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Nuit des idées 2021
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Night of Ideas 2021 - "Closer"

The 6th edition of the Nuit des idées (Night of Ideas) will take place on Thursday 28 January 2021 with the theme “Closer”. The central theme of the event is our relationship with space and others, for each of us and within our societies.

Updated on 12/01/2021

5 min

Every year, the Nuit des idées invites us to celebrate the sharing of knowledge and ideas between countries and cultures around the world, encompassing all disciplines, in art and science alike, in order to listen to those who are taking the conversation forward in all fields. It is an opportunity to reflect on the major issues of our time. 

La 6th edition of Nuit des idées will take place on 28 January 2021 with the theme “Closer”. In France and on every continent, in Grandes Écoles and universities, research institutes and associations, Instituts français and Alliances françaises, along with music, theatres and libraries, put on festive and participative gatherings and debates where lectures and forums, round tables and workshops, artistic creations, screenings, concerts and plays all feature.

The German philosopher and sociologist, Hartmut Rosa, will be the patron of the 6th edition of the Nuit des idées. A professor of general and theoretical sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, he has worked on social acceleration and modernity. In 2020, the French translation of his work, Unverfügbarkeit (Unavailability), was published by La Découverte. Three interviews with Hartmut Rosa will be live streamed.

24 heures de Nuit et d’idées: a special streamed event

This year, the Nuit des idées will also be a special 24-hour digital experience accessible to all, starting on the morning of 28 January and ending the following morning on 29 January. Reports, interviews, debates and performances from around the world, from the islands of Fiji to San Francisco, Saint Petersburg to Kinshasa, Seoul, Dushanbe, Libreville, Mexico City and Amsterdam will cadence these 24 heures de Nuit et d’idées (24 hours of Night and Ideas), streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and the websites of the Institut français and the Nuit des idées.

During this brand-new event, renowned international artists, as well as young academics, philosophers, writers and scientists, activists and witnesses of all ages and from several dozen countries will talk about their towns, their work and their creations, illustrating the common concerns and thoughts that unite us all after a year of distance and separation.

Growing “Closer” in the 21st century

“Closer”: with this word, the Nuit des idées invites us to explore our individual and collective relationships to space, in light of the lockdowns experienced in so many countries around the world, as well as the transformations of recent decades born out of an increased interdependency between countries, but also a paradoxical retreat into national borders. 

It is also an opportunity to explore the new forms of solidarity that bring us together in a time when economic and social models are being shaken up by crises and when the events affecting us here and now can be far apart in space and time.

Our societies and interactions have therefore been affected by these changes. The relationships that we forge, our circles of family and friends, are shaped through their own logical sequence. At times strengthened, at other times jeopardised by distance – or conversely by forced confinement –, they are also influenced by new communication technologies and the relationships that they establish between us, our loved ones and the rest of the world.

Finally, closeness is built on the reverse side of difference – a difference between cultures and societies, but also from the rest of the living world, with a natural environment that is sometimes wild but often domesticated, where human beings form a society with other species. 

The entire programme of the 24 heures de Nuit et d’idées streamed event, along with events in over one hundred countries will be available on the new website of the Nuit des idées.

The Institut français and the event

An annual meeting devoted to the free movement of ideas and knowledge, the Night of Ideas is coordinated by the Institut français.

L'institut français, LAB