SMLC @ Explorathon 2020

Published: 20 December 2020

Explorathon, Europe’s biggest research-fuelled festival, was back in Glasgow in 2020 with another packed programme of free events, including contributions from SMLC.

Explorathon this year took place online, with a socially distanced programme of events from 23rd -29th November. The language teaching in SMLC was showcased on Saturday 28th November via a series of interactive Italian and Spanish language and culture taster sessions delivered via Zoom by staff in the Italian and Spanish programmes.

Mónica Legazpi-Iglesias (Hispanic Studies) and Arabella Infantino (Italian), with the invaluable help of the Spanish Native Language Teachers Carlota Vasquez Gatnau, Judith Garcia Obrador and Paula Redondo Juárez, entertained participants with interactive presentations and quiz activities highlighting language and cultural similarities between the two countries and showing that languages are for all!

People tuned into the sessions from places as far afield as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada as well as Europe and even from England and Scotland! They were engaged in the language and culture presentation via the chat function and live interaction and had the chance to practice vocabulary in breakout rooms and test their learning via quizzes and polls. Presenters were delighted with the level of engagement and the positive feedback from all participants. In spite of social distancing, the online format meant that SMLC languages could have a truly global reach!

Another contribution to the programme of events from SMLC included the showcasing of the "Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag" Virtual Exhibition - Explorathon video. (Friday 30 October - Monday 30 November.)  

In 2017 the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow launched "Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag" (, a virtual exhibition about the Solovki prison camp based on Andrea Gullotta's research. Three years down the line, with the world resorting more and more to online resources, and the memory of the Gulag turned into one of the most debated topics in Russian culture, the exhibition was relaunched on 30 October, the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression in the former USSR. As well as the exhibition organizer, others present included Irina Flige, Director of the Research and Information Centre Memorial in St Petersburg, Dr Josephine von Zitzewitz of the University of Tromso and Steph Scholten, Director of The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. 

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First published: 20 December 2020

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