Night of Ideas
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What is the Night of Ideas?
Night of ideas is a 24-hour virtual marathon event featuring philosophical debate and artistic performances produced in 75 countries around the world. It is coordinated by the Institut Français, Paris and co-produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US.
Closing the Distance
This year’s theme, “Closing the Distance” (“Proches,” in French) speaks to our shared sense of isolation and seeks to explore new means of fostering community and togetherness. Evoking the new forms of solidarity that our economic and social crises call for, as well as our changing relationship with space and mobility, this theme prompts audiences and participants to consider our relationship to today’s challenging world and those around us in thoughtful, creative, and engaging ways.
Global Night of Ideas U.S. programming highlights include: Opening performance by renowned jazz pianists Dan Tepfer and Thomas Enhco broadcast live from Paris and New York, followed by an exciting music-meets-poetry performance by singer, author and poet Patti Smith. Then, Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch and Ambassador of France to the U.S. Philippe Étienne take a walk along Washington DC’s National Mall to explore the power of collective memory. And in a lively transatlantic dialogue, acclaimed philosophers Barbara Cassin and Souleymane Bachir Diagne will discuss the importance of translation in the context of universalism.