Here is the abstract of her talk:
Exile – forced or voluntary – has a major importance in contemporary history. This is evidenced by the massive expulsion of Jews from Nazi Germany, Soviet Pogroms, the decolonization of Africa and the recent Middle East wars. The process of migration has been equally affecting the five continents, promoting political, social or even philosophical consequences. It is estimated that the majority of Germans and Austrians who escaped the World War II have chosen the Americas as their new home.
Among them, many artists and intellectuals, such as Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, or Mira Schendel. These “refugees” have deeply influenced the new countries’ cultural life. Most of them wrote about their experiences, especially in regards to the cultural exchanges they have experienced. Many times, giving us a unique perspective on our culture, environment and people. This is the case of Vilém Flusser, who went to Brazil after spending one year in England running away from Nazi threat in Czechoslovakia. After years of struggle, he became an important writer and professor in Brazil, and ended up his life in Europe as a worldwide known philosopher that used to write and translate himself for the four languages that he was versed on. Writing was his way of overcoming his condition of strangeness, especially through the form of essay and self-translation. This presentation aims to reflect on his life and work, and how it unveils layers of cultures in translation.
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