these are the central themes for brainwash festival 2021

Hyperindividualism, radical inequality, a global mental health crisis and climate chaos. In a world more complex than ever, what do we focus on? What do we need to think about now? To get you started, we’ve outlined five theme routes: journeys that run through our Brainwash programmes, helping you get to grips with today’s urgent questions.

tomorrow’s economy

Our time’s most critical issue must be extreme economic inequality. Our place of birth, parent’s education, gender. All of them determine our shot at life. Is a different economic system possible? Should we radically upend our thinking about wealth distribution? Why do we hold on to the myth of endless growth?

collective loneliness

Loneliness, fatigue, a sense of meaninglessness: our mental health is in crisis. We’re plagued by more depressions and burn-outs than ever before, while our mental health care services buckle under growing waiting lists. How do we deal with our collective, unstable psyche? And what does this mean for society?

should we radically upend our thinking about wealth distribution?

parallel realities, infinite truths

From lying politicians and filtered news to dwindling trust in science and the unfettered spread of conspiracy theories. What to do about the erosion of a shared sense of ‘truth’? Can we still really connect to each other, across the parallel worlds we’ve created online? And how to reckon with Big Tech’s seemingly limitless power?

new dividing lines

Is society emphasizing identity to dangerous proportions? How much space do we leave each other for conflicting norms and values? Why are we living life together less and less? We examine new and old dividing lines and how to cross them.

how to redesign our relationship to 'the natural'?

changing ecosystems

Our time is one of ecological transformation. Are we truly the last generation to experience ice? Will how we treat animals lead to a second, even more deadly pandemic? And how to redesign our relationship to ‘the natural’? Time to take stock.

earlier posts on our blog