Where else to talk about culture and democracy but in Athens, Greece? Where else to talk about their importance? And the importance to defend and fight for both. Greece currently finds itself in the grips of one of the most virulent economic crises to date, which has mushroomed to inexplicable proportions and has spread and infiltrated all aspects of Greek life. Set against the grim reality of everyday Greek life, it might appear unspeakable to discuss seemingly lofty issues such as culture and democracy. But if not now, when? If not now, when do we ask tough questions about the role of culture in society? Does it distract, empower or manipulate? If not now, when do we ask what a sensible and just culture of democracy should look like?

Burning questions – but who has the answers? Discussing the topics of slashed culture budgets and its impact on democracy as well as the responsibility of cultural figures and institutions in the wake of difficult times are some of the most eminent intellectuals and thinkers from Germany, Greece, Sweden and the rest of Europe, including Lena Divani, Eva Karaitidi, Argyris Kastaniotis, Nikos PapandreouAlexandra Pavlou, Ingo Schulze, and Nike Wagner.

Initiators: German Academy for Language and Literature, S. Fischer Foundation, Allianz Cultural Foundation
Partners: Goethe-Institut Athens
Supported by the Minister of State for Culture and Media


Ingo Schulze in conversation


Christos Asteriou and Mikela Chartoulari


Panel discussion: Culture in Crisis – The Crisis of Culture


Athens Debate – Argyris Kastaniotis in the audience


Nike Wagner and Eva Karaitidi


Comments from the audience


Panel discussion: What Sort of Europe Do We Want?

Christos Chrissopoulos makes a point


Lena Divani and Kostas Kosmas


Athens Programme Brochure