As of 2020, Europe is in a permanent state of emergency. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has shown how the worst dreams of modern society can come true. The health failure profession and the problems of social isolation have shed new light on other phenomena that determine the state of European cultures. Access to information alongside the spread of false information, the possibility of a multifaceted acquisition of knowledge, and the ever-accelerating progress of post-truth, as well as war, inflation and widespread poverty coupled with technological progress, are just some of the phenomena that characterize Europe in 2022. To paraphrase the words of Zygmunt Bauman, Europe is under siege, and the widespread anxiety about tomorrow's risks forces an anthropological reflection on the state of culture and contemporary society. How are today's threats different from those with which Europe has struggled in past centuries? False information, social unrest, wars, epidemics and environmental threats in the 21st century changed their face due to the functioning of new media and postmodern changes. The state of contingency described by Anthony Giddens in The Consequences of Modernity prompts reflection on the condition of generations in the third decade of the 21st century. European societies grew up convinced of the limitless possibilities offered by technology, advances in science, medical advances and universal access to information. Contemporary threats, revealing the naivety of faith in the unlimited possibilities of man, show how culture satisfies the need for trust and a sense of security. As mentioned earlier, are many of the risks, such as false information, undermining authority, and transforming expert systems and cultural ways of dealing with threats? Do contemporary cultural phenomena respond to the need to face what is beyond us?

Mariusz Drzewiecki, Joanna Ciesielska, Maciej Kurcz, Agnes Dudek, Nagla Abdeen Mohammed, Yassin Abdelmajid Bashir Suliman