This series of readings in English, presented by the Literary Salon Britta Gansebohm, constitutes a bridge between the English-language and German literary scene in Berlin. The concept of a reading in a setting reminiscent of a spacious and comfortable living room where all are welcome, with the ensuing discussion also including the audience, was an absolutely new idea in May 1995 when Der Literarische Salon was established. This openness is being expanded through the series “From Expat to Wahlberliner.” The target audience of this series comprises Berliners who hail from a wide variety of countries but speak English and little or no German. The series seeks to make a contribution to international understanding and successful coexistence in Berlin by having resident authors present their colleagues to the public. In one instance the pairing is a reciprocal one: The L.A. writer and Berliner-by-choice Kevin McAleer will be moderating the reading of novelist/playwright Carey Harrison, and on another evening Kevin’s presentation of his mock-epic poem on the life of movie star Errol Flynn will be moderated by Mr. Harrison, whose parents were the actors Lilli Palmer and Rex Harrison and through whom Mr. Harrison, this scion of Hollywood’s Golden Age, once encountered the subject of Kevin’s book-length poem. It is through Lilli Palmer that Carey Harrison also has a special relationship to Berlin, his mother having spent her youth in the city before fleeing from the Nazis to Paris and eventually London. The discussions which follow the readings will treat of such questions as: What impact does life in the German capital have on an author’s writing? Does life in Berlin help to idealize or deflate an author’s view of their homeland? How do expats experience this city along with its inhabitants and Germany in general? What makes Berlin such a special place for writers? How has the city changed for the expats since their arrival? What is their relationship to the German language? Can language also be a kind of homeland? How do Berliners-by-choice define the very word “homeland”?
The story of voices, inspired by the Literary Salon, cultural place in Berlin, is a compilation of sound clips from artists, authors and contributors working with and for the Salon. This original story was created collaboratively, sentence by sentence from each participating member. To achieve the feel of a circular story, Britta Gansebohm, the found and director, began and ended the story with a sentence. The voices present in the videoclip are from authors Gernot Wolfram, Kevin McAleer (USA) ,Helmut Kuhn, Liv Larsson (Sweden), and singers Boris Steinberg and Corinne Douarre (France) as well as from several international students from the Macromedia University.
This is a Macromedia project
by Julie Zemanek and Veronika Gajer
Background: The first literary Salon entailed a circular gathering where Britta Gansebohm started with a sentence and each guest was asked to create a sentence so as to create a collaborative story. This video was influenced and inspired by the first event in the Literary Salon in May 1995.