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Tuesday 07 June 19h

Anna Iatsenko, Martin Leer, Samir Bensalah

Le Lire (Part I)- Memory and the Music of Words

Reading Performance

Resonant Reading

This project is conceived as a performative diptych, a dialogue, constructed around research into sound materiality in literature and reading. Anna, Martin, and Samir will take the listeners through a selection of literary works that carry musical, vocal and more generally, sonic elements, which allow glimpses into experience of an embodied kind.

This resonance in two parts between fictional and poetic readings, makes emerge a language which shows us different ways of relating to the world. It also shows us how literature is, primarily, synesthetic and how it plays on different senses both materially, figuratively, and in relation to the process of reading. Simply expressions such as “seeing with the mind’s eye”, when referring to reading mechanisms, underline the transformation of printed text into “images”.

This conversation will provide an overview of mechanisms by which literature engages us experientially. The purpose of musical accompaniment is to triangulate cultural musical production with literatures of Toni Morrison and a selection of writes from the Caribbean, as well as theorists and other artists. When texts engage us experientially - whether through the flow of waters surrounding small islands, through the rhythmical heartbeat of the prose, through carefully constructed acoustics – they transmit knowledge about different ways of thinking about being in the world.

This linguistic, poetic, acoustic – literary – technology will be at the heart of the conversation, pointing to the complexities of reading practices, their immense creative potential, immersive abilities, and the pleasure of reading for heartbeat and flow.

Dr. Anna Iatsenko is an independent scholar, educator and art critic who works and writes from Geneva. Academically, she is interested in literary acoustics and materialities, memory and trauma studies, embodied cognitive theory and philosophy, translation, and transmission of knowledge. Artistically, and as an art critic, her field of expertise is that of language and how it works to make emerge new forms of knowledge. She works in an transdisciplinary manner so as to illuminate connections and overlappings, rather than to draw boundaries between disciplines.

Dr. Martin Leer is a literary geographer, which, as he defines it, has as its purpose to show that geography is as important a dimension of the study of literature as history, and to establish a general theory of geographically informed readings. This includes the importance of landscape ( and features of it like roads and railways ), cartography and meteorology in literature, but also a phenomenology of how literary works imagine and evoke geograhical worlds, but conversely also the literary element in geographical texts, for instance maps. Along with these central concerns Dr. LEER also has an interest in related topics and approaches : ecocriticism, the study of space and time in literature, genres such as travel writing, the literature and theory of diasporas and migration, the body in literature and culture, literature and anthropology, Orientalism and Primitivism. He also has interests in other aspects of contemporary, postcolonial and world literature : literary and cultural theory, modern poetry and poetics, Queer studies, literature and the visual arts, the transformation of literature and literacy under the hegemony of the image, film and televised media, and the theory and practice of literary translation. He is a practicing literary translator of poetry in particular. His Danish translation of a selection of the poetry of the Australian poet Les Murray, En helt almindelig regnbue ( Copenhagen : Gyldendal, 1998 ) was highly acclaimed.

Samir Bensalah, connu également sous le nom DJ Mirsa ou encore Dilem, est né à Ambilly - commune frontalière de la Suisse dans le département de la Haute-Savoie. DJ évoluant sur la scène Genevoise depuis le début des années 2000 ; à la fois artiste pluridisciplinaire ( auteur, compositeur, interprète ) et acteur socio-culturel depuis plusieurs dizaines d’années, il multiplie les collaborations artistiques sur la région Rhône-Alpes et sur le bassin lémanique. Directeur artistique de la Compagnie D-Click Family depuis 2020 à travers l’association « Alliance & Unity » dont il est membre fondateur depuis 2017.