politics and contemporary history

A World Undone: 100 years of World War 1 With Steffen Kopetzky, Elke Falat, Julia Tieke, Vedica Kant M: Sunil Sethi

At the 4th Bangalore Literature Festival

Panel Discussion
06.12.2015, 2 - 2.55pm
Hotel Royal Orchid, Old Airport Rd
Bangalore Literature Festival
Free entry. Register on the BLF website.
Steffen Kopetzky, © Marijan MuratThe Great World Wars form the focal point for the German contribution to the 4th edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF). We are once again happy to be associated with BLF which has emerged as the second largest literary conclave in the country, and in which Germany has always featured prominently.

Well-known German writer Steffen Kopetzky will sit on two Panels: A World Undone: 100 years of World War 1, along with German curators Elke Falat and Julia Tieke. And also on the Panel: Who does the Writer write for? on 6.12.2015, 5.00 p.m. - 05.55 p.m.

A main attraction in this year’s festival is a unique installation on World War 1: digging deep, crossing far - first encounter: Bangalore, curated by Elke Falat and Julia Tieke. Involving international artists from Berlin and Bangalore, Gilles Aubry, Sarnath Banerjee and Surekha, the multimedia installation will open at the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan on 3.12.2015 and move to the BLF venue on the 5.12.2015. For details, check the event page.

The installation focuses on the effects, reception and historical narrative of the First World War and provides the opportunity for a re-positioning. In the process, diverse historical strands are taken up and carried to the here and now.

A special screening of the riveting documentary The Halfmoon Files by Philip Scheffner, followed by an Artist Talk by Gilles Aubry, completes the German package at this year’s BLF. Link to event page
The Halfmoon Files is an audiovisual study exploring the links between politics, colonialism, science and the media. The study is based on visual and audio footage documenting the stories of Indian and North African prisoners of war from the “Halfmoon” camp set up near Berlin during the First World War. It is a film about missing links, omissions and the construction of history, featuring protagonists who are, for the most part, invisible, but whose presence is nevertheless palpable. In other words: a ghost story.

About the panelists:
Steffen Kopetzky, © Marijan MuratSteffen Kopetzky

Award-winning novelist, author of short stories, essayist and playwright, Steffen Kopetzky was born in 1971 in Bavaria and studied Philosophy in Munich. His latest novel Risk (2015) was nominated for the German Book Prize 2015 (long list) and remained on the Spiegel Bestseller List for over 25 weeks.
Risk is a stunning adventure story based on historical fact. The novel follows a secret German expedition to Afghanistan during the First World War, the aim of which was to persuade the Afghan Emir Habibullah to join forces with the German Reich and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy to fight the British Empire, which meant fostering turmoil in the Indian colony. Kopetzky traces the route of this enterprise from Albania to Constantinople, from Aleppo to Bagdad and from Teheran to Kabul. Alongside historical figures, such as head of expedition Oskar Niedermayer, he puts into operation the fictitious character Sebastian Stichnote, who invites us to identify with him.

Kopetzky’s other works include: The Hand Encyclopaedia of Europe’s Fundamental Problems at the End of the 20th Century (1997), Breaking and Entering Madness (1998), Grand Tour (2001), Lost/Found (2006), Morocco (2005) and The Last Thief (2008).

Aside from his literary endeavours, Kopetzky served as Artistic Director of the Bonn Theatre Biennale from 2003 to 2008. The theme of the 2006 edition was “India” which led him on several intensive fact-finding excursions to India. Kopetzky is married and has two children.

Elke Falat, © Elke FalatElke Falat is a freelance curator, based in Berlin. She has studied cultural studies at the University of Hildesheim where she taught visual art / curatorial practice from 2006 until 2009. From 2007-2009, she was the director of the Kunstverein Hildesheim. In 2009, she participated in the International Curator Course of Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, and in 2012, she was invited by Goethe-Institut to a three-months curator residency in Bangalore where she did research on urban green.
From 2010-2014 she was the co-director of LoBe London/Berlin project space, and Elke Falat is a board member of  nGbK (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin). In 2015, she was awarded a curatorial stipend of the Goethe-Institut for research in Russia and the Ukraine.

Julia Tieke, © Julia TiekeJulia Tieke works with ‘text, sound & around’ and is based in Berlin. She has studied cultural studies at the University of Hildesheim where she taught radio drama and feature 2002-2006. Since 2007, she is the project director of Wurfsendung, an ultra short radio art format on public radio Deutschlandradio Kultur. Since 2009, her works intensively deal with cultural and political aspects of the Middle East. Her latest works comprise a radio documentary about the German jihad program in WWI (2014), a published chat between her and the Syrian activist Faiz on his way to Germany as a refugee, and a radio adaptation of Abbas Khider’s next novel (2015). She cooperated with Berit Schuck in their audio projects ‘Alexandria Streets Project’ (2012), ‘Speaking of Beirut and the City is Missing’ (Beirut Art Center, 2013), and ‘Trading Urban Stories’ (Marrakech Biennale, 2014).

In collaboration with:

Bangalore Literature Festival 2015, © Bangalore Literature Festival

Please note:
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event carried out and/or sponsored by the institute, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by the institute including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, social media, television, websites, etc.

    1914/2014 – The Battlefield
    of Memory: A fact - Many perspectives

    Foto: Regine Dura

    100 Years First World War: anniversary issue of Fikrun wa Fann

    Otto Dix, Selbstporträt als Mars, 1915, Öl auf Leinwand ©Städtische Sammlungen Freital