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About Brainwash

It seems that the only thing certain in this world is uncertainty, with one crisis swiftly followed by the next. Though insecurity rules both private and public life, our capacity for technological innovation appears limitless. In response to these complex challenges, mainstream media spits out black-and-white headlines. Brainwash does the opposite. We present a plethora of perspectives in answer to these multifaceted problems. We provide a stage for refreshing possibilities and alternative ideas. And importantly, we encourage the time and space for reflecting upon them.

Every October we organise Brainwash Festival, the largest thought-festival in The Netherlands and Belgium. We gather writers, thinkers, poets, philosophers, scientists, artists and dramatists from around the country and around the world to paint possible future perspectives – not in black and white, but full colour – as they seek answers to the world’s most urgent questions. We don’t offer simple solutions, but unexpected insights; new ideas and a veritable feast of food for thought. Brainwash Festival takes place in Amsterdam, and our programme offers over 80 performances for over 5000 participants.

This year, Brainwash will be Corona-proof. We present Brainwash Wanderlust, a walking festival where small audiences meet big ideas, across different locations in the center of Amsterdam. At the same time, we’re launching Brainwash Digital, an online version of the festival, where some of the most important thinkers will be invited.

Highlights from the past 6 editions of our festival:

Naomi Klein, Richard Dawkins, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Michael Sandel, Mariana Mazuzucato, David Vann, Tomáš Sedláček, Srecko Horvat, Saskia Sassen, Evgeny Morozov, Patricia Churchland, Kate Raworth, Alain de Botton, Roman Krznaric, Jonathan Safran Foer, Aubrey de Grey, Markus Gabriel, Colin Crouch en Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Brainwash Talks & Brainwash Specials

Alongside the main festival, we organise Brainwash Talks and Brainwash Specials. Brainwash Talks are organised three times a year, and are aired by our media partner ‘Human’. And when there are speakers that just can’t wait for the festival, we organise Brainwash Specials to address our most pressing concerns.

Brainwash Online

Brainwash.nl is the daily platform for unexpected ideas. Human publishes interviews, essays or columns by philosophers, writers and scientists who help us take a different look at the world.