Friday, September 24, 2010

African Spiritual Healing in Athens

Walking back from the ACS courier service office near Vathi Square, Athens, an African immigrant handed me this small sheet of paper, advertising his office of spiritual healing. The leaflet is a testament to the multicultural realities of modern Athens and the availability of African spiritual practices to the desperate economic times. By posting it on my blog, I hope to rescue it from historical oblivion and offer it as a primary source for Greek history. We need to all be collecting the ephemera of globalization, which is wonderfully undigital. This text is as low budget as texts can get. It is printed, distributed and discarded and along the way, its author hopes, two people would have made a contact. This piece of paper is a textual medium that will bring together a Greek native and an African immigrant. The advertisement reads as follows (in English and Greek):


Over 20 years experience no matter what your problems are I can help you solve the most difficult once in the fastest way than any one does even when you have been disappointed by other spiritualists. I can bring the loved once more than they are before. I can bring unknown one in love. I also give powerful talisman for protection. Impotency sexual court case exams carrier. Successful business depression and many other things."


Πάνω από 20 χρόνια εμπειρίας ανεξάρτητα από το ποια είναι τα προβλήματα σας. Μπορώ να σας βοηθήσω να λύσετε τα δυσκολότερα από αυτά στον μικρότερο χρόνο από οποιονδήποτε άλλον ακόμα και αν έχετε απογοητευθεί από άλλους πνευματιστές. Μπορώ να κάνω άγνωστους μεταξύ τους ανθρώπους να ερωτευθούν. Επίσης δίνω πανίσχυρο φυλακτό για προστασία. Λύνω σημαντικές δικαστικές υποθέσεις σεξουαλικού περιεχομένου. Επιτυχίες Επαγγελματικές συμβουλές και πολλά άλλα."

One of the most fundamental transformations of Greece happening this very moment is the globalization of its citizenship. Anyone that has walked around Omonia, Kypseli, Patissia and other 1960s middle-class neighborhoods cannot fail to notice the minority of Greeks. The demographics have affected the political discussion, sometimes toward intolerance (the right) or old-school labor naivete (the left). What we might now call "inner city" public schools tell an amazing demographic story. Practically every year, I direct American undergraduates in archaeological projects in Greece. The multicultural reality is the first thing that they notice. Nevertheless, American programs in Greece have failed to capitalize on the sociological potential. Arcadia's program is a noteworthy exception, which incorporates an element of civic service, beyond the traditional grand tourism.


John Stathatos said...

I was immediately struck by the astonishing textual similarities between the handout of your African healer in Athens in 2010 and the one I collected from another African, some twenty years ago, in Paris. Here is the markedly breathless text as it appeared on a very small (9x7 cm) bright orange card:

Professeur DIAWARA
Grand Voyant Médium tous Problèmes reconnu spécialiste incontesté notoriété mondiales affinités amours il résoudra tous les cas personnels même juges désespérés retour immediat de l'être aimé entente charisme reussite sociale affective ascendent sur les êtres dominez votre view au lieu de la subir

(Grand Seer Medium all Problems acknowledged as uncontested specialist of world-wide notoriety affinities love affairs he will resolve all personal problems even those believed hopeless immediate return of the loved one understanding charisma social success emotional ascendancy over others dominate your life instead of enduring it).

Life's major objectives do not appear to have changed much in two decades, though they now seem to take a week to achieve as opposed to Professor Diawara's promised immediate results.

A genuinely interesting question is the extent to which the profession of African seer remains the preserve of a particular social group, tribe or ethnicity.

mrknaughty said...

nice work

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States