On Saturday 17 September, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen is organizing the Arts Festival, a festive afternoon during which everyone can become acquainted with the diverse, dynamic, and innovative world of the arts and humanities. For this afternoon, the Harmonie Building and the surrounding squares will be transformed into an academic festival site with almost 60 different activities.
During the Arts Festival, visitors can take part in various workshops and scientific experiments. They can take a guided tour through the Jewish neighbourhood of Groningen, or through mediaeval Groningen. Visitors can also sit in on mini-lectures about engaging topics such as the Mongolian traveller and diplomat Rabban Sauma, who in the thirteenth century made a journey like Marco Polo, but in the opposite direction: from present-day Beijing to Rome and Paris. Tjalling Halbertsma, Professor of Asian Studies, will talk about who Sauma was, and how knowledge about his journey can help us to understand the world today.
During the Arts Festival, theatre group De Kale will perform Het Land van Belofte (The Land of Promise). In this historically inspired performance, visitors are challenged to put themselves in the shoes of a group of people having dinner some five hundred years ago. Just as in the Middle Ages, the play is performed during a meal, with the characters mingling among the guests. The performance is an initiative of Bart Ramakers, Professor of Historical Dutch Literature, and is part of a research project that aims to find out how today’s spectators experience this kind of historical performance.
In a round table discussion, the central topic will be the much-discussed mural (located on Broerstraat, between the buildings of the University Library and the University I Shop). On it, Aletta Jacobs, the first female graduate and PhD student in the Netherlands, is wearing a T-shirt with the text “Studying is for ugly girls”. Researchers from the Faculty of Arts will discuss the mural, drawing on their own expertise and responding to questions from the audience.
There will be plenty of opportunities to talk to researchers during the afternoon. There will also be live music, food trucks, and an outdoor bar. The festival will take place in and around the Harmonie Building at Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26 in Groningen: home to the Faculty of Arts. The festival starts at 1 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. Entrance is free.
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