The city of Dénia hosts with its Festival de les Humanitats influential thinkers and experts in economics, neuroscience, medicine, anthropology, philosophy, history, geography, humanistic thought, ethics and culture, among many other scientific and artistic disciplines. For a weekend, it will thus become the capital of critical thinking thanks to its extensive program of conferences.
What is it?
The cultural and social event Dénia. The wise men of the XNUMXst century will reflect on the concerns of human beings in today's world and on the changes that will take place in the near future, in different debate sessions that will encourage dialogue between science, technology and the humanities.
The relevance and quality of the speakers who participate in this multidisciplinary meeting want to make this festival a European benchmark in the field of humanities.
Mutations: what awaits us in the near future?
In one way or another, societies have always wondered about their condition, about their future, about how to make the human experience progress. Not in vain, as Yuval Noah Harari says, the human being is "the only one capable of creating fictions and believing them" and, to put it in the manner of Montesquieu, what differentiates him from the rest of the living is "reason and freedom". " (or, at least the idea that has been made of them).
Four centuries ago, when the development of modern science began, which would acquire an exponential force unthinkable at that time, the idea of progress was born that gave rise to the Enlightenment project, perhaps the noblest ideal that humanity has thought of (Kant) and that It then produced enormous economic and technological transformations, with obvious consequences in human life, in the state of the planet itself, and in the organization of societies. As a result of this great mutation, in little more than a century, from the mid-XNUMXth to the end of the XNUMXth, life expectancy in many countries has doubled.
We are now in a critical moment, after the short 1914th century (1989-XNUMX) has come to an end, in the words of Eric Hobswann, and astride the digital technology that has made the so-called globalization possible and the passage of the industrial economy to the financial and post-financial. In this context, questions about man overflow schemes, communication systems mutate rapidly, world government evolves towards new rules that are far from being codified, the passage from industrial to financial and post-financial capitalism changes economic coordinates, commonplaces about freedom and equality overwhelmed by the shadows of a new time, dystopian visions dominate the gaze on the future, vulgarized through the digital universe, powers are concentrated... And what about humans? Is it possible to think of the world giving centrality to our condition or must we consider the times in which the human being was intended to be the measure of all things to be over? Does scientific and technological progress cover the idea of progress of humanity? Is scientific and technological progress human progress?
An annual meeting of reflection
About us? What we want? Where are we going? With these concerns as the driving force and after the experience of the pandemic that has renewed awareness of our fragility and the state of uncertainty that characterizes us, we propose an annual meeting for reflection aimed at citizens, individuals and corporations, who propose and demand a look criticism that allows us to understand the keys to the world in which we live. And act -individually and collectively- accordingly.
To spread the ideas and debates of the moment, in the midst of the confusion generated by the digital commotion, and to help citizens make them their own, Dénia intends to be the scene of an annual Festival of the Humanities. Through the convocation of representative figures of thought, science, economy and the arts, the Festival seeks to share ideas and experiences, in spaces and formats aimed at a wide audience, who feel challenged by the desire to think, create, imagine and live together. .
The idea will be developed from the different genres of humanistic culture: conferences and debates, but also exhibitions and other forms of artistic creation. It will feature leading figures of humanistic, economic and scientific thought, but also actors and creators from various disciplines, ensuring that ideas are deployed through different formats.
“Denia. Festival of the Humanities” is an initiative of the Generalitat Valenciana, the Dénia City Council, the Fundación Baleària and the Dénia Ciutat Creativa Foundation, directed by Joseph Ramoneda and Jordi Alberich and coordinated by La Maleta de Portbou.
- Become a space for thought, reflection and dialogue on the human condition.
- Allow civil society to participate in an open forum for training and discussion with leading experts in the field of humanistic thought.
- Consolidate itself as an annual event with representative figures of thought, science, economy, theater, the audiovisual universe and the plastic arts to share ideas and experiences.
- Promote training in values and knowledge of the roots and history of the human being.
- Value and promote the humanities as a field of knowledge, especially among the youngest, to train a citizenry with critical thinking.
- Turn Dénia into a benchmark for thought, reflection and the humanities in the Mediterranean.
When is celebrated?
The first edition of the Festival de les Humanitats de Dénia will take place on the last weekend of October 2022, from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29.
Hours of each day
You can consult the complete program of the Dénia Festival de les Humanitats here.
Bionic Man: Can We Delegate Our Luck to Our Prosthetics?
Today's society is immersed in one of the most complex and disruptive revolutions in its history. This, unlike all the previous ones, is generating a much more global, subtle and profound transformation. This 4.0 revolution is making possible an unprecedented development of biotechnology and, with it, encouraging transhumanist and posthumanist movements of a cybernetic nature whose main objective is to transcend the human being through the creation of a new ⎯biotechnological⎯ species. This is the old idea of “bionic man”, an augmented human that combines person and machine to increase human biological skills and abilities. However, the path of the augmented human requires great biotechnological challenges, but also ethical and political ones. This will be, precisely, the leitmotif of this session.
Changes in the human body: disease and evolution
By definition, living things are changeable. The mechanism behind a constant change impacts, in a dual way, modifications that alter the function in non-predetermined ways. This constant pressure for change is innately associated with the concept of illness. This session will feature two expert speakers in development and neurology, with whom they will share thoughts on where we come from and where human beings are going, including the evolutionary significance of diseases.
Global world, closed borders
The 20s of this millennium will be known as a period of turbulence and global threats (financial crisis, adjustment policies, COVID-19 pandemic, inflation crisis, war in Ukraine, climate crisis...). These phenomena have abruptly underlined the interdependence of the world in which we live and the globality of the challenges we face without having global governance mechanisms with which to respond to them. Action in the face of these challenges has caused a permanent dilemma between promoting more cooperation and understanding that our problems are linked to the problems of others, or following the short-term and useless impulse of shielding our populations to protect them. This debate session will reflect on all these issues associated with the efficient management of human mobility.
History: what lessons from the past can help us?
The famous historian Tony Judt, in his work On the Forgotten Twentieth Century, warned us against carelessness about remembering the past. He warned us of the risk of taking the XNUMXth century lightly and leaving it behind with too much confidence and too little reflection: “a world that has just been lost and is already half forgotten”. He warned us that the greatest danger of ignoring what happened lay in the interpretation of the present as an unprecedented time, in which the past has nothing to teach us. In Judt's words, what "the past can help us understand is the perennial complexity of issues." Thus, as Yuval Noah Harari points out in his work Homo Deus, knowledge of the past allows us to understand how the course of events has shaped our technology, our politics, our society, even our thoughts, fears and dreams.
Society: how to get out of the patriarchal model?
The patriarchal model has colored our world and our society at such a deep level that a bias based on inequality between men and women has even been normalized and naturalized. It is urgent to deconstruct a system that condemns more than half of the population to live in fear and suffer different forms of sexist violence for the mere fact of being women. This debate session will try to analyze the way to end the patriarchal model through feminisms.
Fictions: how will we explain the world to ourselves?
One of the first things that this new century has shown is that science, ideologies and beliefs are not enough to understand the world. Events such as the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, the financial crisis of 2008/9, the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown that human beings need answers to situate themselves in an environment that changes too quickly. How do you position yourself in a world where these events affect everyone? Four speakers, scientists, philosophers and theologians try to propose interpretations not only to place us in this world, but also to respond to its events in a productive way, that is, beyond the fictions to which we are accustomed.
Life: will the relationship of humans with the other species change? How will we feed ourselves?
What unites us and what separates us from the so-called animals in the human-animal relationship? The trump card of language and reasoning, a sense of humor and the ability to honor the dead have been used to affirm the exceptional nature of the human being, creating a binarism between nature and culture that places us on a higher plane and subjugates the rest. of species. This debate will try to think of a new relationship with a natural world to which we also belong.
Lluís Vives Space: Humanities and Business
Never in the history of humanity have companies had so much power, nor has humanity had such a powerful instrument to convert scientific and technological development into technological and social progress. And, at the same time, humanity has never had so much power to self-destruct. And it is that technological and social progress is not, in itself, human progress. This debate will rethink the current meaning of the company and its function. It may be time for the enlightened company and we must face this mutation. About us? What we want? Where we go? Three questions that will fill, like the rest of the Dénia Festival of the Humanities, the Lluís Vives Space dedicated to business and the humanities.
Ecology: can we regain confidence in the future, avoid the dystopian world?
The climate crisis makes it harder than ever to believe in the future. The succession of alarming data on the state of the planet worries us, but it also paralyzes us. It seems impossible to do anything to avoid a dystopian future that is presented as inevitable. However, the ecological crisis also makes it more necessary than ever to think about the future. Now, when it is still possible to stop and reverse many of the worst effects of the crisis, it is essential to think about a fair future for all and, above all, how to get there.
inhabit the world
After centuries of urbanization and globalization, urban culture has come to embrace the entire planet. Surely, the 'uninhabitable' world that the current triple crisis – economic; climatic; Sanitary – draws us, it is to a great extent because we also find cities uninhabitable. It is by virtue of what happens and, above all, what does not happen in them, that the world will seem more or less possible to us as an environment, as a place, as a house, as a room. Inhabiting cities well at all their scales is surely the best shortcut not so much to being able to inhabit the world, but to be able to inhabit it in a different way.
Power: when the notion of limits is lost
Between the limits of power and the defects of democracy, politics navigates around the world, looking for its economic, technological and cultural accents. The spectacle is varied and often painful. Ideas are usually scarce in absolute figures and almost nil when it comes to the organization and administration of nations and peoples in the scenario that interests citizens. Philosophy, anthropology and self-styled political science study the phenomenon of power from different drawers of the great academic closet. But not trying to contrast and even mix its content can be a mistake, if it is a matter of improving the mistake, that "bad encounter" that La Boétie placed at the most original root of the city and civil power. This session will try to find examples and ask some questions about the limits of power.
Speakers of great relevance participate in the festival, being the main thinkers of each of their areas. This 2022 are:
- Ximo Puig, president of the Generalitat Valenciana
- Joan Subirats, Minister of Universities of the Government of Spain
- Vicent Grimalt, mayor of Denia
- Theodor Kallifatides, writer, author of timandra y The past is not a dream
- Joseph Ramoneda, writer and journalist, content director of the Dénia Festival de les Humanitats
- Raphael Yuste, neurobiologist, professor at Columbia University, promoter of the BRAIN project
- Gustavo Deco, Research professor at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies and professor at Pompeu Fabra University, director of the Computational Neuroscience research group and the Center for Brain and Cognition at UPF
- Martha Rodriguez, member of the Practical Ethics and Democracy research group at the UJI, professor of Ethics at the UPV and project manager at the ÉTNOR Foundation
- Mara Diessen, neurobiologist, researcher and university professor, world expert in the field of neurobiology and pharmacology
- Maria Angela Nieto Toledano, biochemist and molecular biologist, principal investigator at the Institute of Neurosciences (CSIC-UMH) of Alicante
- Thomas Marques, ICREA research professor at Pompeu Fabra University and head of the Comparative Genomics group at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC/UPF)
- michel ager, anthropologist, professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and researcher emeritus at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD)
- Leire Pajin, Director of Global Development at ISGlobal, President of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS) and former Minister of Health of the Government of Spain (2010-11)
- Muhammad Subat, journalist specializing in warfare and social and political affairs in Syria and the Middle East, editor of the online magazine Baynana
- Martin Baumeister, historian, director of the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom
- Xose Manoel Nunez Seixas, historian and writer, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Santiago de Compostela, author of Wolf's lairs. Memories of authoritarian Europe (2021) y Back to Stalingrad (2022)
- Heidi Cristina Senante, Jean Monnet Professor of History and Institutions of the European Union
- Zafra Remedies, writer and essayist, tenured scientist at the CSIC Institute of Philosophy, Anagrama Essay Award 2017 for The enthusiasm
- Najat El Hashmi, writer, Ramon Llull Award 2008 with The last patriarch
- Alba Alfajeme, psychologist specializing in sexist violence, professor at the University of Girona and author of When we call our names
- Carmelo Dotolo, full professor of Theology of Religions at the Pontifical Università Urbaniana, president of the Società Italiana per la Ricerca Teologica (SIRT)
- Ana Carrasco-Conde, professor of Philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid, author of speak evil
- Xavier Sampedro, scientist and journalist, was a researcher at the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology in Madrid and at the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge
- Santiago Zavala, ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at Pompeu Fabra University
- Martha Segarra, director of research at the Laboratoire d'Études de Genre et de Sexualité-LEGS, of the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique, author of Humanimals
- Oscar Horta, professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Santiago de Compostela, member of the Animal Ethics Foundation, author of A step forward in defense of animals
- Juan Jose Lopez-Burniol, vice president of the Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions Banking Foundation of Barcelona ”la Caixa”
- Jordi Alberich, economist, content director of the Dénia Festival de les Humanitats
- Cesar Rendueles, philosopher, sociologist and essayist, professor of Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid, author of Against Equal Opportunity: An Egalitarian Pamphlet
- Troy Vettese, environmental historian, Max Weber Fellow, author of Half-Earth Socialism
- Layla Martinez, political scientist, editor and writer, author of Utopia is not an island
- Adolfo Utor, President of Baleària
- Anton Costas, economist, professor of Economic Policy at the University of Barcelona and president of the Economic and Social Council
- Ricardo Mairal, rector of the UNED, professor of English Language and Linguistics in the Department of Foreign Philologies of the UNED
- John Romero, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Valencia and member of the Interuniversity Institute for Local Development (IIDL)
- ben wilson, historian, author of metropolis
- Francesc Munoz, geographer and urban planner, professor of Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, author of Urbanization, common landscapes, global places
- Domingo Garcia-Marza, Professor of Ethics at Jaume I University, director of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology and director of the research group "Applied Ethics and Democracy"
- eva anduiza, Professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ICREA Academia researcher and director of the “Democracy, Elections and Citizenship” research group
- Agueda Quiroga, anthropologist and public policy expert, founder of Philosoc
- James Casals, philosopher, rector of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2013/2021) and professor of Philosophy in the UPF Department of Humanities
- Keshia Pollack-Porter, Chair of the Department of Health, Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
- Rafael Vilasanjuan, journalist, director of Analysis and Global Development at ISGlobal and member of the Civil Society Steering Committee of GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance)
- Sophie Roberts, writer, author of The last pianos of Siberia
Where are the stages?
The festival is divided into two stages, coinciding throughout the programming with simultaneous debates in each of the locations. In addition, some parallel events are held in other parts of Dénia, such as the Calle Marques de Campo and the Plaza del Consell.
The Dénia Social Center Auditorium hosts half of the sessions, including the closing session. This is located in the heart of Dénia, at Carrer Calderón, 4.
La Androna Baleària Port Room
It is a room located on the top floor of the maritime station de Baleària, on the northern breakwater of the port of Dénia. Most of the conferences will be held here, as well as the opening session of the festival.
The price varies depending on whether you want a voucher to access several sessions or attend an event separately. You can buy the tickets here.
- Bonus 8 sessions: €20
- Individual session: €3