The Juan Ignacio Molina building (former Severín) was the heritage venue chosen to begin with this 4th edition of the Festival Puerto de Ideas, which, on this occasion, invited us to think about our condition of inhabitants of specific cities and geographies in a digital and technological world that is transforming our world view due to the access to information and knowledge.
Before a packed Teatro Municipal, David Harvey, British geographer and economist, shook the foundations of the audience with an enlightening examination of world economy, establishing a relationship between urban planning and capitalism, exemplified by the demand of urban space in a global context of extreme inequality.
Meanwhile, David Grossman, one of the most important Israeli writers and recurrent candidate to the Nobel Literature prize, transported the audience to the inner secrets of a writer and gave them a vision of the dilemmas of writers when facing fiction, in which sometimes reality ends up by striking ideas in an inescapable way, thus making reference to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The Chilean scientist and founder of the Fundación Ciencia & Vida (Science & Life), Pablo Valenzuela exemplified how curiosity has led to revolutionary knowledge that caused a profound impact on society, referring himself to the investigation of the gene activation in yeast which resulted in the invention of a vaccine against hepatitis B.
One of the highlights of the closing day was the conference by Bruno Latour, French anthropologist and philosopher, which was undoubtedly the most anticipated speech of the day: “The State of Nature” in which he referred to his controversial theory about GAIA. “It is a vision of what a political body would be like. Gaia proceeds from a New Age philosophical vision in which the planet is not inert or complete”, which explains why we feel ourselves so overwhelmed and powerless before the environmental crisis we face.
The Belgian political scientist, Chantal Mouffe, argued that artistic and cultural practices have an inherent political dimension because they create subjectivities of thought and affect the way in which people act politically and therefore, contribute to question current hegemony.
Italian psychoanalyst, Luigi Zoja, criticized the media that contribute to widespread paranoia when simplifying their messages. -Paranoia, the madness that makes history – a kind of thought with a disturbing and absurd capacity of social contagion.
On his part, the Chilean art theorist, Pablo Chuiminatto, was warmly applauded at the end of his delivery which was a didactical invitation to understand the new forms of knowledge and technologies that “are here to stay”, and not to fear processes of obsolescence.
The festival prepares its fifth version in Valparaíso, which will take place on November 6, 7 and 8, 2015. In addition, Puerto de Ideas, the Science Festival of Antofagasta will be held for the second time on 10, 11 and 12 April of this year.