Salzburg Global Fellows Speak at Pune International Literary Festival




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Sep 18, 2017
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Fellows Speak at Pune International Literary Festival

Fellows take part in series of talks and Q&As during three-day event  From left to right - Neil Hollander, Manjiri Prabhu, Thomas Biebl, Daniel Hahn, and Roman Gerodimos (Picture: Manjiri Prabhu)

Salzburg Global Seminar has continued its growing relationship with the Pune International Literary Festival by acting as a partner for a second consecutive year.

This year’s festival, which took place between September 8 and September 10, saw several Salzburg Global Fellows feature in a series of events as visitors explored all forms and genres of the written word.

On the first day of the festival, several Salzburg Global Fellows took part in an event where they shared details of their experiences at Schloss Leopoldskron.

This event included: Roman Gerodimos, a political scientist, writer and Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change faculty member; Daniel Hahn, a writer and translator who attended Session 461; and Thomas Biebl, director of marketing and communications at Salzburg Global. Their discussion was moderated by documentary filmmaker and author Neil Hollander, who previously attended Session 403

Speaking afterward, Gerodimos said; “We agreed that diversity is fundamental to a society – diversity in any form enriches our life. We learn through difference; through meaningful encounters with people, opinions and cultural texts that are different to what we’re used to.

“However, there is a pressing need to find common ground. This is key to peaceful coexistence within urban communities as well as in the world at large.”

Gerodimos said there were highly complex and interdependent global challenges which national governments and individual communities could not address by themselves. This is why it is important to create opportunities for people to meet, acknowledge the other side’s point of view, and identify shared values and experiences.

He said, “All panelists agreed that the things that unite us are more – and more significant – than the things that divide us. Physical co-presence, inspiration, a safe space for dialogue, the opportunity to speak openly and without fear, the sense that one ought to work toward goals and achievements that transcend the individual or their own community – these are the essential ingredients of finding common ground, and they are precisely what Salzburg Global Seminar does and is about.” 

On the final day of the festival, Gerodimos took to the stage again with Biebl as part of a discussion titled “The Human Library: Urbanization, Multiculturalism and the Art of Listening.” This talk covered the challenges of urbanization, segregation, technological echo chambers, and fear of the other. It also gave Gerodimos the chance to screen his film At the Edge of the Present

Gerodimos said, “Screening At the Edge of the Present was a unique experience as the session hall was packed with a very diverse audience of authors, artists, journalists, students, activists and local residents of all ages. It is the most rewarding and fulfilling experience for a filmmaker to share a screening with an engaged audience - it is a sacred moment of connection and meaning-making. 

“The discussion afterwards was highly sophisticated and it touched upon important issues regarding urbanization, multiculturalism, the need and methods of encouraging people to listen and engage, and the role of digital/social media and the culture of constant connectivity and distraction. The feedback for the film was amazing and it was great to hear people who watched the film say that they intend to screen it in their communities.”

Biebl, who represented Salzburg Global at the festival, said, “It was really impressive to see the scale at which the Pune International Literary Festival has grown in India. We are delighted Salzburg Global could once again play the role of an international partner at an important event.

“We are grateful to our Fellows who were able to appear at this year’s festival and take part in the event. It was an engaging discussion featuring Fellows from creative backgrounds who all had unique perspectives to offer."

PILF was founded by Salzburg Global Fellow and award-winning author Manjiri Prabhu. She credits her experience as a Fellow at Session 403 – From Page to Screen - in inspiring her to launch the festival.

Prabhu said, “We are extremely privileged to have Salzburg Global Seminar partner with the Pune International Literary Festival. Not only are we united in our goal to transform the world step by step, but I believe that our common synergies will open up new avenues and collaborations.”

To find out more about the Pune International Literary Festival, please click here