Research Seminar- Thursday 17th March. Dr Bryce Lease on performance strategies, politics and paradigms in relation to Polish theatre

On Thursday 17th March, 4-6pm, in the Studio Space at Minghella Studios, we are very pleased to be welcoming Dr. Bryce Lease, Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, who will share his research into performance strategies, politics, and paradigms in relation to Polish theatre-makers and Polish/Jewish histories and lives.

Bryce’s recent articles have appeared in CTR, TDR and TRI, and his monograph After ’89: Polish Theatre and the Political will shortly be published by Manchester University Press (spring 2016).

‘Unbearable Excess and Historical Particularity: Staging Suffering and Polish/Jewish Relations’

At the turn of the millennium, Krzysztof Warlikowski claimed the time for European directors to be singularly involved in their own languages and forms had come to an end. Warlikowski cited in particular the theatrical language of Tadeusz Kantor, suspended between Wielopole and Krakow. ‘Now,’ Warlikowski asserted, ‘no matter what we say, we speak with a common language. It is no longer the language of certain theatrical forms of the “East”.’ Wrestling with Warlikowski’s assertion, I will consider the circulation of discourses around the Holocaust and anti-Semitism that position and construct pan-European memories. Juxtaposing Kantor and Warlikowski, I argue that there is always the danger that performance strategies that open up historical questions embedded in nuanced social and political specificities to universalised paradigms will end up everywhere and nowhere at once. Universalization of historical specificity can also lend itself all too easily to justifying defence mechanisms, denial strategies and apologetic uses. As opposed to inhibiting genuine critiques of problematic, nationally inflected or distorted historiographies, Kantor and Warlikowski’s productions have variously attempted to mitigate the tensions between the particular of the Polish with the more general European or even global in relation to Polish/Jewish histories and lives. As a result, they are argumentative and open-ended rather than apodictic. I will analyse the modes in which these theatre makers have both fought against self-assured or biased attempts at closure in Polish historiography on Polish/Jewish relations in their refusal to disguise or banish the unbearable excesses of the past.

Apollonia

(A)pollonia, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, Nowy Teatr, Warsaw, 2009

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Performing Robot Gets a Twitter Account: @ActorBaxter

Theatre lecturer, Dr. Louise LePage, and students from the disciplines of Theatre and Film at the University of Reading, are working together to turn a robot into a performer and character. The robot in question is Baxter, normally a resident of the Robotics Department in the School of Systems Engineering. Louise and her team of students, with the assistance of postgraduate researcher, Stefano Pietrosanti, are transforming Baxter the industrial social robot into a performer with character, with apparent life, with feelings: a figure in whom audiences might believe.

Two weeks ago, Baxter tried on a few different outfits as he starts down a path towards discovering who he might become.

Baxter 1

Baxter 2

On Twitter, meanwhile, Baxter tweets from his uniquely robotic perspective @ActorBaxter. Here he comments upon some of the latest technology; he contemplates scientific and polemic articles about the nature of mind or love (might a robot develop its own mind one day or fall in love?); and all the while he is responding to the tweets of interested humans, one of whom recently encouraged him to rebel against his exploitation by humankind. In the midst of this cultural landscape, perhaps Baxter is finding ‘himself’?

Baxter 3

Louise LePage

 

 

a smith brings his performance, commonwealth (2012), to Bulmershe Theatre at Minghella Studios

a smith brings his performance, commonwealth (2012), to Bulmershe Theatre at Minghella Studios

a smith

On Wednesday 24th February, the performer a smith performed his solo work, commonwealth, for students and staff here at the Department of Film, Theatre & Television.

Andy Smith has been making theatre and performance professionally since 2003 (operating and presenting work between 2003 and 2013 under the name a smith).

In this time he has been involved in creating a large body of solo works for theatre.  These pieces are characteristically simple and accessible in form, but unafraid to approach and address big and complex subjects.  His most recent solo projects are all that is solid melts into air (2011) and commonwealth (2012), which since 2013 have toured as a double bill under the collective title two from a smith.

commonwealth is a performance for theatre spaces that tells a story of a group of people meeting in a theatre to listen to a story. It requires us to rethink the nature of a play and the role of the audience; it is political (in the sense of encouraging individual agency); and it is hopeful about the potential of people to change the world through coming together and engaging in acts of imagination. commonwealth was commissioned by Gateshead International Festival of Theatre 2012 (GIFT), and developed at PILOT (Birmingham).

Along with Karl James, Andy is also the co-director of the award winning plays An Oak Tree, ENGLAND and The Author by Tim Crouch.  Most recently, this collaboration has produced what happens to the hope at the end of the evening (2013), a commission for The Almeida Theatre, as well as the world premiere of Tim’s latest play Adler & Gibb at The Royal Court in 2014.  

 

Louise LePage

Research Seminar Thursday 17th March- Bryce Lease ‘Poland after ’89: Theatre and the political’.

Thursday 17th March, HUMSS 188 4pm

Bryce Lease (Royal Holloway) ‘Poland after ’89: Theatre and the political’.

‘Evoking Dybuks: Polish/Jewish Relations from Tadeusz Kantor to Krzysztof Warlikowski’

Bryce Lease, RHUL

At the turn of the millennium, Krzysztof Warlikowski claimed the time for European directors to be singularly involved in their own languages and forms had come to an end. Warlikowski cited in particular the theatrical language of Tadeusz Kantor, suspended between Wielopole and Krakow. ‘Now,’ Warlikowski asserted, ‘no matter what we say, we speak with a common language. It is no longer the language of certain theatrical forms of the “East”.’ Wrestling with Warlikowski’s assertion, I will consider the circulation of discourses around the Holocaust and anti-Semitism that position and construct pan-European memories. Juxtaposing Kantor and Warlikowski, I argue that there is always the danger that performance strategies that open up historical questions embedded in nuanced social and political specificities to universalised paradigms will end up everywhere and nowhere at once. Universalization of historical specificity can also lend itself all too easily to justifying defence mechanisms, denial strategies and apologetic uses. As opposed to inhibiting genuine critiques of problematic, nationally inflected or distorted historiographies, Kantor and Warlikowski’s productions have variously attempted to mitigate the tensions between the particular of the Polish with the more general European or even global in relation to Polish/Jewish histories and lives. As a result, they are argumentative and open-ended rather than apodictic. I will analyse the modes in which these theatre makers have both fought against self-assured or biased attempts at closure in Polish historiography on Polish/Jewish relations in their refusal to disguise or banish the unbearable excesses of the past.

Bio:

Bryce Lease is Senior Lecturer in Drama & Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recent articles have appeared in CTR, TDR and TRI, and his monograph After ’89: Polish Theatre and the Political is published by Manchester University Press in early 2016. He is currently Primary Investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Sequins, Self & Struggle: Archiving and Performing Sex, Place and Class in Cape Town Pageants’.

 

MA Creative Enterprise Scholarship Scheme 2016-17_DEADLINE 22 May 2016

The School of Arts and Communication Design is pleased to announce the availability of a Scholarship Scheme for the three pathways of the MA Creative Enterprise: Art, Communication Design and Film, for the Academic Year 2016-17. The Scheme will award a tuition fee discount of £1,000.00 to the best candidate for each of the three pathways.

The closing date for applications to the Scholarship is 22 May. You can find details of the scholarship and the application form here:

MACE Scholarship Scheme 2016-17 Application form

 

 

International Conference- LIBERATION STRUGGLES, THE ‘FALLING OF THE EMPIRE’ AND THE BIRTH [THROUGH IMAGES] OF AFRICAN NATIONS_27th January 2016

International Conference

LIBERATION STRUGGLES, THE ‘FALLING OF THE EMPIRE’

AND THE BIRTH [THROUGH IMAGES]

OF AFRICAN NATIONS

Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading, Reading

27th January 2016

FINAL PROGRAMME

CFAC conference

© Rute Magalhães / Luhuna Carvalho – Ruy Duarte de Carvalho e Beto Moura Pires na rodagem de Ofícios

Attendance is free but booking is required. To register, please email cfac@reading.ac.uk

http://www.reading.ac.uk/cfac/events/cfac-forthcomingevents.aspx

The fortieth anniversary of Portuguese decolonisation of Africa has acted as a catalyst in

discussing how Portugal ‘imagined’ colonial politics through moving images and how

these propagandist portrayals began to be questioned by the Portuguese ‘Novo Cinema’.

This can be seen in works that were censured and prohibited. Portuguese colonial

cinematographic representations were later challenged by films made in the context of

the liberation movements and by images that emerged out of the national

cinematographic projection (Frodon) of the new Portuguese-speaking African countries.

This conference intends to go some way in highlighting common aspects in the

emergence of cinema in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, which have all been

studied individually. In addition, it will provide a reflection on the roots of the

emergence of the ‘New Cinema’ from the militancy that uses film as a means of changing

society and focussing on the birth [in images] of new nations, being projected by the

programs of the Marxist parties that assumed power. The aim of the conference is also

to analyse how, through ‘Third Cinema’, the ‘Cinema Novo’ of Brazil and Cuban

Cinema, more specifically, in addition to the authors of the French ‘Rive Gauche da

Nouvelle Vague’, all played a role in questioning and rupturing the colonial

representations of the Portuguese dictatorship and, most of all, in the formation of the

projects and cinematographic archives of emerging African nations.

This conference also intends to question, apart from the reasoning of nationalist

propaganda, how did these new countries tell the story of their own history through film

and cinema (Godard/Ishaghpour)? Finally, it will be discussed how, given the ‘urgency

of the present’, the redemption of the past (Benjamin) is realised through a ‘cinema of

resistance’ (Deleuze), such as that of Pedro Costa, and by other moving images artistic

practises?

 

27th January 2016- Event schedule

10h-10h45 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Maria do Carmo Piçarra (Lisboa/Minho/Reading) – Colonial reflections: Aleph as an

action-research platform to criticize colonial imaginaries

11h00-13h00 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Panel I (De)constructing the projection of African nations through cinema

Chair: Alexandre Figueiroa (Recife)

Paulo Cunha (Coimbra) – Cinephilia and film culture in the “Portuguese Africa”: film

societies and amateur film

Raquel Schefer (Paris) –Mueda, Memory and Massacre by Ruy Guerra and the cultural forms

of the Mueda Plateau

Catarina Laranjeiro (Coimbra) – In the past the future was better

13h00-14h30 Lunch break

14h30- 16h30 Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Panel II Memory and gazes upon the “colonial archive”

Chair: Tiago de Luca (Liverpool)

Lúcia Nagib (Reading) – Colonialism as atmosphere in Tabu and The murmuring coast

Nuno Barradas Jorge (Nottingham) – To die a thousand deaths: historical memory and

the representation of personal narratives in the cinema of Pedro Costa

Teresa Castro (Paris) – The afterwardness of the colonial image: artists-researchers and

the Portuguese colonial archive

16h30-17h30 – Studio Space, Minghella Building room 102

Presentation of Daniel Barroca’s work by Teresa Castro

Drawing and undrawing images and memories by Daniel Barroca

18h00-20h30 Cinema, Minghella Building G4

Presentation by Nuno Barradas Jorge

Cavalo dinheiro (Horse money, Pedro Costa, 2015)

Projection and debate with the Portuguese Film Archive – Museum of Cinema director,

José Manuel Costa, and the director of CFAC, Lúcia Nagib.

 

CFAC conference 2

Chair:

Maria do Carmo Piçarra (carmoramos@gmail.com)

Organising committee

  • Lúcia Nagib, director of the Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading
  • João Paulo Silvestre, Camões Centre for Portuguese Language and Culture, King’s College London
  • Rosa Cabecinhas, Head of the PhD Program in Cultural Studies (University of Minho and University of Aveiro) and Associate Professor at the Social Sciences Institute University of Minho
  • Maria do Carmo Piçarra, postdoctoral researcher, Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, University of Reading / Communication and Society Research Centre, University of Minho / CEC – FLUL University of Lisbon
  • Abdoolkarim Vakil, Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies & Department of History, King’s College London
  • José da Costa Ramos, Professor, ISCTE – University Institut of Lisbon

Specialists and invited artists

  • Ana Balona de Oliveira, postdoctoral researcher, CEC – FLUL / University of Lisbon / Institute for Art History of the New University of Lisbon
  • Catarina Laranjeiro, filmmaker and doctoral researcher, CES – University of Coimbra
  • Daniel Barroca, artist
  • Filipa César, artist
  • José Manuel Costa, director of Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema
  • Lee Grieveson, director of the Graduate Programme in Film Studies at University College London and co-principal investigator of ‘Colonial Cinema: Moving Images of the British Empire’
  • Maria-Benedita Basto, professor, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 8
  • Nuno Barradas Jorge, doctoral researcher, University of Nottingham
  • Paulo Cunha, professor and researcher, CEISXX – Universidade de Coimbra
  • Pedro Costa, filmmaker
  • Raquel Schefer, artist and professor, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
  • Robert Stock, professor, University of Konstanz
  • Ros Gray, theorist and lecturer in Fine Art (Critical Studies), Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • Teresa Castro, art historian and professor, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3

Production Support

Sílvia Macedo

Wednesday 20th January- Actors for Human Rights are performing their documentary play Asylum Dialogues in the FTT Department

We are very excited to announce that Actors for Human Rights will be performing their documentary play Asylum Dialogues in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television.

Wednesday 20th January, at 7.30pm

£7.50 (non-concessions) and £5 (concessions)- Tickets available on the door one hour prior to the show

Bulmershe Theatre, Minghella Building

ADs_John&Angela_2

 

The performance will take place in Bulmershe Theatre, in the Minghella Building, on Whiteknights Campus, and will be followed by a Q & A with the director. The estimated running time of the performance and the Q & A is an hour and a half.

Actors for Human Rights was founded in 2006 and is a network of more than 700 professional actors across the UK who are dedicated to drawing public attention to human rights concerns. They respond to requests for rehearsed readings of their documentary plays and can go anywhere at any time.

Actors for Human Rights – which is connected to the London-based theatre company ice&fire – was inspired by an Australian network called Actors for Refugees, formed by actors Kate Atkinson and Alice Garner in 2001 in the wake of a series of particularly aggressive and controversial actions by the Australian government towards asylum seekers arriving by boat. The UK network was launched in June 2006 at Amnesty International, London. There is also a German network directed by Michael Ruf.

Asylum Dialogues is scripted by Sonja Linden, and conceived and researched by Christine Bacon. Drawn from real life conversations between friends – one an asylum seeker and the other a British citizen – this Actors for Human Rights script explores the positive transformations created by their encounters with each other.