Culture alert: ‘Anxiety + Doubt + Seduction’
Soren Kierkegaard

To commemorate the timeless legacy of Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, the Embassy of Denmark and the Danish and Egyptian Dialogue Institute have organized a six-month long series of celebrations marking the 200-year anniversary of his birth.

After hosting ongoing discussions online about the philosopher and his vast body of work, the celebrations will culminate with “Kierkegaard in Egypt” at downtown Cairo’s Makan Culture Center on Tuesday November 26 at 7 pm.

The celebrations kicked off last May, with an exhibition titled “The Global Dane” that opened on Kierkegaard’s birthday, May 5. Produced by the Danish Culture Institute, the exhibition included 16 posters about Kierkegaard’s life and work, introducing him as a person and depicting his alleged “attack on the church.”

A highly influential 19th-century philosopher, Kierkegaard is commonly credited as the father of existentialism. He was also an important critic of the institution of the church and of religion generally, a position that he often tackled by writing under various pseudonyms.

On Tuesday, for the last event of these festivities Makan will host an evening of several activities, including a screening of a documentary on Kierkegaard (in English with Arabic subtitles), followed by a debate about Kierkegaard and life’s existential questions. Kierkegaard connoisseur Ramsus Quistgaard,  Dr. Hassan Hamaad, chairman of the University of Zagazig’s philosophy department, and Cairo-based cartoonist Andeel (a Mada Masr staff member) will speak on the panel.

Andeel was also commissioned to create a contemporary, comic interpretation of Kierkegaard’s work. The darkly humorous result is available online in both English and Arabic.

Winners of the photography competition “Anxiety + Doubt + Seduction” will also be announced Tuesday evening. The competition invited local photographers to submit images inspired by the title.

Copies of one of Kierkegaard’s most famed books, “Sickness Unto Death,” will be available in an Arabic translation at the event. 


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