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Supporting French-American Cultural Exchange in Education and the Arts

A Night of Philosophy & Ideas

We are thrilled to announce that the Cultural Services of the French Embassy has partnered with cultural and academic institutions to bring A Night of Philosophy & Ideas/Night of Ideas to 7 major U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Norfolk, and San Francisco.

Additionally, the New York event will be live-streamed from the Brooklyn Public Library from 7pm to 11pm (EST) on February 1 and archived at this link.

This year's events bring together major thinkers and artists to participate in philosophical conversations about some of the most pressing issues of our time, in an atmosphere resembling a summer music festival or a large-scale art happening. 2020 guest speakers and artists include 2019 Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo; Institute for Advanced Studies anthropologist, sociologist, and physician Didier Fassin; journalist and sex columnist Maïa Mazaurette; and philosophers Catherine Malabou and Barbara Stiegler. There will also be performances and art by French juggler Jérôme Thomas, and two of his colleagues, Jörg Müller and Martin Schwietze, Armenian-Syrian installation artist Hratch Arbach.

All events are free and open to the public.



Join us on February 1, 2020 at 7PM for A Night of Philosophy and Ideas, the all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, is an all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings, music, and virtual reality experiences takes over the entirety of the iconic Central Library.

This year's participants will consider humanity's relationship to the world, to nature, to other living beings and species, and to technology. They will ask: What is the meaning of life? How do we live our lives from beginning to end, be it striving or barely surviving? How do we define that experience and how do we situate ourselves in this world?

French-American economist Esther Duflo, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, will kick off the evening with a keynote address. The lineup also features a French anthropologist, sociologist, and physician Didier Fassin, professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies and Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales; Catherine Malabou, Professor of Philosophy at Kingston University (UK) and UCI; Maïa Mazaurette, a Brooklyn-based French author, columnist, and illustrator whose work deals with contemporary sexuality and the body's place in society; and Barbara Stiegler, professor of philosophy at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne and a member of the Institut Universitaire de France.

Performances will include Unnamed, from Jérôme Thomas, a French juggler whose work integrates contemporary dance and theatre, and Armenian-Syrian artist Hratch Arbach's MAWTINI: lost homelands, in a site-specific installation. The event will also feature a late-night screening of Jacques Rivette's landmark 1971 film Out 1, and an exhibition of work by New York-based visual artist Mary Mattingly, whose "sculptural ecosystems" in urban spaces include Swale and Pull, and who founded the Waterpod Project (2009), a barge-based public space and self-sufficient habitat that hosted over 200,000 visitors in New York.

Additional details and full program at this link: https://nightofphilosophyandideas.com/

This event is free and open to the public.

Central Library, Brooklyn Public Library, 
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Watch A Night of Philosophy & Ideas LIVE from Brooklyn on February 1 (7pm to 11pm EST)


This event is made possible with major support from the Open Society Foundations.


FACE Foundation

972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10075