In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, Harald Jäger, the former East German officer who opened the Wall on 9 November 1989, and his biographer Gerhard Haase-Hindenberg recently visited the University of Liverpool. Frank
left: Frank Brunssen, centre: Harald Jäger, right: Gerhard Haase-Hindenberg
Brunssen, from Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, chaired a public conversation with Jäger and Haase-Hindenberg about this significant moment in European history. The event which was part of the Security and Conflict Lecture Series took place on 21 October 2014 in Mountford Hall (Student Guild) and attracted well over 1,000 students, academics and members of the general public.
During the conversation, Jäger described to the audience how he, as commanding officer at the checkpoint Bornholmer Strasse, took the decision on the night of 9 November 1989 to disobey his orders and open the gates from East to West Berlin. He also discussed the inhumane consequences of the Wall and why 138 people were killed at a border that divided the city for more than 28 years. Haase-Hindenberg characterized Jäger as an historic figure who inspired him to write a book entitled The Man who opened the Berlin Wall which was published in 2007.
The story of Harald Jäger’s courageous involvement in the opening the Wall has recently been turned into a film, Bornholmer Strasse, which will be shown on German television (ARD) on 5 November 2014. Readers of this blog might also be interested in listening to the audio recording of the conversation with Harald Jäger and Gerhard Haase-Hindenberg, which can now be downloaded from this link: http://www.liv.ac.uk/events/berlinwall/
Renowned novelist, translator and author, Tim Parks, delivered the fourth Lucrezia Zaina Bequest Lecture on 9 October 2014. The lecture was about Giacomo Leopardi’s ‘Discorso sopra lo stato presente dei costumi degl’italiani’ (Discourse on the present state of morals in Italian) where Leopardi put forward an elaborate explanation for the unique nature of Italian life and society. Tim Parks drew on Leopardi to offer his own insight into contemporary Italy and discussed how much has changed since the early 19th century and how much has remained the same.
The event was very successful, with approximately 400 tickets reserved for the event. Many positive comments were made during the reception after the lecture and attendees have been sending appreciative messages to the organisers.
Earlier in the day Tim Parks met our students of Italian for a very interesting discussion about his experience in translation.
The Lucrezia Zaina Bequest Lecture is a very important event for Italian Studies at Liverpool. Last year we hosted Beppe Severgnini who talked about the problems facing young Italians and how important their role is for the future of the country. Two years ago we hosted Andrew Graham-Dixon who talked about Caravaggio and the year before Francesco da Mosto on Venice. We hope to see the same level of interest next year – so watch this space!
Tune in to hear British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in French, Dr Kate Hodgson, speak on the BBC radio 4 In Our Time programme tomorrow (23rd October 2014) at 9am , on the subject of the Haitian revolution. Here is the programme information.
≈ Comments Off on Tom Whittaker to give talk at University of Manchester
Dr Tom Whittaker, a specialist in Film and Spanish Cultural Studies, will be giving a talk entitled ‘Out of synch: José Luis López Vázquez, performance and sound in Spanish film‘ at the University of Manchester this Wednesday, as part of their series of research seminars for the semester. The talk will take place 5pm, 15 October, in the Samuel Alexander Building. A short summary of the talk can be found below:
López Vázquez in La cabina
Until the 1970s, all Spanish films used postsynchronised sound, in which actors would dub their own voices during postproduction. Quite often out of synch with the accompanying image, the constraints of sound technology helped to forge a distinctive mode of performance in Spanish film – one which privileged exuberant gestures over interiority, and anarchy over order. In particular, this paper explores the relationship between technology and vocal performance in Spanish cinema through a discussion of the late comedic Spanish actor, José Luis López Vázquez. It argues that his performances – and, in particular, the sound design on which they depended – further illuminate the dynamics of Spanish society in the 1960s and 1970s, whose everyday rhythms were out of synch with the modernised narrative of the nation that the Franco regime attempted to project.
Every year, the Department of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies holds a series of talks, screenings, exhibitions and activities which celebrates the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberian Week is held on South Campus at the University of Liverpool, as well as at cultural and commercial venues across the city such as FACT and Lunya. The event is open to students, staff and the general public alike.
≈ Comments Off on Cities in Dialogue Exhibition to open
CLAS is delighted to announce the forthcoming Cities in Dialogue Exhibition, to be held in Liverpool from 13-21 October this year. Held as part of Claire Taylor’s AHRC-funded project on Latin(o) American Digital Art: Exhibitions and Audience-Participation Workshops, and in conjunction with FACT and the Liverpool Independents Biennial, the exhibition brings together the work of four Latin American and Latino artists who each engage with the city space. Ranging from maps through to soundscapes and participation on the streets, the work of each artist aims to get the spectator to re-think the city, and discover the hidden memories it holds.
The Santa Rosa Storm, by Brian Mackern
The exhibition kicks off with a launch event and sound installation by Artist in Residence for the project, Brian Mackern on Monday 13 October, entitled The Santa Rosa Storm. On Tuesday 14 October Chilean artist Bárbara Palomino will present the participatory project Memoria Histórica de la Alameda followed by Argentine artist Marina Zerbarini who will present her Tejido de memoria on Wednesday 15 October
A Geography of Being, by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga
The following week sees Brian Mackern present his new work, 34°53′S 56°10′W || 53°24′N 2°59′W // Port Interfaces on Monday 20 October, and then, on Tuesday 21 October Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga will present his video game installation, A Geography of Being and Mediated Idols (Robots).