Primo Levi: writer, witness, scientist

August 5, 2019 by Community newsdesk
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Italian and Jewish organisations in Melbourne will unite to celebrate the life of Primo Levi.

Primo Levi

On the occasion of the first centenary of the birth of Primo Levi, the Jewish Museum of Australia and CO.AS.IT. Museo Italiano, under the Multicultural Museums of Victoria banner, the Jewish Holocaust Centre and the Italian Cultural Institute will present a series of cultural initiatives in Melbourne, celebrating and thoughtfully engaging with the work of the renowned Jewish Italian writer, intellectual, scientist and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi (1919-1987).

Under the inspiring guide of intellectuals such as Mirna Cicioni, Raimond Gaita, Paul Forgasz and Mark Nicholls, and actors Steve Bastoni and Daniela Farinacci, we shall explore Levi’s life and work, situating them within the relevant historical and cultural contexts, especially the history of the Jewish presence in Italy and the persecution of European Jews under Nazi-Fascism. We shall look at the momentous moral, political and philosophical issues tackled by Levi and reflect on their ongoing relevance to our lives in today’s world. Throughout, the emphasis is on offering a series of outstanding and accessible cultural experiences, to encourage independent thought and participation.

Initiatives, spanning from 29 July to 27 November 2019, include Reading Primo Levi in 2019 andItalian Jewish History, two short courses, run, respectively, by DrMirna Cicioniand Dr Paul Forgaszboth at the Jewish Museum of Australia;“One of those books we cannot do without”: Reflections on Primo Levi’s If This is a Man, a talk by Professor Raimond Gaita, and Italia Ebraica: The Jews of Italy – A historical perspective, a talk by Dr Paul Forgasz, both at CO.AS.IT. Museo Italiano; The Sign of The Chemist, a theatre evening at the Italian Cultural Institute with acclaimed Australian actors Steve Bastoni and Daniela Farinacci, in partnership with the Centro Internazionale di Studi Primo Levi (Turin);The Garden of the Finzi-Continis(Vittorio De Sica, 1970), a film night with Dr Mark Nicholls at the Jewish Holocaust Centre. The series will conclude with a Jewish Italian dinner, featuring dishes from the Jewish Italian culinary tradition, at Massi in Little Collins Street, hosted by Rita Erlich.


One Response to “Primo Levi: writer, witness, scientist”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    This will be a wonderful treat for all who take part. As an ex-Melburnian and an avid reader of Primo Levi’s works, I wish I could be there. Kol hakevod to all who organised these events and put the whole programme of events together.

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