Chantal Akerman en face à face: A festival launching My Mother Laughs

Chantal Akerman died by her own hand in 2015, leaving behind a vast body of work, including feature films, writing and installation art. 

Silver Press will be celebrating our publication of her final book, My Mother Laughs, with a festival in collaboration with A Nos Amours. 

My Mother Laughs is translated by Daniella Shreir, with an Introduction by Eileen Myles and Afterword by Frances Morgan. Published on 23 September and available to pre-order.

Tuesday 24 September, 6.30pm 

Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman: Screening and discussion, Regent Street Cinema

A screening and discussion event to celebrate a three publications about Chantal Akerman: a special edition of  MIRAJ journal, edited by Lucy Reynolds and Jean-Michel Mazière, Afterlives, edited by Marion Schmid and Emma Wilson and A Nos Amours’ The Chantal Akerman Retrospective Handbook, with a foreword by the celebrated theorist and film-maker Laura Mulvey. The Handbook gathers together the research and reference materials relating to A Nos Amours' 2013-15 complete retrospective of Akerman's work for cinema. The book includes texts from the likes of Ivone Margulies, Raymond Bellour and Richard Brody, together with accurate information on the films, translations and material otherwise unavailable elsewhere, making this the essential Akerman companion, available at A Nos Amours.

The event will include screening of Akerman’s self-portrait Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman. 

A collaboration between A Nos Amours, Legenda, MIRAJ and CREAMTickets available at the Regent Street Cinema box office.

Wednesday 25 September, 7pm

My Mother Laughs by Chantal Akerman: Women Translating Women, Pages of Cheshire Street  (fully booked)

My Mother Laughs is both the distillation of the themes the filmmaker Chantal Akerman pursued throughout her creative life, and a version of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that between a mother and a daughter.

In 2013, Akerman's mother was dying. She flew back from New York to care for her, and between dressing her, feeding her and putting her to bed, she wrote. She wrote about her childhood, the escape her mother made from Auschwitz but didn't talk about, the difficulty of loving her girlfriend, C., her fear of what she would do when her mother did die. Among these imperfectly perfect fragments of writing about her life, she placed stills from her films.

Join translator Daniella Shreir and Joanna Biggs (Silver Press) in conversation about translating Akerman’s voice, style and artistic practice of translating women's lives onto the screen and page.

Thursday 26 September, 6.30pm  

My Mother Laughs: Saute Ma Ville screening and panel discussion, Kings College London, Bush House Lecture Theatre 2

To celebrate the publication Chantal Akerman’s My Mother Laughs (Ma Mere Rit) in English translation by Daniella Shreir by Silver Press please join us for a screening of Saute Ma Ville (Akerman, 1968, 13 mins) followed by roundtable discussion with Frances Morgan (author of introduction, My Mother Laughs), Albertine Fox (Bristol), Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary), Ros Murray (King’s) and Sarah Shin (Silver Press), chaired by Clara Bradbury-Rance (King’s).

My Mother Laughs is both the distillation of the themes Akerman pursued throughout her creative life, and a version of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that between a mother and a daughter.

Register for free tickets here.

Saturday 28 September, 4pm 

Celebrating Chantal Akerman: Là-bas screening and readings from My Mother Laughs by Deborah Levy and Beatrice Gibson, Barbican Cinema 2

In 2013, Chantal Akerman's mother was dying. In between caring for her, she wrote. Akerman’s memoir My Mother Laughs is both the distillation of the themes the filmmaker pursued throughout her creative life, and a version of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that between a mother and a daughter. 

Published in English by Silver Press and translated by Daniella Shreir, its publication is marked with a screening of her 2006 film Là-bas, reflecting on her family and Jewish identity, and But elsewhere is always better, Vivian Ostrovsky’s short film remembering Akerman, programmed by Silver in collaboration with A Nos Amours. With readings from My Mother Laughs by Deborah Levy and Beatrice Gibson.

A Silver Press and A Nos Amours collaboration. Book tickets here.

Monday 30 September, 7pm 

My Mother Laughs by Chantal Akerman: Daniella Shreir and Nicole Flattery, Burley Fisher 

Chantal Akerman’s body of work explores dislocation, in-betweenness and fluidity. Her writing, like her life and work, resists easy categorisation. My Mother Laughs places stills from her films among imperfectly perfect fragments of writing to create a distillation of the themes Akerman pursued throughout her creative life, and a version of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that between a mother and a daughter.

In 2013, Akerman's mother was dying. She flew back from New York to care for her, and between dressing her, feeding her and putting her to bed, she wrote. She wrote about her childhood, the escape her mother made from Auschwitz but didn't talk about, the difficulty of loving her girlfriend, C., her fear of what she would do when her mother did die. 

To celebrate the publication of My Mother Laughs, Akerman’s last book before her death in 2015, by Silver Press, join translator Daniella Shreir and Nicole Flattery in conversation about Chantal Akerman’s Jewish identity and her place in relation to the queer arts of cinema and translation. 

Book tickets (£4).

Tuesday 24, Saturday 28 and Monday 30 September

Un jour Pina a demandé

The encounter between Pina Bausch and Chantal Akerman is a meeting of sensibilities. Editing side by side scenes from performances and rehearsals from the Tanztheater Wuppertal company while they were in Venice, Milan, and Avignon, with interviews of the dancers and of Pina herself, Akerman manages to evoke the artistic and imaginary universe of the choreographer.

The screening on 30 Sept, co-hosted by the feminist film journal Another Gaze, coincides with the UK release of Chantal Akerman’s book My Mother Laughs. Translator Daniella Shreir will read an excerpt from the book prior to the screening. Book tickets.

A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours;

Read More

The Skeleton’s Holiday

The skeleton was as happy as a madman whose straightjacket had been taken off. He felt liberated at being able to walk without flesh. The mosquitoes didn’t bite him anymore. He didn’t have to have his hair cut. He was neither hungry nor thirsty, hot nor cold. He was far from the lizard of love. For some time, a German, a professor of chemistry, had been eyeing him, thinking he might convert him into delicious ersatz: dynamite, strawberry jam, garnished sauerkraut. The skeleton knew how to give him the slip, by letting fall a young zeppelin bone, on which the professor pounced, reciting chemical hymns and covering the bone with hot kisses.

Read More

Poetry is Not A Luxury

The quality of light by which we scrutinise our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realised. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are – until the poem – nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.

Read More