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A festival like Elevate thrives on culminating in a few days a year. A momentum is to be created: The "festival momentum". After all, something should be moved - not only in people's minds but also physically. Five days of programme with lots of music, art and political discourse on the festival theme Momentum start on 4 August.

Momentum is difficult to grasp, if only because it occurs in different contexts. But it is also clear that a momentum is not a permanent state. Like the conceptually related moment, the momentum is also fleeting, even if it is not necessarily as fleeting as a moment.

Corona as an impulse for change, the climate crisis as an existential challenge: a suitable time to reflect on movements. How does momentum arise and how can it be used? What characteristics trigger its intensity? Where are our society, politics and people heading?

What comes "afterwards"?

These and many other questions will be addressed in the discourse programme of the Elevate Festival 2021.

Wednesday, 4 August

Festival opening with a speech by Philipp Blom.

For the best-selling author, historian and philosopher Philipp Blom, it is clear: our self-image and our economic system are bankrupt. We need a new model of life for the future. Because we humans are not above nature. We are part of it, dependent and vulnerable. This is shown by the pandemic as well as the climate crisis. The title of Philipp Blom's speech: "Momentum - How does the future actually work?

Joja, known as host and DJ of the radio show FM4 La Boum De Luxe, will lead through the opening. Johanna Mayr-Keber works in architecture, is a cultural organizer and releases her musical productions on the duzzdownsan label.

Thursday, 5 August

Momentum: Philosophy, Psychology and Utopias

Philosopher and author Ariadne von Schirach will give an introductory talk on Momentum. Her essay on the topic is published in the Elevate magazine in the week before the festival.

Swiss psychoanalyst Peter Schneider will talk about what the Corona crisis has brought out in us: solidarity or egoism?

Finally, Ann Cotten and Peter RantaĊĦa and other guests will present current utopias and visionary practices in connection with the exhibition "Die Stadt als Datenfeld" (The City as Data Field) in the Grazmuseum.

Friday, 6 August

We Are Europe Festivals, Club and Identity Politics

As part of the We Are Europe festival cooperation, three festivals are guests at Elevate this year: Sonar from Barcelona, Todaysart from The Hague and Reworks from Thessaloniki. In a format based mainly on video calls, artists and activists from around the festivals are joining in.

Two discussion panels will then shed light on club and identity politics.

Club Culture is culture. This statement may sound self-evident, but it certainly wasn't until the pandemic. Guests include the co-founder of the legendary Tresor Club Berlin, Dimitri Hegemann and Martina Brunner from the Vienna Club Commission.

Is the excitement around the broad field of identity politics exaggerated or is this kind of increasing public polarisation attacking the principles of freedom of expression and thus also the ideals of an open, pluralistic society and the Enlightenment?

Among others, the Italian author Cinzia Sciuto, the Viennese filmmaker Paul Poet and the author and university lecturer Maryam Laura Moazedi will discuss this, moderated by the journalist and artistic director of the Donaufestival, Thomas Edlinger.

Saturday, 7 August

Sphera Day: Technology, Media, Politics

Elevate is partnering with Sphera, the first decentralised hub for alternative media across Europe, consisting of 10 independent media and creative companies. Sphera's goal is to reinvent the European media space with a new, authentic social media-driven narrative consisting of both local and pan-European issues.

Discussing topics such as communication technologies, media storytelling, investigative journalism and net politics, among others, are the Russian sociologist and activist Xenia Ermoshina, the lawyer and net activist Renata Avila from Guatemala, NOYB founder and "Facebook plaintiff" Max Schrems and many guests from all over Europe.

Sunday, 8 August

Talk with climate activist Wole Adegbule from Nigeria & Talk with Brian Eno

The last day of the discourse programme consists of two talks with very different but also very exciting interlocutors. The Nigerian activist Wole Adegbule will talk about his form of activism in Africa's most populous country from 1500 hours. Among other things, he uses art and music to sensitise people to the climate crisis.

Finally, at 17:30, there will be a talk with the festival's star guest: Brian Eno. Host Johnny Bliss from Radio FM4 will talk to the legendary musician, artist and activist about his diverse life's work and current issues.

The new Festivalcenter at Next Liberty

The Discourse programme at Elevate Festival 2021 is free of charge and will take place at the new Festivalcenter at Next Liberty.

More information about the programme can be found in the Discourse section.


Registration of visitors and verification of a current 3G proof will be done on site (Covid security measure / Contact Tracing).

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