How do Constitutions legitimate their claim to authority? Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor at Yale Law School and the spring 2015 Daimler Fellow, argues in this lecture that it happens in three different ways: the first path is pursued by revolutionary outsiders; the second, by established insiders; the third, by established insiders striking a deal with political elites previously excluded from the system. During the twentieth century, the revolutionary tradition is exemplified by India, South Africa, and postwar France and Italy; insider-constitutionalism, by various nations in the British Commonwealth; elite bargaining between insider and outsider elites, in Spain, Germany, Japan, and the European Union. Different pathways generate different legitimation problems – combining to create a distinctive crisis in the European Community as it confronts its future.
The ability to turn passive and analogue objects into smart and interconnected ones has been widely hailed as a revolutionary development. Not only could it help us run cities, markets, and our own households more efficiently, but it can also help solve problems like congestion and climate change -- or this is what the utopian vision tells us. The dystopian vision suggests that, thanks, in part, to ubiquitous sensors and overconnectivity, we are careening towards a privacy disaster, that the "Internet of Things" would belong to the same few monopolies that already dominate the online world, and that the amount of control over individual behavior would only increase. Evgeny Morozov's talk will try to articulate a middle ground between the two positions, showing how to put the Internet of Things to the more humane and citizen-focused use.
Please join us for an afternoon discussion at the "Gropius Mirror" Restaurant on the occasion of the German publication of chef, author, and activist Alice Waters' beloved book The Art of Simple Food: Rezepte und Glück aus dem Küchengarten. Waters will in discussion with esteemed film director Wim Wenders, on the art of simplicity. Moderated by Thomas Struck, curator of Culinary Cinema (Kulinarisches Kino).
Location: “Gropius Mirror” Restaurant, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin
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In cooperation with the Culinary Cinema of Berlin International Film Festival
Babelsberg, a district slightly southwest of Berlin, is known to film historians as the home of one of the most influential film studios in the world, UFA (now Studio Babelsberg). The studio's output of feature films during the years of the Weimar Republic profoundly shaped American cinema, which was and remains centered in and around Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast of the United States. In an illustrated talk based on his 2011 film exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which travelled to the Berlinale in 2012, former MoMA film curator Laurence Kardish will discuss the contributions German filmmakers and production techniques made to Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1940s.
Through conceptual works that fuse diverse cultural sensibilities and symbols, Guna S. Mundheim Fellow Sanford Biggers explores the similarities underlying ostensibly disparate cultural expressions. Incorporating icons and rites ranging from mandalas and slave quilts to hip hop and YouTube music culture, Biggers's works connect African spiritualism, Buddhist rituals, and African-American urban culture. At the same time, Biggers investigates history, race relations, and the socio-political environment. His works suggest that we transcend divisive social realities through the interconnectedness inherent in our shared affinity for the symbolic and the spiritual.
Tom Drury, Writer
The Driftless Area will be released by Klett-Cotta Verlag as Das Stille Land on January 31, 2015.
Location: English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstraße 40, 10965 Berlin
Moderation: Felicitas von Lovenberg (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
Lesung aus der deutschen Übersetzung: Helmut Mooshammer (Deutsches Theater)
PLEASE SIGN UP VIA THE ENGLISH THEATRE: Tickets (€5): firstname.lastname@example.org
In cooperation with Klett-Cotta Verlag, the US Embassy Berlin, and the English Theatre Berlin
Christopher D. Johnson, Research Associate, The Warburg Institute, University of London
William Uricchio, Professor of Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Every year more and more Europeans are embracing Islam. It is estimated that there are now up to one hundred thousand German converts, a number similar to that in France and the United Kingdom. What stands out about recent conversions is that they take place at a time when Islam is increasingly seen as contrary to European values. In her new book, Being German, Becoming Muslim (Princeton, December 2014), Esra Özyürek explores how Germans come to Islam within this antagonistic climate, how they manage to balance their love for Islam with their society’s fear of it, how they relate to immigrant Muslims, and how they shape debates about race, religion, and belonging in today’s Europe. In conversation with Yasemin Shooman, of the Jewish Museum Berlin, she will discuss how mainstream society marginalizes converts, questions national loyalties, how converts try to disassociate themselves from migrants of Muslim-majority countries, and how they promote a denationalized Islamuntainted by Turkish or Arab traditions.
Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds
Mary Jo Bang will read poems written in response to Bauhaus photographs, drawings, letters, and other artifacts of Weimar culture. Some of the Bauhaus poems use Lucia Moholy, the first wife of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and the official Bauhaus photographer from 1924–1928, as the basis of an invented persona. Bang will also discuss how she use artworks and other material in her poetic practice—especially how she employs these sources as the basis for imagined stage sets in front of which speakers are placed like characters in a scene from a play. From that vantage point, the speakers address aspects of the world from which they are drawn, as well as issues that are relevant in the here and now.