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7th Walter Benjamin Summer School 2022

September 23, 2022 - September 25, 2022


82nd anniversary of Walter Benjamin’s death in Portbou.
80th anniversary of Stefan Zweig’s death.

7th Walter Benjamin Summer School 2022
Portbou 2022
September 23th to 25th

The Europe of borders is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis after the Second World War, with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia this year 2022. It is a time of exiles, fugitives, crossing borders in an era that has not yet restored the memory of the Holocaust. The 7th Walter Benjamin Summer School 2022 could not be left out of reflections over the violence, barbarism, authoritarianism and fascism echoed in the writings of Walter Benjamin (Berlin, 1892-Portbou, 1940), an intellectual suffering exile because of his status as a German Jew.
He reminds us, reading Kafka, that the search for transcendent justice necessarily leads to merciless violence, destruction and barbarism. Theological and mythical aspects of Judaism will also be discussed in this Summer School, based on figures such as Kafka, Paul Celan or Gershom Scholem. At the same time poetic tribute will be paid to Stefan Zweig, of the 80th anniversary of his suicide in Brazil. The Walter Benjamin Summer School in Portbou is a multidisciplinary festival combining knowledge, thought, visual arts, photography, literature, performing arts, music and shows.
Director: Pilar Parcerisas

Friday, 23th, afternoon

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Cari Oriol Serres (Philologist in Romance languages. Professor of literature): THE POET WALTER BENJAMIN. Stylistics and images of his poetic universe. Symbology of the sea in the Sonnets

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Break

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Manel Forcano (Poet, Hebraist and translator, studied Hebrew in Haifa and Jerusalem and Arabic in Syria, Damascus and Egypt. Holding a PhD in Semitic philology from the University of Barcelona, he has worked as a professor of Hebrew, Aramaic and History of the Ancient East at the UB): WALTER BENJAMIN, GERSHOM SCHOLEM AND THE KABALA. This poet and expert in Judaism will discuss Kabbalah and the friendship between Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem.

7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Reading of poems by Stefan Zweig, by Carl Oriol Serres.

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
Walter Benjamin Hall: Opening of the La Massane and Walter Benjamin exhibition of photography
Photographs by Josep Maria Casacuberta and Josep Casanova. It is a joint photographic work between a scientist, specialized in genome, attached to the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics, and a recognized professional photographer. The project has been carried out in the forest of La Massane, a natural laboratory and reference scientific station in a forest that has not been exploited for more than 130 years, which has earned it the recognition of National Natural Reserve of the Fôret de la Massane, in communal term of Argelèssur- Mer since 1973. It is a mature forest, of great ecological value, which is scarce in Europe, they provide knowledge about the natural functioning of the forest, improve forest management and are a study model for the forest biodiversity. Walter Benjamin prophesied the “ecological catastrophe” of following progress towards runaway capitalism, which has led to climate change.

Saturday the 24th, morning

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Marta Simó (Holding a PhD in Sociology from the UAB of Barcelona with the thesis “The memory of the Holocaust in the Spanish state”. Specialist in Jewish identities and the Holocaust at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the State University of Moscow): ANTI-SEMITISM AND ITS MUTATIONS. Anti-Semitism and mutations in political discourse, media and social networks, as well as their link in the competition of memories in the Holocaust; the mutation of the type of anti-Semitism (traditional, “racial”, cultural/political); and the intersection between Anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Conversa amb Isaac Levy / Conversation with Isaac Levy. Jewish communities of Catalonia.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Break

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Vicent Ordoñez (Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Sociology at the Universitat Jaume I, in Castelló): JUSTICE AND ABYSS. THE PHILOSOPHY OF KAFKA FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF WALTER BENJAMIN. Benjamin will see in Kafka’s work not so much an instruction manual as an antithetical and organic whole of symbolic content. Mysticism and satire, law and theology, stillness and action, “halacha” and “hagadah” are strangely mixed in his stories and novels. In this session he will intend to analyze how Benjamin, reader of Kafka, considers the search for a transcendent justice that necessarily leads to destruction and barbarism.

Saturday the 24th, afternoon

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Maria Mailat (Anthropologist, writer and translator, she teaches and directs the ARTEFA center. She has been an associate professor at the University Paris V and Paris VIII): BENJAMIN, ADORNO AND CELAN. The elective affinities and exchanges between Benjamin/Adorno and Celan/Adorno are at the basis of this conference. Over time, Theodor W. Adorno seems to be a “bridge” between Benjamin and Celan. Is a rereading of the “Dialogue on the mountain” and the poem Portbou – Deutsch? by Celan. He was a great reader of Benjamin’s writings published in German, as revealed by the philosophy library that has been the subject of a book published by a group of researchers under the coordination of Bertrand Badiou. Celan was in favor of translating Benjamin’s writings into French. The process of translation in poetic and philosophical creation will also be addressed.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Presentation of Mercedes Monmany’s book Sin tiempo para el adiós, by Galàxia Gutenberg with the presence of the author. Presented by Cari Oriol Serres.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Screening the film High Maintenance, a documentary with Dani Karavan (1930-2021) in tribute of the author of the Passages Memorial in Portbou, made by Barak Heymann.

7:30pm – 8:00 p.m. – Break

8:00 p.m.-9 p.m.
Concert to Tina Modotti, by Catherine Estrade and Vincent Commaret from Marseille. Music and singing.

Sunday, September 25th


11:00 a.m.
Walter Benjamin Hall: Presentation of the book Anthology of Poems, by Paul Celan, translated into Catalan by Antoni Pous in the 70s, a revised edition, with foreword by Maria Mailat, conference of the 6th Summer School 2021, study of Celan’s poem on Benjamin: Portbou – Deutsch? first translation by Arnau Ferre Samon. A publication in the Passages Collection, from the Angelus Novus Foundation and Reremús Editions.

12:00 p.m.
Cemetery: Floral offering at the cemetery and memorial events. Musical accompaniment.

More information: www.passatgescultura.org


September 23, 2022
September 25, 2022


Walter Benjamin Hall
Barcelona Ave., 7., Portbou, Spain
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