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The Arts List

By September 11, 2019 Features-Manchester
The artist woman squeezes the paint from the tube on the artistic palette. No face. Selective focus.

Jews and Modern Visual Culture Conference

From 8-10th September, Manchester Jewish Museum is set to host what will be the first conference on modern visual Jewish culture ever to be held in the UK. The conference, held in venues from Manchester Metropolitan University to Manchester Central Library will explore the how Jews are imagined in various forms of cultural production from film to comic-book art.

Scholars from across the globe will present their papers covering diverse themes such as the Jewish relationship with photography and cinema and consider how contemporary digital forms portray Jews in the media. David Shneer will open the conference by discussing Dmitri Baltermant, a Soviet photographer, who was one of the first to visually document the Holocaust, while Michael Berkowitz concludes by considering the contribution of photographer Helmut Gernsheim to new approaches to photography as an art form.

Being Jewish In Victorian Fiction

The Centre for Jewish Studies at The University of Manchester is hosting a series of three reading group seminars at Manchester Central Library. This short, free-of-charge course run by Sherry Ashworth, a PhD student at the Centre for Jewish Studies, will serve as an introduction to three late Victorian novels about Jewishness.

The 26th October session focuses on George Eliot’s final work, Daniel Deronda, the 31st October class discusses Amy Levy’s 1888 novel, Reuben Sachs, while the concluding 14th November group will examine Children of the Ghetto by prolific Zionist author, Israel Zangwill. Each seminar will focus on particular Jewish characters, using them to debate the way in which identity is constructed. Attendees will be provided with extracts to read in the seminars.

Manchester Jewish Book Week

The annual Jewish Book Week will return to its founding city, bringing with it two acclaimed authors to the Manchester cross-communal event. Originating in Manchester, Jewish Book Week is organised by the Jewish Book Council, a registered educational charity, which also hosts associated prizes in translation and journalism. Menorah Synagogue will once again welcome a selection of authors who appeared at Jewish Book Week in London. On 27th October Bart Van Es will discuss her moving account of wartime survival, The Cut Out Girl, while on 30th, Robert Hutton will take questions on his recent novel Agent Jack, depicting the true story of MI5’s secret Nazi hunter.

Vicki Garson of Menorah said of the events: “Jewish Book Week itself originates from Manchester. In 1938, following a similar event in Glasgow the preceding year, Collette Hassan organised a highly successful book week locally. These events inspired the foundation of the London event known today, and it is under its auspices that Manchester now has this exciting programme.”

The Jewish History of Manchester

On 19th September, The Jewish History of Manchester walk will feature the remarkable stories of how immigrants from the pogroms of eastern Europe built what has become the UK’s second largest Jewish community. The guided city centre walk, starting at Piccadilly Gardens aims to give a new perspective on important historical sights including St Ann’s Church and why it features Hebrew writing and a city centre hotel where one of the most significant meetings in the development of the state of Israel took place in 1906. The walk concludes with a tour of Manchester Central Library where the Manchester Jewish Museum has a temporary home while being refurbished.

Manchester Literature Festival

Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) began in 2006 and was built on the legacy of its successful predecessor, Manchester Poetry Festival. MLF provides unique and imaginative opportunities for audiences to experience the very best in contemporary writing from across the world in venues across Manchester. From the 4th until 20th October it will give a platform to both established and emerging writers to promote Manchester as a hub for international cultural exchange, with opportunities for children and young people to engage in creative writing and reading activities.

On 5th October at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), acclaimed author, Jeanette Winterson will perform a one-woman show based around her new novel Frankissstein, exploring what it means to have agency over your own body. Later on 13th October at RNCM, Yorkshire poet and new Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey take the stage to discuss their process, influences and how the northern landscape has shaped their work.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) will see its 22nd annual take-over of the city between 26th September and 7th October. Founded in 1998, the event originated as a means of showing the rest of the nation that there was more to Manchester than meat pies and gravy!

Events take place in venues across the city, while a bespoke food and drink centre will be constructed at the festival hub in Cathedral Gardens. A diverse line-up of restaurants are set to showcase their fare, with tasting events from Manchester’s hottest new arrivals – from vegan takeovers by trendy curry house Bundobust to the inaugural northern launch of London fine dining institution, Bistrotheque Classique. Over the years, names as diverse as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and Michel Roux have been involved. 2019 sees demonstrations and banquets from Simon Shaw of El Gato Negro and Canto, Fazenda’s executive chef Fran Martinez and Michelin-starred Spanish cooking giant, Paco Perez.