Conversaciones en Melbourne are a series of audio interviews with distinguished figures in the field of Hispanics Culture
Víctor del Árbol
Víctor del Árbol holds a degree in History from the University of Barcelona. He worked as a civil servant (moss d'escuadra) from 1992 until 2011. He was the runner-up for the VIII Fernando Lara Award with El abismo de los sueños (2003), and won the Tiflos de Novela Award with El peso de los muertos (2006). La tristeza del samurai (Alrevés, 2011; The Sadness of the Samurai, Henry Holt, 2012) was translated into 10 languages and received Le Prix du Polar Européen 2012 and was runner-up of the Prix Polar SNCF 2013 in France. This was followed by Respirar por la herida (Alrevés 2013; The Heart Tastes Bitter, Scribe, 2016), and Un millón de gotas (2014) winner of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2015 and best foreign noir novel (Magazine Lire). His latest novel, La víspera de casi todo (The Eve of Almost Everything), was awarded the 2016 Nadal Prize.
Luisa Morales is a harpsichordist and lecturer who specialises in Spanish Keyboard Music. She is founder and director of FIMTE, the International Festival of Spanish Keyboard Music. She has given concerts and lectures in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Central and South America. Her publications include the books (ed.) New Perspectives on the Keyboard works of Antonio Soler (2016), Keyboard Music in the Female Monasteries and Convents of Spain, Portugal and the Americas (2011), Domenico Scarlatti in Spain (2009), Claves y pianos españoles: interpretación y repertorio (2003). She has been contributor to the New Grove's dictionary of Musical Instruments (Oxford University Press), the New Haydn Encyclopedia (Cambridge University Press) and has been reviewer of the series Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music (Oxford University Press). She is an Australian Postgraduate Research (APA) and IPRS scholarship recipient at The University of Melbourne. At the core of her research is Domenico Scarlatti's Spanish style.
Félix J. Palma
Félix J. Palma (Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, 1968) has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. He has earned more than one hundred awards for his short-story writing. His so-called Victorian trilogy, which has been published in more than 30 countries, began with the prize-winning The Map of Time (2008) and was followed by The Map of the Sky (2012) and The Map of Chaos (2014). The trilogy features H.G. Wells as one of the main characters, and cameo appearances from a host of 19th Century writers and "notables", including Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, the Elephant Man and Jack the Ripper. More details can be found on his website.
Félix is in Australia as a guest of the 2016 Adelaide Festival Writers' Week and the 2016 Perth Writers Festival, thanks to a grant from Acción Cultural Española.
Luis Lorente (Madrid, 1961) is a novelist, poet and essayist with an extensive and prolific career as a theatre producer and scriptwriter. He is the author, amongst many others, of Memoria y Olvido, and Tres hombres y un destino, which became a huge popular success in Spain when it was played by iconic actors José Luis López Vázquez, Manuel Alexandre and Agustín González. He wrote 48 horas, a TV mini-series on the kidnapping and killing of Miguel Ángel Blanco by ETA. With dancer Paloma Gómez, he will be bringing Rotas, a performance on gender violence, to Australia. Luis Lorente is one of the most authoritative voices of contemporary Spanish stage industries.
Bernardo Atxaga (real name Jose Irazu), was born in 1951 in Asteasu, Guipúzcoa, in the Basque Country. He received a diploma in economics from the University of Bilbao, and studied philosophy at the University of Barcelona. He has worked as an economist, a bookseller, a professor of the Basque language, a publisher, and a radio scriptwriter. Atxaga writes in the Basque language, Euskera, and translates his work into Spanish as well.
He has written plays, song lyrics, novels and short stories, as well as articles and opinion pieces for the media. His work has been translated into thirty two languages and his books in English include the short story collection Obabakoak and the novels The Lone Wolf, The Accordionist's Son and Seven Houses in France. His work has won prizes and critical acclaim in Spain and abroad.
Lorenzo Manuel Silva Amador
Lorenzo Manuel Silva Amador (born on 7 June 1966 in Carabanchel, Madrid) is a Spanish award-winning writer. After earning a law degree at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, he worked as a lawyer from 1992 to 2002. Silva has written stories, articles and literary essays, but he is recognised primarily for his novels. One such novel, El alquimista impaciente, won the Nadal Prize in 2000, and filmed by the director Patricia Ferrera, premiering in 2002. This is the second novel in which two of his best known characters, the Guardia Civil agents Sergeant Bevilacqua and Corporal Chamorro, make an appearance. Another of his novels, La flaqueza del bolchevique, was the runner-up for the prize in 1997, and has been adapted into a movie by Manuel Martín Cuenca.
In 2001, Silva conducted an interactive experiment of novel-writing through the website of Círculo de Lectores, in which he proposed for each chapter three possible endings that were put to popular vote. The experiment was a success, and the resulting novel, La isla del fin de la suerte, was published in traditional format. In October 2012, he was awarded the Premio Planeta de Novela for La Marca del meridiano. As of 2013, his novel La flaqueza del bolchvique has been translated into English with the title The Faint-Hearted Bolshevik.
Associate Professor Alberto Egea Fernández-Montesinos
Universidad Pablo Olavide
Dr Alberto Egea Fernández-Montesinos is an associate professor at Universidad Pablo Olavide, in Seville, Spain, and the director of the Cultural Section at Centro de Estudios Andaluces, in Spain. He has written and published extensively on British and American Travellers from the 18th-century to the current day, on Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture, and on Bilingual Education. Alberto Egea received his PhD in Literature from Emory University, USA, and holds two master´s degrees from the University of Miami and from Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Spain. His Bachelor of Arts is from the University of Granada, Spain.
An American-Argentine musician
Born of an Argentine mother in Fairbanks, Alaska, musician Kevin Johansen has spent his life shuttling between two hemispheric extremes. Refusing to buy exclusively into the language or typical styles of either of the two immigrant countries he has called home, Johansen is a linguistic and stylistic renegade, a self-proclaimed "de-genre-ate," whose work deconstructs the cultural boundaries so carefully imagined and projected by each society. With his band The Nada, Johansen collapses the dialectical "Them vs. Us" division separating Latino music and Anglo music, and creates an ambiguous intercultural dialogue space full of possibility and promise. The conscientious bilingualism and stylistic nomadism of Johansen's music engenders a new space where all the culturally curious are welcome, and where the question of identity is rendered obsolete. His work is an appellation and an invitation to enajenaos, anyone who doesn't feel at home in just one culture but is comfortable in a playfully ambiguous world - the Nada - where labels don't matter.
Alejandro Alvarado has been working in both documentary filmmaking and educational television over the last decade. In 2001, he was involved as Director in the cultural, popular science and educational television program Tesis, broadcast by Canal Sur 2 Andalucía. With over 1,000 episodes, 42,000 minutes of cultural content and 2,500 interviews with scientists, scholars and artists, Tesis became one of the most remarkable and acknowledged references in spreading knowledge in the Spanish TV panorama.
Throughout this period, Alvarado in tamdem with Concha Barquero, have co-directed and produced independent works such as: Mi hermana (2006), an immersion in a child's world from a mysterious and magical point of view which was especially produced for the exhibition Correspondencias: Erice-Kiarostami in CCCB (Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona); El reverso de la realidad (2007), a feature film about a radio program produced and hosted by psychiatric patients, which was recognised with the Audience Award in Málaga Spanish Cinema Festival (2007) and First Prize in the Disability and Cinema International Festival in Collado Villalba, Madrid (2008); and documentary series, such as Generación del 27 (2008), ten episodes about the most influential group of poets in Spanish Literature of the 20th Century, produced for Film for the Humanities and Sciences, USA.
Their last short films were: Tanta gente sola (2011), a collage between fiction and reality based on Spanish writer Juan Bonilla's same title book, and La sombra de Rocío (2011), a tribute to the heterodox and censored Spanish filmmaker Fernando Ruiz Vergara.
Lourdes Ortiz Sánchez
Lourdes Ortiz Sánchez (Madrid, 1943) is a writer, academic, social commentator and translator. She spent many years as the Chair of Theory and Art History in the Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático in Madrid, and was Director from 1991-93.
Ortiz's novels and short stories cover a range of genres and narrative styles. These include possibly Spain's earliest example of crime fiction with a female detective (Picadura mortal); a number of historical novels which are clearly also a commentary on contemporary times (eg Urraca, La liberta, Las manos de Velázquez); and works which deal with such existential topics as illegal organ donation (La fuente de la vida), the life of immigrants and social outcasts (eg Fátima de los naufrágios), notions of identity and isolation (eg Antes de la batalla). Her essays cover both the work of other significant authors (eg Larra: escritos politicos, Conocer Rimbaud y su obra), critical theory (Comunicación crítica) and more esoteric (occasionally erotic) topics as Camas: un ensayo irreverente and El sueño de la pasión.
She has participated in various radio and television programmes, including "La Mirada Crítica" on Tele 5, as well as conferences and round table discussions dealing with topics including politics, current social issues, the role and contribution of women, and literature. She also regularly contributes opinion pieces on current issues to journals and daily newspapers (El Mundo, El País).
Since making her film debut in Inmanol Uribe's award-winning Dias contados, Mariola has been a mainstay of Spanish cinema. She has worked with celebrated film director Pedro almodovar on Live Flesh, Broken Embraces and Talk to Her, and appeared in several movies by director Miguel albadalejo, Alongside her film career, Mariola has also been a regular on Spanish TV shows including A las Once en Casa and Mis Adorables Vecinos.
Irene del Pilar Gómez
Irene del Pilar is an actress, dancer, screenplay writer, illustrator and assistant news producer. Has studied Acting at the Theatre Art School of Angel Gutierrez (Madrid, Spain). Irene has been involved in many theatrical productions in Italy and Spain, for instance, the leading actress with the director Antonio Tarallo in Alla fine dell Terzo Atto. She has been working as well in several programs in the Spanish and Australian television.