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A Greek woman became "Unemployee of the year"

20 October 2012 / 19:10:43  GRReporter
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Katerina Karatairi is unemployed and has not been fired as the melodramatic journalist thinks. She is unemployed, 30 years old, as are most of her friends and acquaintances, who have not even had the opportunity to work in order to be fired. She has a degree in Economics from Athens University, an MA in Cultural Management, and a half-finished doctoral thesis in audiovisual communications at the Autonoma University in Barcelona, which remained without funding because of the economic crisis.

Katerina came to Venice and to Fabrica research centre, in order to become "Unemployee of the Year" - the Greek ambassador of the economic crisis in the global Benetton campaign. She is talking about this amazing experience in an exclusive interview for click @ Life.

How did your work with Benetton start?

By chance. A very good friend of mine from Barcelona suggested me. During the period when I was looking for a job, I saw that I had received an email about a casting organized by Benetton, without even knowing what kind of a project was concerned. They were looking for people to participate in a new campaign of the company. Of course, the name Benetton alone was enough to make me answer the advertisement. When I contacted the production, I realized that it was about working as a model and I was startled. But I sent two photos and a biography, and after two days they called me from Italy.

What was the whole experience like?

The pictures were taken at the Fabrica centre in Venice, in a village near the city. They lasted for two days. We were a multicultural group of people - from Cuba, Japan, Russia, Brazil and other countries from all over the world. A remarkable production, as were all participants. We were all very different - not only in terms of background, but in terms of ideas, beliefs, interests. I would characterize the whole experience as a "multicultural explosion" and I will also add that those two days were a nice break from the routine of a daily job search. And, of course, the remuneration was what I needed at that moment.

How do you feel seeing yourself everywhere you click on?

I feel a bit strange, since even I can hardly recognize myself. But precisely because it was unexpected, it was fun, especially when we talk about it with friends. Maybe if I dressed this way, I wouldn't have become unemployee of the year.

Greece is playing the main part as a "face" of the global crisis, and you as a "face" of unemployment. Something like an ambassador of the Greek crisis. How does this make you feel?

I think that Greece may now have a central role in the global economic crisis, but it is not alone, there are also important partners in this theatre. A lot of people may see the "unemployed" Greece in me, but I personally feel like an ordinary young person, regardless of my country of origin.

To what extent does the title "Unemployee of the Year" express you?

Since it hides a lot of irony as a title, if there were such competitions, I think I would have had a really great chance of ... winning. Therefore, I can say that to some extent it expresses me, but let's not forget that all this is part of a big advertising campaign.

How do you define and experience the crisis as "Unemployee of the Year"?

Surely not only as an economic crisis, and this may be optimistic. An economic crisis which unites all human coordinates, status quo, values, ethics, and about which the world should start thinking from the beginning, that is to rethink and reshape them.

For this campaign you cooperated with unemployed people from other countries. What are the cultural differences between you? Are the unemployed one and the same everywhere or do the country and society define them differently?

Although we were from different parts of the world, we all had the same worries and disappointments. I grew up in Greece, in a generation with no special opportunities and expectations and I think that people in the more developed countries have more difficulties in dealing with the issue of unemployment. Unemployment is a situation in which I lived and I have been living for many years. It seems that it has no limits as well.

Did this experience open up new paths for you?

It was certainly a unique experience. On a professional level, however, nothing has changed after it, simply because I am not a professional model. Time will tell.

What would you like to share with 1.5 million unemployed Greeks?

I believe that people who are able, can be creative, especially in difficult times. We must fight. Chance is certainly important, but probably the most important thing now is mutual support and solidarity.

What would you like to change in your daily life? And what do you think you can change?

I would like to change the badness of the mind and the behaviour of those who cannot understand that times have changed. If you really want to, you can change things. I try not to stop changing as well, not to stop creating, regardless of the job or unemployment.


Responsible producer of the Benetton campaign Daria Bonera also talked about the experience at the Fabrica centre.


Was this the first time you have taken part in a Benetton campaign?

Tags: Katerina Karatairi Бенетон безработица рекламна кампания
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