Monday 21 January, 19:30

Barcelona Debate 2008 -The human condition

Lecture series

With "The Human Condition", the CCCB and the Fundació Collserola aim to foster discussion on how the individual can properly enjoy his or her freedom in today's world. These lectures continue along the lines established with "Passions" (2005), "Life" (2006) and "Meaning" (2007). In this cycle, they deal with some of the specifically human qualities of the human being.


For some decades now, the religious, ideological, family and work-related principles that traditionally sustained human life have been in crisis. These changes, which initially appeared as a chance for the individual to enjoy greater freedom, have opened up new domains of the unknown and, paradoxically, have generated even more uncertainty as to the future. Moreover, recent scientific research has raised doubts about previous assumptions that took for granted the superiority of humans over other living beings. The enduring presence of violence in our world and constant violations of human rights prompt us to recognise that our society is a long way from the humanist ideal. At the start of the 21st century, we are faced, more than ever before, with the need to think about the features that define us as people.

21 January "Violence"
Michela Marzano
, researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and author of La mort spectacle (Death as Spectacle - Gallimard, 2007).

28 January "The Meaning of Waiting"
Enrique Vila-Matas
, writer. His most recent book is Exploradores del abismo (Explorers of the Abyss - Anagrama, 2007).

4 February "The Meaning of Life"
Terry Eagleton
, Professor of Cultural Theory at the University of Manchester and author of The Meaning of Life (Oxford University Press, 2007).

11 February "Creation"
Chantal Maillard
, poet, winner of the 2004 National Prize for Poetry for her work Matar a Platón (Killing Plato - Tusquets, 2004).

18 February "Vulnerability, Survivability"
Judith Butler
, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Precarious Life (Verso, 2004).

25 February "Madness and Reason"
Remo Bodei
, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Pisa, and author of Las lógicas del delirio (Logics of Delirium - Cátedra, 2002).

3 March "Friendship"
Jordi Llovet
, Professor of Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Barcelona and director of the Department of Literature at the Barcelona Institute of Humanities.

10 March "The Word"
Ivan Klíma
, writer and author of Love and Garbage (Amor y basura, Acantilado, 2007; also published in Catalan by Edicions 62, 2002).