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III International Colloquium Walter Benjamin 2011
16.09.2011 - 16.09.2011
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International Colloquium Walter Benjamin 2011. "Memory and Humanism, antidotes to barbarism"

Acts of 71th anniversary of our death in Portbou 


September 16, 23, 24 and 25, 2011




Free registration. Please send an email to MUME  ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or telephone (+34) 972 556 533.

To participate in the Banyuls-sur-Mer–Portbou morning walk on 24th September, please register at the Portbou Tourist Information Office before 22nd September. Tel: (+34) 972 125 161.



The richness and plural nature of Walter Benjamin’s work provide an excellent incentive for the formulation of multiple re-readings that keep his thought alive and useful. Hence, these critical approaches to the diverse facets of Walter Benjamin, or in some way indirectly inspired by them, as well as helping to deepen knowledge of his huge legacy can contribute to making the analyses of today’s world more precise and, above all, to a better understanding of the role of perceptions from recent pasts in shaping the present. Therefore, based on this aim, memory and humanism, two pivots of the Benjaminian universe, are intended to be the guiding line of this conference, especially as both have taken on great relevance over recent years. In the case of memory, saturation and omnipresence are threatening its effectiveness in warding off the barbarism of past eras; in the case of humanism, the loss of social legitimacy today is exposing it to forms of barbarism, perhaps subtle and sophisticated, but also devastating. Thus, based on the inspiring source of Walter Benjamin, the conference will be an outlet for discussion and dialogue on these issues, bringing together in Portbou different visions of the intellectual field: from art to history, including philosophy, literature and sociology. This international conference coincides with the 71st anniversary of the death of the German-Jewish philosopher.


All lectures will be held at the “Sala La Congesta” (Carrer Méndez Núñez, 20, Portbou).


As a prologue to the conference, on 16th September at 7 pm the exhibition The [blue] suitcase of W. B by the artist Isabel Banal, which forms part of a series curated by the art critic Eudald Camps, will open in Portbou. As an epilogue, on Sunday 25th at 11 am the traditional floral offering will take place at the monolith dedicated to Walter Benjamin in Portbou cemetery.


The International Walter Benjamin Conference forms part of the activities programme organised within the framework of the preliminary works of the Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre (Exile Memorial Museum Consortium – Memorial Democràtic – Portbou City Council).




For more information, please download the programme and the poster in PDF format.