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The “Day of Remembrance”: Giacomo Lichtner, “Frammenti di Primo Levi: storicità di Se questo è un uomo a cento anni dalla nascita”

What is “Day of Remembrance“? January 27, 1945 marked the demolition of the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Thus, as stated in Article 1 of the Law of July 20th 2000, n. 211, “The Italian Republic recognizes the 27th day of January, date of the gates of Auschwitz,” Day of Remembrance “in order to remember the Holocaust (extermination of the Jewish people), the racial laws, the persecution of Italian Jewish citizens , Italians who suffered deportation, imprisonment, death, and those who, even in different fields and camps, have opposed the project of extermination, and risked their lives to save more lives as well as protected the persecuted. “

On the occasion of the “Day of Remembrance 2020“, the Italian Cultural Institute is organizing a conference “Frammenti di Primo Levi: storicità di Se questo è un uomo a cento anni dalla nascita” by Giacomo Lichtner.

Thursday January 30th 2020, 6pm
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
1200, Ave. du Dr. Penfield
The conference will be held in Italian

If Se questo è un uomo is the Auschwitz memoir of Primo Levi, whose centenary we celebrate last year. It is a fundamental work, that still now conveys with an empathetic yet clinical eye the historical, social and economic prerogatives that define the Holocaust as a modern genocide. With populism resurgent and human rights under threat once again across the world, this Limmud session proposes to analyse the ongoing relevance of Levi’s work, by contextualising and delving deep into key passages. The lecture will challenge us to think of ‘remembering’ as an ephemeral and insufficient commandment, that needs specific knowledge, lateral thinking and a daily effort truly to make a difference.

Giacomo Lichtner is Associate Professor of “History and Film” at Victoria University of Wellington. He is Associate Editor of the journal Modern Italy and serves on the board of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. His research focuses on the long Second World War and on the politics of its commemoration and representation in film. He is the author of Film and the Shoah in France and Italy (2008, 2015) and Fascism in Italian Cinema Since 1945: the Politics and Aesthetics of Memory (2013). His latest project is entitled The Search for Meaning in Holocaust Cinema (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

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