Opening: We are all fanatics!

We are all fanatics!

Friday 6 May, 20hrs
De Verdieping, Amsterdam

This evening in co-operation with De Verdieping was part of the manifestation We are all fanatics!

The international renown historian and novelist Philipp Blom revealed in a breathtaking contribution why we are all vulnerable to fanaticism.

A panel reacted on his statements. With Ram Manikkalingam, Theu Boermans and Iris van der Tuin. Chris Keulemans will lead the conversation.

The evening opened with Schönbergs Verklärte Nacht played by students of the Amsterdam Conservatoire and the Salzburger Mozarteum.

Finally Dirk Jansen and Michiel van Iersel launched the online Fanaticism Awareness Test. See


Keynote speech

Philipp Blom is a historian, novelist, journalist and translator. His historical works include a history of the Encyclopaedia by Diderot and d’Alembert that sparked the Enlightenment in France. He has also published an English translation of Geert Mak’s Amsterdam (1999). His recent prizewinning books include The Vertigo years and The Wicked Company.

As a journalist, Blom has written for newspapers in Britain, for various German-language publications and for Vrij Nederland in the Netherlands, as well as for other magazines and journals, the BBC, and German radio stations. He currently hosts a live cultural programme on Austrian National Radio.

Panel discussion

Ram Manikkalingam is director of the Dialogue Advisory Group and professor for International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. He was Senior Advisor for the previous President of Sri Lanka and assistant director of The Rockefeller Foundation, pioneering the frontier of global philanthropy.

Theu Boermans is an actor, screenwriter, stage and film director. He is the artistic director of the National Theater in The Hague. Recently, he directed the successful musical “Soldaat van Oranje”, a story about a group of friends, trying to survive WW II each in their own way. Some of them become spies.

Iris van der Tuin is currently assistant professor at Gender Studies, Utrecht University. She lectures on feminist theory and methodology, feminist classics, and philosophy of science. When it comes to her research, she is interested in the new (feminist) materialism and ‘generationality’.

Chris Keulemans is a traveling writer and journalist, based in Amsterdam. He has written articles and essays about artists in troubled societies. His travels brought him to places such as Algiers, Ramallah, Beirut, Sarajevo, Jakarta and Tirana. He is the former director of De Balie, centre for culture and debate in Amsterdam. This year, he will open De Tolhuistuin, a new arts centre on the other side of the river in Amsterdam.