Los Angeles SEE Festival is honored to be sponsored and situated at the prestigious Goethe Institut in Los Angeles. 2012 brings the Institute a new director with a unique world background. We recently caught up with Mr. Fareed Majari to hear more about his vision.
SEE FF: As the new director of the Goethe Institute, what are your aspirations for the coming year?
FM: Due to its wonderful staff the Goethe Institute in Los Angeles has been very successful and I would be ill-advised not to stay the course. I would like to connect our program here in Southern California with our institute’s activities elsewhere in the world. We are currently experiencing both encouraging and daunting changes in the Arab world. In our series “Narrating the Arab Spring” we will present literature and films from this part of the world.
SEE FF: With your unique world background – Moscow, Ramallah, Beirut among others – what can you share about the challenges, distinctions and similarities between these zones and our present-day situation.
FM: Coming from Beirut I find striking similarities. The Mediterranean landscape, the sea, the easy-going life-style as well as the sophisticated audience at our events. But of course, there are significant differences: In the Middle East our program has developmental traits, i.e., we try to help build up a cultural infrastructure. We train curators or cultural managers and the like. Here, this part of our work is obsolete. We have to pique the interest of a sophisticated audience and defend our position in a city teeming with top quality cultural events. That’s clearly a challenge.
SEE FF: As the sponsor of SEE festival what are you most excited about and interested in?
FM: South-Eastern Europe is a region I am very interested in. In my work I have dealt with the question of how much culture can contribute to conflict resolution. I still have no answer to that but I am interested in your festival from that angle.
We look forward to the developments and connections Mr. Majari will be making as connecting is truly a theme and constant in our event as well. Please join us Thursday May 3 through Monday May 7, 2012. There’s a whole lot to SEE!