In conjunction with the 2021 German Stories Book Exhibition, National Central Library, the Goethe-Institute Taipei, Frankfurt Book Fair, and the Trade Office of Swiss Industries cohosted the following four events:
Event 1: Professor Hui-min Chou Talked on Fritz Bauer: oder Auschwitz vor Gericht
On Saturday March 13, the first lecture was held in NCL’s presentation room. It was given by National Chengchi University’s Center for Humanities Research Director, Prof. Hui-min Chou. He gave a guided reading of the book Fritz Bauer: oder Auschwitz vor Gericht.
At the beginning of the guided reading, Prof. Chou pointed out that the lecture would focus on not just the book Fritz Bauer: oder Auschwitz vor Gericht. He would also discuss “beyond the prosecuting attorney.” That is to say, what were the methods that other countries used in transitional justice. He wanted to think together with the audience how such a major issue should be addressed.
Prof. Chou’s lecture began by clearly defining Jews, the history of migration, anti-Sematic feelings in European history, important anti-Sematic events, the fleeing and hiding that the Jews were forced to do after the Nazis’ anti-Semitism movement. Then he outlined how the prosecuting attorney Fritz Bauer overturned German history, how this brave prosecutor used his courage to impel Germans in the 50s and 60s to rethink that unbearable part of their past. The lecture helped those in attendance come to a deeper understanding of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and Israel’s Holocaust memorial, as well as to ponder how Germany transitioned to justice and the future after the war. It was a very meaningful event.
Event 2: Stop Motion Workshop “Us under the Threat of the Pandemic”
On Saturday March 20, a stop motion workshop “Us under the Threat of the Pandemic” was held in National Central Library’s Arts and Culture Center, Room 301.
The workshop was hosted by Together Studio, which has invested much in promoting animation education. Attendees were instructed on how to use smart phones and free apps to create animations. Many parents came with their children, as well as other adults. Through the step-by-step instructions of the teacher, each group successfully made their own animation. Throughout the filming and animating process, the teacher explained how to use the functions of the app to control lighting, sharpness, speed, cyclic action, and cartoon animation. The latter two are controlled by the cycle function after the stop motion is completed.
To have an opportunity during the pandemic to have a hands-on learning environment for parents and children, as well as other adults, where they can make their own creation brought a lot of joy to those in attendance as they took their creations home with them. Indeed, it was a very meaningful workshop on science education.
Event 3: Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Let the World Read Swiss Literature
On Saturday March 27, a lecture on “Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Let the World Read Swiss Literature” was held in NCL’s presentation room. The lecture was given by Assistant Professor Hui-Chun Cheng from the Department of German at Tamkang University. She presented a deep reading of Friedrich Dürrenmatt four most important works and related paintings.
Before the lecture began, NCL Director-General Tseng, Deputy Director of Trade Office of Swiss Industries Ms. Béatrice Latteier, and the Director of Goethe-Institute Taipei Ms. Theresa Huemmer all spoke. Director-General Tseng presented the institute and trade office with certificates of appreciation and expressed her thanks for the deeply meaningful collaboration as the three entities have worked together to put on this series of events.
During Director-General Tseng’s remarks, she stated that NCL is honored to be able to work with the Trade Office of Swiss Industries and the Goethe-Institute Taipei to present the lecture Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Let the World Read Swiss Literature. This year marks the 100th year of famed Swiss author Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s birth. The Trade Office of Swiss Industries, in an effort to remember this great playwright, joined with the Goethe-Institute Taipei and NCL to plan today’s lecture on Dürrenmatt. In conjunction with the lecture, a flash book exhibition was also on display outside the lecture hall, showcasing Dürrenmatt’s twelve representative works so that Taiwan readers can have an opportunity to better come to know this national treasure of Switzerland. International exchange and collaboration are important parts of NCL’s mission. For some time now, NCL has been actively nurturing long-term and close collaborative relationships with foreign institutes in Taiwan and expand various cultural-educational collaboration. The aim is to provide many different cultural experiences for the Taiwan public and to assist in promoting bilateral cultural exchange. This year NCL and the Goethe-Institute Taipei have already planned a series of cultural and educational events, including the 2021 German Stories Book Exhibition currently on display and its four accompanying events. In May, a lecture will be held by a German library and information science expert on “From a Space of Learning to a Coworking Space” and an exhibition “Think Again: Learning from Nature.” NCL is extremely honored to begin a collaborative relationship with the Trade Office of Swiss Industries through this lecture. It is hoped that NCL, the Trade Office of Swiss Industries and the Goethe-Institute Taipei can enjoy even more collaborative opportunities in the future, and thus bring about more cultural exchange and learning between Taiwan and both Germany and Switzerland.
Dürrenmatt is one of the most influential modern German-speaking playwrights in the world. He has been called “most important German-speaking playwright in the 20th century after Bertolt Brecht.” In the lecture, Prof. Cheng analyzed four of Dürrenmatt’s works: “The Judge and His Hangman,” “A Dangerous Game,” “The Visit,” and “The Physicist” and related paintings. This gave those in attendance a deeper understanding of the man and his writings. They came to understand what concepts he held dear and what his worldview was.
Event 4: Online Talk Forum between Taiwan Author Zifan Hsie and German Author Leif Randt on City Love and Life
On Friday April 9 from 7:00-8:30 pm (1:00 pm Germany time), the National Central Library, the Goethe-Institute Taipei, and the Frankfurt Book Fair held their final event in the NCLInternational Conference Room—a face-to-face online talk forum.
This final event was arranged by the Goethe-Institute Taipei and the Frankfurt Book Fair. They invited German author Leif Randt and Taiwan author Zifan Hsie to be the discussants. The event was hosted by Ms. Meng-ju Yang, a translator. Mr. Chun-te Chang, a professional translator from Germany handled interpretation between German and Chinese. The online talk forum arranged for Randt to participate via webcam so that the two authors could speak to each other. One was born in the 80s and one in the 60s, but both experienced something similar: life seemed set for each of them, so why would things turn unpredictable? Regarding this interesting development, the two authors opened up and began speaking candidly about things. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic was still going on, patrons and friends in Taiwan were able to hear the two authors speak about life for those born in these two decades. The authors also shared their views on the world pandemic and the influence it has had on people’s lives. Randt currently lives in Berlin, and Hsie in Taiwan. Both shared their thoughts about the future. The discussion centered on Randt’s Allegro Pastell and Hsie’s Me and the Garbage Truck I’m Chasing and creating a lively spark through an engaging discussion. This unique author online talk forum brought the 2021 German Stories Book Fair events to a perfect ending.