CU’s Week of Jewish Culture: Italian Style

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder presents the Fourth Annual Week of Jewish Culture beginning February 27. This year’s series is presented in conjunction with the community collaborative: Movers: Art and Conscience ( and examines visual culture with a focus on Italian Jewish culture. CU’s Annual Week of Jewish Culture is an exciting series of visual arts projects, films and guest lectures that are dedicated to the exploration of more than 3500 years of Jewish culture including its current, most cutting-edge manifestations.

This year’s events feature artist-in-residence Jewlia Eisenberg and the world premier of the Ginzburg Geography Project. Maps, especially in the era of smart phones, play an increasingly significant role in our lives. They tell us where things are, how far they are and how to get from one point to another. Now imagine your life as a map, where you fell in love, where your heart was broken, where members of your family were born and where they died laid upon the life maps of thousands of others. This is the essence of the Ginzburg Geography.

Leone and Natalia GinzburgDescribed as radical cartography, this project is an online video project and art installation that traces the life and work of Leone and Natalia Ginzburg. Leone was an Italian editor, journalist and teacher, as well as an important anti-fascist political activist, co-founding the anti-fascist action party, Justice and Liberty. His wife, Natalia, was an award-winning Italian author whose work explores family relationships, and politics during and after the Fascist years and World War II, and philosophy. The Ginzburg Geography has as its foundation an interactive digital map of the family’s experience of love, family, resistance, escape, liberation and redemption in occupied Europe during WWII.

The interactive component invites others to work with Jewlia Eisenberg and map their own journeys of love, resistance, exile, liberation, life and death. These stories and maps will be woven into those of the Ginzburgs and be displayed in a final art installation on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM in the Black Box Theater of the CU ATLAS building.

Join us on Monday, February 27 at 7 PM for Mapping Love, Resistance, Exile and Liberation as Jewlia Eisenberg explains the lives of the Ginzburgs and invites you to be a part of the world premier of the Ginzburg Geography Project.

Jewlia Eisenberg will be serving as an artist-in-residence and will be available to work with groups who would be interested in mapping their life stories from February 27 through March 6. If you are interested in scheduling a group for this purpose, please contact Jamie Polliard at or via phone at 303.492.7143.

Charming Hostess with Jewlia Eisenberg Perform Thursday, March 8 at CU

Eisenberg is an artist, composer and founding performer for the band Charming Hostess She coined the term “Nerdy-Sexy-Commie-Girly” to describe her genre of music that spans an eclectic range of styles. Originally from New York City, she became an integral member of the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York Downtown music scenes in the 1990s.

Her music is both physical, using voices, vocal percussion, handclaps, heartbeats, sex-breath and silence and intellectual, exploring such topics as Bosnian genocide in Sarajevo Blues (2004) and the political/erotic nexus of Walter Benjamin and his Marxist muse in Trilectic (2002). Both of these works were released on John Zorn’s Radical Jewish Series on Tzadik.

She has been commissioned by the Sloan Foundation and the Goethe Institute SF and has received numerous awards, including: Trust for Mutual Understanding grant for collaboration with poets in ex-Yugoslavia, the Puffin Foundation grant for her Red Rosa project, a Katzenstein Fellow for collaboration with experimental architects and engineers as an Artist-In-Residence at MIT, a Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Grant for The Grim Arithmetic of Water, with aerial dance choreographer Jo Kreiter, a Goldman Fund Tikea Fellow for project-based radical film and music work with youth, and a Weisz Fellow for field research and recording among Jewish women in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. Additional information on Eisenberg and Charming Hostess can be found at

The week concludes with Charming Hostess in Concert on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 and 9PM. This performance is inspired by the life and work of the Italian anti-fascists Natalia and Leone Ginzburg. Exploring their journeys of love, resistance, exile, and liberation through the mediums of music and radical cartography, The Ginzburg Geography features new music composed and performed by Charming Hostess and developed from the writings of the Ginzburgs as well as from the Italian regional traditions of Turin, Abruzzo and Rome, places central to their lives. This performance will include music from Italian Jewish liturgy, the oldest and most remote in Europe, as well as Italian anti-fascist songs, and work chants to resistance anthems. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for general public or $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchase on-line at These concerts will be held in the intimate Black Box Theater of the ATLAS building on the CU Boulder campus. Space is limited so we encourage tickets to be secured early.

CU’s Week of Jewish Culture is an annual series produced and presented by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder and generously supported by the Program’s donors. “As we have every year, CU’s Program in Jewish Studies is proud to be highlighting the most cutting edge forms of Jewish culture with an examination of Italian Jewish culture, an area not widely known or discussed,” said David Shneer, director of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder. This year’s series is supported by the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Support of the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.

Events will take place in venues on the CU-Boulder campus as well as the CSU Fort Collins campus. Complete details for additional events from February 28 through March 7 can be found at and in additional articles next week in Boulder Jewish News. Many events have limited seating so RSVP’s are suggested. For additional questions, contact the Program in Jewish Studies at 303.492.7143 or via email at

The Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder provides an interdisciplinary curriculum for students who wish to learn more about Jewish culture, history, society, and religion. Under the guidance of a distinguished faculty, the program offers a wide range of courses on the Jewish experience in the global arena. For more information, visit

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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