Discovering culture – all night long

How are free spaces for art, culture, science and opinion formed? Five facts about the Long Night of Ideas in Berlin. 

The Long Night of Ideas
The Long Night of Ideas dpa

What is the Long Night of Ideas? 

For the third time, Germany’s Foreign Office and its partners are inviting the population to this night-long event at 15 different locations in Berlin. It begins at 18:00 hours on 1 June. Up until midnight there will be fascinating insights into the work of foreign cultural and educational policy – with music, a poetry slam, discussions, guided tours and performances. Among those taking part are the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), the Goethe-Institut, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Gorki Theatre. The full programme for the Long Night of Ideas can be found here.

Lange Nacht der Ideen in Berlin
Rene Zieger

Does the Long Night of Ideas have a motto?

The theme of the third Long Night of Ideas is whether we  should strive for an open society or withdraw into our national shell. This is reflected, for example, in the panel discussion on ‘How national are we?’ at the Barenboim Said Academy, and in the debate on human rights and artistic freedom at the Maxim Gorki Theatre. Again and again, the focus is on what culture and education can offer to counter the rise of scepticism about Europe – and how can free spaces be preserved for art and culture.

15 locations, 15 ideas: what shouldn’t you miss?

Visitors can spend many hours and discover a lot at the Federal Foreign Office alone. In the Atrium, the topic throughout the evening is Ethics and artificial intelligence, it’s co-sponsored by the makers of the RE:publica digital conference: how will algorithms transform our society – and who can control them? These are only two of the key questions. On the Foreign Office roof, Yvon Chabrowski, installation, video and performance artist, is also focusing her Artist-in-Residence programme on frontiers and freedom. She examines movement patterns from surveillance systems and, in a live performance, asks how borders and freedom work.

The Long Night of Ideas is designed in such a way that visitors can visit several events at different locations. The easiest way to do this is to use the free rental bicycles. And if the route becomes the goal – so much the better. For example, the path from the Foreign Office to the Humboldt Forum will become a ‘path of awareness‘ for visitors, a sound event generated by their steps. Sound strange? Just put on your noisiest shoes and your headphones and try it out!

What does it cost to go to the Long Night of Ideas?

Admission is free, and most of the events can be visited without booking beforehand. The best way to get a proper overview is to change your location and topic a couple of times during the evening. The Long Night of Ideas will be held on Friday, 1 June 2018 between 18 and 24 hours all over Berlin.

How can I become part of the community?

Use the Long Night of Ideas social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. Under the hashtag #LNDI2018 you can discover where other visitors are and what might interest you. Or visit’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram channels – we’ll be reporting live for you from Berlin. 

The Long Night of Ideas