Charlotte Salomon, Life? or Theatre? and the Victory over Fear

31 October 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

This symposium marks the centenary of both Charlotte Salomon’s birth as well as the foundation of the Dutch Psychoanalytical Association, less than a month apart, in 1917. The programme starts with a visit to the Charlotte Salomon exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum, followed by a series of lectures at the Compagnietheater.

Charlotte Salomon called her Life? or Theatre? a ‘totally wild project’ to ward off mental disintegration. This was her victory over fear that, until this day, for many people, remains a source of inspiration. For the first time ever, the entire work will be on display. The curator of the exhibition, Mirjam Knotter, will give an introduction.

The afternoon program takes place at the nearby Compagnietheater, with a series of lectures. Damiaan Denys is a psychiatrist and philosopher, head of the psychiatric department of the university hospital AMC, his latest book is Angstparadox (Paradox of Fear, 2016). Georgi Verbeeck is head of the history department at Maastricht University, Darcy Buerkle is a writer and historian, her last book is Nothing Happened: Charlotte Salomon and an Archive of Suicide (2013). Désanne van Brederode is a philosopher and novelist. Musical intermezzos are provided by Helena Rasker (alto) and Simon Lepper (piano).

The symposium will be given in Dutch and English

Dagvoorzitter is Judith Belinfante, vicevoorzitter bestuur Stichting Breukvlakken.

Hosting the entire program is Judith Belinfante, vice president of the Breukvlakken Foundation and former director of the Jewish Historical Museum.

This symposium is a co-production of the Breukvlakken Foundation, the Jewish Cultural Quarter and the Menasseh ben Israel Institute.

  • Jewish Historical Museum

10:00 - Coffee and tea at the Museumcafé
10:30 - Introduction at the exhibition

Mirjam Knotter

11:00 - Exhibition, incl. film fragments, open to the public
12:30 - Optional: Lunch at the Museumcafé

Afternoon Programme Compagnietheater

13:30 - Musical introduction by Helena Rasker and Simon Lepper: Franz Schubert, Der Tod und das Mädchen
13:40 - Over de moed angstig te zijn by Damiaan Denys
14:10 - Musical intermezzo: Franz Schubert, 'Wohin?' from Die schöne Müllerin
14:15 - De weg naar de catastrofe. Macht en cultuur in de moderne Duitse geschiedenis by Georgi Verbeeck
14:45 - Q&A
14:55 - Musical intermezzo: C. W. Gluck, "Che farò senza Euridice?" from Orfeo ed Euridice
15:05 - Tea break

1917- 1943 Charlotte Salomon, Artist in a frightening world

15:35 - Musical intermezzo: J. S. Bach, "Bist du bei mir"
15:45 - On Protecting Charlotte Salomon by Darcy Buerkle
16:15 - To the inner Hades - and back by Désanne van Brederode
16:45 - Q&A
16:55 - Musical conclusion: Beethoven, "Alle Menschen werden Brüder" from Symphony No. 9
17:05 - Drinks until 18:00


€35,00 for the entire program, including drinks, excluding lunch
€27,50 for the entire program, including drinks, excluding lunch (discount with Museumkaart)

Optional: €7,50 for lunch (two sandwiches, juice and fruit)

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