Events blog

Letters from Europe

Abdelkader Benali reflects on his experiences and the challenges we face in light of recent events in Paris on Radio 4. Read our blog about Abdelkader's poetry evening at UCL and see our translations of extracts from his work My Mother's Voice.

I died in hell – (They called it Passchendaele)

On 4 November 2014, the Centre for Low Countries Studies and Flemish-Dutch cultural organisation Ons Erfdeel organised a literary commemoration of World War One in the Bloomsbury Theatre at UCL.

Bloomsbury theatre on 4 November

Combined with powerful video art from Flemish artist Klaas Verpoest, the evening presented new and refreshing perspectives on WW1 from across Europe, drawing on literary responses to war from both sides of the battle.

The poems echoed the voices of Russian newspaper sellers, German students with childlike zeal, Flemish farmer boys who did not speak French, French officers who did not speak Flemish. They spoke of Turkish victory and English euphoria. And, finally, of pan-European disillusionment. ... Read more for a blog by Stefanie van Gemert.

Centre for Low Countries Studies Launch: Professor Lisa Jardine on Sir Isaac Newton and Christiaan Huygens

Low Countries Studies banner

The Gustave Tuck lecture theatre was full on 17 March 2014 for the launch of UCL’s new Centre for Low Countries Studies, with the Centre’s spirit of fostering exchange and interaction in full flow.

Academics and students from London universities as well as Cambridge and Sheffield attended the event, together with representatives from the Dutch and Belgian embassies, Flanders House and the Dutch Language Union.

The opening lecture was given by Professor Lisa Jardine on the scientific and other connections between Sir Isaac Newton and Christiaan Huygens at the time of the so-called Glorious Revolution – which, as she observed, was neither very glorious nor very revolutionary ... Read more about our launch.

Language machines: An Evening with Abdelkader Benali

Abdelkader Benali

In the life and work of the Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali (1975) themes of travelling, migration and movement are closely connected. Benali has lived in Beirut, Rotterdam and Rome, and uses these and many other places as backdrops of his literary imaginings.  During his talk on Travelling and Translation on 31 January 2014, the author explains how travelling can set off ‘language machines’.

An accomplished long-distance runner, Benali is always on the move. ... Read more about An Evening with Abdelkader Benali.

Abdelkader Benali read two passages from his book My Mother's Voice (De stem van mijn moeder), which were translated by Professor Jane Fenoulhet and UCL Dutch Advanced Translation students. The text of these translations is available here.