Institute of World Culture

Theme for 2018
EXPLORING UNIVERSAL IDEAS
EXPRESSED IN CULTURAL ARTS

Program for 2018

Forum
Universal Symbolism in Storytelling

universal symbols

Saturday, January 20, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Miluka Rivera-Matlovsky


To initiate the study of the 2018 theme, Exploring Universal Ideas Expressed in Cultural Arts, the use of symbols represented in stories from around the world will be explored. Storytelling is an ancient means of teaching and shaping cultural values. Stories offer ideas about the potential of human beings and the moral aims of human societies. The symbols in a story are often universal in scope and meaning. Thus, understanding the universality in symbols is a way of understanding world culture.

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Film and Discussion
Gandhi's Gift: A Documentary Film

film festival selection logo
film festival logo

Saturday, February 3, 2018
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Moderator: Cynthia Lukas, co-writer and producer


This new, independently produced film depicts the last four years of Mohandas Gandhi’s life. Historical news footage and interviews with those who worked with him give a vivid and insightful portrait of Gandhi’s values and non-violent strategies. The film reveals his courage, his adaptive but principled decisions and his commitment to the Indian people. One of the producers, Cynthia Lukas, will introduce the film and answer questions. She and her co-producer, Kell Kearns, founded Heaven on Earth Creations to make and distribute films that promote non-violence and active support for human welfare. More information about their aims and the other films they have produced can be found on their website:http://heavenonearthcreations.org
Click here for Trailer for Gandhi's Gift

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Seminar
Spiritual Dimensions in Abstract Art:
The Early Pioneers and Hilma af Klint

Kandinsky painting, Circles Klint painting, Altar

Saturday, February 10, 2018
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Eva Moberg and Kirk Gradin


In this seminar, the fusion in the 1890s of a new current of cultural interest in mysticism and spirituality with the genesis of abstract painting will be explored. Pioneers such as Kandinsky, Kupka, Malevich and Mondrian, radically broke with even the most avant-garde developments of representational art in the attempt to depict deeper levels of reality, essences and hidden truths. Meanwhile, Hilma af Klint, a relatively unknown Swedish artist and mystic working tirelessly in seclusion, produced over 1200 paintings, drawings and extensive notebooks. By her own direction, this vast collection was hidden away until 20 years after her death. When they began to be publicly exhibited in the 1980s, they disclosed an astonishingly rich and captivating oeuvre that reveals Klint as one of the remarkable visionaries and forerunners of this path-breaking period.

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Forum
Hellenistic Civilization: Science and Mathematics
When Lightning Strikes


Saturday, March 3, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Russ Lewin


Mathematics reveals its secrets only to those who approach it with pure love, for its own beauty.
~ Archimedes

Several Greek thinkers made striking discoveries in mathematics, science, and technology that did a great deal to shape our understanding to this day. The originality and profundity of their discoveries is a testament to the ideal of human creativity.  In this Forum, several of these important discoveries will be explored, and the work of Archimedes, Apollonius, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and others will be explained.

The Antikythera Mechanism – a complex analog computer, built over 2000 years ago and used to predict astronomical positions, eclipses, and cycles for calendar and astrological purposes decades in advance, will be examined.  The device was retrievedin 1902 from an ancient shipwreck in the Mediterranean.  Upon viewing the relic for the first time, noted physicist Richard Feynman said, “it is so entirely different and strange that it is nearly impossible to understand … it is some kind of machine with gear trains.” It took scholars over 100 years to fully understand it, and to build a replica. The workings of the mechanism will be demonstrated.

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Seminar
Discovering the Culture of Iran

Saturday, March 24, 2018
2:00 – 5:00 pm
NEW: Concord House (originally planned for Concord Hall)
1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Marlin Roehl


I
n this seminar, the culture of Iran will be uncovered through the experience of a recent traveler. In architecture, music, poetry and politics, the culture reveals in the literal and metaphorical battlefield of time, a continuous philosophical, aesthetic and social effort to develop e pluribus unum out of its many divergent cultural values. Poetically described, this synthesis might be experienced as Breath forms currents of space; water molds earth.

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Film
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Saturday, April 7, 2018
7:00 – 9:30 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Moderator: Robert Moore


I
n the Italian city of Verona, the Montague and the Capulet families are perpetually feuding. When Romeo (Leonard Whiting), a handsome young Montague, disregards convention by attending a Capulet ball, he sees and falls in love with the beautiful Juliet (Olivia Hussey), a Capulet. She returns his affections and after a brief courtship, the two elope, creating even greater tension between their families. Italian director Franco Zeffirelli's film is considered one of the best screen versions of Shakespeare's classic love story, winning numerous awards, including Academy Awards for cinematography and costume design. It was especially popular with young people, in part because the actors who play Romeo and Juliet are teenagers themselves.

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Forum
The Common Good and "The Commons"

Saturday, May 19, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenters: Maurice Bisheff and Don Wilson


In this forum, the theme of "the common good and the commons" will be explored. In this day and age the "commons" seems to be up for sale, and the conception and value of the common good are almost lost. This issue has been lucidly addressed by both Robert Reich and Vandana Shiva. During the forum, the Institute will screen clips from Vandana Shiva's Institute of World Culture talk on "The Commons." and clips of Robert Reich's comments about his 2018 book, "The Common Good". Discussion of the concepts and theme of the common good will follow.

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Seminar
Honoring World Refugee Day



Saturday, June 16, 2018
2:00 – 5:30 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara


The Institute of World Culture will honor World Refugee Day along with the United Nations Association–USA, Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties group, and the Santa Barbara Peace Corps Association.  Cambodian refugee Chanden Chance will share her story of immigrating to the United States with her parents to escape the Khmer Rouge.  Former Peace Corps Volunteer and filmmaker Karin Muller will talk about her experience living and filming in a Sudanese refugee camp and show clips from her documentary. We will then break into small discussion circles to consider how to respond to refugees and displaced persons in our changing global community.

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Founding Day Address
Creative Diplomacy: The Skills of Ralph Bunche



Saturday, June 30, 2018
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Carolyn Dorrance


The brilliant career of this innovative diplomat during the early years of the United Nations’ peace making will be the focus of this talk. Well educated, well-traveled and fully committed to public service, Ralph Bunche negotiated peace agreements for some of the most intense conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. His signature achievement was persuading in 1948, Egypt and several Arab states to sign a peace treaty with the new state of Israel. For this he received the Nobel Peace Prize. As an academic with a PhD from Harvard University, he researched and published multiple books and articles on race relations. He actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement and was present in Washington at the I have a Dream speech of Martin Luther King Jr.
While fearless in diplomatic and political activities, Ralph Bunche was known as a person of great warmth and empathy for peoples near and far. His global vision and diplomatic skills offer important lessons for mitigating the strife in contemporary controversies.

Following the talk, there will be a reception with birthday cake to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Institute’s founding.

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Film Series
IWC 2018 Summer Film Series

Join us each Saturday evening in July for a film and discussion.

NOTE: The films are normally from 7-9 pm. The film on July 14
is an exception. The film will begin at 4 pm and end at 9:30 pm. See below
for details. There will be a break between 6-7 pm. See below for more details.


Location: Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Moderator: Robert Moore


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SATURDAY, JULY 7, 7:00–9:00 PM

COPYING BEETHOVEN
Directed by Agniezka Holland. Starring Ed Harris and Diane Kruger.

A young and aspiring female composer, Anna Holtz, goes to work for Beethoven transcribing the music of the last years of his life. This music is so advanced that she has difficulty understanding it, and it is understanding that abstract music that is the central, elevating element to this film. (2007)

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 4:00–9:30 PM

HAMLET
Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, and a host of well-know actors in supporting roles.

A 4 hour and 20 minute, unabridged version of Shakespeare’s play.  The screening of Hamlet is a preparation for Professor Mark Rose’s discussion of the play at the Institute of World Culture scheduled for September 8, 2018. (1996)

IMPORTANT: There will be an hour break between 6 and 7pm. You may bring a sack lunch and join others in Concord House for a discussion during the break. Please do not bring food that will need to be heated. Beverages will be provided.

SATURDAY, JULY 21, 7:00–9:00 PM

TRAVELLERS AND MAGICIANS
Directed by Khyentse Norbu. Starring Tshewang Dendup and a host of the people of Bhutan. Filmed entirely in Bhutan.

This film depicts traditional Bhutanese folklore and storytelling techniques. Dondup, a young government official, hitchhikes out of his village to obtain a visa to travel to the USA.  He meets and travels with a Buddhist monk, and eventually meets a beautiful village girl. To pass the time, the monk tells a story that in some ways mirrors Dondup’s ambitions. The film has beauty, charm, wit and wisdom. (2003)

SATURDAY, JULY 28, 7:00–9:00 PM

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY
Directed by Jamie Uys. Starring Nixau, Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Weyers. A very popular South African comedy film, set in Botswana.

Xi, of the San tribe of the Kalahari Desert, is charged with throwing a coke bottle off the edge of the World because of the conflict it has caused in his village. On the way he is arrested. Fortunately he is rescued and employed by a biologist who is analyzing manure samples. Meanwhile a beautiful teacher is taken hostage by a band of guerrillas fleeing from a failed coup attempt. All these forces meet to be resolved through clever and comic interactions. You have to see the movie to understand all this! (1980)

 


Forum
Hamlet and Renaissance Chivalry

Hamlet sword fight

Saturday, September 8, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Professor Mark Rose


Shakespeare’s Hamlet begins with a description of chivalric single combat – the duel between King Hamlet and King Fortinbras – and concludes with the poisoned duel between Prince Hamlet and Laertes. The sixteenth century in England saw a revival of medieval chivalric motifs and practices, most notably in the elaborate Accession Day Tilts held each November to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne In this session we will consider how Hamlet can be understood in relation to the Renaissance chivalric themes that helped to shape the period’s sensibility.  Recommended:  If you have a chance to read, see a presentation. or watch a film of the play before the forum, it will enhance your experience. 

Suggested donation $2 per person.

Click here for biographical information on the presenter

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Film and Discussion
Gandhi's Awakening



Saturday, September 29, 2018
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara


Gandhi's Awakening documents the fascinating story of Gandhi’s 21 early years in South Africa, where the young, naive lawyer experienced harsh prejudice and hatred, including being thrown off a train, chased by a mob and beaten with a lead pipe. It depicts him serving the British as an ambulance stretcher carrier in the “Zulu Rebellion” of 1906, when he came face-to-face with the brutality of war and underwent a spiritual epiphany that set the purpose for his entire life.  

Gandhi's Awakening was filmed on location in India, South Africa and UK and features rare interviews with Gandhi experts who knew him, such as Dr. Rajmohan Gandhi (grandson, Gandhi scholar), Ela Gandhi (granddaughter, colleague of Nelson Mandela) and Narayan Desai (son of Gandhi’s secretary, grew up in his ashram). This film is a recent creation of Cynthia Lukas and Kell Kearns, founders of Heaven on Earth Creations. More information about their aims and the other films they have produced can be found on their website:http://heavenonearthcreations.org

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Forum
Ladders of Enlightenment: Interpreting Sufi Stories



Saturday, October 13, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 pm
1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Fariba Enteshari

"Peleh, Peleh taa Molaaghateh Khoda"
"Step by step to meet God within." ~ Rumi

Great Sufi masters like Rumi hide the gems of the search for the truth within the images of storytelling. Together, the stories build the alphabets of understanding the language of our inner life and journey of spirit on the earth. Stories are like rungs that help us to climb the ladder of enlightenment. The devotional path of Sufis is also supported by Sama (dance), Zikhar (mantra), along with music.  Fariba Enteshari explores concepts and layers within the meaning of Rumi's poetry that help to reflect, examine and express the inner life with the help of the great master Sufi poet Rumi in his spiritual quest so beautifully described in his poetry.

Fariba Enteshari, EdD is an international educator, specializiing in Rumi. She has devoted her life to the transformational teachings of Rumi through his poetry and epic masterpiece, Mathnawi, and its seven stages of enlightenment. Through her years of teaching Rumi to a wide variety of students, she has researched the beneficial and healing effects of Rumi's poetry on the lives of her students. Born in Iran, she is fluent in Rumi's native language and culture, so that she can share with us the original melody and cadences of his language. Her diverse background will help the participants draw from many cultural and religious traditions while developing their own personal voice for growth.

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Forum
Origami as a Global Art Form




Saturday, October 20, 2018
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Meher McArthur


Origami
, or Japanese paper folding, began centuries ago in Japan, probably in the ceremonial world of native Japanese purification rituals and the elegant world of the Imperial court. Over the centuries, as paper became more widely available, much of the population folded birds, animals and boxes. A European tradition of paper folding has also existed for a few hundred years and by the 19th century was well established, particularly in the German kindergarten classrooms. In both regions, the pastime was not assigned artistic or financial value.

This perception began to change in the middle of the 20th century, when Akira Yoshizawa became the first ever professional origami artist, developed new folding techniques, designed new models and provided clear folding instructions that were understandable by people with no knowledge of Japanese. His work inspired paper folders all around the world to fold paper into a rich variety of forms. Today, origami is a sophisticated international artistic genre practiced by artists from many backgrounds. Their work has evolved beyond simple, natural forms to push boundaries in materials, subject matter and scale. Contemporary origami art now includes highly complex representational sculptures, abstract constructions, conceptual works and installations all worthy of museum exhibition and collection and deeper exploration.

This slide lecture will trace the history and evolution of this art form and explore some of the outstanding works of origami art being created all over the world today.

Biography
Meher McArthur is an independent Asian art curator, author and educator. She worked for nine years as Curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum, where she curated over 15 exhibitions. Recently, she has curated several exhibitions for Southern California galleries and for the traveling exhibition company International Arts & Artists (IA&A), including Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (2012-2017), Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami (2015-2019) and Nature, Tradition and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer (2016-2019). She is currently Creative Director for the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena and Curator of the garden’s En Gallery and is the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Curator of Academic Programs and Collections at Scripps College, Claremont.
She writes regularly about Asian art and Southern California artists for KCET Artbound, Buddhist art and artists for Buddhistdoor.net and occasionally for Artillery Magazine and Orientations magazine. Her major publications include Gods and Goblins: Folk Paintings from Otsu (Pacific Asia Museum, 1999), Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols (Thames & Hudson, 2002) and The Arts of Asia: Materials, Techniques, Styles (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Confucius: A Throneless King (Pegasus Books, 2011), Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (IA&A, 2012) and New Expressions in Origami Art (Tuttle, 2017). Her children’s books are Michael and the Magical Museum (Pacific Asia Museum, 2003) and An ABC of What Art Can Be (The Getty Museum, 2010).

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Seminar

Pythagoras and the Arts of Antiquity
and the European Renaissance

Pythagoras bust Pantheon interior

Saturday, November 17, 2018
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord Hall, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Presenter: Kirk B. Gradin


Pythagoras has long been recognized as one of the most brilliant and influential sages of ancient Greece, despite the fact that he wrote nothing down and few of his contemporaries wrote in detail about him. This seminar will discuss what is currently known about Pythagoras and his teaching and how recent scholarship has revealed that his impact was even broader and deeper than previously understood. Not only can Pythagorean ideas be traced in the developments of Western mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, religion, medicine and music, but also in the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture. What are the ideas attributed to him and in what way are they found etched out in the underlying concepts, symbolic geometries and proportional relationships of the finest artworks of Classical and Renaissance culture?

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