Alessandro Baricco: A Manifesto for the Arts

As final programme of the Forum, the famous Italian writer Alessandro Baricco will share his ideas about the importance of arts and culture for Europe.

Sun, 03 Jun • 19:30
De Balie - Grote Zaal


Were you not able to attend A Manifesto for the Arts or would you like to rewatch the programme? Click here for the recording.

A Manifesto for the Arts

In 2006, one of Europe’s most outstanding literary voices, Alessandro Baricco, wrote a powerful manifesto for the arts: The Barbarians. A brilliant collection of essays on various topics, ranging from the history of wine to the invention of Google, which taken together explores a global phenomenon: the perceived decay of culture.

We sometimes tend to think of today’s culture as “barbaric” and commercialised in comparison to high culture – “the tradition”. Do our societies leave space for profoundness, reflection and emotional depth? Barrico believes there is no clear distinction between “civilised” and “barbaric” culture. Rather, our European culture is in a state of transition. A massive shift that can be compared to important cultural turning points in Western history such as the Renaissance and Romanticism. Instead of a pessimistic proclamation, Baricco’s ’The Barbarians’ is a hopeful plea about the future of our culture.

More than a decade later, it’s time for The Barbarians part II. At the Forum, Baricco will speak about his new work for the first time. How has culture evolved in the last 10 years? What is the role of culture in today’s European society?

Closing the Forum on European Culture as the final programme, we will, together with Baricco, explore the importance of art and culture for Europe, and create a 2018 manifesto for the arts.

During the night, Dutch actor and theatre producer George van Houts will give a theatrical introduction to Baricco’s The Barbarians. 

Language: Italian with English translation

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