10.06.2021 Science

Night of Philosophy in Israel

Organized by the French Institute in cooperation with the Goethe-Institute, the Polish Institute Tel Aviv and the Austrian Cultural Forum, the online interactive format will enable European and Israeli philosophers and intellectuals to exchange and discuss critical issues of our time with the public  

Night of Philosophy in Israel will be held on June 10th 2021

Organized by the French Institute in Israel, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institute Israel, the Polish Institute Tel Aviv and the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Night of Philosophy 2021  will be an online event and interactive format that will enable, in spite of the current travel restrictions, European and Israeli philosophers and intellectuals to exchange and discuss critical issues of our time with the public.

This special edition, whose main theme will be the « Future of Democracy », will also be marked by the idea of a dialogue beyond borders as its digital form will enable new publics, whether within Israel or outside of it, to take part in the event.

For 5 years in a row, from 2015 to 2019, the Night of Philosophy has been gathering 15 philosophers from Europe, more than a 100 Israeli intellectuals and between 5000 to 8000 participants. This unique event, which over the years has become an essential rendez-vous of Israel’s cultural scene, has offered the public (50% of which between 25 and 35) the possibility to attend through a night-time itinerary, more than 60 lectures, discussions, panels, performances and screenings dealing with crucial issues of our time at the French Institute in Israel and in 10 venues around the Institute.

Jan Sowa from Poland wil be among the participants. Sowa is a materialist dialectical social theorist and researcher. He holds a PhD in sociology and a habilitation in cultural studies.

He will participate in a session that called The Future of Democracy at 21:00. In English. 

He is recognized primarily for his work on modernity and modernization in (semi)peripheral zones of the capitalist world-system.

Jan Sowa is currently employed as Associate Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

On June 10th, the 2021 online edition of the Night of Philosophy will offer the public, through an interactive digital platform that will be available on a dedicated website, 25 live lectures, discussions and panels on the basis of a series of 5 simultaneous interventions for each time slot (5 time slots), including 10 minutes of exchange with the European and/or Israeli lecturer/s.

 The event, curated by philosopher Raphael Zagury-Orly, in close cooperation with Dr Felix Heidenreich (Stuttgart University), will take place as part of partnerships with European institutions such as the ‘Internationales Zentrum für Kultur-und Technikforschung (IZKT), Stuttgart University, or the “Democratic Vistas Group”’, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Goethe Univerty Frankfurt.

The partnerships with the Tel Aviv University, the Israel Democracy Institute, the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society, the Haifa University and the Seminar of Continental Phlosophy, have been renewed and a new cooperation with the Sapir Academic College in Sderot has been initiated.  

Eventually, the leitmotiv of this year’s edition will be The Future of Democracy.

Note by the curator of the Night of Philosophy, Raphael Zagury-Orly :

“If democracy appeared, most particularly after the Second World War, as the exemplary political foundation and ideal configuration for governance and furthermore thought by all, at least in the West, as the ideal socio-political balance between State authority, communal equality and individual freedoms, we are, today, witnessing a growing discontent and concern for its sustainability.

Indeed, the rise of populism worldwide, the general slips in national politics towards forms of authoritarianism, the growing suspicion towards governance in democratic countries, the numerous difficulties in stabilizing the relations between State politics and minorities, the general decline in political culture and education, representation and participation in public life in most democratic countries, the rising numbers of cases in governments worldwide of corruption and exploitation, the relay of false information and erroneous representation of facts by political leaders and officials democratically elected, the incapacity to respond cohesively to the environmental and sanitary crises, are some amongst many indubitable signs, at both national and international political levels, of a rapid exhaustion of the ideal of democracy.

In the face of these growing crises, we are to pose the following questions: how to rethink and reinvent democracy today? How can our democratic ideals be revivified in order to address the multiple threats surfacing in our contemporaneity and thereby necessarily affecting our future? And furthermore, can we still hope in democracy or are we condemned to bear the enervation of the very ideal of democracy?  In this sense, our questions will address our present without ever omitting to consider our past in order to carry our gaze towards our future. And therefore, in bringing together philosophers, political theorists, artists, scientists, historians, activists and actors in civil society to discuss our present context, we seek to both repair our world and offer a renewed ideal for the generations to come”. Raphael-Zagury-Orly


 For the website of the event



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