Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Migrant Analysts. Finding a home

25 January 2019, 5:00 pm–7:30 pm

bettina von zwehl

with Ricardo Steiner, Shaul Bar-Haim, Bettina von Zwehl, Griselda Pollock and Judit Szekacs-Weisz

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Lesley Caldwell


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

The Psychoanalysis Unit and the Slade School of Fine continue their series on the theme of Home and Homelessness in this early evening event which takes up the difficulties faced by the generation of psychoanalysts who fled the threat of Nazi persecution and  the loss of home. These analysts had to set about establishing themselves in a different culture and language in a local group already divided in their approach to the foundational texts of Freud and the Europeans, a group who themselves were facing the personal and institutional difficulties of threatened war and its impact. on their  personal and working lives. European emigre analysts  significantly changed the direction of British psychoanalysis but they first had to face the immense loss of homeland and mother tongue and begin again in a new country. The panel comprises two psychoanalysts, a lecturer in psychoanalytic studies, an artist and an art historian.  
Professor Ricardo Steiner, editor of the volume on the Controversial Discussions and many other publications on this history will provide an overview, Dr Shaul Bar Heim from Essex University  will discuss Michael and Alice  Balint  and their  arrival from Hungary  first in Manchester and then in London, Professor Griselda Pollock of Leeds will
explore the relations between  two works by Bratislava-born Canadian artist Vera Frenkel, …from the Transit Bar (1992) and The Blue Train (2016), both of which 
transform narratives of forced migration into installations that share with psychoanalysis a space for the one who listens.

Bettina von Zwehl’s will introduce  a discussion of Anna Freud through Sessions, an art work made during her residency at the Freud museum in 2013- 2014. The psychoanalyst Judit Szekacs will discuss the theoretical and personal conflicts raised by her own emigration from Hungary in 1990 and her work  with the Imago East West group and the languages of exile. 


  • 5.00 Introduction. Lesley Caldwell, Psychoanalysis Unit UCL
  • 5.10 Ricardo Steiner  An  overview of a Vital period for psychoanalysis
  • 5.25 - 5.35 Questions and Comments
  • 5.35 - 5.50 Shaul Bar Heim . ‘The language we talk on the whole is ordinary English’: On the intimate rivalry of Winnicott and Balint in postwar London
  • 5.50 - 6.00 Questions and Comments
  • 6.00 - 6.15 Griselda Pollock  ‘Migrancy in Art as self - and allo-analysis: Vera Frenkel, video artist and child migrant’
  • 6.15 - 6.25 Questions and Comments
  • 6.25 - 6.40 Bettina von Zwehl  Sessions
  • 6.40 - 6.50 Questions and comments
  • 6.50 - 7.05 Judit Szecacs ‘The Language  of Migration’
  • 7.05 - 7.15 Questions and Comments
  • 7.15 - 7.30 General discussion
  • 7.30 Drinks

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information.

Image: The Sessions, #17;  2016 by Bettina von Zwehl 

About the Speakers

Prof Ricardo Steiner

Professor Ricardo Steiner is a retired academic and a psychoanalyst in private practice. He was awarded the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Paris Society awards and  the Sigourney Weaver prize for his work. His own childhood  has contributed to his particular interest in  emigration and the political social and personal issues involved in it.

Together with Pearl King he published the Freud Klein Controversial Discussions 1941-45 (1992). He is the author of many papers and books. His book a New Kind of Diaspora (2000) discusses  the forced emigration of the central European Jewish, but not only Jewish psychoanalysts, during the Nazi Era.

Shaul Bar-Haim

Lecturer at Department of Sociology, University of Essex

His research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of psychoanalysis in Britain. He currently completed a monograph entitled The Maternalists: Psychoanalysis, Motherhood and the British Welfare State, to be published by Penn University Press, and a co-edited volume entitled Wilding Analysis: From the Couch to Cultural and Political Life. Shaul is also the Book Reviews Editor of Psychoanalysis & History.

Bettina von Zwehl

Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich in 1971 and received an MA from the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, in 1999. She has built her international reputation on subtle and distinctive photographic portraits. Bettina von Zwehl lives and works in London.

As her practice has developed, she has continued to seek out different ways of exploring the form; from her early works, most often defined by the exacting conditions she imposed on her subjects, to her most recent projects which reprise the tradition of the painted portrait miniature and silhouette.

Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at a number of leading European and American museums and galleries including the New-York Historical Society Museum, Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna, 2016) Freud Museum (London, 2016), Fotogaleriet (Oslo, 2014) National Portrait Gallery (London, 2014), Centrum Kultury Zamek (Poznan, 2011), Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood (London, 2009), The Photographers’ Gallery (London 2005) and Lombard Freid gallery (New York, 2004).

Her photographs are held in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; Victoria and Albert Museum, Arts Council Collection, London; The National Portrait Gallery, London; the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; and Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco.

Griselda Pollock

Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art at University of Leeds

Trained as an historian and art historian with an initial focus on nineteenth century European modernity, she also works in cultural and film studies. Known for her longstanding work reshaping art history to acknowledge the creativity of women and artists from across all cultures, her major books include Old Mistresses: Women, Art & Ideology  (1981 and 2013) and Vision and Difference (1988 and 2003) and Differencing the Canon: Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art’s Histories (1999).

 She has most recently completed two monographs: Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory (Yale 2018) and The Case against “Van Gogh” (Thames & Hudson 2018). She also writes on contemporary art and creates exhibitions such as Art in the Time-Space of Memory and Migration; Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Bracha Ettinger in the Freud Museum (Freud Museum and Wild Pansy Press, 2013). She is currently writing a feminist analysis of Marilyn Monroe.

Judit Szekacs-Weisz

Judit Szekacs-Weisz  is a bilingual psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, a member of  the British Psychoanalytical Society and the Association of Independent Psychoanalysts, training analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society. Born and educated (mostly) in Budapest, she has absorbed the ideas and way of thinking of Ferenczi, and the Balints as an integral part of a “professional mother tongue”.

The experience of living and working in a totalitarian regime and the transformatory years sensitised her to the social and individual aspects of trauma , identity formation and strategies of survival. From 1990 she has lived and worked in London,UK ,where, with a small group of psychoanalysts,therapists and social scientists has founded Imago East-West and later the Multilingual Psychotherapy Centre (MLPC).

She was among the 10 Founding Member of the Sandor Ferenczi Society, Budapest.

Author of several articles and editor of Lost childhood and the Language of Exile (Freud Museum &Imago East West,2004), Ferenczi and His World, and Ferenczi for Our Time (2012,Karnac Books) and Sandor Ferenczi-Ernest Jones: Letters 1911-1933 (2013 Karnac Books).