Starting from Peter Weiss

A Hundred Years Since His Birth

October 26, 2016 - 6:00 p.m., round-table; 7:30 p.m. workshop
Free ticket until full capacity is reached
Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200
Organized by
Centro de Documentación Crítica
In collaboration with
Museo Reina Sofía
Peter Weiss, 1982. Photography CC Dietbert Kessler
Peter Weiss, 1982. Photography CC Dietbert Kessler

The Museo Reina Sofía hosts the opening session of Starting from Peter Weiss, organised by the Centro de Documentación Crítica (Critical Documentation Centre) to commemorate the centenary of the German dramatist’s birth. 


Peter Weiss (Berlin, 8 November 1916 – Stockholm, 10 May 1982) moved with his family to Great Britain in 1934 to flee from National Socialism, before emigrating to Czechoslovakia, and finally, in 1935, settling in Sweden. A year later Weiss acquired Swedish citizenship and wrote his first theatrical poems and texts for radio in Swedish; yet he also gained international renown for his plays written in German, and for his active stance against the United States’ incursion in Vietnam. His standout theatre pieces, inspired by Bertolt Brecht and characterised by political commitment, include The Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat (1964), also known as Marat/Sade, which was performed in Spain for the first time by Adolfo Marsillach’s company in 1968.

The conferences Starting from Peter Weiss survey this writer’s work as they aim to trace the “state of our world” by using the political and aesthetic categories with which the playwright and novelist analysed the second half of the 20th century. This first session features the round-table discussion From the World Divided into East and West to the World Divided into North and South, centred on Weiss’s text, and An Author’s 10 Working Points in the Divided World, which was highly controversial among a number of intellectuals like Hans-Magnus Enzensberger. In this essay Weiss analyses the place of the intellectual in a world divided into two spheres of social and political construction: socialism and capitalism. The figure of the intellectual, vital between the 1940s and the turn of the century, is also a cause for review and debate.  

The second part of the session is made up of the workshop How to Represent a Divided World, whereby the audience in attendance and participants from the round-table discussion are invited to work on the way to construct representation from the current context.

The Centro de Documentación Crítica is an organisation, created in 1990 and set up as a theoretical and political debate collective, which works to formalise a critical discourse and to develop a radical practice.


Ángeles Diez: A professor from the School Political Science and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Erea Fernández Folgueiras: A researcher in German literature at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Raúl Sánchez Cedillo: An activist, translator, writer and member of Fundación de los Comunes