IN PICTURES: January at the Goethe!

To say the year started pretty busy around here was a slight understatement! We like to start the year with a bang and we certainly did just that! Ready to find out what happened? Read on people, read on!



January started with a new exhibition and a series of events focusing on Israeli-German fashion: #CanYouFashionIt. This series of events focused on Berlin as the fashion capital of the world in the 1920s and 1930s to the Nazi regime bringing it to an abrupt end with Jewish fashion designers forced to sell their businesses or have them expropriated by the State. Some were fortunate enough to leave Germany and start again in other countries, others who were unable to escape met the same fate as missions of other European Jews. From 2,400 Jewish clothing firms only a few remained by 1943, Berlin’s creative fashion industry was destroyed and the effects still linger on more than 70 years later as the industry still searches for new talent to resume Berlin’s place in the fashion world.

On January 9, 2017, the exhibition opened and explored the powerful history of German fashion from its international impact to its destruction by the Nazi regime. It honored the legacy of the Jewish Germans who contributed to its rise and commemorated the great cultural and economic loss of its demise. It was accompanied by a panel discussion with panelists Uwe Westphal, author of Ehrenfried and Cohn. Goodbye Berlin: The Last Fashion Show; Dina Gold, eyewitness and author of Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin; eyewitness Christopher Charlton, descendent of iconic Jewish department store S. Adam in Berlin; Sarah Phillips Collins, designer, Associate Chair of Fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design and was moderated by Sally N. Levine, Executive Director, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.

A memorial dress was also revealed during this event designed by Cynthanie Sumpter, Fashion Designer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art and Fashion at Clark Atlanta University and her students in memory of the Jewish owners and employees of the fashion industry who were persecuted and killed during World War II. The dress featured a mid-forties style and included the names of fashion companies located in Berlin that disappeared during World War II on strips of paper woven into fabric.

The next event in this series took place on January 12 with a design focused panel: Creativity Vs Commerce: What shapes the face of fashion? This panel discussion looked at the challenges of creativity and of future fashion with companies looking to combine innovation and tradition in their collections and including new technology and smart fabrics. Panelists included Daniela Breitbart from Factwell LLC, Atlanta fashion designer Megan Huntz, Cynthanie Sumpter of Clark Atlanta University, Soeren Reimers, SCAD and Clint Zeagler, Georgia Tech University and was moderated by author Uwe Westphal.

The third panel discussion took place on January 19 and focused on wearable technology and how it can help us to lead better lives. Leading companies that are game changers in smart fabrics and wearable technology came together to talk about the future of personalized wellness. As we’re taking more control of our own health and relying on personalized data to maximize our lifestyles and medical results, the fashion industry is becoming increasingly more involved in this field. Panelists for this event included, Dr. Sundaresan Jayaraman, Kolon Professor in the Scheller College of Business and the School of materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mac Cheek, a 30-year veteran of the textile and apparel industry who began his career with Burlington Industries, Andrea Palmer, an engineer turned-entrepreneur, autism health advocate, and exponential tech geek, Clint Zeagler, Research Scientist II at Georgia Institute of Technology and was moderated by Jennifer Mallory, Partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.


This project also included a visit from The Weber School, a Jewish school in Sandy Springs who came to take a look at the exhibition and school and university visits by author Uwe Westphal who visited Clark Atlanta University, SCAD and the Atlanta International School to speak to students about his book and the topic in general.


A Note on Opera: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail.”

Our monthly opera lecture took place in January with students taking a look at Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail. This comic 1782 work, Mozart integrated characteristics of 18th-century opera with the German art form of “Singspiel” [a theatrical piece with singing]. Mozart’s goal was to create “German opera,” distinct from its Italian and French counterparts. And by “German opera,” it meant more than just having the text in the German language. This lecture will explained what is meant by “German opera,” then analyze how “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” fits into the genre. In addition, it will looked at how this work is emblematic of late 18th-century Imperial Vienna. The next lecture takes place in March when students will take a look at “Schiller and Italian Opera: Rossini’s ‘Guillaume Tell’, Donizetti’s ‘Maria Stuarda’, and Verdi’s ‘Don Carlos’.” More details and how to register can be found by clicking here.

European Science Café: Germany’s Transition to Renewable Energy

Next up in January we hosted the latest European Science Café meeting which focused on Germany’s Transition to Renewable Energy. Germany started this transition in 2010 with the goal of moving the country to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply relying heavily on wind, photovoltaics, and biomass energy. Guests listened to Dr. Annegret Groebel, Head of Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications (Electrical Grid) and Post for Germany, and Mr. Mirko Schüppel from The Siemens Corporation, discuss the objectives of the Energiewende program, what has already been accomplished and the work that lies ahead.

Goethe Atlanta Book Club

And, last but by no means least, the Goethe Atlanta book club met in January and discussed “Spies” by Marcel Beyer, winner of the Goerg Büchner Prize. The theme of the book club for 2017 is “Post Reunification Literature.” All books discussed throughout the year have been published since 1990 and their authors have won major awards. The book club will meet again at the end of February, for more information on this meeting and how to join, click here. 

So that was January at the Goethe! Busy, busy, busy! We hope you made it to some of the events – if not, we hope to see you at the Goethe Atlanta soon!


Don’t forget, you can keep up with everything that’s going on here at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta by following us on social media:

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Posted on February 14, 2017, in What's Happened? and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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