Freedom and Equality

Freedom and Equality
How do we make sense of the election of Donald Trump, the continuing rise of Vladimir Putin and Britain’s vote for Brexit? How do we understand the changing freedoms available to us, 100 years after women’s suffrage in the UK and the birth of Nelson Mandela? These questions bring into focus which freedoms really matter to us. Do we prefer the ‘freedom of the individual’ championed by western neoliberal politics, or the ‘freedom to be a nation’, in the sense that’s understood by Russia or China? From freedom of speech to freedom of movement, free trade to the free internet, ideas about the meaning of freedom are the focus of many discussions this year, including a series of debates about which freedoms we should prioritise.

Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series

Women's Rights in 2018

Saturday 11 August 17:30 - 18:15

With hashtags like #EverydaySexism, #MeToo, #TimesUp, #PayMeToo trending worldwide and the latest protests and marches, you’d be forgiven for thinking women’s equality was progressing faster than ever. Today we hear about women who have fought, and...

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

A Living Legend Returns

Saturday 11 August 18:45 - 19:45

Perennial Nobel Prize favourite Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o returns to the Book Festival. Jailed without trial in his native Kenya in 1978, the revered novelist and playwright knows the value of freedom and the power of imagination to overcome injustice....

Freedom Debate: Life Online

Can We Protect Our Personal Data?

Saturday 11 August 19:30 - 21:00

Knowledge is power and power is money, yet we give away our information freely everyday. Can we ever reclaim ownership of it? The internet offers many freedoms but with it come serious concerns, highlighted by the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica...

Laura Bates

Standing up for Equality

Saturday 11 August 20:30 - 21:30

Misogynation is a labour of frustration; a labour of anger. So says Laura Bates about her searing new book of essays charting the persistent gender inequality in British society today. Since writing Everyday Sexism, #MeToo, the Harvey Weinstein scandal...

Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series

Living in Limbo: Immigration

Sunday 12 August 17:30 - 18:15

Every year around 30,000 people are detained under immigration control in the UK while a decision is made about whether they can stay. Most, ultimately, are released back into communities across the UK, their detention having served no purpose. Hear the...

Howard Cunnell

A New Family Dynamic

Sunday 12 August 18:45 - 19:45

Being part of a family is about much more than biology. Howard Cunnell describes this truth with extraordinary sensitivity in Fathers and Sons, a memoir which charts the period when his daughter Jay realised he was a boy, and a son. Cunnell’s...

Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series

Families Forced Apart

Monday 13 August 17:30 - 18:15

Refugees, asylum seekers and people at risk of persecution often have no choice but to leave family members behind when they flee conflict zones or regressive regimes. Writing today comes from individuals who have had to sustain family relationships at...

Freedom Debate: Commonwealth

The Legacy of Empire

Monday 13 August 19:30 - 21:00

Celebrations of the Commonwealth Games were soured by the treatment of the Windrush Generation, highlighting the UK’s increasingly fraught relationship with its former colonies. In January Australia’s leading literary journal, Griffith Review,...

My Grandad, Mandela

Families & 5+

Tuesday 14 August 10:00 - 11:00

To mark the centenary of former South African President Nelson Mandela's birth, his two great-grandchildren (aged 6 and 7) have asked their grandmother, Mandela's daughter Zindzi, 15 questions about the man the world remembers as an inspirational leader...

Martin Halliwell & Nick Witham

The Legacy of Protest

Tuesday 14 August 16:00 - 17:00

1968 remains a landmark year for political and cultural activism. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Black Panther movement and ongoing campaigns against the Vietnam War caused revolt in the US and further afield. Academic...