To the Editor:
In December 2011, my family and I traveled from Molaoi, Laconia to Athens to listen to Athanasios ‘Thanos’ Mikroutsikos at the Megaron Mousikis. Sitting in the upper balconies, I was quickly overwhelmed by the energy of the performance. Jubilant cheers erupted from the people, most notably during my favorite song, “Oi 7 Nanoi sto S/S Cyrenia.” The concert transformed into a political rally. Listening to these emotional songs of resistance and freedom, in the midst of the brutal austerity imposed on Greece by the Troika of the EC-ECB-IMF, was liberating.
Thanos Mikroutsikos was born on April 13, 1947 in Patra, Greece. Since the 1960s, Thanos took part in political activism, most notably, against the Greek military junta of 1967-1974. His anti-dictatorial activism led to his persecution by the fascist regime. Early in his political life, Thanos was active in the Maoist EKKE. In the 1970s, he became active in the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the early 1990s he was appointed Deputy Minister of Culture by the PASOK government. His album Stavros tou Notou, which put the poems of Nikos Kavvadias to music, has sold millions of copies in Greece and around the world. Renowned for his musical experimentation and compositional skills, Thanos worked with names like Maria Dimitriadi, Haris Alexiou, George Dalaras, Dimitris Mitropanos, and Vasilis Papakonstantinou. “We live in a time of barbarism,” Thanos said at a concert in 2018. Yet, his firm belief in a better tomorrow led him to dream of building a society where “the poet will fish and the fisherman will write poetry.” The composer, musician, and politician Thanos Mikroutsikos is immortal! He lives on in both his music, which has inspired countless comrades, and in the struggles against the barbarism of imperialism, fascism, and capitalism!
Christopher J. Helali