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Narrating War

Theme Days
2014, Feb 20, Thu — 2014, Feb 22, Sat

Narrating War | Photo: Sebastian Bolesch

Narrating War | Photo: Sebastian Bolesch

Narrating War | Carte Blanche (2001), Film Still | © Heidi Specogna

Narrating War | Carte Blanche (2001), Film Still | © Heidi Specogna

Narrating War | Z 32 (2008), Film Still | © Avi Mograbi

Narrating War | Z 32 (2008), Film Still | © Avi Mograbi

Narrating War | Veillées d’armes (1994), Film Still | © Marcel Ophüls

Narrating War | Veillées d’armes (1994), Film Still | © Marcel Ophüls

Narrating War | Day of the Sparrow (2001), film Still | © Philip Scheffner

Narrating War | Day of the Sparrow (2001), film Still | © Philip Scheffner

How can we narrate war at the start of the twenty-first century? What is it about experiences of extreme violence that makes it so difficult to comprehend and to narrate? What does describing the “indescribable” mean for the survivors, and for those who have been spared – and for the observers? The theme days NARRATING WAR, curated by Carolin Emcke and Valentin Groebner, are devoted to this paradox.

In NARRATING WAR, HKW deliberately does not take the great catastrophes of the 20th century as its point of reference. Rather, it places conflicts of the recent past and the present at the center, from the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia to the wars in the Middle East, in the Gaza Strip and in Syria. The year 2014 marks not only the centenary of the start of the First World War, but also the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. And, not least, it is the year in which Germany will begin to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. How are the stories of these wars told today? And what is kept silent? Who is allowed to speak, and what fissures, gaps, formulas, and clichés arise when they do?

In roundtables, in panels, and one-on-one, the participants will discuss doubts and fears, errors and the unspoken, coincidences and taboos – the “making of” behind professional reporting which normally remains hidden from news consumers. The discussions will be complemented and contrasted by readings by actors and a selection of extraordinary documentary films put together and commented on by Cristina Nord.

With Mohammad Al Attar, Jon Lee Anderson, Ulrich C. Baer, Bibiana Beglau, Andrea Böhm, Carroll Bogert, Sebastian Bolesch, Colette Braeckman, Hans Christoph Buch, Slavenka Drakulić, Lars Eidinger, Peter Geimer, Philip Gourevitch, Jean Hatzfeld, Romuald Karmakar, Michael Kamber, Elisabeth Kaneza, Albrecht Koschorke, Kattrin Lempp, Liao Yiwu, Verena Lueken, Karl Marlantes, Ethel Grace Matala de Mazza, Peter Maass, Marcel Mettelsiefen, Avi Mograbi, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Marcel Ophüls, Gerhard Paul, Senad Pećanin, Milo Rau, General Klaus Reinhardt, Majeda al-Saqqa, Eyal Sivan, Lawrence Weschler, Manfred Zapatka, Almut Zilcher..

Theme days curated by Carolin Emcke und Valentin Groebner.