Arts and Literature

Feasts for Eyes Too Blind to See: Destroying Communities in the Name of Ideology

The end – as Nomvuyo Ngcelwane would recall decades later in her memoirs Sala Kahle District Six: An African Woman’s Perspective – proved to be unremarkable. One early October day in 1963, an ungainly truck rumbled up to 22 Cross Street in Cape Town’s District Six, in the heart of one of the most diverse neighborhoods on the African continent.

The Last Folio - Art Exhibition

Last Folio is an exhibition from the celebrated Slovak/ Canadian artist and photographer Yuri Dojc and film producer Katya Krausova. Last Folio is an iconic collection of images reflecting their joint, decade-long journey through Slovakia. The stunning photographs in this exhibition show remnants of a lost world- abandoned buildings and synagogues- disintegrating books left on the shelves in a Jewish school in Eastern Slovakia - the school children, their teachers and their families were all deported to concentration camps on the same day in 1942.

Lyudmila Ulitskaya: Telling Stories, Documenting History

Internationally acclaimed Russian writer and public intellectual Lyudmila Ulitskaya talked about two of her latest novels. “The Big Green Tent,” just translated into English, describes the Soviet 1960s generation – people who had to choose between the voice of conscience and self-preservation. Her new novel, “Jacob’s Ladder,” is a family saga, where storylines of the early and late 20th century gradually converge, as they draw from a hundred years of Russia’s history.

Conflict and Cultural Destruction: Why Totalitarian Regimes Seek to Destroy Historical Memory

Evoking memory of the Nazi onslaught on cultural icons, the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan statues and ISIS's pillaging of pre-Islamic sites has horrified contemporary observers and raised new concerns about the ways certain regimes seek to destroy historical memory. At the same time, new narratives of cultural persistence and survival are emerging, such as Romanian efforts in the Cold War to circumvent censorship through theatre, or contemporary ways to counter hardline censorship of Persian literature in Iran.

Down By The Riverside: Jazz Over the Volga

The quiet Russian provincial city of Yaroslavl would hardly appear to be a hotbed of jazz.  Located around 160 miles north east of Moscow on the Volga River, the city retains a charming historic center shaped by Catherine the Great’s planners in the eighteenth century, and embellished by the region’s wealthy merchants in the nineteenth.

Celebrating James Billington, The Librarian of Congress Emeritus: A Lifetime of Advancing Knowledge in the Public Service

Photo by Flickr user m01229 under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

The Wilson Center is proud to host a distinguished panel of commentators who will discuss the many contributions of James Billington—professor, author, Director of the Wilson Center and co-founder of the Kennan Institute, founder of the Open World Leadership Center, and recently retired Librarian of Congress.

Building Community Through Theater; Lessons From the Setagaya Theater

How Naples Became Europe’s Great Musical Machine

Ulysses, if Homer is to be believed, was the first mariner to escape the temptations of the Bay of Naples. According to The Odyssey, Ulysses had heard of the bay’s infamous sirens — part women, part bird or nymph-like creatures — that lured sailors to their death by singing so beautifully that no one could sail on without succumbing. Thus, when returning from the Trojan War via the bay, Ulysses plugged the ears of his crew with beeswax and bound himself to the mast until they had sailed safely out of range of the sirens’ audible temptation.

“Solzhenitsyn: The Untranslated Oeuvre”

This event is part of Russian Literature Week in New York City organized by Read Russia. For further details on the full week’s program, please click here.

“So Who Is Felix? An Exploration of the Illusion of Nostalgia for Empire”

Join us for a discussion with Ukrainian author and translator Sophia Andrukhovych, centering on her book Felix Austria (2014). In this novel, Andrukhovych introduces the reader to the history of her hometown of Ivano-Frankivsk and uses the example of one rather bizarre family to explore the Ukrainian myth of “Austrian happiness.”

Reception to follow.