Skip to content

«Barbara Bleisch trifft»- that is the title of a new series of talks at Dampfzentrale Bern. The name says it all: four times a year, the stage belongs to well-known philosopher and author Barbara Bleisch. Each time, she meets an inspiring personality of her choice from the worlds of culture, politics, art and science to discuss current events and to explore the thought spaces and experiences of her guests. In the conversations, uncomfortable issues are taken up and questions are thought through to the end – without taboos, honestly and without spectacle.

The audience is also called upon: a «Zettelkasten» is converted into an analog commentary column in which the listeners can contribute, free of digital gadgetry and without having to expose themselves.
The first guests in the series are: the award-winning philosopher and publicist Carolin Emcke, the well-known Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, the go-getting Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, and Judith Schalansky, author and multi-award-winning “Naturkunden” editor at Matthes&Seitz.

Four times a year, the celebrated philosopher and author Barbara Bleisch plans to meet an inspiring guest from various spheres of society, such as culture, politics, art, science or showbiz. Dampfzentrale Bern will then be transformed into an environment of lively discussion, where current and relevant issues are debated, uncomfortable topics tackled and thoughts taken to the point of pain.

And the audience is not expected to listen passively to these utterances. There will be a note box in place for members of the audience to submit questions and comments both before and during the hour-long discussion. This method of audience integration does not rely on digital effects and allows everyone to take part without being put on the spot. The spotlight here is firmly on the analogue exchange between Barbara and her guests.

Through these talks, the new series of events explores the context in which the artistic programme of Dampfzentrale Bern is presented. The illustrious guests include the author and publicist Carolin Emcke, the artist Miriam Cahn and the author Judith Schalansky.

Carolin Emcke

Carolin Emcke is a publicist who studied Philosophy in London, Frankfurt/M. and Harvard, before completing a doctorate in «Collective Identities». From 1998 to 2014 she was a foreign editor and reporter focusing on conflict regions around the globe (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Colombia, Haiti), since then she has been working as a freelance journalist and publicist (writing articles for various newspapers, including Süddeutsche Zeitung and El Pais). Her books («How We Desire», «Because We Can Speak», «Against Hate») have been translated into more than 10 languages worldwide. Carolin has been curating and hosting «Streitraum» at Schaubühne Berlin for over 15 years. Since 2019, her lecture performance «Yes means yes and…» has been a popular feature at Schaubühne. Her work has been recognised with various awards, including the «Peace Prize of the German Book Trade», the «Johann Heinrich Merck Award for Literary Critique and Essay» and the «Carl-von-Ossietzky Prize for Contemporary History and Politics». Carolin lives in Berlin.

Barbara Bleisch

Barbara Bleisch, Dr. phil., studied Philosophy, German Literature and Religious Studies in Zurich, Basel and Tübingen, before completing her doctorate at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich. She has been hosting the programme «Sternstunde Philosophie» for the Swiss public broadcaster SRF since 2010 and writing as a columnist for the Swiss daily newspaper «Tages-Anzeiger» since 2018. Barbara is a member of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich and lectures Ethics in various advanced study programmes. Further, she is a member of the jury of the Tractatus award for philosophical essay writing. Her most recent publications include «Wanting Children» (together with Andrea Büchler, Hanser), «Why We Owe Our Parents Nothing» (Hanser), «Familial Obligations» (Suhrkamp) and «Ethical Decision-Making» (Versus).

Masks required.


Supported by: GVB Kulturstiftung und Gesellschaft zu Zimmerleuten,  Stiftung STAB, Jubiläumsstiftung der vonRoll Holding AG

Jump to top of page