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Iberian and Latin American Week (IBLAW) has become an established part of the annual calendar for IBLAS staff and students. Originally formulated as a celebration of Iberian and Latin American cultures aimed at students, last year we made a deliberate decision to expand it beyond the University and held events in different locations around the city, including the Central Library and the Small Cinema. This year, the activities will be in collaboration with the newly formed Americas Studies Network (ASN), a multidisciplinary network that aims to bring together experts in the study of the Americas. This year’s theme is Fronte(i)ras (boundaries/borders).

As well as activities for students, such as translation and interpreting workshops, a Galician language taster, and a chance to learn about the lyrics of cumbia, a musical style originating in the Caribbean and popular all over Latin America, we will have plenty for the general public.

Some of the highlights this year include a workshop and performance by artist in residence Sebastian H-W,  who will be here working on a new script of his full length show Chokolatul. This is a work that responds to the colonial, religious and linguistic influence of chocolate-making in Iberian society and its wider impact throughout European culture. As part of his residency and in collaboration with engage@Liverpool ,Sebastian H-W will give a one day practical cross-culinary workshop with students exploring his research methodology and process.

There will also be two film screenings, one on campus of Yagé is Our Life (Neil White, 2016), and another in the Small Cinema of Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, 2008). Yagé is Our Life is a film about the indigenous people of Putumayo, Colombia, their relationship with Yagé (more widely known as the mind-altering herbal drink Ayahuasca), and their perceptions on the commercialisation of their traditional medicine. Sleep Dealer is a science fiction film set in the near future and imagines a world where the Mexican-US border is completely closed and Mexican workers carry out labour in the US using remote-controlled machinery and drones. Following the screening, there will be a roundtable to discuss what the film has to say in the light of the proposals by the US Republican candidate Donald Trump that, if successful, he will build a wall between the two countries. The event takes place just a week before the US presidential election and should lead to a lively discussion.

Further events include talks on Basque culture and music, and Portuguese-Brazilian writing. There will also be a chance to practice your moves on the dancefloor, with a Salsa class with some departmental experts, and a performance by the Catalan group, Janksy, in The Caledonia.

The week concludes with the Peer’s Symposium, at which the significance of Fronte(i)ras  in film, literature, music and digital cultures from the Luso-Hispanic world will be discussed.

Join us next week to learn more about the Hispanic and Lusophone world! The full programme is available here.