Long Night of Utopia.

The pandemic crisis marks a turning point.

A wounded and insecure society is at a crossroads. In times of upheaval such as these we need the "power of the imagination" (Philipp Blom, Das große Welttheater, 2020).

In other words, we need a new blueprint for the future; a counter-proposal to the gradual loss of solidarity, the senseless exploitation of our resources, the quiet erosion of democracy, and re-nationalizing Europe. We need new utopias and new narratives.

Together with the Kepler Salon (artistic director Norbert Trawöger), the Johannes Kepler University aims to be a source of ideas. We would like to extend an invitation to you to attend the Long Night of Utopia featuring special guests such as historian Philipp Blom, author Valerie Fritsch, actress Dörte Lyssewski, and CHORUS SINE NOMINE.


Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenbergerstraße 69
4040 Linz


July 30, 2020,
beg. at 4:30 PM


Event Video

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4.30 PM: Prologue Kids and the Young at Heart - Park Area in front of Schloss Auhof

In the middle of the JKU park, actress Dörte Lyssewski will read a passage from Erich Kästner's "Der 35. Mai oder Konrad reist in die Südsee"

7:00 PM: Voyage to New Utopias - New Library Courtyard at the JKU

In conclusion: Epilogue at the University Pond

To conclude the evening: Songs performed by CHORUS SINE NOMINE, enjoy the sounds of nature at the pond, and refreshments.

Safety First

This is an outdoor event with assigned seating for each guest. All seats will be placed apart from each other in order to adhere social distancing guidelines. Guests are asked to wear a face mask. We will also provide face masks, if necessary. In support of each guest's sense of personal responsibility, we will try to provide each guest with an anonymous coronavirus test in advance using the gargling method as well as take each guest's temperature (as done at hospital entrances).

Information for those taking part in the coronavirus screening test:
Guests who took the gargle test as part in the coronavirus screening can access their results online on July 30 after 3:00 pm using the individual QR code or the individual URL in the enclosed card.
If you enter an invalid URL, you will be automatically redirected to this page.


The seats in the library courtyard will be located under the Learning Center overhang, offering some protection in the event of light rain. In the event of bad weather, we will notify guests at short notice as to whether or not - and how - the event will take place.

Sign Up

In lieu of the current pandemic situation in particular, this event is only open to a (possibly very) limited number of guests. We apologize in advance if we cannot offer you a spot at the event. If more guests sign up by the registration deadline than spots available, the spots will be allocated by a random drawing. We are also working on offering an online option for the Long Night of Utopia.

About the Participating Guests

Born in Lower Saxony in 1966, Dörte Lyssewski studied acting at the Hamburg University of Music and Theatre and began her acting career at Peter Stein's Berlin Schaubühne. This was followed by acting work at theatres and opera houses in Zurich, Montpellier, Bochum, Paris, Brussels, at the Burgtheater in Vienna and the Vienna Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Ruhrtriennale. She is the recipient of, among other awards, the Kainz Medal, the Eysoldt Ring and the Nestroy Theatre Prize.

In addition to her theater work, Ms. Lyssewski works for various radio stations, sound studios and film production companies. In 2015, she published her first book titled "Der Vulkan oder Die Heilige Irene" with Matthes and Seitz in Berlin. Ms. Lyssewski is the German dubbing voice for Hollywood star Cate Blanchett. She has been a member of the Burgtheater (Vienna) ensemble since 2009.

Philipp Blom (1970) grew up in Hamburg and in Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia. After studying in Vienna and in Oxford, he earned his doctorate degree in history. When he was in Oxford, he published an English-language novel "The Simmons Papers" as well as several of his subsequent books and then translated the books into German himself. He has lived in Vienna together with his wife since 2007. In addition to his historical and literary works, he works as a journalist, presents the program "Punkt Eins" on the Austrian cultural radio channel Ö1, makes films such as the multi-award-winning documentary series "Der taumelnde Kontinent" and curates exhibitions in Europe and in the USA.


Philipp Blom's books combine historical research, philosophical explorations, and occasionally fiction. Against the backdrop of current upheavals that include global warming and digitization, his writings - such as "Was auf dem Spiel steht" (2017) - addresses contemporary and future issues. Blom's works have been translated into 16 languages and he has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Groene Waterman Prijs (Antwerp) and the Premis Terenci Moix (Barcelona). His book "Der taumelnde Kontinent" was presented with the NDR Kultur Sachbuchpreis for the best non-fiction book of 2009. "Böse Philosophen. Ein Salon in Paris und das vergessene Erbe der Aufklärung" was presented with the 2011 Gleim Award and named 2011 Historical Book of the Year. In 2018, Blom gave the widely acclaimed opening speech at the Salzburg Festival.

Valerie Fritsch (1989) grew up in Graz and Carinthia and after graduating high school, she studied at the Academy for Applied Photography.


She is a member of the literary group "die plattform", an "open collective of writers, settled in the Graz Literaturhaus and waltzing through the (head)world". Her first novel "Die VerkörperungEN" was published by Leykam in February 2011. Her work is strongly influenced by a great deal of travelling and she spends six to seven months a year abroad. In 2014, she traveled extensively in Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Ghana. Since her second novel "Winters Garten", her works have been published by Suhrkamp Verlag in Berlin. At the invitation of Klaus Kastberger, Valerie Fritsch took part in the 2015 Ingeborg Bachmann Award and won the Kelag Award and the BKS Audience Award. Her book "Herzklappen von Johnson & Johnson" was published in 2020.