Susan Neiman in conversation

Part of "The Power of Powerlessness"


English /  After the performance of "By Heart"

American philosopher Susan Neiman is director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam. She recently published the book “Why Grow Up?” in which she argues against a resigned view of being grown up, encouraging maturity and therefore also responsibility. “Peter Pan, most drastically imitated by Michael Jackson, is an emblem of our times. Being grown-up is widely considered to be a matter of renouncing your hopes and dreams, accepting the limits of the reality you are given, and resigning yourself to a life that will be less adventurous, worthwhile and significant than you supposed when you began it.” The book is an argument against state-sponsored immaturity and for a life freed from infantilized consumption.

But how far can autonomous self-determination go when people’s attitude towards life these days is defined by the impression that they have less and less influence over their circumstances? What room for manoeuvring is really available to us in a societal order that is increasingly dominated by ideas of profit and in which failure is charged with stigma? As part of the festival “The Power of Powerlessness” Annemie Vanackere, artistic director of HAU Hebbel am Ufer, will speak with Susan Neiman about a philosophy of self-empowerment in the face of this sense of powerlessness, pointing to a political dimension inherent in disclosing feelings of helplessness.


With: Susan Neiman / and Annemie Vanackere


  • Past
    Wed 17.6.2015, 21:00 / HAU1


Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin

There are two marked parking spots in front of the building. Access to the Parkett by means of a separate entrance with lift when necessary. Barrier-free restroom facilities are available. Wheelchair users are kindly requested to register their attendance at least one day before the performance. Thank you for your understanding. If you need help, please contact our Ticketing & Service team at +49 (0)30 259004-27 or send us an email to

HAU3000 / Positions, Projects, Publications

The Glowing Room

Text by Hendrik Otremba.

An Introduction to “Collectivize Facebook”

By Jonas Staal

“Collectivize Facebook” is a lawsuit aimed to turn Facebook into public property, initiated by artist Jonas Staal and lawyer Jan Fermon. Read here Staal’s introduction to the project.

“Manifestos for Queer Futures”

Video Documentation

As part of the festival “The Present Is Not Enough – Performing Queer Histories and Futures”, HAU initiated an open call for artists based in Berlin, who were invited to submit proposals for their Manifestos for Queer Futures.