Annual Semana Cultural week announced by department
By Lucy Fulford
The Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies has announced their ‘Semana Cultural’ at the University of Bristol, starting on March 8th.
The annual event includes a series of lectures and seminars on a range of historical, political and cultural topics pertaining to the department’s subjects, as well as film screenings, musical performances and theatre.
The week is described by the department as, “An intensive programme of general cultural interest."
Mr Rogelio Vallejo,University Senior Teaching Fellow in the Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Department, is organising the week’s events.
He informed Epigram that the department has been running Semana Cultural for over ten years. "As with any project, we started tentatively;’ he says. "Our successes were recognised further when we started attracting sponsors.”
Oxford University Press sponsored the event for a number of years, and current sponsor, the Santander Group, made financial support for Semana Cultural a condition of their continued support for the University of Bristol.
“This indicates that we have transcended the departmental scene, and become well recognised in the Hispanic cultural world,” commented Mr Vallejo.
Indeed artists from across the Hispanic world have taken part in Semana Cultural, with the week showcasing a wide range of Hispanic talent, including painters, musicians, playwrights and filmmakers.
The week also pulls in big names in Hispanic academia: one of the key speakers this year is award-winning translator Margaret Jull- Costa who has translated the works of several Nobel Prize winners.
“Not only is she a Bristol graduate;’ explains Mr Vallejo. "But she has won a number of important prizes in her field, tantamount to the 'Oscar for translation’!”
This year’s programme demonstrates the departments desire to make the week interesting for a wide audience, with events ranging from a round-table discussion on the chances of the Spanish, Portuguese andLatinAmerican teams in the 2010 World Cup to film showings, readings from the Chilean poet Andres Anwandter and daily live music performances.
Mr Vallejo is eager to stress that the events are open to students of all subjects, staff, and the general public. Presentations take place in Catalan, Portugese, Spanish and English, and while non-Hispanic speakers will inevitably be more limited in their choices of events, there is plenty on offer for everyone.
The week ends, as is tradition, with the annual theatre performance by students of the Language Through Theatre course.
This year’s 'Quien Abra la Caja TIene la Culpa’,showing on March 12 and 13, has also been devised by these students.
The ethos of Semana Cultural is summed up well by Mr Vallejo.
“What I don’t want people to think is that Semana Cultural is exclusively academic. Wetry to make it popular too, having young people, musicians … make people realise we are not just about serious business!”
Semana Cultural (Cultural Week) takes place from 8-13 March in the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages. For full programme of events, see http://www.bris.ac.uk/hispanic.