Opening: Long Night Of Democracy – The State Of Affairs: Analyses and Ideas

Sep 08, 2017 06:00 pm
Haus der Berliner Festspiele
Main Stage
Price 6 Euro
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In many places, democracy has been put on the defensive. What does democracy really mean? What is it doing right, what wrong? How can it be fortified in the face of current challenges, and how should it evolve? Prominent international thinkers from various disciplines share their impressions and perspectives.

Welcome: Jan Schulte-Kellinghaus, Program Director of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg


PRIYA BASIL [GB/ D] is a novelist and essayist. A co-founder of »Authors for Peace«, she has been engaged in various political initiatives, most recently launching a campaign for a European Public Holiday. She worked with the ilb to conceptualize and curate the »International Congress for Democracy and Freedom«.


ARJUN APPADURAI [India] is an anthropologist and a professor at New York University. He is a visiting professor at the Department of European Ethnology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and has published extensively on the topic of globalisation.

DAPHNE BÜLLESBACH [D] is the director of »European Alternatives«, an organisation that promotes transnational politics and culture. She actively supports efforts to promote inter-culturalism and fight right-wing extremism.

AMIT CHAUDHURI [India] is a writer and musician. He has a PhD in English and has taught at the Oxford, Cambridge, and Columbia universities. His novels have won numerous awards.

RALF FÜCKS [D] is a politician [Alliance 90/The Greens] and was on the board of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for many years. His book »Freiheit verteidigen - Wie wir den Kampf um die offene Gesellschaft gewinnen« [tr. Defending Freedom – How We Can Win the Fight for an Open Society] was published in 2017.

ISABELL HOFFMANN [D] is the project manager of »eupinions«, the European opinion research project of the Bertelsmann Foundation. She used to be a newspaper editor, e.g.  for the political resort of »DIE ZEIT«.

VICTOR JEROFEJEW [Russia] is a writer and critic of contemporary Russian politics. His novel »Russian Beauty« [1990] has been translated into more than 20 languages.

IVAN KRASTEV [BG/ A] is a political scientist. He chairs the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and is a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences [IWM] in Vienna. His book »After Europe« was published in 2017.

PIA MANCINI [Argentina/ USA] is an expert on »liquid democracy«. She co-founded the online app »DemocracyOS«, which helps Argentinian citizens take an active part in democratic processes.

EVA MENASSE [A/ D] is a novelist and politically active journalist. She is a supporter of the Charter of Fundamental Digital Rights of the European Union.

MAAZA MENGISTE [Ethiopia/ USA] is a novelist and essayist whose themes include migration, war, photography, and human rights. Her second novel, set during Fascist Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, is forthcoming.

LINA MERUANE [Chile] is a fiction writer and essayist who teaches at New York University. In 2012 she received the Anna Seghers-Preis. She is currently a grant recipient of the Berlin artist programme of the DAAD.

ADAM MICHNIK [PL] is a journalist, essayist, and editor-in-chief of the largest Polish daily newspaper »Gazeta Wyborcza«. The former dissident has been recognized numerous times for his political engagement.

ZHANNA NEMTSOVA [Russia/ D] founded the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom in 2015 in memory of her murdered father. Since 2015, she has been a journalist for »Deutsche Welle« in Bonn.

PETER SCHNEIDER [D] is a writer of fictionbooks, essays and screenplays. He has published twenty novels and non-fiction books, some of which have been translated into 25 languages. He teaches at American universities.

EDWARD SNOWDEN [USA/ Russia] is a whistle-blower and former CIA employee. By leaking secret NSA documents, he exposed global mass surveillance practices. In 2013, the FBI issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged espionage. He lives in exile in Russia. He will join the conference via Skype.

ELIOT WEINBERGER [USA] is an award-winning essayist and translator. He gained recognition in Germany for his works »Karmic Traces« [2000], »What I Heard About Iraq« [2005], and »An Elemental Thing« [2007], and performances at the ilb and his publications in Lettre International.