European Essay Prize 2020
Alessandro Baricco

Photo : Francesca Mantovani   |   Video : mediaprofil

The 42nd European Essay Prize is granted to the writer and essayist Alessandro Baricco for his book The Game, Gallimard, 2019

After studying philosophy and musicology, Alessandro Baricco became a writer, journalist, television presenter, theatre writer, scriptwriter, film director and literary critic. He is the author of highly acclaimed novels, theatre plays and numerous essays on literature, music, philosophy and contemporary society.

In his essay, Alessandro Baricco seeks to understand the profound digital transformation we are experiencing today, observing that it is not only the result of a technological revolution and the use of new tools, but also the result of a “mental insurrection”. In an attempt to understand this profound mutation, he maps out the founding events that have forged our contemporary attitudes and lifestyles inherent to the digital system. With his singular style, combining philosophical insight and humour, he explores the history of this new civilisation of gaming that derives from video games.

The Game - Alessandro Baricco

« If the digital revolution frightens you, reverse the sequence and ask yourself what we wanted to escape from when we began such a revolution. Look for the intelligence that generated the digital revolution: that’s much more important than studying the intelligence that it generated: it is its original matrix. »

Alessandro Baricco

Award Ceremony—Replay


Cyril Veillon
Le 5 octobre 2020 à Lausanne


Laudatio in honour of the laureate

Emanuele Coccia
Philosophe, maître de conférences à l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris
Le 5 octobre 2020 à Lausanne

Motivations of the Jury

Joëlle Kuntz, membre du Jury
Le 5 octobre 2020 à Lausanne

Lecture by Alessandro Baricco

Le 5 octobre 2020 à Lausanne

Round Table with Alessandro Baricco

5/10/2020, in partnership with the Université de Lausanne

—Emanuele Coccia
Philosopher, lecturer at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

—Isabelle Collet
Author of Les oubliées du numérique, Le Passeur Éditeur 2019

—Isaac Pante
Teacher-researcher at UNIL in culture and digital publishing

Moderated by—Francesco Panese
Jury member of the European Essay Prize and professor of medical and science social studies, SSP & FBM UNIL