelecendo suas propriedades.
A ordem política se baseou na dominação de uma nobreza hereditária e privilegiada sobre o resto da população urbana, em geral exercida através de um Conselho Aristocrático sobre a cidade.
A economia, além das atividades agropastoris, assistiu ao desenvolvimento do comércio e do artesanato, e portanto, de uma maior utilização da moeda. A mão de obra era composta por homens livres, não que a escravidão não existisse, mas não era representativa para a economia. Graças à linguagem e a outros padrões culturais uniformes que ultrapassavam os limites locais, esses povos passaram a se autodesignar helenos.
A formação das polis abrange várias cidades-estado, porém, duas devem ser citadas com maior importância: Atenas e Esparta.
Localizava-se na região da Lacônia que ocupava a parte sudeste da região do Peloponeso, ao extremo sul da Grécia, sendo uma das primeiras cidades-estado a surgir na Grécia. Foi fundada pelos dórios, por volta do século IX A.C, após a submissão dos aqueus.
Durante o Período Homérico, os dórios também utilizaram do sistema gentílico. As terras que haviam sido conquistadas dos aqueus, foram distribuídas entre os guerreiros que as trabalhavam coletivamente, sob um regime patriarcal.
No século VII A.C os dórios se expandiram sobre a Messênia, reduzindo-os à condição de escravos. Esse fato produziu grandes transformações na economia espartana. As propriedades coletivas desapareceram, dando lugar uma imensa propriedade estatal, denominada de terra cívica. Essa terra foi distribuída em cerca de 8.000 lotes que foram distribuídos aos guerreiros dórios, detentores da posse útil da terra cívica. As terras periféricas foram divididas entre os aqueus, que detinham propriedade privada sobre elas.
Na conquista da Messênia, houve uma reestruturação social em Esparta. Após a conquista da planície, a sociedade era basicamente composta de espartíatas (cidadãos e guerreiros de origem dória, que constituíam a camada social superior e recebiam educação militar), periecos (aqueus, habitantes da periferia, que, apesar de serem homens livres, não eram considerados cidadãos) e hilotas (escravos). A sociedade era estamental, rigidamente hierárquica e sem mobilidade social.
Até o século VII A.C, a Grande Retra (legislação espartana), estabelecia que o governo deveria ser exercido por dois reis (diarquia), por um conselho e por uma assembleia. A sucessão ao trono era hereditária e duas família dividiam o poder: os Ágidas e os Euripôntidas. O conselho era denominado Gerúsia, e era formado pelos homens idosos e tinha um caráter apenas consultivo. A assembleia era denominada Ápela, era o órgão mais importante, e os cidadãos tomavam as decisões finais sobre todos os assuntos.
Depois da conquista da Messênia, Esparta adotou a oligarquia, onde a antiga Gerúsia passou a monopolizar o poder. O poder executivo passou a ser exercido pelos éforos, cinco magistrados escolhidos pelos membros da gerúsia com o mandato de um ano. A antiga Ápela aprovava leis apenas por aclamação, correspondendo, nesse contexto, a um órgão formal de decisões políticas, de caráter consultivo. A diarquia continuou a existir, mas seus poderes tornaram-se somente sacerdotais e militares. Eram suas características a xenofobia e o laconismo que sufocavam o surgimento de ideias e restringiam o espírito crítico.
Localizada na Ática, sua proximidade entre a cidade e o Porto de Pireu impulsionou o comércio marítimo e, consequentemente, incentivou a indústria de cerâmica e a agricultura de exportação (vinho e azeite). Estabeleceu-se uma relação dinâmica com o mercado externo, e a cidade tornou-se o centro mercantil do Mar Egeu.
Inicialmente a sociedade ateniense dividia-se em eupátridas (aristocratas proprietários das melhores terras), demiurgos (artesãos e comerciantes), georgóis (pequenos proprietários rurais) e thetas (camponeses sem terra e trabalhadores marginalizados).
Mais tarde com a expansão das atividades marítimas, os mercadores tornaram-se uma classe bastante próspera e rival dos eupátridas.
Atenas tornou-se um grande centro comercial. As novas classes surgidas passaram a pressionar os aristocratas e a fazer oposição ao regime oligárquico. Formaram-se então os partidos políticos e teve início uma crise em Atenas. O partido popular reivindicava reformas: exigia leis escritas, o fim da escravidão por dívidas e o direito de participar da vida política.
Originariamente, o poder político em Atenas assentava-se sobre uma monarquia hereditária. O governo era exercido pelo Basileu (rei), que concentrava os poderes político, militar e religioso. O seu poder era limitado por um conselho de anciãos, o Areópago. Gradativamente, o Basileu foi perdendo seus poderes para a aristocracia que impôs a oligarquia como regime de governo. O governo oligárquico era exercido pelo Arcontado com apoio do Areópago.
Os arcontes (membros do Arcontado), eram escolhidos inicialmente para um período de 10 anos; posteriormente, o poder foi reduzido para apenas 1 ano. Além do rei, havia o arconte Polemarco encarregado do comando do Exército; o arconte Epônimo, encarregado dos assuntos internos; os arcontes Tesmotetas, que em número de 6, cuidavam da legislação.
Em meio a uma crise violenta, marcada pela força das camadas populares, a oligarquia recuou e foi obrigada a fazer concessões. Surgiram assim, os legisladores, com a finalidade de solucionar a crise política em Atenas.
Em 594 A.C, Sólon foi nomeado legislador de Atenas. As reformas por ele propostas abrangiam os três pontos fundamentais da vida ateniense: o econômico, o social e o político. Sólon não conseguiu contentar todas as reivindicações populares nem atender à conservadora aristocracia eupátrida.
A crise política gerou condições para a implantação das tiranias, nas quais o poder era tomado por meio de um golpe. Essa forma de governo dominou o cenário da vida política de Atenas durante 50 anos.
A reforma de Clístenes
Entre 508 e 507 A.C, Clístenes deu início a um processo de reformas em Atenas, para implantar a democracia. As suas propostas incluíam: direitos políticos para os cidadãos representados pelos homens maiores de 18 anos, filhos de pais atenienses e de origem jônia; participação política direta no governo, pois os cidadãos opinavam na Assembleia ou eram sorteados para ocupar algum cargo. Cabe ressaltar que a democracia ateniense era exercida por aproximadamente 35.000 cidadãos em uma população de cerca de 450.000 habitantes.
Além da Eclésia, o poder legislativo era ainda constituído pela Bulé (ou conselho dos 500), cuja função era preparar as leis votadas mensalmente pela Assembleia dos Cidadãos. A Heliae era composta de doze tribunais, com a função de ministrar a justiça comum. O Areópago cuidava da alta justiça, ou seja, atos públicos. A Heliae e o Areópago compunham o poder judiciário, enquanto o poder executivo era exercido por 10 estrategos, escolhidos anualmente pela Eclésia.
A democracia de Clístenes foi aperfeiçoada por Péricles, que convenceu a Eclésia a estabelecer uma remuneração para os cargos públicos, tornando-os acessíveis aos cidadãos pobres. A implantação da democracia significou o início da consolidação de Atenas dentro de Hélade.
4º Período – Clássico
CChave: Auge cultural e econômico
Nesse período, as polis gregas disputam a supremacia de influência sobre a Grécia. Essa fase é marcada pelas hegemonias e imperialismos no Mundo Grego, que acabaram com uma guerra fratricida entre os próprios gregos, concluindo com sua decadência e dominação por parte dos macedônios. A economia do período é primordialmente comercial e marítima.
Entre os séculos VI e V A.C, a expansão do Império Persa , que já envolvera as colônias gregas da Ásia Menor, passou a ameaçar a própria Grécia Continental. Em 492 A.C, no primeiro momento das chamadas Guerras Médicas ou Greco-Persas, o poderoso rei Dario I organizou uma expedição punitiva contra os atenienses, para ensiná-los a não alimentar os projetos de liberdade dos núcleos gregos da Ásia, submetidos à Pérsia. Mas os gregos derrotaram os invasores na Batalha de Maratona.
Dario passou então a preparar uma invasão em larga escala, mas morreu antes de concretizar seu projeto. Seu filho, Xerxes, teve de adiar o ataque, o que deu tempo para que as cidades da Grécia se unissem e para que Atenas criasse uma frota poderosa. A ofensiva persa só foi lançada em 479 A.C. Sob liderança conjunta de atenienses e espartanos, os helênicos venceram os persas nas batalhas de Salamina (naval) e Plateia. Então os gregos organizaram uma liga militar com sede em Delos (Confederação de Delos) e a chefia foi confiada a Atenas. O tesouro comum foi usado para construir uma poderosa armada, que sob o comando de Címon, assolou as posições persas no litoral asiático em Micala, obrigando o rei Xerxes a voltar à Pérsia. No Tratado de Susão ou Paz de Cálias, os persas reconheceram a supremacia grega no Mar Egeu.
A hegemonia de Atenas
O fim da guerra tornou desnecessária a Confederação de Delos. Entretanto, os atenienses sofreriam uma grave crise econômica e social se as contribuições dos aliados parassem de afluir para a cidade: a indústria naval seria paralisada, o comércio se retrairia e numerosos remadores, mercenários e artesãos ficariam sem emprego. Por essa razão, os atenienses obrigaram, pela força, os Estados-membros a continuar os pagamentos, mesmo contra a vontade desses.
Nesse período a Grécia conheceu as dimensões de um verdadeiro Império. No século V A.C., Atenas foi governada por Péricles e suas instituições atingiram o máximo esplendor, no entanto, o controle exercido sobre a Grécia pela Confederação de Delos desrespeitava o princípio de soberania das cidades.
A Guerra do Peloponeso e a hegemonia de Esparta
Muitos estados gregos, cuja localização no interior os colocava a salvo da frota ateniense, ligaram-se a Esparta na Liga do Peloponeso, francamente hostil a Atenas e à Confederação de Delos.
As ambições territoriais de Atenas em expandir-se para o o ocidente levaram-na a apoiar uma aliança com Córcira, colônia de Corinto que era aliada de Esparta. Com isso explodiu a Guerra do Peloponeso, que duraria 27 anos e deixaria a Grécia exausta pelas destruições recíprocas.
Em 421 Atenas e Esparta celebraram a Paz de Nícias, estabelecendo que não haveria mais guerra nos próximos 50 anos. Porém, por ordens ambiciosas de Alcebíades, os atenienses preparam uma campanha militar na Sicília, com o propósito de conquistar Siracusa que era aliada de Corinto e abastecia a região do Peloponeso com alimentos. Assim, começou a segunda fase da Guerra do Peloponeso, onde a esquadra ateniense foi destruída em Siracusa pelos espartanos. Em 404 A.C., os atenienses foram derrotados na Batalha de Egos-Pótamos pelo general Lisandro.
A hegemonia espartana não era menos opressora que a ateniense. Ao iniciar uma ofensiva contra os persas na Ásia, Esparta não foi capaz de manter sua campanha militar e manter o controle sobre os inimigos no Continente, Esparta assinou em 387 A.C., a Paz de Antálcidas com os persas.
A hegemonia de Tebas
Na reconstrução dos muros de Atenas e de sua esquadra, a cidade Tebas aliou-se a Atenas e atacou a guarnição espartana em Tebas. Durante a Batalha de Leuctras, a revolta dos escravos espartanos favoreceu a vitória tebana sob o comando dos generais Epaminondas e Pelópidas.
O período da hegemonia tebana foi marcado pela libertação dos messênios do domínio espartano e pela conquista e submissão da Tessália e Macedônia. Ao construir uma esquadra, Tebas enfrentou oposição ateniense que causou a união de Atenas a Esparta impondo a derrota tebana na Batalha de Maltineia. O enfraquecimento das polis, em decorrência de tantas lutas, facilitou a conquista da Grécia, por Felipe, O caolho da Macedônia.
5º Período – Helenístico
CChave: Expansão territorial e difusão da cultura grega pelo mundo (Alexandre, o Grande).
O filho de Felipe, Alexandre, não teve grandes dificuldades para reprimir as cidades-Estado que ainda não aceitavam completamente seu domínio. Alexandre foi o responsável pela derrota de Dario III da Pérsia, que foi inteiramente dominada, em 331 A.C após a conquista de Tiro e a Batalha de Gaugamela. Alexandre foi proclamado rei da Pérsia. Marchou em direção ao Egito onde foi proclamado filho do deus Amon-Rá. Expandiu o Império em direção ao Oriente, chegando até os rios Ganges e Indo. Ao estabelecer seedes do império macedônico, Alexandre permite que as elites locais as governem e se reportem a ele. Com isso, há uma difusão da cultura grega por toda a Ásia migrando em todas as direções. Com sua morte, em 323 A.C., seu vasto império foi dividido entre seus principais generaqis, formando os reinos da Macedônia, do Egito e da Ásia. Entre 197 A.C. e 31 A.C., todos esses territórios foram conquistados pelos romanos.