How do we defend ourselves against fake news and propaganda, no prejudice and resentment, too much information and too few reliable facts? How do we learn to see and understand the multiple views and attitudes while not indulging in complete relativism? How can we develop into autonomous, critical and cosmopolitan citizens, thereby strengthening democracy? In times of fake news and information overkill, of extreme contradictions between allegations and reality, we require techniques for intellectual self-defence against dogma and manipulation to safeguard our individual freedom as knowledgeable and critical citizens. This seminar aims to provide such techniques. Judo for the mind, Krav Maga for the intellect.
After the Seminar Week, this seminar will turn into an Alpbach Learning Mission (ALM).
Event Manager, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
| ||Nikola Ksiazek is a Political Scientist, currently affiliated with the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna. His work centres on questions of identity, history and memory in politics relating to contemporary democratic challenges in Central Eastern Europe. Besides the academic aspirations he also worked in the field of youth education in memorial service.|
Author, Translator, Publisher, Vienna
| ||Trojanow was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1965. In 1971 his family fled Bulgaria through Yugoslavia and Italy to Germany, where they received political asylum. In 1972 the family travelled on to Kenya, where Ilija's father had obtained a job as engineer. Ilija Trojanow lived in Nairobi until 1984. After a stay in Paris, he studied law and ethnology at Munich University from 1985 to 1989. He interrupted these studies to found Kyrill-und-Method-Verlag in 1989, and after that Marino-Verlag in 1992, both of which specialised in African literature. In 1999 Trojanow moved to Mumbai and became intensely involved with Indian life and culture. He has lived in Cape Town, returned to Germany (Mainz), and then to Austria, where he currently resides in Vienna. In the 1990s Trojanow wrote several non-fiction and travel books about Africa, published an anthology of contemporary African literature and translated African authors into German. His first novel, "Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall", appeared in 1996. His reportage "Zu den heiligen Quellen des Islam" describes a pilgrimage to Mecca. Since 2002 Ilija Trojanow has been member of the PEN centre of the Federal Republic of Germany. Among other awards he received the Bertelsmann Literature Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann competition in Klagenfurt in 1995, the Marburg Literature Prize in 1996, the Thomas Valentin Prize in 1997, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2000 and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the category of fiction for his novel "Der Weltensammler" (The Collector of Worlds) in 2006. In 2013 Trojanow had criticized the National Security Agency (NSA). In the same year he was denied entry into the USA for undisclosed reasons. He planned to attend a scholar's conference there.|