Episode 1: Dido and Aeneas
For its first episode the Heartbreak podcast series explores Virgil’s Dido and Aeneas - characters who form a central metaphor in the exhibition.
Host Ruby Gilding is joined by leading experts including Professors Stephen Harrison (Corpus Christi, Oxford), Bryan White (Leeds University), Themelis Glynatsis (Greek National Opera) and Edith Hall (King’s College London).
In this episode we take a closer look at Layla and Majnun, which has been a popular theme in literature since its origins in Bedouin oral storytelling. Majnun was associated with a real life character who probably lived in the second half of the seventh century in the Arabian peninsula, but by the Persian poet Nizami’s time in the twelfth century there were many variations of the Majnun theme circulating.
Here to discuss Layla and Majnun are Dr Mammad Aidani, from Melbourne University, Dr Michael Chagnon curator at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Dr Elisabetta Raffo, director of the Bruschettini Foundation in Genoa, and Shorsh Saleh, a Kurdish artist who includes carpet making and Persian miniatures in his practice.
View the paintings discussed in this episode here.
This episode looks at maps, both as material objects and as tools that shape how we see the world we live in. It looks at how maps have been used to divide countries, and how across those same borders they can be used to bring communities together. It takes in the practical implications of map making, such as for refugees who are living in temporary camps, and the romanticised sense of wandering off the beaten path. It questions the authority of maps, whilst also realising that they can lend this authority to marginalised people. The episode is largely inspired by Lana Cmajcanin’s commissioned work of a ‘war table’ which features 70 layers of historic maps of the Mediterranean that can be moved around and in doing so, question the arbitrariness of borders.
Here to discuss maps is Dr Brian Tomaszewski, a geographic information systems and crisis management academic from RIT, Lucas LaRochelle a multidisciplinary designer and Dr Robert Herian a senior lecturer in law at the Open University.