Vienna Humanities Festival at Vienna City Hall Focusing on Threats to Democracy and War in Ukraine

More+More+ ♦ Published: August 28, 2022; 21:45 ♦ (Vindobona)

In this year's Vienna Humanities Festival, the theme is "The Age of Uncertainty – Zeitenwende" which focuses on the war in Ukraine and the crisis of democracy. The 25 lectures and talks will take place from 27.9.- 2.10. at Vienna City Hall.

The Vienna City Hall will host again the Vienna Humanities Festival. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Thomas Ledl / CC BY-SA (

Today the world seems out of joint. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine, bringing the war to Europe again. Atrocities, terror bombings, and mass deportations seemed to be a thing of the past. The war plunged an already unsteady world into deeper uncertainty. Not only struggling with the economic and public health consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world faces spiraling inflation driven by rocketing energy and food prices. The post-1989 period of hope and trust in liberal and democratic values have evaporated in a few short years. The accelerating speed of technological innovations makes it difficult to keep pace with the changes it induces.

The focus will be on the the roots and consequences of the war in Ukraine, global crises and digitization. This year’s Vienna Humanities Festival, which is already taking place for the fifth time, will be held at the Vienna City Hall (Rathaus Wien), at the Vienna University of Technology (Technische Universität Wien) and at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien).

The Vienna Humanities Festival is a joint project by the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) and Time to Talk. Der Standard, Erste Foundation, Open Society Foundations, City of Vienna, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna University of Technology and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna are also cooperating with the famous festival.

Join the debates with economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, author Daniel Kehlmann, Putin expert Catherine Belton, political scientists Ronald Deibert and Lea Ypi, investigative journalists Christo Grozev and Andrei Soldatov, essayist Katja Petrowskaja.

The Vienna Humanities Festival will be posing three fundamental questions. What can we learn from history, and can philosophy help us navigate through these disturbing times? What can literature and the arts reveal to us about such epochal shifts? And what does it mean to be human in an age of ever-accelerating technological change? The Festival will bring together some of today’s brightest minds for an intense, absorbing weekend in which we navigate the seas of uncertainty to find answers in unexpected places.

Festival participants:

​Catherine Belton, Daniel Kehlmann, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Aaner Barzilay, Philipp Blom, Christopher Caldwell, Stefan Creuzberger, Ronald Deibert, Thomas De Waal, Carlos F. Fraenkel, Florence Gaub, Christo Grozev, Nataliya Gumenyuk, Gerti Kappel, Basil Kerski, Olesya Khromeychuk, Dirk Kurbjuweit, Thomas Lohninger, Johanna Lutz, Margaret Macmilan, Robert Muggah, Veronika Munk, Katja Petrowskaja, Oana Popescu-Zamfir, Andras Sajo, Yuri Slezkine, Andrei Soldatov, Ece Temelkuran, Andreas Treichl, Ruth Wodak, Lea YPi

All events are held in English or German. Admission is free.

Further information can be found at: