A Feast of Strangers & Muse Conversations
by Theodore Zeldin
13-16 September 2019
“Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts, they transform them. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards, and it involves being willing to emerge a slightly different person.” - Theodore Zeldin
We are honoured to team up with Theodore Zeldin, the renowned Oxford University philosopher, historian and author & the Oxford Muse to present The Muse Conversations in Helsinki.
During the events we invite you to experience an unconventional culture of dialogue, developed by Theodore Zeldin around exhilarating, thought-provoking topics.
The Muse Conversations bring total strangers or mere acquaintances together, in pairs, for a conversation that transcends small talk. Both are given a Menu of Conversation with specific questions that guide and structure their discussion. By working through a menu of different questions, they will both reflect on the details of their lives, speculate on their personal experiences and gain a deeper understanding of one another. The encounter will be captivating and memorable; it will change their world, even if just for a short while.
in collaboration with
Johanna Grönqvist from Svenska Yle wrote about her experience of having a conversation with a stranger. The full story (in Swedish).
Amos Rex Museum, Helsinki
📷 Johannes Romppanen (The Feast of Strangers)
📷 Iia Palovaara / Amos Rex
Theodore Zeldin, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), is an Oxford University historian and philosopher. He has been a pioneer in revealing how relationships; and emotions such as love, fear, loneliness, friendship and ambition; have evolved in different civilisations over the centuries; and most importantly, how they can be changed again today through a new kind of conversation that builds trust between strangers, new ways of working that avoid boredom, and new attitudes towards rebellious youth and forsaken old age. He has been an adviser to the President of France, was made a Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur and awarded The Wolfson Prize.
Over the last 30 years, Theodore Zeldin has been experimenting and developing a new form of conversing that enables people to exchange their experiences and aspirations in order to improve mutual understanding and trust. In twenty countries worldwide, more than 12,000 participants from the Olympics, and The World Economic Forum; to schools and homeless shelters, have taken part in Muse Conversations.