21 August 2018

Unorthodox Thinking
Academy Dialogue with Deborah Feldman, Peter Lilienthal and Jeanine Meerapfel

Tuesday, 4 September, 8 pm
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
>> Press tickets: presse@adk.de, Tel. + 49 (0)30 20057-1514

In her Academy Dialogue series, Akademie President Jeanine Meerapfel talks with author Deborah Feldman and film director Peter Lilienthal about their personal relationships to Judaism and its traditions, as well as about the associated constraints and possibilities offered by the religion. How are these various aspects experienced and what does it mean to be Jewish in Germany today?

Deborah Feldman (b. 1986 in New York) grew up in the Hasidic Satmar community in the Williamsburg neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York. Her first language was Yiddish. Feldman studied literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Two autobiographical books have recently been published in German: her memoir Unorthodox (2016 [English orig. in 2012]) and the novel Überbitten (2017). Feldman lives in Berlin.

When he was a child, Peter Lilienthal (b. 1929 in Berlin) emigrated to Uruguay with his mother in 1939. He studied art history and music at the Universidad de Montevideo and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin (HdK, now the Berlin University of the Arts) where he enrolled in 1956. The films Lilienthal realised as a director and screenwriter include David (1979), Dear Mr. Wonderful (1982) and Camilo – Der lange Weg zum Ungehorsam (2007). A member of the Akademie der Künste since 1984, Lilienthal was a founding member of its Film and Media Arts Section, which he headed for 12 years.

Jeanine Meerapfel (b. 1943 in Buenos Aires) worked in Argentina as a journalist, before studying at the Institut für Filmgestaltung (Institute for Film) at the Ulm School of Design (HfG) from 1964-68. Im Land meiner Eltern (1981), La Amiga (1988) and Der deutsche Freund (2012) are among the film director and screenwriter's best-known films. In 2015 Meerapfel was elected president of the Akademie der Künste and she was re-elected for another term in May this year.

Following this very personal discussion, special events will take place at the Akademie this fall that deal with historical and contemporary forms of antisemitism in Germany. The 11th Academy Discussion on 16 October at 8 pm asks the question: "Antisemitism in Germany – Still, Again?" A special event held on 9 November, in memory of the November pogrom in 1938, will introduce photographs from Michael Ruetz's new book Pogrom 1938. Das Gesicht in der Menge; Wolfgang Benz will give a lecture. On 10 November, Rüdiger Suchsland's film Hitlers Hollywood (2017) provides the basis for a discussion about whether or not dealing with National Socialist propaganda can make us more aware of the mechanisms, forms and effects of political influence through the media.
With these events, that seek to enlighten us, the Akademie der Künste is reacting to the renewed advance of antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes at the core of Germany's social centre. Such attitudes are more than incomprehensible in light of this country's hard-earned democratic achievements, admonishing us into resistance.

Event Information
Unorthodox Thinking
Academy Dialogue with Deborah Feldman, Peter Lilienthal and Jeanine Meerapfel
Tuesday, 4 September, 8 pm
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
In German
Admission € 6/4
Ticket reservations: +49 (0)30 200 57-1000 or ticket@adk.de 
Buy tickets online: www.adk.de/tickets 

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