Jens Jessen

Jens Jessen, born in 1955 in Berlin, studied German Literature and Art History in Berlin and Munich. Until 1988 he worked as book editor in publishing houses in Zurich and Stuttgart, until 1996 as editor in the travel and cultural department and as Berlin correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, until 1999 as chief cultural editor at the Berliner Zeitung and until 2012 in the same position at DIE ZEIT. Lately at that very place as a simple cultural editor without any special functions. Occasionally he teaches at Leipzig and Basel universities. Among his books are the volume of essays “Deutsche Lebenslügen” (2000) and the novel “Im falschen Bett” (2014).

Popsalon: “Where I am is where the top is, should I ever be at the bottom, then the bottom is the top”

Date: Day 1 – 20:00
Location: Nivre Studio, Weimar
Language: German

Where does one find the high and the low in popular music? Isn’t pop music necessarily lowbrow, because it originates in the context of commercial exploitation? But if pop is a low art, then it would have to be understood by everybody, because being low implies plainness of contents and direct accessibility. In fact, however, pop was never so difficult to understand as today, so fragmented, ambivalent, and baffling. If that, in turn, means that pop is today’s true high culture – why then is pop, regarding itself as high culture, always of the lowest level? These and other questions will be discussed in a cheerful session of cultural analysis, crossing different forms of expertise, dilettantism and autodidactic efforts. The panelists will watch old and new music videos, asking themselves, what they might mean and at what heights of aesthetic existence they might be positioned.


Talk: The Rhinoceros, the Badger, and the White-Collar Workers

Track: Walking Conference
Date: Day 1 – 18:00
Language: German

Is it possible to interpret animals? What surely can be interpreted is how we view animals. “Jessens Tierleben” is a column in the cultural section of the weekly DIE ZEIT, which conducts an allegorical interpretation of animals and their human observers in the manner of the Physiologus from late antiquity, not in complete earnest, but also not just frivolous – a melancholic-ironic shadow-boxing.

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

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