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Classicists Condemn Use of Images by Racists

August 15, 2017
 
 

Poster of classical statue with text "Our future belongs to us, Identity Evropa."Many of the posters turning up anonymously on campuses, put there by groups promoting "European" ideals in ways that are widely seen as racist, use images of ancient Greek or Roman sculptures (see poster at right for example).

The Society for Classical Studies has issued a statement condemning the use of images in this way. The statement notes that the ancient world was not monolithic and in fact was influenced by people of different regions and cultures. "Greek and Roman culture was shared and shaped for their own purposes by people living from India to Britain and from Germany to Ethiopia. Its medieval and modern influence is wider still. Classical studies today belongs to all of humanity," the statement says. It goes on to say that the society "vigorously and unequivocally opposes any attempt to distort the diverse realities of the Greek and Roman world by enlisting the classics in the service of ideologies of exclusion, whether based on race, color, national origin, gender or any other criterion. As scholars and teachers, we condemn the use of the texts, ideals and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely imagined and narrowly conceived Western civilization."

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