On November 24 2020, the French sociologist and philosopher Bruno Latour (1949) was awarded the Spinozalens 2020 by Mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema in Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. The evening was organised by the International Spinozaprijs Foundation, the Embassy of the North Sea and Felix Meritis and could be followed via livestream. Mediapartner of the award ceremony is Brainwash/ Human.
Spinozalens 2019 — 2020
Central theme of the Spinozalens cycle 2019-2020 was technology. The jury of the Spinozalens 2019-2020 consisted of the following members: prof.dr.em Herman Wijffels (chairman), prof.dr. Peter Paul Verbeek (University of Twente), prof.dr. Damiaan Denys (University of Amsterdam), prof.dr. Karen Maex (rector magnificus of the University of Amsterdam) and dr. Katleen Gabriëls (Assistant Professor at Maastricht University).
Bruno Latour has had a long academic career as a professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure des Mines and Sciences Po in Paris. He is still associated with the latter university as emeritus. He has become known far beyond his own fields of expertise with books such as We have never been modern (1991), Facing Gaia (2015) and Down to Earth (2017). According to the jury, Bruno Latour is one of the first to interpret technology as a social factor. In addition, Latour had already put sustainability on the agenda in the early 1990s. According to him, non-humans such as seas, plants, animals and microbes have a political voice that must be heard in our democracy. His plea for a “Parliament of Things” is very innovative and leads to a different way of dealing with all that is non-human. For Latour, philosophy is thought in interaction. He leaves the ivory tower of academia and commits himself to empiricism. As a result, his thought has made a huge impact, not only on technology, but on other areas such as anthropology, education and art (history and theory). Latour regularly speaks out on current affairs, be it the climate crisis, COVID-19 or international politics.
Programme award ceremony
The award ceremony November 24 2020 at Felix Meritis was hosted and moderated by the Netherlands’ Philosopher Laureate, Daan Roovers and included:
— an artistic intervention by Harpo ’t Hart & Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti
— a brief lecture about the Parliament of Things by lawyer Daphina Misiedjan
— an interview with Bruno Latour by essayist and writer Bas Heijne, with questions prepared especially by international thinkers Donna Haraway, Chantal Mouffe & Peter-Paul Verbeek
— the online awarding of the Spinozalens 2020 to Bruno Latour by Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema
— acceptance speech by Bruno Latour from Paris
24 November, 20.00 — 20.30
Click here for more information about the programme and guests.
In the context of the awarding of the Spinozalens to Bruno Latour, the educational and public program Welcome to the Parliament of Things was launched from 19 — 27 November 2020 at various locations. Read more about this on www.parlementvandedingen.nl