Night of Ideas: Facing the Present at AFK

Launched in 2016, the first Night of Ideas (Nuit des Idées) was an exceptional event in Paris that brought together prominent French and international thinkers to debate the major challenges of our time. Because of its popularity and success, Night of Ideas very quickly established its place on the French and international cultural calendar. This has now become a yearly event: every year, on the last Thursday in January, the Institut Français invites all institutions connected to culture and knowledge, in France and on all five continents, to celebrate freedom of ideas, thinking, expression and knowledge by offering, all in one dynamic evening, conferences, seminars, forums and round tables, screenings and artistic performances. Night of Ideas is inspired by a common theme which each venue is free to interpret in its own way.

For the first time ever, Karachi is participating in Night of Ideas to be held at the Alliance Française de Karachi on 31 January 2019, simultaneously with similar La Nuit des Idées events in cities around the world. Guests from diverse backgrounds—intellectuals, researchers, artists, performers, filmmakers—will gather to discuss the theme all in cities around the world, from Paris to Karachi and beyond.


Their focus question for Night of Ideas under the broad theme of “Facing the Present” will be: Who is better equipped to deal with the challenges of our time—intellectuals or artists?

The highlight of the evening will be a friendly but dynamic public debate where they will invite prominent artists and intellectuals to face off on this question in pithy 7-minute TED-style talks (not a panel discussion!). How are our intellectuals and artists using their work to address the various challenges of our present and future? Each will make the case for why their medium is so well-suited to facing our time. In the end, the audience will vote on who has won the debate, and how both sides can join forces to work together in finding solutions that benefit everyone.

In addition to the main debate, the evening will feature short film screenings, a story sharing exhibit from The Citizens Archive of Pakistan OHP and Peeru’s Cafe, Lahore, and a concert by the Tarz Group

Date: 31 January 2019
Time: 6-10 PM
Venue: Alliance Française de Karachi
Entry: Free entry, open to all

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