Monday, May 21, 2012

Preoccupied Conference in Berlin

Coming up in late June 2012: an academic conference inspired by the work of the various Occupy movements around the world. It's being organized by an international consortium of university programs known as the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate. The final conference program hasn't been announced yet, but should be posted here by early June. Here's what the organizers say about their plans:
PREOCCUPIED takes as its starting point the worldwide interventions of protestors and artists, activists and the impassioned of 2011. Let us be inspired by their daring and as bold in our imaginings. The conference will be held amongst the strange and inspiring ruins of Berlin’s Kulturpark this coming June 28-29, 2012. We hope you will be as galvanized by fallen dinosaurs as we have been. What we’re talking about, what you are, is the future.
In any case, two excellent keynote speakers are already in place: Simon Critchley (who's written extensively about the politics of resistance and been involved with Occupy Wall Street in NYC) and Hito Steyerl, a filmmaker with special expertise in essayist documentary video and the global circulation of images. The exact conference location is still TBA at this point, but this one sounds interesting enough to keep an eye on.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Berlin for Little People

My friend Gaëlle de Radiguès and her friend Ocka Caremi have just published an activity book for kids based on sights in and around Berlin. Puzzles, drawing activities and more! The book is designed to appeal to kids between four and ten years of age. For now, it is available only in German, but it's basic enough (and filled with enough pictures) that it's a good way to introduce children to a small German vocabulary. If you would buy an English-language edition, leave your comments to that effect below and I'll be sure to pass them on. The book can be purchased in various bookstores in Berlin or via Amazon in either Germany or the U.S. This would also be a great way to help kids remember what they saw on their German vacation. Gaëlle and Ocka made activity books based on Munich, Hamburg, Potsdam and the North Sea as well.