In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport a young journalist started to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. And enough is enough. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.
As Greek finance minister, Varoufakis confronted the EU head-on over debt. He tells a tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal, and he issues an urgent call to renew European democracy.
"Fairy tales since the beginning of recorded time, and perhaps earlier, have been a means to conquer the terrors of humanity through metaphor."
This is one of many challenging and thought-provoking observations made over a long career by Jack Zipes, one of the most eminent scholars of folklore, fairy tales and children’s literature, whose 80th birthday was celebrated last year. It identifies not only one of the key characteristics of ‘wonder tales’ but also proposes a much wider audience and more important function for such tales than is often recognised.
Joining Jack to discuss the past, present and future of the ‘wonder tale’ is Philip Pullman, one of the foremost writers of speculative fiction and author of Clockwork, the His Dark Materials trilogy, La Belle Sauvage and Daemon Voices; and Marina Warner, novelist, short story writer, mythographer, scholar and author of Stranger Magic, Fly Away Home, Once Upon A Time and Forms of Enchantment. Chaired by Hamish Fyfe.
The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again)
The American satirist rips up the generation that said with a straight face, ‘We are the world’. What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? Ask the generation responsible for the fall of the Berlin Wall and their knickers. Those who put their faith in the Kyoto Accord and disco. Who dropped out of the capitalist system and popped back again in time to cause a global financial crisis.
A reading of work written by and for the poet Nigel Jenkins who died in January this year. You can hear his beautiful evocation of the Gower coast in the Festival audio archive.
FREE BUT TICKETED
The Next Big Things
From solar science to fungi sensing, four Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their research in cutting edge science. Chaired by Lucy Carpenter.* To book student tickets please call the Box Office on 01497 822 629.
Alzheimer’s and Other Plagues
Plagues have changed history, stopped armies in their tracks and altered the fate of nations. Mary and Christopher Dobson outline the impact of plagues on human history and reflect on related challenges that will be faced by future generations. Their talk ranges from the plagues of antiquity and the medieval period to the recent pandemic of HIV/AIDS and includes discussion of the increasingly prevalent afflictions of ageing and affluent societies, including dementia and diabetes.
With half of all the fish caught in the North Sea thrown back dead, parasites in farmed fish and raising ocean temperatures all causing problems, what is the future for fish? Fisheries minister Richard Benyon joins Peter Duncan of the Marine Conservation Society, Andy Hickman, fisheries campaigner for the Environmental Justice Foundation and other guests. Chaired by Geoffrey Lean.
The actor takes an evening off from filming Wolf Hall to read from Kingsnorth’s extraordinary ‘shadow tongue’ novel. Set in the three years after the Norman invasion of 1066, The Wake tells the story of a fractured band of guerilla fighters who take up arms against the invaders.
The super-verbal and brilliantly inventive journalist and author discusses his Booker-shortlisted novel Umbrella, films of his work and the possibilities of digital form.