We Are All Citizens

We Are All Citizens

We’ve been bringing people together in communities in Edinburgh, across Muirhouse, Liberton and Wester Hailes, to interrogate the word ‘Citizen’. We’ve asked people young and old what it means to them, what it inspires and how they think the idea of being a citizen relates to local communities, to the country and the wider world. This strand takes inspiration from those community discussions. Explore and express your own ideas around being a citizen in Citizen events, including a free drop in session on 20 August, and hear from authors in conversations about the culture of food, everyday activism, housing schemes, refugees, belonging and home.

Bernardine Evaristo & Linda Grant

Story of our Times

Wednesday 14 August 12:00 - 13:00

Novels reveal insights into the mood of the places they were written. Not surprisingly, Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other and Linda Grant’s A Stranger City feel timely, as Britain finds itself in flux. Evaristo’s book is a love song to...

Lesley Riddoch

Still in Bloom

Friday 16 August 10:00 - 11:00

Lesley Riddoch’s Blossom was a joyful intervention into Scottish independence discussions before the 2014 referendum. The award-winning journalist shone a light on community action and the everyday heroes who showed Scotland has the potential to grow...
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Clare Hunter & Esther Rutter

Spinning New Yarns

Saturday 17 August 16:00 - 17:00

The radically restorative powers of crafting, knitting and sewing are the threads that bind two inspiring authors. In Threads of Life award-winning community textile artist Clare Hunter evokes an entire history of protest through the eye of a needle. In...

Food Nation

Security, Sustainability and Society

Saturday 17 August 19:30 - 21:00

Scotland has a polarised food culture: our products are lauded around the world, yet many Scottish people don’t have reliable access to quality food. How can we resolve this discrepancy? Can food create a stronger society? Food campaigner Jack Monroe,...

Citizen Drop-In

What Does 'Citizen' Mean to You?

Tuesday 20 August 10:30 - 14:30

We’ve been working with our Community Writing Group as part of the Book Festival’s Citizen programme in locations around Edinburgh. The group has designed a day of activities to challenge and explore the ideas of citizenship, community and...

Miles Glendinning, Stefan Muthesius & Stefi Orazi

Building Societies

Tuesday 20 August 12:30 - 13:30

Britain faces a housing crisis: what can the nation’s last major building scheme teach us? Architectural historians Miles Glendinning and Stefan Muthesius analyse the high-rise revolution in Towers for the Welfare State. Stefi Orazi widens the...
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Ellie Harrison & Jemma Neville

A Tale of Two Cities

Tuesday 20 August 14:00 - 15:00

Meet two activists who dig beneath the stereotypes to real lived experience. Jemma Neville campaigned for human rights law, and in Constitution Street explores global rights issues through the stories of the residents of one road in Leith. ‘Think...


Giving a Voice to Communities

Tuesday 20 August 18:00 - 19:30

Join us to celebrate Citizen our latest long-term creative programme working in partnership with organisations across Edinburgh, listening to people’s views about the communities in which they live. Led by Scottish-based writers-in-residence, Claire...
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Being a Citizen: Creative Writing Workshop

Writing for Everyone

Wednesday 21 August 18:30 - 20:00

Our Citizen Schools Writer-in-Residence Claire Askew has been busy working in three Edinburgh secondary schools, finding out what being a citizen means to young people today. Taking the fear out of creative writing, she offers practical tools for...