Schering Stiftung


Photo: Sabrina Rosetto, Oper Neukölln

Hope, in principle: Happiness

First part of the Wunderkammer Trilogy

Photo: Sabrina Rosetto, Oper Neukölln

Hope, in principle: Happiness

First part of the Wunderkammer Trilogy


March 22 and 23, 2024, 8 p.m.


Neues Museum
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin

Tickets are available via the Neuköllner Oper.

A few feet away from Queen Nefertiti’s bust, there can be found an astonishing piece of writing. Its contents, dating back to ancient Egypt, could not be more timely: the social order is compromised, interpersonal relationships are disintegrating, and the period is characterized by wars and climate crises.

Papyrus Berlin P 3024, a treasure of the Egyptian Collection at the Neue Museum, reveals the timeless search of a desperate human being for a fulfilled life some 4,000 years ago. The author’s words sound surprisingly personal and modern, and seem to bridge the centuries. Therefore, we will explore the museum and this special find with selected experts and musicians and ask: Where do we stand today? What would we answer?

With Prof. Dr. Verena Lepper, Prof. Dr. Friederike Seyfried, Dr. Olivia Zorn (Egyptian Collection, Neues Museum), philosopher Prof. Dr. Eva Weber-Guskar (University of Bochum), neurologist Prof. Dr. Volker Busch (University Hospital Regensburg), and the musicians Wassim Mukdad (oud, vocals), Shingo Ali Masuda (qanun), Penelope Gkika (violin), and Kimia Bani (percussion).

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our panel guests 

Prof. Eva Weber-Guskar is Heisenberg Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Emotions at Ruhr University Bochum. She studied philosophy, political science, and comparative studies in Munich, Paris, and Berlin, earning her PhD at Freie Universität Berlin with a thesis on the philosophy of emotions and her habilitation with a thesis on the notion of human dignity at the University of Göttingen. She subsequently held various visiting and interim professorships in Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, and Erlangen, with her research interest in philosophical anthropology focusing on the ethics of the digital.


Prof. Dr. med. Volker Busch has worked for many years as a physician, scientist, author, and lecturer, focusing on his passion: the world of the mind and the brain. As head of a research group at the University of Regensburg, he and his team investigate a variety of neuroscientific and psychophysiological topics. Therapeutically, he is working with people suffering from stress of various kinds, accompanying them on their path to mental health and contentment. He shares his knowledge and experiences in the form of keynotes and talks, seminars, podcasts, and publications, and helps managers, employees, and his fellow human beings achieve greater brain health, motivation, and inspiration.

His new book, Kopf hoch (Cheer up!), dealing with hope and optimism in uncertain times, will be published in March.


Dr. phil. Olivia Zorn is deputy director of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. She studied Egyptology, Classical Archeology, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

In addition to her research interest in the material culture and the social structures of the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom (2200–1700 BCE), she also deals with exhibition concepts and impacts, and the interactive dialogue with the public – which was also the focus of her interdisciplinary dissertation and which she seeks to implement in various talks, lectures, guided tours, and concerts across the field of ancient Egyptian cultural history. She co-designed and installed three permanent exhibitions, including the current exhibitions at the Neues Museum Berlin and at the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst in Munich, and is curator of numerous special presentations in Germany and abroad.


Prof. Dr. phil. Friederike Seyfried is director of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Despite her focus on archeology, she has again and again dealt with the so-called “Auseinandersetzungsliteratur” of the Middle Kingdom.

She studied Egyptology, Pre- and Early History, and General Linguistics in Heidelberg and Vienna and earned her PhD with a thesis on the development of rock-cut tombs in the New Kingdom with Prof. Jan Assmann in Heidelberg. During her studies, one focus of her philological studies was on the literature of the Middle Kingdom. Besides directing the museum, she teaches as a honorary professor in the Egyptology seminar at Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2015, she has directed, together with Egyptian partners, archaeological excavations on the Nile’s west bank near Aswan, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).



Prof. Dr. phil. Verena Lepper is curator of the Egyptian-Oriental Papyrus Collection at the Egyptian Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, which is home to the so-called “Lebensmüde” (The Suicide) or “The Dispute between a Man and His Ba.”

She studied Egyptology, Semitology, Oriental Christianity, and the Old Testament in Bonn, Oxford, and Harvard. She is an expert on ancient Egyptian literature and earned her PhD with a thesis on the hieratic Westcar Papyrus. She is managing director of the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern and Hellenistic Religious History at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and directs various research projects on the linguistic and cultural history of ancient Egypt. She held international fellowships and visiting positions at the Universities of Harvard and Princeton and most recently at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.



This Project is realized in cooperation with the following partners:

Neuköllner Oper

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June 27 and 28, 2024, 7 p.m.

Hope, in principle: Ethics

Second part of the Wunderkammer Trilogy



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Schering Stiftung

Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49.30.20 62 29 62

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Thursday to Monday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 11 am - 7 pm
free entrance

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