Rethinking the History with Walter Benjamin

Conference and roundtable + projection of fragments of films 19.09.2017 / 18h

Lecture's room

The activity is complementary to the exhibition "The suitcases of Walter Benjamin . Immigration Devices", arising from the experience of the I Walter Benjamin Summer School Portbou 2016. It wants to raise a reflection around the suitcase of History and exile in a double profile.

On the one hand, the concept of History and progress in accordance with Benjamin's thesis and his premonitory spirit of the human condition of today, in which the refugee and expatriate status is repeated in today's Europe.
On the other hand, the Walter Benjamin Portbou Summer School 2017, under the theme of Childhood, Memory and Exile, will be held in Portbou from September 21 to 24, directed by the same lecturers. and advancing one of the events of the program.

Walter Benjamin wrote the text Childhood in Berlin around 1900 right in 1932, when it was forced to exile of Germany. The luggage of his first exile collected memories of Berlin from his childhood. It is a book full of metaphors about the dispossession that survives in the memory and a literary text of high voltage that has been translated into Catalan by Anna Soler Horta.
The experience of the film of Aura Rosenberg and Francesc Sholz on this literary text resorting with Laïs Benjamin, niece of Walter Benjamin, the same scenes of childhood that recalls Walter Benjamin completes the activity.



- Conference: Rethinking the Human Condition when History is Falling Apart. On the Actuality of Walter Benjamin’s and Hannah Arendt’s Critical Theory. By Sigrid Weigel (Berlin).
The lecture discusses the actuality of Benjamin’s and Arendt’s critical reflections on central concepts of political anthropology, - as for example ‘history’, ‘memory’, ‘acting’, ‘life’, and ‘human being’. Its main focus is on Benjamin’s Theses On the Concept of History (1940) and Arendt’s Article We Refugees (1943). Coined by the historical immediacy of exile, expatriation, and refugee, both texts transform these experiences into a position of radical reconsiderations of the human condition when history is falling apart.

Presentation of theSummer School Walter Benjamin Portbou 2017, 21-24 September, under the subject Childhood, Memory and Exile. By Pilar Parcerisas, codirector with Sigrid Weigel, Chantal Benjamin and Natàlia Cantó, 20'.

- ConferenceThe suitcase and the weight of exile. From the text Childhood in Berlin around1900 de Walter Benjamin. By Chantal Benjamin y Lais  Chaioko Benjamin, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter of Walter Benjamin.
Presentation of the making off of the film:  Childood in Berlin around 1900. Main character : Laïs Chaioko Benjamin. Filmakers: Aura Rosenberg and Frances Scholz.
Chapters: The Angel of Christmas, Kaiserpanorama, Peacock island, Two riddles, Carroussel, Output and Return, Two bands, The Hunting of Butterflies, The Otter.


Activity in the frame of the exhibition Walter Benjamin’s Suitcases. Migratory mechanisms.


Arts Santa Mònica i Associació Passatges de Cultura Contemporània


Arts Santa Mònica