As a third year IBA student, the chance to do an international internship was such an incredible opportunity! That it was in Athens, Greece, only made it appeal to me more as I have a certain attachment to Athens. In 2016, I spent a month doing research as a part of an ethnographic field school through York University and College Year in Athens. I spent my time researching anarchism, solidarity and the spatial politics of resistance. It was not my first time in Athens however, as I had traveled here as a child and Greece as a whole left quite an impression on me.
Now, as my internship at the Canadian Institute in Greece is coming to an end, I reflect on my time here and all that I’ve learned. In these three months I’ve grown acclimated to living in Athens, and feel at home in this city halfway around the world from Toronto. I’m learned some valuable skills both inside and outside of the office, and even my tasks as an intern have been positive learning experiences.
Aside from my assigned tasks of correcting the online Bulletins and filling and scanning the Institute’s documents, I spend a lot of time in Athens exploring and learning. Over these last three months I have been pursuing a research project on women’s resistance and solidarity here in Athens. I attended B-Fest, Aphrodite party, and the Anti-Racist festival, all of which were full of delicious food, great music and interesting lectures. I met up with Tomov, a feminist collective that has asked me to give a speech at their annual event on women’s resistance. I worked with the Melissa Network, a support network for refugee and migrant women. I wandered around Athens almost every day, and have grown to love the chaotic streets of this city. I’ve had some pretty interesting experiences as well ; one day at Sounion were we barred from entering the temple as the President of India was visiting, so we watched his delegation and security from a little ways away.
It has been two years in July that I came to Athens for my ethnographic field school, and in these three months working at the CIG, I have completed my final manuscript of that research for publication in Contingent Horizons. It seems that it has all come full circle, and I often feel nostalgic these days when I pass by places I used to frequent with my friends and colleagues.
Most of all, it’s the people I have met and the time we have shared together that is the most rewarding aspect of my experience. I have become friends with archeologists and academics, refugees and anarchists, feminists and local Greek DJ’s. When I leave I will surely miss our weekly dart nights at the Red Lion, the many interesting lectures and receptions, and wandering around in search of dinner and wine with the many incredible people I have met. Now that my time at the CIG has almost come to an end, I can reflect on the past, and look forward to the future. This internship has helped me to make a definitive decision on my choice to apply to graduate school. It has taught me how to be dynamic in a (relatively) new environment. Finally, it has allowed me to fall in love with Athens and Greece through being a part of a great community.
York University intern, summer 2018