We opened our 2021 edition of the Droste Festival with magic spells for the present. The author and cultural scholar Mithu Sanyal and the filmmaker and writer Michael Roes will present their thoughts on the theme of the festival over the course of keynote presentations, followed by a discussion. Mithu Sanyal will dedicate herself to the question of why and, most of all, how, magic helps when nothing else helps. In her highly praised novel Identitti, she allows an Indian goddess who knows all the twists and turns of post-colonial theory. Michael Roes, who has traveled around the world for ethnologic research projects and most recently wrote Melancholie des Reisens (The Melancholoy of Travel, 2020), reflects upon what dark metaphors, or, to put it better, metaphors of darkness, bring to light. Two eloquent thinkers come together here and help us get into the mood for five days full of magic.