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Lectures for secondary students

A morning with Marina Garcés

The time of promises

Debate + Education

Free with pre-booking

There are many things about the future that we don’t know, but we all know how to make promises. And, if we don’t know, we can learn. A promise is the expression of a desire that involves a commitment to something and a bond with someone. Making promises requires us to find out what we value in the present, who matters to us and what actions we feel able to commit to.

Imagine a difficult situation: a mother has to migrate to find a source of income for her children and, when she leaves, the eldest son says: “I promise to take care of my brothers and sisters.” Or this one: two friends who are victims of bullying promise to stand up for each other. Or a grandson promises his grandma to remember her when she’s no longer there. We can imagine as many promises as relationships we can create. All of them point to a future, which, in this way, we make our own. We may not know what will happen in the future, but our promises give it direction and intention that no one can take from us. We may not be able to keep all our promises, but we will know where we are going, why and for whom. Promises won’t make the future more certain, but they do make it less unsure and less arbitrary.

Promising something to someone (or to yourself) is like taking a journey into the future that has to be lived every day, in the present, and that gradually transforms us. This is why the philosopher Marina Garcés is inviting young people in our city to delete the questions of fear and make the future a time for promises. This exercise in collective imagination opens the new edition of the Biennial of Thought, on 11 October, on the big stage in Plaça Coromines.

The conference will have teaching materials to prepare for this discussion in the classrooms, reflect and repeat the promises for the future. It also includes the possibility for a hundred youth to take part in a circle of philosophical dialogue on the day of the conference. The proposals have been prepared by the high school philosophy teachers, Glòria Mèlich Seta and Nuria Conejero Montal, and will be available from September 5th in the booking link.


Participants: Marina Garcés

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