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Byre World

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The School of Modern Languages, in collaboration with The Byre Theatre, offers an exciting programme of events related to the literature, film and cultures of the world. Our Byre World programme showcases some of the research being carried out by the School of Modern Languages and brings together artists, filmmakers, writers and academics. All events are open to university staff and students and the general public.

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Programme of events, Semester 2 2018-19

Date: 30 January 2019

Event title: Donbas Odyssey: Sharing stories of displacement through art

Start time: 7pm

The authors of Donbas Odyssey art project (Darya Tsymbalyuk, Julia Filipieva and Victor Zasypkin) will discuss their work in conversation with Dr Victoria Donovan. Donbas Odyssey is an art project which tells stories of cities and towns in the Donbas region of Ukraine. Since 2015 Donbas Odyssey has been collecting oral histories of internally displaced, as well as mental maps of their hometowns and houses. These oral and visual stories are later shared through art interventions in public space and exhibitions. Donbas Odyssey has exhibited and completed interventions in Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, and was recently shown at a Migration Stories Festival in Izmir, Turkey.


Date: 13 February 2019

Event title: In Conversation with Professor Marci Shore

Start time: 6pm

Marci Shore is Associate Professor of History at Yale University and the award-winning author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968, and The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe. Her writing on the intellectual history of Central and Eastern Europe appears in the New Yorker, New York Times, TLS, New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, and the Economist. Dr Emily Finer joins Professor Marci Shore for a discussion of her most recent book: The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution.


Date: 27 February 2019

Event title: Celebrating International Women’s Day: Vogliamo anche le rose (dir. Alina Marazzi, 2007)

Start time: 6pm

Vogliamo anche le rose is a tribute to the tenacity of women of the 60s and 70s sexual revolution and feminist movement in Italy. Alina Marazzi’s documentary celebrates women who fought for a world where both essentials, bread and the poetry of roses, could be secured. Archival footage and other visual materials intertwine with life stories three Italian women: Anita, who is struggling with an oppressive father and the strict rules of her Catholic faith; Teresa, who must resort to a heart-breaking illicit abortion; and Valentina, a militant feminist caught between love and her commitment to the movement.

The screening will be introduced by a member of the Italian Department and will be followed by a discussion.

13 March 2019

Event title: Pelagos by Mirco Bondi

Start time: 5pm

Italian composer Mirco Bondi's Pelagos is a performance of words, music and images that narrates a history of migration from the early 20th century to today from the Italian perspective. From being a land of emigration, Italy has recently become a destination for thousands of migrants, a role reversal which is widely overlooked today. So too are the widespread prejudices and consequent acts of violence that Italian emigrants were often subjected to in their destination countries. The mistrust between locals and newcomers that triggered those tensions is the same that prevails today towards the recent waves of migrants and refugees reaching Italy. By drawing a parallel between these two histories, Pelagos shows how we can discover a new sense of community.

Date: 3 April 2019

Event title: Rwanda: Stories to Remember

Start time: 6.30pm

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi, two Rwandan women, Chantal Mrimi and Marie-Claire U. Nyinawumuntu, both now living in Scotland, join Prof Nicki Hitchcott (St Andrews) and Dr Hannah Grayson (Stirling) in an evening of sharing stories and remembrance.

Date: 17 April 2019

Event title: Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)

Start time: 6pm

An animated film based on an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis follows the life of a young girl against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution and 1980s Europe. This multilingual adaptation is an international collaboration between American and French producers and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 winning the Jury Prize. The film will be introduced by Dr Saeed Talajooy (Dept of Persian, Modern Languages) and followed by a discussion and Q&A.

Date: 26 April 2019

Event title: Evgeny Bauer’s Child of the Big City (1914) with Andrew Hill and the New Music Ensemble

Start time: 5pm

Evgeny Bauer (1865–1917) was a Russian director of client cinema, most known for his extraordinary use of set design, mise-en-scene, and camera work, pioneering for his time. Since rediscovery of his films in the 1980s, Bauer has come to be seen as the major film-maker of his era not only in Russia, but in silent cinema in general. The topics he covered in his productions – of love, female emancipation, class, society – were ahead of his time, and resonate with audiences till today.

The screening of Evgeny Bauer’s Child of the Big City (1914) is curated by Andrew Hill, Maria Korolkova and Margarita Vaysman and will be accompanied by The New Music Ensemble’s live performance of a newly written score by Andrew Hill.

Past events archive