“About the world we live in”, 7th edition: festival of conferences and cultural and scientific dialogues PROGRAM

Between May 18-20, Alexandru N. Stermin, Catherine Nixey, Victor Ieronim Stoichiță, Cristian Mureșan, Gabriel Liiceanu, together with their dialogue partners, Radu Paraschivescu, Cătălin Striblea, Mihaela Dedeoglu and Horia-Roman Patapievici.

Tickets for access to the Athenaeum hall, those for online viewing of the event and subscriptions that allow participation in all the conferences of this edition are available on the Eventbook platform. Until March 24, subscriptions in both categories will have a reduced price of 50 lei.

The topics addressed by the lecturers and their dialogue partners will be the following:

• about the relationship of people from tribal communities with nature and how we, those from developed societies, could recover nature in our relationship with the world around us;

• about the story of the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire and how its beginnings represented the end of the classical world;

• about the image of the foreigner – the representation of the “other” in Western visual art;

• about the direction and relevance of capitalism in a changing world; on galloping digitalisation, the confusion of the middle class and artificial intelligence; • about the ideal models of coexistence and what prevents us from achieving them; about how the human species risks planetary suicide with the optimal solutions of its survival at hand.

The annual series of conferences and cultural and scientific dialogues “About the world we live in” is organized by the Humanitas Aqua Forte Foundation, in collaboration with the Humanitas Publishing House and the ARCCA Association, and the presence of this year's guests was possible thanks to the support received from the DEDEMAN company, main partner.


ALEXANDRU N. STERMIN is a biologist, explorer and professor at the Faculty of Biology and Geology of Babeș-Bolyai University where he teaches courses on comparative vertebrate anatomy, ethology, bioethics and human ecology. He participated in many expeditions in the jungle of South America, and in his conference at the opening of the festival, with the theme “In search of the lost tribe: Man and Nature”, he will try an exercise to explore the relationship between man and Nature starting from one of the his adventures in the heart of Brazil.The conference will be followed by a dialogue with Radu Paraschivescu.

CATHERINE NIXEY, journalist at The Economist and author of the bestseller The Dark Ages: How Christianity Destroyed the Classical World, awarded the prize for non-fiction of the Royal Society of Literature, will speak to us in the conference entitled “How to destroy a demon and how to defeat religions” about how the reality regarding the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire is much more complex compared to how it was presented to us in Hollywood films – and in quite a few history books. The conference will be followed by a dialogue with Cătălin Striblea, journalist, filmmaker of radio shows and co-host of the Vorbitorincii podcast.

VICTOR IERONIM STOICHIțĂ is a professor of art history at the University of Friborg, Department of Historical Sciences. In February 2007, he received the title of doctor honoris causa from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, and in 2014 he was the holder of the annual Chair of the Louvre Museum and was awarded the title of “Chevalier des arts et des lettres” of the French Republic. In his conference “We and the Others: The Emergence of the Stranger in Western Visual Art” will address the encounter with the four figures of alterity – Jews, nomads, blacks, Muslims – under the sign of the visible, a necessity given that their representation takes place in close relation with the attempts of a Europe in search of its own identity. The conference will be followed by a dialogue with Mihaela Dedeoglu, director of RFI Romania.

CRISTIAN MUREȘAN currently works in an economic intelligence office in the capital of France. He participated in the development and implementation of management strategies for numerous companies in the USA and Western Europe. Later, he collaborated in more than 80 countries, with the most important government institutions and private entities in energy projects. Privately, he is involved in think tanks promoting liberalism and European integration. His conference “Capitalism to where?” will try to outline a future of capitalism in an uncertain world, tried by various crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the ecology that questions the models of society or to the threat of artificial intelligence. The dialogue that will follow of the conference will be held with the philosopher and writer Gabriel Liiceanu.

GABRIEL LIICEANU, philosopher, essayist and writer, civic and academic personality, will close this year's series of conferences on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum with a theme that concerns us all, namely “What are we doing with the human species?” Is coexistence possible?”. Starting from the ideal models of coexistence – the economic, legal, political, moral and cultural-educational model -, we will see what exactly in our paradoxical makeup prevents us from realizing them. Why these models remain dysfunctional ? Isn't it ridiculous that the human species should disappear with the optimal solutions for its survival in its pocket? That would mean that, instead of “eternal peace”, we would experience a state of continuous war, which would eventually lead to suicide planetary. The conference will be followed by a dialogue with the essayist Horia-Roman Patapievici. Find detailed information about the conferences and the complete biographies of the speakers and dialogue partners on the official website, www.lumeaincaretraim.ro.

Conference schedule

Saturday, May 18 11:30

Conference held by Alexandru N. Stermin, with the theme “In search of the lost tribe: Man and Nature”, followed by a dialogue with Radu Paraschivescu

Saturday, May 18, 5:30 p.m

Conference held by Catherine Nixey, with the theme “How to destroy a demon and how to defeat religions”, followed by a dialogue with Cătălin Striblea

Sunday, May 19 11:30

Conference held by Victor Ieronim Stoichiță, with the theme “We and others: The emergence of the foreigner in Western visual art”, followed by a dialogue with Mihaela Dedeoglu

Sunday, May 19, 5:30 p.m

Conference held by Cristian Mureșan, with the theme “Capitalism to where?”, followed by a dialogue with Gabriel Liiceanu

Monday, May 20, 7:30 p.m

Conference held by Gabriel Liiceanu, with the theme “What are we doing with the human species? Is coexistence possible?”, followed by a dialogue with Horia-Roman Patapievici