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April 28, 2011 / Admin

Programme for June 6th 2011

To mark the 102nd annniversary of the birth of Sir Isaiah Berlin in Riga, the Isaiah Berlin Association is pleased to announce an afternoon of events at the Mazā Ģilde on Monday, June 6th.

The programme is as follows:

3pm: “My Name is Isaiah Berlin, and I Come from Riga”. An informal talk by Dr Henry Hardy, Isaiah Berlin’s editor and literary trustee. (In English, with Latvian translation.)

4pm: “History and Memory”. A round-table discussion of the part played by history and memory in the shaping of contemporary politics and public opinion, with particular reference to Latvia. Led by Nils Muižnieks. With: Valters Nollendorfs, Chairman of the Association of the Museum of Occupation; Irina Viņņika, Riga City Council, MP (LPP/LC); Vita Zelče, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Latvia; Dmitrijs Petrenko, journalist, PhD student (University of Latvia). (In Latvian, with English translation.)

6pm: “The Pleasures of Liberalism”. The third annual Isaiah Berlin Riga Memorial Lecture, given by Professor Ian Buruma. (In English, with Latvian translation.) Professor Buruma says of his subject:

I’d like like to answer critics of liberalism, in the past as well as today, who consider it dull, cowardly, bourgeois; the idea of liberalism as inherently unheroic; the lack of a spirit of self-sacrifice and higher idealism. My defence will be partly in the spirit of Berlin, pointing out the flaws in the self-sacrificing spirit; and partly in that of Brecht, happy is the country that has no need for heroes.

All events are free, but if you would like to attend, please register beforehand.

Our thanks to the sponsors of these events:

The Soros Foundation Latvia

The Representation of the European Commission in Latvia

The Netherlands Embassy in Riga

The British Embassy in Riga

Robert’s Books

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