Berliner Korrespondenzen

(Dis-)Orders in and around Europe
© Ute Langkafel MAIFOTO

Nationalism, digitalization, migration, climate change: in the face of major challenges, Europe seems to be plagued alternatively by short- and farsightedness. Political Europe remains in the mode of crisis management, shunning a genuine new approach. Cultural Europe on the other hand discusses apocalyptic and utopian visions. It is high time to break out of this double distortion, to cross external and internal perspectives, and seek answers to pressing questions beyond the divisions of politics and culture.

Can Europe still produce impulses for mastering the great challenges of our time? Can algorithms save the climate? What does transcultural identity mean in times of neonationalism? What will the reality of working life look like in the future? And what about a time after Europe?

After dealing with questions of (dis-)orders in a world in political and social upheaval as well as with struggling perceptions on historical narratives in their first two seasons, in 2019/20 the lecture series Berliner Korrespondenzen (Berlin Correspondence) will deal with translocal perspectives on Europe. 

Berliner Korrespondenzen #1


13 September 2019, 7:30pm

Maxim Gorki Theater, Grand Stage

With: Souleymane Bachir Diagne und Mathias Énard

Europe is steadily sealing itself off - intellectually and geographically. Traditional cultures are invoked, critics are silenced. How do we find a pragmatic position that takes a stand against these reactionary tendencies? How can we protect Europe's thinking from its own claim to absolute authority?

This discussion centres on an encounter between philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne and writer Mathias Énard, two nomadic thinkers for whom there are no borders to inspiration. They weave European, Islamic and post-colonial, current and historical discourses into ever changing patterns.

How can thought be kept radically open, how can the untranslatable be translated? What could be new ideas for societies between utopia and reality? The opening of Berlin Correspondence will discuss alternative political systems, transcultural identities and issues of global justice. 

Moderation : Esra Küçük

Simultaneous interpretation will be provided (German - French).


The series

Since its inception in 2016, the lecture series Berliner Korrespondenzen at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin has been a mainstay in the German Capital’s cultural calendar. The joint project of Allianz Cultural Foundation and the Gorki Forum – in cooperation with the Humboldt University Berlin and funded by the Federal Foreign Office – is a forum to debate the truly big questions of our times.

Each event brings together two cutting-edge thinkers and artists of vastly different biographical and disciplinary backgrounds. In surprising, boundary-pushing constellations, they develop ideas and incentives to find ways out of seemingly desperate situations.

Among the past guests of the Berliner Korrespondenzen are Nobel Laureate in Literature Swetlana Alexijewitsch, winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Navid Kermani, as well as philosopher Achille Mbembe, constitutional judge Susanne Baer and sociologist Eva Illouz. 

© Ute Langkafel MAIFOTO
© Ute Langkafel MAIFOTO
© Ute Langkafel MAIFOTO