From the 17th to the 22nd of November the city’s first philosophy festival will attempt to bring philosophy closer to the general public through a series of diverse activities
Coinciding with World Philosophy Day on the 20th of November, the city’s first philosophy festival, Barcelona Pensa (Barcelona Thinks), will attempt to bring philosophy closer to the general public, provide a catalyst for thought and demonstrate the importance of philosophy as a means of transmitting culture and knowledge. The festival will also attempt to establish a network of interested parties in an effort to provide some level of continuity to the festival’s core concepts once the festival itself has concluded.
As a means of achieving this final objective, the organisers have created numerous methods designed to facilitate understanding of the content of the programmed activities. The first of these is the availability, via the festival website, of additional material devised to stimulate the curiosity of those thinking of attending the festival events, allowing them to do so with a little more knowledge of the subjects under discussion. Another method is the provision of “facilitated” activities, meaning that attendees are encouraged to remain behind after the main activity to discuss the topic at length, the idea being to attempt a return to an earlier age when dialog and composure were the protagonists of all philosophical discussion and a town’s main square was the epicentre of knowledge.
From the 17th to the 22nd of November, then, numerous venues throughout the city will host a range of “philosophical” activities, in the broadest sense of the term – conferences, open days, film forums and screenings, exhibitions, philosophy for children, philosophical coffee-house sessions, presentations and debates. These debates include a session on Wagner and philosophy, to be held in the chapel of Barcelona University, and another dealing with Sound Art, in the MACBA.
The Virreina de la Imatge will host conferences on Chris Marker and Walter Benjamin, while Barcelona University will also host a colloquium on Michel Foucault in the Faculty of Geography and History and a conference on biotechnology and ethics in the Faculty of Medicine. The CCCB, for its part, will host a conference by Remo Bodei entitled Philosophy and the lives of others, the Fabra i Coats arts factory will approach the subject of technological sovereignty and the Arts Santa Mònica will host a debate on life and death.
Finally, the festival will include two exhibitions relating to philosophical themes, one of which, entitled Foucault 1984-2014, is dedicated to Michel Foucault on the 30th anniversary of his death and can be seen in the Faculty of Geography and History of Barcelona University. The other, Philographics, by Genís Carreras, transfers philosophical concepts to the world of graphic design and can be seen in the Escuela de Arte Massana.
The Barcelona Pensa festival will take place in various locations around the city from the 17th to the 22nd of November. All activities are free of charge with the exception of the dance performance Sujeto Visible + Sujeto Invisible, which will take place in La Poderosa, and for which tickets are priced at 3 €. More information is available here.
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