SATURDAY, 9 JANUARY 2016
À LA FRONTIÈRE…! OLD AND NEW BORDERS IN EUROPE will be officially opened by the vernissage of a two-men exhibition by the Lithuanian photographer Arturas Valiauga and the Bosnian-born and U.K.-based videomaker Samir Mehanović, who will led some important conversations during the afternoon. The vernissage will take place at 6.30 pm, at the Studio Tommaseo, Via del Monte 2/1, while the exhibition will last until January the 19th.
At 6 pm there will be a conversation between Samir Mehanović and Corrado Premuda, in which the artist will present the video Silent War in Beqaa Valley. This work is a documentary filmed in January 2014 on the border between Syria and Lebanon, and it tells the story of refugees from Syria and of the children who are struggling to get a proper education on the unstable borders near the Beqaa Valley. The artist’s work is part of his artistic research about how the international community should be able to protect civilians in war zones.
Previously, at 5:30 pm, Eglė Deltuvaitė, chief of the program EU “Creative Europe” for Lithuania and an expert in history of photography, will introduce the public to Arturas Valiauga’s works in Lithuanian photography context. These photographs belong to the series The Land of Longing, a “justification photo-documentary of nostalgia”, as defined by the lecturer. They were made in 2012 in Konigsberg area (Kaliningrad Oblast), that is known for its complex political and cultural history. Today this area is a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania, and it belonged to Germany (East Prussia) until the end of World War II. This city was also known because of its famous fellow citizen Immanuel Kant. “There is probably no other area outside Lithuania today which is so alive and permanently in our minds”, says Deltuvaite: this is the so-called “Minor Lithuania”, which was described by Kristijonas Donelaitis in the poem The Seasons, a masterpiece of Lithuanian literature and the first work ever written in Lithuanian. Arturas Valiauga weaves an extraordinary dialogue between the world expressed in the archaic language of three centuries ago and the one that nowadays is taken up by one of the youngest and most universal forms of art: photography. Valiauga's work is about the complexity of the perception of identity, historical events and the memory of the Lithuanian people.
At 5 pm, the Professor Pietro Umberto Dini, a Tuscan linguist and Baltic languages expert, Adriano Cerri, a Baltic philologist and translator of Donelaitis's work and Julia Reklaitė, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Italy, will talk about the Lutheran pastor and Prussian-Lithuanian poet Kristijonas Donelaitis (1714-1780). The speakers are invited in the context of À LA FRONTIÈRE…! OLD AND NEW BORDERS IN EUROPE to introduce the Italian readers to the work The Seasons of this Lithuanian great author, which is now also available in our language: this is actually the first presentation of the Italian translation of this European literary masterpiece.