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International Conference Walter Benjamin 2016 Portbou-Girona
30.09.2016 - 02.10.2016
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International Conference Walter Benjamin, 2016

Civil Wars in Contemporary era

Girona - Portbou, from september, 30 at  octubre 2, 2016



Càtedra Walter Benjamin, memòria i exili (Universitat de Girona, UdG)

Museu Memorial de l'Exili (MUME) - La Jonquera

International Conference Walter Benjamin, 2016

Civil Wars in Contemporary era

The symposium is organized by the Càtedra Walter Benjamin of the University of Girona and the Museu Memorial de l'Exili, in collaboration with ICIP (Institut Català Internacional per la Pau) and the Memorial Democràtic of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the EUROM (European Observatory on Memories) of the University of Barcelona, and the University of Perpignan Via Domitia.

"Civil Wars in Contemporary era" is the topic to be discussed during this interdisciplinary and comprehensive conference which aims to analyse the phenomenon of armed civil conflict from the onset of the twentieth century to the very present. Stathis N. Kalyvas (Yale University), Robert Gerwarth (Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin), Rafael Grasa (Autonomous University of Barcelona) or Ricard Garcia-Vilanova (photojournalist) are among an extensive list of speakers.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, special attention will be devoted to this historic event which continues to have a strong presence in our collective memory.


Friday 30 september

Sala de Graus,  Faculty of Letters, University of Girona

09h30 Opening session and presentation

10h00 Conference Past, present and future of the Civil War,Stathis Kalyvas, Yale University

11h00 Conference The vanquished:  Europe and the violent aftermath  of the First World War, 1917‐23, Robert Gerwarth, Centre for War Studies, University College  Dublin

12h00 Coffee Break

12h30 Presentation of the book  Walter Benjamin. Els límits de la democràcia (Limits of Democracy)  (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2016) by Lluís  Montull. Conversation between the author and Maximiliano Fuentes,  director  of the Càtedra Walter  Benjamin, Memòria i Exili

13h30 Lunch Break

15h30 Conference Portbou 1937: Political and literary epiphanies by W. H. Auden, George Orwell et Stephen Spender, Miquel  Berga, University Pompeu Fabra

16h30 Conference Image in the contemporary  war. About the photographies by Guillermo Cervera and David Ramos, Plàcid Garcia‐Planas, director  of Memorial Democràtic – Generalitat de Catalunya

17h30 Coffee Break

18h00 Panel  Discussion From the sofa in the house. Visual representation and perception of the horror of others, Imma  Merino , University of Girona,  Nicolás  Sánchez Durá,  University of Valencia,  and Xavier  Antich,  University of Girona. Moderator: Lluïsa  Faxedas

19h30 End of the first  day

Saturday 01 october

Centre cívic Ca l’Herrerro, Portbou

10h00 Conference Armed conflicts nowadays and the new shapes of direct violence: how to continue from Walter Benjamin to learn to deal with them and build the peace, Rafael  Grasa, Autonomous University of Barcelona, ex‐president of Institut  Català Internacional per la Pau  (ICIP)

11h30 Panel Discussion Civil wars and forced displacement of

population. Humanitarian  crisis in the Mediterranean and in the European  Union, Rafael  Grasa, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Blanca Garcés‐Mascareñas, University Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) and Ricard  Garcia  Vilanova, photojournalist. Moderator: Plàcid Garcia‐Planas, Director of the Memorial Democràtic

13h30 Hommage to Walter  Benjamin (Portbou Cemetery), with official interventions

14h00 Lunch Break

16h30 Conference Public memories of war in the contemporary  Europe, Jordi Guixé,  European Observatory on Memories‐UB

17h30 Conference Intimate Strangers: The Civil Wars and the national question in Europe in the XXth century, Xosé  Manoel Núñez Seixas,  Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität – LMU, Munich

18h30 Panel  Discussion Memory and history: the Civil War in Catalonia and in Spain, José Luis  Martín  Ramos, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Javier Rodrigo,  Autonomous University of Barcelona and Sandra Souto,  Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).  Moderator: Jordi Font, Museu Memorial de l’Exili

20H00 Closing session


Sunday 02 october

08h00 Walking trail Banyuls‐Portbou, with  the artistic  intervention: “S’amagaven darrere els arbres” (They were hiding behind the trees), by Anna  Dot.

A project  within  the framework of the series "The  Viatge  of the Arts"  (The  Journey of Arts)  of the Centre de Creació Contemporània Nau Côclea, Camallera. Departure from Portbou. Compulsory registration at the Tourist Office of Portbou before the 30  september. Telephone (0034) 972 12

5161. The  bus  fee:  5 euros


Càtedra WB and MUME

With the collaboration of:

Memorial Democràtic, Institut Català per la PAU, EUROM

With the support of:

Diputació de Girona and Ajuntament de Girona