The curator of the Night of Philosophy in Israel 2021
Raphael Zagury-Orly is currently Invited Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris and since June 2019 Directeur de Programme at the Collège International de Philosophie (Paris). He is curating the Night of Philosophy in Israel since its first edition in 2015.
“If democracy appeared, most particularly after the Second World War, as the exemplary political foundation and ideal configuration for governance and furthermore thought by all, at least in the West, as the ideal socio-political balance between State authority, communal equality and individual freedoms, we are, today, witnessing a growing discontent and concern for its sustainability.
Indeed, the rise of populism worldwide, the general slips in national politics towards forms of authoritarianism, the growing suspicion towards governance in democratic countries, the numerous difficulties in stabilizing the relations between State politics and minorities, the general decline in political culture and education, representation and participation in public life in most democratic countries, the rising numbers of cases in governments worldwide of corruption and exploitation, the relay of false information and erroneous representation of facts by political leaders and officials democratically elected, the incapacity to respond cohesively to the environmental and sanitary crises, are some amongst many indubitable signs, at both national and international political levels, of a rapid exhaustion of the ideal of democracy.
In the face of these growing crises, we are to pose the following questions: how to rethink and reinvent democracy today? How can our democratic ideals be revivified in order to address the multiple threats surfacing in our contemporaneity and thereby necessarily affecting our future? And furthermore, can we still hope in democracy or are we condemned to bear the enervation of the very ideal of democracy? In this sense, our questions will address our present without ever omitting to consider our past in order to carry our gaze towards our future. And therefore, in bringing together philosophers, political theorists, artists, scientists, historians, activists and actors in civil society to discuss our present context, we seek to both repair our world and offer a renewed ideal for the generations to come”.