Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hirshhorn and French Embassy To Organize Evening of Philosophy, Performance and Art Jan. 31

La Maison Française at the French Embassy Hosts DC Debut of ‘Night of Ideas,’ Featuring Keynote Speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 

Note: The Night of Ideas, originally scheduled at the Hirshhorn Museum, has been moved to La Maison Française due to the government shutdown. 

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will partner with the French Embassy and the  Judy and Peter Blum-Kovler Foundation to present the first Washington, D.C., edition of the Night of Ideas, a global marathon of ideas that will activate La Maison Française with talks and performances by today’s leading thinkers and creators, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, 6:30 p.m.–12 midnight. For one night only, guests will have the unique opportunity to hear from over 70 philosophers, sociologists, economists, musicians, artists and authors from the Washington, D.C., area and around the world. 

For its Washington debut, the Night of Ideas will explore the theme Facing Our Time” through a diverse range of topics, including civil rights, digital privacy, art and advocacy, economics, feminist philosophy, art history and more. A keynote address will be delivered by renowned Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose internationally acclaimed books, including Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Americanah (2013), We Should All Be Feminists (2014) and most recently, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (2017), have been credited for starting a worldwide conversation about feminism.

“The Night of Ideas is a one-of-a-kind worldwide event, a global ‘marathon’ of ideas,” said French Ambassador Gérard Araud. “For this first edition in Washington, D.C., we have gathered an exceptional group of thinkers, musicians, performers and artists to forge links and provoke ideas that will resonate throughout the night.”

Participants will enjoy thought-provoking insights from luminaries including art critic, curator and Marcel Duchamp expert Bernard Marcadé; French philosopher Manon Garcia; artificial intelligence specialist Eric Gaussier; Senegalese economist and writer Felwine Sarr; author and national correspondent for The Atlantic Franklin Foer; privacy and public policy expert Dipayan Ghosh; the George Washington University Debate & Literary Society; and Smithsonian Year of Music co-curator Huib Schippers.

Dynamic performances from French visual artist Frédéric Nauczyciel and American voguing performer Marquis Revlon’s Marching Band Baltimore Project will punctuate the beginning and end of the event. The night will also include an interactive poetry performance by Les Souffleurs commandos poétiques, an instrumental interpretation of paintings into music by violinist David Schulman and a spoken word presentation by poet Charity BlackwellGuests will also enjoy pop-up art activations and in-gallery DJ performances throughout the night.

This presentation of the Night of Ideas will also feature: Raphaël Liogier (philosopher and sociologist), Fabien Truong (sociologist), Anastasia Colosimo (political scientist), David Levaï (environment expert), Jessica Mehta (poet), Ada Pinkston (artist) and Halcyon Arts Lab fellows Kristin AdairKelli Rae AdamsJessica MehtaTariq O’MeallyAda PinkstonAlthea Rao and Naoko Wowsugi.

The event is free and open to the public. *Registration required
While all tickets for the event have been reserved, we encourage everyone to join the waitlist, which can be accessed at

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the evening thanks to Le Café Descartes.

A full list of activities can be found at

La Maison Française - Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, 
DC 20007

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