Monthly Archives: April 2011

Swedish author and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri visited Washington

 Jonas Hassen Khemiri signs his new novel Jonas Hassen Khemiri signs his new novel “Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger” at House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

SWEDISH BESTSELLING author and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri (www.khemiri.se) has been hailed as a words craftsman and unique storyteller, known for his signature prose, irony and dark humor.

ON APRIL 12, he visited the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. and together with Kevin Barr, Director of Studies at Georgetown Day School, he discussed his second novel, “Montocore: The Silence of the Tiger.” The novel was recently published in English and was his English language literary debut. His play “Invasion!” premiered Off Broadway in New York on February 21, 2011.

KHEMIRI – born to a Swedish mother and Tunisian father – talked about the life of immigrants in Sweden, and the relationship between native-born Swedes and the immigrants to the country. He stated, “we will have to redefine the Swedish national identity.”

THE AUTHOR’S work has been translated to English by Rachel Wilson-Boyles.

JONAS Hassen Khemiri resides in both Stockholm and Berlin, but is currently spending time at Ledig House International Writers’ Residency Program in the Hudson River Valley town of Omni, New York, located two and a half hours from New York City. In 2003 his first novel, “One Eye Red,” became the bestselling paperback of any category in Sweden 2004.

 Jonas Hassen Khemiri's new novel Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s new novel “Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger.”

Jonas Hassen Khemiri

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Dr. Kim-Eric Williams will speak about ‘The Role of Religion in the New Sweden Colony’ at a SACU luncheon

DR. KIM-ERIC WILLIAMS, who is lecturer at the Swedish Program at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak at a SACU luncheon in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 28. The title of the program is “The Role of Religion in the New Sweden Colony.”

DR. WILLIAMS will highlight the history of relationships among the colonial Swedish Lutherans of the Delaware Valley in the 17th and 18th centuries with other religious groups such as the Anglicans, the German Lutherans and the Moravians.

DR. Williams is also archivist at the Lutheran Archives Center; Curator of the Augustana Museum at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia; 11th Generation Swedish-American, Historian; Honorary Governor, and Editor of the Gloria Dei Records Project for the Swedish Colonial Society.

The SACU luncheon will be held at Pier Seven Restaurant in the Channel Inn, 650 Water Street, S.W., on the Washington waterfront, beginning at 12 noon and concluding at 2 p.m. Member cost is $25.00, non-members $29.00. For more information, please call 301-365-4763.

Beautiful performance with Swedish pianist Niklas Sivel?v at House of Sweden in Washington, D.C.

Swedish pianist Niklas Sivel?v and press counselor Gabriella Augustsson, Embassy of SwedenSwedish pianist Niklas Sivel?v and press counselor Gabriella Augustsson, Embassy of Sweden

RENOWNED Swedish pianist Niklas Sivel?v (www.niklassivelov.com) did a fabulous performance – to a full Alfred Nobel Hall in House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. – on Wednesday evening, April. 20. The audience listened attentively when the Swede performed works by Johann Sebastian Bach (Partita no. 3 A minor BWV827), Robert Schumann (Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22), Franz Liszt (Tre Sonetti del Petrarca from Ann?s de P?erinage II – Italy), Alberto Ginestra (Danzas Argentinas op. 2), and his own improvisions over Fredman’s Epistlar by Swedish 18th century poet and composer Carl Michael Bellman.

NIKLAS Sivel?v, also a composer and teacher, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, where he made his debut in 1991 as a soloist, performing Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

HE CONTINUED his studies in Helsinki, Bucharest and London, and soon attracted attention for his interpretations and range of repertoire, which extends from Beethoven to Lutoslawski and Ligeti, and in addition to works by a number of contemporary Swedish composers. He collaborates with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leif Segerstam and Paavo Berglund.

Spencer P. Boyer, the U.S. State Department, and Mark Vlasic, Georgetown UniversitySpencer P. Boyer, the U.S. State Department, and Mark Vlasic, Georgetown University, came to the Sivel?v concert at the House of Sweden.

HE OFTEN CREATES a sensation for his intense and fiery performances. That occurred in New York City, when he performed with Mark Peskanov and Sophie Shao, which was praised by The New York Times, recommending it to the public.

MR. Sivel?v has performed all over the world and given master classes in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain and other countries. His many awards include Prestigious Prizes in International Piano Competitions in Geneva and Cincinnati. He was recently appointed Professor of piano at DKDM in Copenhagen.

NIKLAS Sivel?v continues his Washington visit with a performance at the Kennedy Center on Friday evening, April 29.

Swedish Minister of Finance Anders Borg talked about ‘The Swedish and European economic situation’ at a seminar at House of Sweden in Washington

Sara Dahl?, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, and Barbara WennerholmSara Dahl?, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, and Barbara Wennerholm

“THE SWEDISH AND European economic situation” was the topic of Swedish Minister of Finance Anders Borg’s remarks at a SNS (www.sns.se) seminar at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. on Sunday afternoon, April 17.

ACCORDING to Mr. Borg, in contrast to the U.S., the Swedish economy has experienced a sharp rebound in economic activity in 2010 following the financial crisis, and growth is expected to be strong in 2011 and 2012. The situation in the European Union is still very uncertain with several countries struggling to restore fiscal sustainability in their economies. Mr. Borg went on to describe how Sweden has been able to cope with the financial crisis and has, together with Switzerland and South Korea, one of the strongest financial situations.

ANDERS BORG was introduced by Swedish writer and member of the Swedish parliament Johnny Munkhammar.

Sara Dahl?, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, Barbara Wennerholm and Wyatt RockefellerSara Dahl?, Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, Barbara Wennerholm and Wyatt Rockefeller

SNS or Studief?rbundet N?ingsliv och Samh?le, which arranged the event, is an independent network of leading decision makers from the private and public sectors who share a commitment to social and economic development in Sweden. Its aim is to improve the basis for rational decisions on major social and economic issues, by promoting social science research and stimulating public debate.

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg (to the right) talks economic policy to one guest.Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg (to the right) talks economic policy to one guest.

Swedish Films at Tribeca Film Festival in New York

FOUR SWEDISH films will be shown at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival (www.tribecafilm.com), that will take place in Lower Manhattan from April 20-May 1. The films are “She Monkeys” by Lisa Aschan; “Love During Wartime” by Gabriella Bier; “Love Always, Carolyn” by Maria Ramstr?m and Malin Korkeasalo; and “Coming Out” by Jerry Carlsson.

THE TRIBECA FILM Festival was founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to help the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan.

“SHE MONKEYS,” which is described as a modern western about control, sex and creatures, has won several European film awards. It will compete in the festival’s World Narrative Features Competition, and the screening will also mark the film’s North American premiere.

“LOVE DURING WARTIME” tells the story of newlyweds Jasmin and Assi, with the difficulties of building a life together seems impossible since she is an Israeli and he is a Palestinian. The film will participate in the World Documentary Competition.

“LOVE ALWAYS,” which makes its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, is a documentary portrait of Carolyn Cassady, wife of beatnik icon Neal Cassady and lover-muse of Jack Kerouac.

“COMING OUT” is a short film about the story of a young boy Joel, who has finally made up his mind to tell his parents, or so he thinks. It is nominated for the Shorts in Competition: Narrative-award.

Bertelsmann Foundation holds ‘Back to Work’ reception at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Annette Heuser, Executive Director of Bertelsmann Foundation welcomes guests to the reception. To the right Liz Mohn, Vice Chairwoman of Bertelsmann Foundation, and Gunter Thielen, President and CEO of Bertelsmann Foundation.Annette Heuser, Executive Director of Bertelsmann Foundation welcomes guests to the reception. To the right Liz Mohn, Vice Chairwoman of Bertelsmann Foundation, and Gunter Thielen, President and CEO of Bertelsmann Foundation.

BERTELSMANN FOUNDATION held an opening reception on Wednesday evening, April 13, at Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on the occasion of this year’s annual conference, “Back to Work: Innovation, Investment & International Open Market.” Speakers at the event were Gunter Thielen, President and CEO of Bertelsmann Foundation and Annette Heuser, Executive Director of Bertelsmann Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Bertelsmann Foundation reception at the National Portrait Gallery in WashingtonBertelsmann Foundation reception at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Bertelsmann Foundation reception at the National Portrait Gallery in WashingtonBertelsmann Foundation reception at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Art Soiree held successful ‘April’s Breeze’ in Georgetown

Martin Corredera Silvan, Lashelle Roundtree, Donald Syriani, Asha Ozbey and Rodrigo GarciaMartin Corredera Silvan, Lashelle Roundtree, Donald Syriani, Asha Ozbey and Rodrigo Garcia

“APRIL BREEZE” - a block party and kick-off for Art Soiree S/S 2011 season (www.theartsoiree.com) — drew a big crowd to Georgetown’s Puro Lounge in Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening, April 14, 2011. On the program was music and photo exhibit by Donald Syriani (www.donaldsyriani.com), a vintage fashion show by TARI BOUTIQUE (www.taridc.com) & Sandro, hairstyles by VIOLET SALON (www.violetsalondc.com), and live performance by Sheena Alexis (www.myspace.com/sheenaalexismusic).

ART SOIREE is an arts and entertainment company based in Washington, D.C. It was devised in September 2009 by Tati Pastukhova and Sandro Kereselidze, with a goal to showcase emerging talent in the visual arts, short film, music, and performance art. In its first year, Art Soiree hosted more than 30 various events in Washington.

Tati Pastukhova of Art Soiree and actress Irina KovalTati Pastukhova of Art Soiree and actress Irina Koval

Iris Abraham, Gulsun Alpan and Donald SyrianiIris Abraham, Gulsun Alpan and Donald Syriani

Vintage fashion show by TARI BOUTIQUE & SandroVintage fashion show by TARI BOUTIQUE & Sandro

Art Soiree's Art Soiree’s “April Breeze” at Puro Lounge in Georgetown on Thursday evening

Art Exhibit with Clorinda Ch?ez Gald? opens at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C.

Blanca Ochoa, Cultural Attach?at the Embassy of Peru, artist Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?; Lu? M. Valdivieso, Ambassador at the Embassy of Peru; Lu? Chang Boldrini, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Peru; and friends. Blanca Ochoa, Cultural Attach?at the Embassy of Peru, artist Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?; Lu? M. Valdivieso, Ambassador at the Embassy of Peru; Lu? Chang Boldrini, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Peru; and friends.

“THE LEGACY of Cuzco School of Painting” – an art exhibit by Cuzco-born artist Clorinda Ch?ez Gald? - opened at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C. on Thursday evening, April 7.

CLORINDA Ch?ez Gald? was born in Cuzco, Peru, and studied at the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad de Cusco and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education for Literature. However, her passion lies in her art, which is a particular style unique to Cusco. This style, which dates back to the 16th century colonial period in Peru after the Spanish arrival, is known as “Pintura de la Escuela Cusque?,” or the Paintings of the School of Cusco.”

MS. Ch?ez Gald? is a self-taught artist who has continued in this style for 23 years after much research and practice. Her primary influences are her family, all of whom paint, and her father who was her first teacher.

Since 2006 she lives in the United States with her American husband.

Fernando Quir?, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Peru, artist Clorinda Ch?ez Gald? and husband Aaron BellFernando Quir?, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Peru, artist Clorinda Ch?ez Gald? and husband Aaron Bell

THE CUZCO SCHOOL of Painting (Escuela Cusque?), one of the most important in American Art, began in the town of Cuzco — a city which was the capital in the Incan Empire and has existed for nine centuries. The art spread across all of the Andean area as an aesthetic expression of society in the times of the Viceroyship. During Spanish colonization from the 16th to the 18th centuries, Flemish and Italian as well as Spanish versions of the Madonna, the Saints, and the Crucifixion arrived in the New World.

The exhibit is open until April 28, 2011.

Artwork by Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?Artwork by Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?

Artwork by Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?Artwork by Clorinda Ch?ez Gald?Artwork by Clorinda Ch?ez Gald? 

Happy Hour with ASMALLWORLD in Georgetown in Washington

Tatiana Pastukhova, Sandro Kereselidze, Amanda Williams and Donald Syriani, who has been DJ at a few occasions at the Obama White HouseTatiana Pastukhova, Sandro Kereselidze, Amanda Williams and Donald Syriani, who has been DJ at a few occasions at the Obama White House.

JENN Hinkle and Donald Syriani co-hosted an ASMALLWORLD happy hour at Puro Caf?in Georgetown in Washington on Wednesday evening, April 6. The private online community was founded by Erik Wachtmeister, son of former Swedish Ambassador to the United States, Count Wilhelm Wachtmeister.

Jenn Hinkle and Donald Syriani co-hosted the event. Jenn Hinkle and Donald Syriani co-hosted the event.

Rashid Hassouni, Sandro Kereselidze and DJ Donald Syriani Rashid Hassouni of Puro Caf?(www.purocafe.com); Sandro Kereselidze of Art Soiree (www.theartsoiree.com); and DJ Donald Syriani (www.donaldsyriani.com)

Chef Marcus Samuelsson expounds about food at the House of Sweden in Washington

Renowned Swedish chef Marcus SamuelssonRenowned Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson

RENOWNED Swedish/Ethiopian-native, New York-based chef Marcus Samuelsson, who started the restaurant Red Rooster Harlem and recently hosted President Barack Obama for a DNC fundraiser, visited the House of Sweden in Washington on Wednesday, and to talk about food, the food industry and his new cook book “The New American Table.”

SAMUELSSON has started the website www.FoodRepublic.com and according to him, you will find the best Ethiopian restaurants outside Ethiopia, in Washington, D.C.

“SWEDEN IS MORE than IKEA and H&M, and I am proud of the different kinds of food in the country. The Swedish ingredients are really good,” said Samuelsson. He stated that he learned cooking from his grandmother Helga. He even praised the school meals: “Swedish school meals are fantastic! I never thought I would say that…” He still loves eating meatballs, “it screams Swedish food, and I think of my family.”

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and Chef Marcus SamuelssonSwedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and Chef Marcus Samuelsson

SAMUELSSON STUDIED at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, where he grew up, and apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria. He also worked at the three-star restaurant Georges Blanc outside Lyon.

“TO WORK at Georges Blanc was a life-changing experience for me,” he said. But he wanted to go to America, and he joined Restaurant Aquavit in New York in 1991.

SAMUELSSON TALKED about how poverty and income disparity affect eating habits. He compared Africa to Sweden and the United States, and said that when Sweden was poor, people still ate organic food. He said that “people with less money have difficulties to find fresh vegetables and fruit. In Africa the food is more balanced, with fish, beans and vegetables, the problem is lack of water.” He stated the importance that people make the right decisions when it comes to food, and also discussed food waste.

Marcus Samuelsson talks about food. Marcus Samuelsson talks about food.

HE HAD SOME advice for vegetables: for example sometimes canned tomatoes are healthier than fresh, and broccoli should be under-cooked to get the most vitamins.

“FOR A LONG time France was the only country that mattered when it came to cooking. That has changed,” he said. For entertainment he recommended that you think about “what the occasion is, and not your best dishes.” In America he is impressed with the food in New Orleans, with its Cajun and Creole traditions.

HE ALSO talked about Ramadan, and the benefits of fasting for two weeks. “After a holiday people gain 7 percent weight, meanwhile people, after Ramadan, have a 7 percent weight-loss.

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and Chef Marcus SamuelssonSwedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and Chef Marcus Samuelsson 

SAMUELSSON HAS traveled extensively worldwide, talking about food, and has even spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

BEFORE THE Q&A session, he asked a few people in the audience about their favorite food and least-liked food. The Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m stated liver was his favorite dish.

AFTERWARDS, he signed copies of his new cookbook “The New American Table.” In “The New American Table,” Samuelsson takes you on a journey of the inspired food of the United States, his beloved adopted country. He shares more than 300 recipes that embody the uniquely inclusive spirit of American cuisine, from high-end fare to street food; down-home Southern cooking to Southwestern flavors to Asian cuisines, and beyond.

RECENTLY Samuelsson started his new restaurant Red Rooster Harlem (www.redroosterharlem.com).

“I WANTED TO start a restaurant in Harlem,” he said, and he called the areas north of 96th Street as a “food desert.” He sold his apartment on the upper West Side, and moved to Harlem, to be part of the community. Red Rooster Harlem is located at 125 Street and Lenox Avenue.