Semester 2 2017-18

31 January 2018 – The Faces We Lost (dir. Piotr Cieplak, 2017)

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda claimed almost a million lives in just 100 days. The world stood by as men, women and children were being hacked to death by machetes. When the international community finally decided it was time to pay attention, it did so through memorable photographs of mutilated bodies and seas of nameless refugees. But many Rwandans remember their loved ones through images of life, not death: a passport or I.D. card photo, an unguarded snap taken in the garden or a group portrait from a wedding or a baptism. The Faces We Lost follows nine Rwandans (survivors, relatives of victims and professional memory-makers), who guide us through their stories and share their experiences, remembrance and images. It is the first documentary to explore the many functions of these priceless photographs, and one of the few films to engage with Rwandans as users of images, rather than simply their subjects. We will be joined by the film’s director, Piotr Cieplak, for a Q&A after the screening.

14 February 2018 – In Conversation with Monika Szydlowska

Monika Szydlowska is an author of a popular webcomic ‘Na Emigracji’ that illustrates the experiences of Polish immigrants in the UK. The blog had been maintained since October 2013 and read by more than 10,000 fans. They are frequently comical – either through laying bare prevailing stereotypes (on both sides) or through making wry observations of cultural differences. Dr Emily Finer will join Monika Szydlowska for a discussion of her work that has been recently published as a book ‘Do You Miss Your Country?’ (2016).

28 February 2018 – The Uncondemned (dir. Michelle Mitchell and Nick Louvel, 2015)

The Uncondemned is a riveting documentary about an underdog group of lawyers and activists who defied the odds to do what had never been done: prosecute rape as an international war crime. In 1997, the young men and women at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found themselves inexplicably in charge of the first case of genocide in history.  Three heroic women would overcome their fears and shame to speak for all those who could not. Secret memos, witness assassinations, setbacks and barriers –The Uncondemned captures the untold, remarkable story that changed the course of international judicial history.

11 April 2018 – Human Zoos: The Couple in the Cage (dir. Coco Fusco and Paula Heredia, 1993)

The Couple in the Cage documents the travelling performance of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco himself in which they exhibited themselves as caged Amerindians from an imaginary island. The screening complements the exhibition “Human Zoos: Putting People on Display” at the Byre (9 April to 7 May). The film will be introduced by Dr Leshu Torchin and is supported by the Centre for Film Studies, University of St Andrews.

25 April 2018- Human Zoos in Scotland. Exhibition (9th April – 7th May)

The World Fairs and International Exhibitions are most readily associated with Paris, Chicago and London. Yet Scotland hosted its own shows in the early 1900s, and even held one of the last fairs in Europe, the famous Empire Exhibition of Glasgow (1938). Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool) will provide visitors with a walking tour of the Human Zoos exhibition, 12:00-13:30. The talk, 18:00-20:00, by Dr Emma Bond (Dept. Italian) will explore the stories behind the images displayed in the exhibition posters.

27 April 2018 – Russian Jews (dir. Leonid Parfenov, 2017). Screening and Discussion

Join Dr Margarita Vaysman (Department of Russian, St Andrews) for an evening with the acclaimed Russian journalist Leonid Parfenov and a screening of his latest documentaryRussian Jews.  Russian Jews is a documentary trilogy created and narrated by Leonid Parfenov that studies perceptions of Jews in Russia throughout the ever-changing history of the twentieth century and their role in the history of the country and the world. Presented by CRSCEES and Genesis Philanthropy Group.


2 May 2018 – The Enthusiasm Project

In 1869, Welsh industrialist John Hughes founded the mining town of Donetsk (Eastern Ukraine), initiating a wave of migration from South Wales. 1917 and the approaching Russian Revolution saw the hasty exit of the industrialists who had followed Hughes. 100 years later, in the present day, the Donbas is once again at the centre of a violent conflict that has led to the internal displacement of over a million people. “Enthusiasm” brings to life some of the elements of this fascinating and timely story. Dr Victoria Donovan (Dept of Russian) and Stefhan Caddick will be joined by composer Simon Gore to present “Enthusiasm” via music, image and discussion.

9 May 2018 – Casanova Undressed: A Sky Arts and Balandi Production (2016). Film Screening and Discussion

His very name is synonymous with seduction but what was world famous adventurer and author Giacomo Casanova really like? Although considered a ruthless, insatiable libertine and one of the biggest playboys history has ever known, Casanova was a Venetian who wore many masks. Narrated by Ian Kelly, this documentary heads under the covers to reveal just what made Casanova one of the most complex characters of the 18th century. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the producers, writers, artists, and scholars who created or contributed to this documentary.

20 June 2018 – Masterclass with A.L. Kennedy

Award winning author, broadcaster and stand-up comedian A L Kennedy will give a public Masterclass on the craft of short story writing followed by a talk, “Principles of Prose”.

A L Kennedy will work live with the authors of two unpublished short stories, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the particular stories, helping the authors, and showing us how the genre works. The short stories will be selected from a longlist of ten submitted to her via St Andrews University’s Institute for Contemporary and Comparative Literature and will be available online in advance of the masterclass as well as on screen during the event itself.

5 July 2018 – iNGENDO I JOURNEYS (Prince Totto Théogène Niwenshuti)

iNGENDO Ι JOURNEYS is a multidisciplinary process-performance, which engages stories and memories of survival, courage, love and humanity in difficult times. iNGENDO emerges from continuous processes of embodied mapping, research, creative interrogations, interactions, reflections and responses triggered by collective and personal engagement with experiences of genocidal violence. iNGENDO is a series of overlapping processes of memory-making, marking, (group and self, witnessing, naming, mourning, journeying to healing, paying tribute and honoring lost loved ones, those who sacrificed themselves to save us, and those who survived.