Thomas Maloutas, a professor of social geography at Harokopio University in Athens, will give a public talk on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m. in the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. The event, sponsored by the Onassis Foundation and UCSB’s Argyropoulos Endowment, is free and open to the public.
A leading expert in cities and societies, Maloutas will discuss the European refugee crisis and how it is affecting Athens. The city has been reeling from Greece’s debt crisis and more than 25 percent unemployment since 2010.
“Every day our news and social media is filled with footage of refugees fleeing to Greece,” said Helen Morales, Argyropoulos Professor of Hellenic Studies at UCSB. “How will this, on top of the European debt crisis, change the city of Athens? Is it becoming a city of increased ethnic segregation and wealth inequalities? Are there any positive changes that we in the U.S. do not hear about?”
In 2015 alone, roughly 400,000 refugees have entered Greece, according to the United National High Commissioner for Refugees. Most continue to make their way to Western Europe, but many thousands remain in Athens, creating a humanitarian crisis that grows worse every day. In his lecture, Maloutas, who is also secretary general for research and technology at the Greek Ministry of Education, will address the situation and its implications for Athens.
“This talk, with questions afterward, will be of interest to anyone who loves Greece, and anyone who is interested in how societies are responding to today’s rapidly changing world,” Morales said.