Semester 1 2018-19

3 October 2018 – Beyond the Bards: Cultural Identity in the Poetry of Brittany, Scotland, Ireland and Wales

What role can literature play in creating a sense of identity among writers from Celtic lands? This session will explore how poets confront the tensions between innovation and cliché, between universal appeal and national or regional voices, between English and Celtic languages. It will feature readings of poetry in the original language and in translation, alongside discussion from poets, academics and audience members on the pleasures, challenges and risks of writing cultural identity.

17 October 2018 – Seven Songs for a Long Life (dir. Amy Hardie)

Seven Songs for a Long Life tells the intimate story behind our changing relationship with death. Hospice care is rarely associated with singing and laughter, but at Strathcarron it’s different. At this remarkable Scottish hospice centre, patients face pain, uncertainty and the possibility of life’s end with song and humour. The evening will also host pop-up acting and a short workshop with the public. We will be joined by the film’s director, Amy Hardie, for a Q&A after the screening. [Photo of Amy Hardie]

31 October 2018 – Tarzan’s Testicles (dir. Alexandru Solomon, 2017). Film Screening and Discussion

Alexandru Solomon (b. 1966) is Romania’s most important and internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker. ‘Tarzan’s Testicles’, in Solomon’s own words, ‘takes us to a country that doesn’t exist on international maps. It was born from the ashes of a system supposed to bring only happiness to humanity: Soviet communism. In the capital of this country lies a relic of another utopia: that of Science, which was meant to solve the rest of our problems.’ Screening and Discussion with director Alexandru Solomon, chaired by Professor Dina Iordanova (Film Studies).

14 November 2018 – Emotions and Gender in Techno and Electronic Dance Music Culture

Techno has grown from the underground movements in Detroit and Berlin, into an international cultural phenomenon: working alongside various medias, techno tells a complex story about the music’s significance worldwide and in local ‘scenes’. However, the EDM industry is a strongly gendered culture where displays of euphoria exist alongside feelings of isolation, self-doubt and frustration. Join us for an evening of music and discussions with DJ and activist Nightwave (Maya Medvesek), acclaimed German writer and musician, Thomas Meinecke, and St Andrews techno researcher Tom Smith.


28 November 2018 – Beuys (Dir. Andres Veiel, 2017). Film Screening and Discussion

Winner of Best Documentary at the 2018 German Film Awards, Andres Veiel’s Beuys (2017) tells the story of Germany’s most influential and controversial postwar artist, Joseph Beuys. With his actions and performances, Beuys wanted to show the social and transformative power of art – using previously unseen footage, Beuys offers a unique portrait of the man and the artist, highlighting his extraordinary political commitment. If Beuys’s ideas seemed ahead of their time, Andres Veiel shows their new significance for today.

Beuys comes to the Byre for its UK premiere and is screened in partnership with the Goethe-Institut and Fokus: Films from Germany. The screening will be followed by will a Q&A.


12 December 2018 – Loving Cinema: A Useful Life (dir. Federico Veiroj)

A Uruguayan film about a man’s love for cinema, A Useful Life is set in Montevideo’s legendary Cinemateca Uruguaya and follows the life of its manager, Jorge (Jorge Jellinek) who has worked there for twenty-five years. As the cinematheque closes due to financial difficulties, leaving Jorge unemployed, he changes his way of life to adapt to the new world he faces.

The screening will be followed by a discussion on cinematheques in the age of multiplexes as well as Uruguayan cinema led by two PhD students from Hispanic Studies, Jorge Sarasola and Karunika Kardak.