The initiative is named after the ship that in December 1945 took a number of young radical thinkers, artists and other professionals from Piraeus to France via Italy, and thus effectively saved them from the perils of the rampaging Greek Civil War (1945-48).
In Paris, these refugees became important part of an exile generation of intellectuals and heavily contributed to the advance of global radical political thought, both before and after May 1968. One of them was Cornelius Castoriadis, co-founder of Socialisme ou Barbarie and author of the ‘Imaginary Constitution of Society.’
Mataroa’s name and history is part of the modern political mythology of Greece. The initiative takes up the name as a sign of recognition of the complex trajectories of civil war, exile, resistance, the role of intellectuals in political struggles and in the imagination of a more just, free and egalitarian society.