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Leo Baeck Institute London Lecture Series 2021

Leo Baeck Institute London Lecture Series 2021Conception of Heimat in Jewish Visual History and Culture

A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London

The lecture series examines the German-Jewish and European-Jewish notion of Heimat and its diverse and changing visual representations and interpretations during the course of history. It looks at the subject through a prism of visual media, such as the arts, photography, film and fashion, as well as literature and social media, etc. 

 

For more information on this season’s lecture series please refer to the leaflet here.

Hanno Loewy

Among the pioneers turning the Alps into the playground of Europe, the urban Jewish middle class played a crucial role. While cities like Vienna, Berlin or Prague offered Jews access to secular culture, industry or higher education, the domesticated ‘wilderness’ of the mountains provided ‘innocence’ of togetherness and belonging beyond confines of class, religion and ethnicity. Jewish climbers, environmentalists and pioneers of tourism were among the first to organize Alpine clubs, while others reinvented folklore dressing. All of them lost faith in the Alpine pastorale after 1933.…

Jan-Christopher Horak

The nomadic photographer and filmmaker Helmar Lerski was born in Alsace, raised in Switzerland, began his professional career in Milwaukee, moved to Germany, travelled to Erez Israel and ultimately retired in Switzerland. Aesthetically, Lerski sought to communicate timeless values through the manipulation of light and the physiognomy of the human face in extreme close-ups. His photo project ‘Jewish Heads’ started his search for a distinct Jewish identity. While advocating a Jewish homeland as a Zionist filmmaker, Lerski remained loyal to his artistic vision.

Ofer Ashkenazi

This talk analyses the presence of generic Heimat imagery in German-Jewish family albums from the 1930s and highlights two major tendencies: the appropriation of Heimat iconography in photographs of the Jewish home, and the endeavour to situate Jewish family members within generic Heimat scenes. In both cases, Heimat iconography alluded to an alternative notion of German identity – and of belonging in the German landscape – which allowed and encouraged the integration of Jews within it. Consequently, in Jewish family albums, Heimat imagery provided an imagined landscape that sheltered…

Natasha Gordinsky, Katja Petrowskaja

In the past decade post-Soviet Jewish writers, poets and artists who live and work in Germany have played a crucial role in the ongoing debate on the various forms of migrant belonging in contemporary German culture. This lecture seeks to grasp the poetics of (non) belonging. Natasha Gordinsky will explore how different artists represent and de-stabilize performatively the meaning of Heimat, and reflect on this highly charged concept, both in German and Soviet contexts, in a dialogue with Kiev born German writer Katja Petrowskaja. 

Dr Natasha Gordinsky is Senior…

Sarah MacDougall

Founded as an arts society in 1915 in London’s East End, Ben Uri’s collection, exhibition history and programming were significantly impacted from the 1930s onwards by the artistic influx of the so-called ‘Hitler émigrés’. This lecture examines the conception of Heimat in relation to the lives and work of German-Jewish artists from this cohort, among them Frank Auerbach and Eva Frankfurther, as they navigated their new host culture, touching on notions of national cultural heritage and belonging.