This autumn, the Institut Français inaugurated a new public debate series entitled In the Face of War – European Dialogue.
The project “In the face of war – European dialogue” consists of a series of events bringing together professionals from the fields of research, think tanks, the media and the public sphere to support discussion and debate surrounding the upheavals in Europe brought about by the war in Ukraine. By bringing together these expert voices from across the continent and other world regions, supporting cross-disciplinary collaboration and facilitating direct interactions with the general public, the project aims to compare the global challenges facing the European project and the local contexts in which populations are tackling them.
“In the face of war – European dialogue” is based on two key elements:
- An events base consisting of themed public meetings in different European cities;
- A central theme entitled “Où est l’Europe ?” (“Where is Europe?”) enabling each host city for the event (“Where is Europe in Prague?”, Where is Europe in Vilnius?”, etc.) to highlight past or current “experiences of Europe”.
The series has been launched in 2023 in Prague and Vilnius, before being held in five European cities in 2024 – Warsaw, Amsterdam, Sofia, Helsinki and Rennes – followed by other stops in 2025.
2024 could be a pivotal year for Europe: both internally (European elections, the challenge of enlarging the European Union, national retreats) and externally (security issues linked to the war in Ukraine, elections in the United States, war between Israel and Hamas and instability in the Middle East), there are a lot of pressures and threats on the European Union and the European project.
Research and the challenge of knowledge in the face of war
Two years after the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and against this backdrop of major challenges, it seems essential to strengthen the bulwark that knowledge and analysis represent against approximations and polarized discourses. What is at stake? A better assessment of reality, its ups and downs and the existing scopes for action.
This is the purpose of this new segment, in Warsaw, of the "In the face of war - European Dialogues" series of public debates. By focusing on the theme of "Research and the challenge of knowledge in the face of war", this stage in Warsaw highlights the need to support exchanges in Europe and beyond on the production and circulation of ideas and different schools of thought. As well as the return of war on the European continent shook up the established order and some certainties, the field of research and the issues linked to public debate are changing in a significant way.
Is the future of research in Europe being played out in the East? What conditions and resources are needed to strengthen expertise and support its dissemination? In a future enlarged Europe, what space is available to researchers and, more broadly, to those involved in public debate to encourage the dissemination of knowledge and the emergence of narratives?
The "European Dialogues" will be held at the University of Warsaw, the Zachęta National Art Gallery and the Reportage Institute. The programme will soon be available online.
Vilnius - 30 November and 1 December 2023
In Lithuania, a country deeply mobilised and affected by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting war, the “Dialogues européens” took place at the Vilnius University on 30 November and 1 December 2023 on the theme of “Culture and imagination in the face of war”. The Season of Lithuania planned in France in autumn 2024 represented a perfect setting for hosting the event.
The two days of debates allowed participants to discuss the shock and impact of the war from the perspective of ideas and culture.
Representatives from around ten European countries took part in round-tables.
- Official opening : Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas, Rector of Vilnius University, and Alix Everard, Ambassador of France to Lithuania.
- Inaugural session: “Ideas from Central Europe”
- “The experience of war: a dialogue between cultural players”
- “The Eastern border in the European imaginary”
- “Where is Europe? Narratives and the stakes of memory"
Prague - Tuesday 14 November 2023
The project « in the face of war - European dialogue » has been launched at the Profesní dům in Prague on Tuesday 14 November 2023.
- First debate "European unity in the face of war"
- Second debate "Reconnecting narratives in Europe"