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

In 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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Forum
Cultural Values of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia and Australia

THIS FORM HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

 

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

In 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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