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Science & Cocktails: Why do people kill?

Science & Cocktails: Why do people kill?

Monday 19 February 2024

Monday 19 February 2024

In Tolhuistuin - Club

Doors: 19:00, Support: 17:30, Main programme: 20:30

  • Program is half seated, half standing

Science & Cocktails is a series of public talks by scientists with live music and smoky dry-ice chilled cocktails in your hand.

19:00 doors open for cocktails
19:30 The Sunshine Society (Live music)
20:30 Alette Smeulers (talk)
Event in English, semi-seated.

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The attack by Hamas on October 7; the bombings of Gaza by Israel; the war in Ukraine; repressive regimes which torture, rape and kill; the terror attacks all over the world – these are all crimes that shock the human conscience and horrify us into disbelief and yet they dominate our news channels. Who are the people behind this violence and why do they torture, rape and kill? What kind of people are they? What motivates them to do this? How do they see their own crimes? What makes them resort to violence? But also: How can we stop them?

When we see the news we tend to distance ourselves from the perpetrators as well as the crimes and argue that they, the perpetrators must be very different from us ordinary normal human beings. We tend to believe that they must have a violent past, long criminal records or mental deficiencies otherwise they would not be able to do this. But: Is that really the case? Are perpetrators born to be violent and cruel? Or are they made that way? And if so: by whom, how and why? Or are they normal after all? ‘Terribly and terrifyingly normal’ as the famous philosopher Hannah Arendt suggested when, during the sixties, she witnessed the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organizers and executioners of the Holocaust. But if that were true: does that mean that we could all become perpetrators of mass atrocities?

This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of the University of Amsterdam. Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso Amsterdam.

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    About the speaker

    Alette Smeulers is professor at the University of Groningen. She is specialized in perpetrators of international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as terrorism. In her research she takes an inter- and multidisciplinary approach. She has published widely in the field. Her most recent book on Perpetrators of mass atrocities: terribly and terrifyingly normal? is published by Routledge (2024). Together with Nicola Quaedvlieg, she also made a podcast series on perpetrators of mass atrocities, called Terribly and Terrifyingly Normal?

    The Sunshine Society

    The Sunset Society takes you on a journey to the sunny beaches of California in the 1960s.
    This sunny pop duo in the Amsterdam area makes sunshine pop/psychedelic pop with surf influences and compelling harmonies. The pop formation was formed around multi-instrumentalist Joost van Eck who is accompanied by Denzel Sprenkeling. With their authentic choices in sounds, instruments, chords and recording techniques, The Sunset Society transports you to the past. Dream away to the best summer of your life with their sweet love songs with echoing guitars.

    The Sunshine Society

    Listen to the top songs

    How to get to Tolhuistuin

    Tolhuistuin (formerly Paradiso Noord) is located at IJpromenade 2 in Amsterdam North. A free ferry is departing from Amsterdam Central Station to Buiksloterweg. Turn left and you’ll walk into Tolhuistuin. For club nights, the rear entrance is used (Buiksloterweg 5C), which can be reached via the Overhoeksplein. Restaurant THT serves an extensive menu for any music lover – making a reservation is recommended.

    Paradiso Programme

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