The world order seems to be shifting. The dominant economic system is bursting at the seams. On the daily roller coaster of duty, pleasure, stimuli and existential fear, we lose our grip. It is high time we examine ourselves and our place in the world. To explore other ideas, visions and directions. Who are we? Where are we going? What could a radically different future look like?

At Brainwash Festival 2022, philosophers, scientists, theater makers and writers offer us new approaches to expression, helping us to understand ourselves and the world in these times of change. Ideas collide and chafe, bold thoughts are given free rein, and insightful visions and viewpoints culminate in new ways of thinking. Drum roll…

..the first names for Brainwash Festival 2022 are confirmed! Check out the line-up here.

these are the central themes this year

whose freedom? what freedom?

We want freedom! But we don’t always agree on what it means to be free. The war in Ukraine, the rollback of abortion laws: the debate intensifies and the consequences are great. While one may take to the streets to demand freedom, the other points out the responsibilities of what ‘being free’ entails. Is freedom still attainable in a world that is more complex than ever? Or must some freedoms die in order for others to flourish?

our bodies keep the score

Our bodies often foot the bill for life in the modern world. Loneliness, illness, stress and emotions such as joy, pain, mourning, and desire leave their mark. Sometimes these marks are visible from the outside, sometimes deep within. At the same time, our bodies are the lens through which we understand the world. It shapes how we live, love, and experience our sexuality and gender. What can we learn from our bodies about the world around us?

we’re all divided together

The rifts in society are growing wider and wider. Rich and poor, woke and racist, white collar and blue collar, landlord and tenant, multinational and flex worker; the divide seems unbridgeable. Can we still think outside the boxes? Can wealth be better distributed? Why do we tend to think in terms of winners and losers? And how do we find common ground?

radical futures

A new cold war, cyber incidents, robotisation of labor, the total disruption of the climate: the future can appear quite frightening. We need progressive and radical visions of the world more than ever. How do we use new technologies and innovations in competent ways? How can we move forward without losing sight of the major challenges of today? Will we ever get rid of extreme inequality? The leading thinkers of the day can show us the way.