Academia Europaea on theatre, film and the political (Barcelona, 18 July 2014)

Published on: August 19, 2014

This year, Academia Europaea’s annual conference, titled Young Europe: Realities, Dilemmas and Opportunities for the New Generation, was organised and hosted between 16–18 July 2014 by the AE knowledge hub in Barcelona. The conference featured 20 speakers who discussed key medical, social and environmental challenges that Europe will face in the near future. Among others, AE member Saskia Sassen (Columbia University), one of the leading theorists of globalization, proposed the concept of expulsion to critically analyse how, in global capitalism, complex forms of knowledge produce simple brutalities demonstrated by a sharp growth in the number of people, enterprises and places expelled from the core social and economic orders of our time.

On 18 July, the AE section of Literary and Theatrical Studies, chaired by Svend Erik Larsen (Aarhus University), organised a panel on Theatre, Film, and the Political, which started from the premise that film and performing arts play an important role in shaping the political dimensions of culture, whereby both media are ambiguously divided between serving the ruling order and radically challenging the existing state of affairs. Susana Onega spoke about the ambiguity of art of and about holocaust; Jakob Ladegaard and Svend Erik Larsen analysed the economy of Jonson’s Volpone and the political-theatrical moment of the court case in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice; and Marko Juvan, based on the history of the relations between theatre and politics, described the transition from the political theatre in socialist Yugoslavia to the political performance in global capitalism as exemplified by performances of the Mladinsko Theatre in Ljubljana.