opening night

friday october 27th   •  19:30  •  de brakke grond, amsterdam   

Join us for the opening night of Brainwash Festival! We celebrate our festival weekend with groundbreaking speakers, radical proposals, performances, DJ’s and more. 

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what to expect

During the opening night, we take you on a journey through our festival programme. We reflect on the main question of our festival: How to live in uncertain times?

We present writer and stylist Ayishat Akanbi who reflects on identity, vulnerability and autonomy. We listen to the visionary ideas of science journalist Gaia Vince who presents a world which might seem unimaginable to us now. And philosopher Lammert Kamphuis teaches us about ‘perspective agility’ and how we might use it.

There is more! In a special performance by Niki Verkaar and De Veenfabriek we take on cynicism and writer Aya Sabi creates a new narrative for the future. The evening is moderated by Shermin Chavoushi. We end our kick-off with DJ’s, performances and drinks.

See you there!

About the language: this opening night will be English, except for the performances of Niki Verkaar and Aya Sabi (translations available). 


more about the participants

How can you prevent getting weary in the face of a daily stream of news about the climate catastrophe and polarization? How do you stay hopeful in a world filled with disaster? In the play Atlantis made by the theatre group De Veenfabriek they present you with a detailed rescuing plan. Actress Niki Verkaar plays a scene from this play and tries to find answers to the questions in her head.

The Guardian wrote about  the work of science journalist Gaia Vince  that it“ should be read not just by every politician, but by every person on the planet, because it lays out, much more clearly than any existing scientific assessment, the world we are creating through global heating.” Gaia dives into her research and the radical proposal she suggests: mass migration.

“The fixation with your identity limits your identity,” writes fashion stylist and columnist Ayishat Akanbi. According to Ayishat we create narrow ideas about identity to grapple with the uncertain times we live in. She thinks we need to get rid of these rigid ideas and make way for true autonomy.

How do we break with entrenched beliefs? And how do we gain more understanding for those who do not share our ideas? According to philosopher Lammert Kamphuis we need ‘perspective agility’ to deal with these rigid times.

Author Aya Sabi writes as if her life depends on it. In her debut novel Half Leven [Half Life] she searches for past and suppressed memories and explores themes such as displacement, estrangement and the memories of three generations of women. For our festival she tries to get a grip on the world we leave behind and the future ahead of us.

Presenter and journalist Shermin Chavoushi presents her own monthly talkshow ‘Shermin op Zondag’ in the Rode Hoed, in which she interviews a broad range of guests about all kinds of current and societal affairs; from politics to technology and from philosophy to culture. As senior editor for talkshows Jinek and Humberto, she is always perfectly up to date with current affairs.

Whiteout is a podcast made by writer and audiomaker Lieselot Mariën and composer, musician andproducer Jac van Exter (Jungle By Night)

This podcast is produced for Oorzaken Festival and made possible by Buma Music in Motion and Docs.

practical info

Date: friday night, october 27th 2023
 7:30 PM
Program: At 07:30 PM we immediately start with an opening act: the podcast Whiteout. At 7:45 PM there will be a special musical performance by Jac van Exter. The main programme start at 8:15 PM. 
Location: De Brakke Grond, Nes 45, Amsterdam
Ticket regulier: € 18,50
Ticket student: € 16,50

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more brainwash

brainwash festival 2023

At Brainwash Festival we resist doom scenarios, and set out a course. In more than 60 programmes the most ground-breaking philosophers, academics, theatre-makers and writers come together to navigate these uncertain times with us.

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