Palestinian refugees’ experience of protracted displacement is among the lengthiest in history. In her breathtaking new book, Ilana Feldman explores this community’s engagement with humanitarian assistance over a seventy-year period and their persistent efforts to alter their present and future conditions. Based on extensive archival and ethnographic field research, Life Lived in Relief offers a comprehensive account of the Palestinian refugee experience living with humanitarian assistance in many spaces and across multiple generations. By exploring the complex world constituted through humanitarianism, and how that world is experienced by the many people who inhabit it, Feldman asks pressing questions about what it means for a temporary status to become chronic. How do people in these conditions assert the value of their lives? What does the Palestinian situation tell us about the world? Life Lived in Relief is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and practice of humanitarianism today.
The Department of Theater and the William J. Cooper Foundation are proud to host a week-long residency focused around performances of THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY (TIMe), an original work created by director/designer/visual artist Lars Jan ’00 and his Los Angeles-based performance company Early Morning Opera. A combination of autobiography, investigative journalism, and detective story, THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY confronts the audience with urgent questions about the larger spiritual consequences of political terror, trauma, and privacy in the digital age–and the temptation of simply ignoring them. THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY has toured the country and internationally to critical acclaim since 2016.
LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE has called it “trademark Jan, art of the kind of beautiful originality for which he has come to be known.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES described TIMe as: “Presented with dazzling stagecraft. As a broader exploration of whether a human being can be altered all the way down to his cells and synapses by the nature of the times he has lived through, the piece is startling and disturbing.”
Jan’s adaptation of Joan Didion’s THE WHITE ALBUM was recently
premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the first person to get permission from the author to adapt the piece for performance.
Lars Jan majored in Theater and English Literature at Swarthmore, and is currently on the theater faculty of the California School of the
Arts (CalArts) outside Los Angeles. He has been active as a director and integrated media designer in Philadelphia since he graduated from the College in 2000.
Performances of THE INSTITUTE OF MEMORY will take place in the Pearson-Hall Theatre in the Lang Performing Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 1, @ 5 pm, and Saturday, Feb. 2, @ 7 pm. The performance lasts about 80 minutes, and the opening show on Friday will be followed by a reception in the LPAC lobby. The Saturday performance will be followed by a post-show discussion with Lars Jan moderated by Prof. Allen Kuharski of the Theater Department.
Both performances are free and open to the public without advance reservation.
Funding support for the residency is also provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). TIMe was originally commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute/CULTURE.PL in Warsaw. Campus co-sponsors for the residency include the Departments of English Literature, Film & Media Studies, Music & Dance, Modern Languages & Literatures (Russian Section), History, Peace & Conflict Studies.