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Biennial of Thought

Open City Thinking Biennale 2018

The world changes and cities are transformed. The Open City Thinking Biennale to be inaugurated in October 2018 takes these realities as its background and therefore aims to connect the role of cities today with the great challenges of contemporary society. 

Cities constitute the main settings for the many transformations marking the present change of epoch. Meeting points which accumulate diversities, opportunities, innovation skills, and creativity as well as conflicts and exclusions, cities must resolve the issues of a globalised world from a position of proximity. Accordingly, the goal of this Biennale is to discuss how cities can help to deal with the global challenges that will mark the coming decades, and that are viewed today in a framework of uncertainty and constant experimentation.

This Biennale is also a celebration. Of the human richness of cities; of the multiplicity of lives, stories and worlds that shape them; of their ability to be a space of welcome and refuge; and of their transformative and creative power. It is a celebration of the city as a space of freedom of thought and action and, at the same time, a space for interweaving new and old ways of belonging.

The Thinking Biennale invites people from here and around the world to contribute, from 15 to 21 October, towards thinking about all these questions. In squares and markets and neighbourhoods of the city. In libraries and civic centres. In all the spaces where our city is an agora. The aim of the Biennale is to open up debate about the cities we want and need, from different perspectives and with the participation of everybody. 

The Thinking Biennale takes the form of a week of reflection, questions and exchange of experiences. A festival of ideas.

The Biennale is a project promoted by the Culture Institute of the Barcelona City Council (ICUB) and is organised by several agents based in the city. The CCCB will curate part of the programmed activities which are to take place all around the city. The whole programme may be consulted online at

This activity is part of Biennial of Thought

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Timothy Snyder

A Defence of Freedom: On the Rise of Authoritarianism Today

The rise of the extreme right around the world has made manifest a growing mistrust in democracy as a political system in a shift which involves serious curtailment of freedoms and demonisation of minority groups. Timothy Snyder, one of the leading authorities on the history of Europe, warns ...

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On the Other Side

Discussion with Perejaume, moderated by Emili Manzano

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Previous activities

Lecture by Timothy Snyder

A Defence of Freedom: On the Rise of Authoritarianism Today

Dialogue between Simon Critchley and Jordi Puntí

Why Do We Think about Football?

Lecture by Rosi Braidotti

Becoming Animals

Lecture by Corine Pelluchon

The Animal Cause: Ethical Challenges and Political Strategies

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Lecture by Will Kymlicka

Animal Rights: The End of Human Supremacy

Lecture by Marta Segarra

Blood Ties: Animality and Intimacy

Conversation between Georges Didi-Huberman and Niki Giannari

Come in, Whatever the Price

Poetry Slam Barcelona

Creation centered on the word & the stage

Family activities

Dramatic proposal. Perejaume

On the Other Side

Path to Heaven

Dance workshop with family and show

Tying up loose ends: weighing ideas!

Collaborative installation in family

La città infinita

Building game in family

Panel discussion with Jordi Armadans, Blanca Garcés, Nour Salameh and Riccardo Gatti

A Crisis of Hospitality: The Situation of Refugees in Europe

Dialogue between Álvaro Enrigue and Juan Pablo Villalobos

Dialogues for Thinking about Diversity

Dialogue between NoViolet Bulawayo and Gemma Parellada

Dialogues for Thinking about Diversity

Concert by Yacine Belahcene

Such Emotion! What Emotion?

An approximation to the emotions from art and philosophy with Georges Didi-Huberman and Jordi Nomen

Dialogue between Sabri Louatah and Najat El Hachmi

Dialogues for Thinking about Diversity

Dialogue between Jane Lazarre and Bel Olid

Maternity, Activism and Democracy

Lecture by Henry Marsh and discussion with Eva Piquer

Humanising Medicine

Conversation with NoViolet Bulawayo, Najat El Hachmi and Jane Lazarre, moderated by Tania Adam

Reflections on Writing: An Approximation from Curative Narratives

A Morning with Sabri Louatah

A Morning with Marcus du Sautoy

Conversation between Alfred Brendel and Richard Sennett

Music for Coexistence

A Morning with Marina Tabassum

X&Y. A play by Marcus du Sautoy

Debates with secondary school students

Educational Programme

Lecture by Paul B. Preciado and discussion with Eloy Fernández Porta

Gender, Sex and Sexuality in Technopatriarchal Capitalism: Towards a Mutation of Paradigm

Dialogue between Gayatri Spivak and Marina Garcés

Education of the Future

A Morning with Rita Segato

Seminar with Rita Segato

Lecture by Rita Segato and discussion with Gabriela Wiener

The City of Women

Dialogue between Judith Butler and Fina Birulés, moderated by Marta Segarra

The Gender Trouble: Why Do Bodies Matter?

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