Press Release

E-U-R-O-P-A – We need to talk!

Europe21: Prominent guests from culture and science hold the mirror to our continent

"We in Europe - What do we stand up for?" is the focus of the program Europe21 initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Leipzig Book Fair. "Let´s pause for a moment, think critically and join together in gangs" is the slogan curator Esra Küçük has chosen for this second edition of the program "Thinking tomorrow's society". This year´s "think space”offers salon talks, an Authors’ Lab with young writers and an interactive theatre event.

Esra Küçük invites creative artists, scientists and civil society players to enter into a conversation with guests of the Leipzig Book Fair about the widening gaps in Europe. "While finding out what connects us to each other, we also want to take a look in the mirror, a look at ourselves in Europe that questions our reactions to current challenges," says the curator. From March 23rd to March 26th Idil Baydar, Roger De Weck, Heinz Bude, Mely Kiyak, Katja Riemann, Naika Foroutan, Martin Roth, Thomas Meinecke and Fatih Çevikkollu among others will be guests in the salon E-U-R-O-P-A.

"I am especially pleased that we will have critical female thinkers such as Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska, Nicoleta Esinencu and Banu Güven with us whose work is increasingly threatened by growing right-wing populism and nationalism," explains Esra Küçük.

Europa21 will open with the performance "E-U-R-O-P-A, we need to talk!" by Idil Nuna Baydar aka Jilet Ayse on March 23rd at 11:30am in the Café Europa.

Salon E-U-R-O-P-A

At the heart of Europa21 is the Salon E-U-R-O-P-A with six salon talks on four fair days in the Café Europa (hall 4, E401). Historically, the salon brought together people with very different world-views, ideologies, religious affiliations and social classes. Poets, natural scientists, politicians, bigwigs and aristocrats met here as equals. With our Salon E-U-R-O-P-A we aim to continue this tradition and encourage the free exchange of ideas in an inspiring atmosphere.

How do we talk with each other? Putting our debate culture to the test:

Salon 1 opens the Salon E-U-R-O-P-A on March 23rd at 12 pm asking the core question of all conversation: How is it possible to encourage true dialogue and the exchange of arguments?

From 1pm to 2pm the guests of Salon 2 will be discussing the question Who is "the people"? Democracy and the shift to the right on our doorstep. Are we experiencing a national-conservative "backlash" that challenges our democratic values and thinking? Is history repeating itself?

Who is "we" and who belongs to us? Strategies in the struggle for change in European societies. The guests of Salon 3 will take a look at the increasing diversity in European societies on March 24th at 12pm. Does diversity pose a threat or contribute to the enrichment of Europe?

For a long time, demographic changes has only been on the public agenda when it came to issues such as pension insurances. How does the demographic trend affect Europe´s democratic future? What is the reason for the partly low turnout among young people? In Salon 4 on March 25th at 12pm, the guests will discuss strategies for dealing with Young against old?  Generational conflict: Democracy in ageing European societies.

Does the 21st century still offer a morality beyond self-interest? What do we believe in? And how does it come about that everybody wants the best and yet such horrible things keep on happening at the end of the day? The participants of Salon 5 try to find answers to these questions: The downwardly-mobile society - What is the nature of our society in the21st century? on March 25th at 1pm.

Authors’ Lab "Writing in free fall" - readings and talks with writers

In the Authors’ Lab on March 26th 2017 12pm, writers Sasha Marianna Salzmann and Deniz Utlu will bring young authors and the audience together, encouraging a personal exchange: Sivan Ben Yishai, Necati Öziri, Nicoleta Esinencu und Yavuz Ekinci attempt to find the right words in their respective times and places. In a world that is at the same time deeply torn apart and increasingly interconnected, they try to make their existence at least describable. Salon 6 deals with Europe and the question: What does this have to do with us?

The writers will also present themselves individually in readings and talks. Sivan Ben Yishai and Necati Öziri will be guests of Europe21 on March 24th at 11am and 3pm as well as on March 25th at 2pm, as well as Nicoleta Esinencu and Yavuz Ekinci on March 24th at 2pm and on March 25th both at 11am and 3pm in the Café Europa Lounge. The readings and talks will also be moderated by Deniz Utlu and Sasha Marianna Salzmann, cofounder of the Neues Institut für dramatisches Schreiben (NIDS).

Interactive theatre event: FUCK YOU,! / Fuck you Moldova!

As the Europe21-program focuses on cohesion in Europe, the title of this guest performance of the Maxim Gorki Theatre might seem apparently contradictory: FUCK YOU,! Fuck you Moldova! Saturday, March 25th 2017, 7.30pm, in the Schaubühne Lindenfels, Leipzig.

Nicoleta Esinencu wrote the angry, associative monologue FUCK YOU,! Fuck you Moldova!. In the play she talks to her dead father and remembers her childhood in Moldova, her studies, her time in Europe, the Perestroika-times, and especially how money and meaninglessness crept into her young life. The actress Marina Frenk has lived through similar experiences. She was born in Moldova when it still was Soviet, has Jewish roots and has lived in Europe from childhood. Being neither Moldovan nor truly German, Russian or Jewish, to her means being a person without any nationality. So what is it like when you are, so to speak, already born as a foreigner? Marina Frenk performs first Nicoleta Esinencu’s monologue and then her very personal answer. The program will be musically rounded off by the very special band The Real Baba Dunyah.

About the curator Esra Küçük

Esra Küçük was born in Hamburg and became a member of the Board of Directors of the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin in March 2016. She manages the Gorki Forum, a new meeting point for discourse and mediation at the multiple award-winning Maxim Gorki Theatre. Before, the social scientist was manager of the Young Islam Conference (Junge Islam Konferenz), a nationwide educational program she initiated, providing a forum for young people to exchange views and find an institutionalized voice in the political debate about issues such as racism, diversity, and social cohesion.

The Foundation Mercator, the Council of Experts of German Foundations for Integration and Migration as well as the Humboldt-University in Berlin are also important stages of her career. Esra Küçük serves inter alia as chairwoman of the Kiron Open Higher Education Advisory Board, the first digital university platform for displaced people.

Europe21 - 2016

The program focus „Europe21 - Thinking tomorrow's society" by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Leipzig Book Fair has been designed to span three years. In its first edition in 2016, writers, scientists, journalists and representatives of civil society from different countries discussed the background of the refugee movements and the challenges resulting from this. Literary critic Insa Wilke curated the premiere.

Press contact
Chiara Josten
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Heidehofstraße 31
70184 Stuttgart
Phone+49 711 46084-750
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Press contact
Michael Herm
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Heidehofstraße 31
70184 Stuttgart
Phone+49 711 46084-290
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