Baroness Helena Kennedy is a British barrister, broadcaster and Labour Member of the House of Lords. She was an avant-garde voice in the seventies and eighties, writing and broadcasting on the discrimination experienced by women in Law. She was also a founding member of Charter 88, a constitutional reform group set up in 1988 in response to growing concerns about outdated British institutions. Her skills as a lawyer and social reformer have taken her into many different fields of activity, making her especially committed to the arts. She will speak with Hani Shukrallah, journalist and author of Egypt, The Arabs And The World: Reflections At The Turn Of The 21st Century.
Event in English
Never in human history was there such an opportunity for freedom of expression. If we have internet access, any one of us can publish almost anything we like and potentially reach an audience of millions. And never was there a time when the evils of unlimited speech flowed so easily across frontiers: violent intimidation, gross violations of privacy, tidal waves of abuse. With vivid examples – from his personal experience of China’s Orwellian censorship apparatus to the controversy around Charlie Hebdo as well as a very English court case involving food writer Nigella Lawson – Garton Ash proposes a framework for civilized conflict in a world in which we are all becoming neighbours.
The novelist introduces the fourth book in his crime-thriller series featuring DC Max Wolfe of West End Central nick. The third in the series, The Hanging Club is now available in paperback.
Wolves are the stuff of children’s fiction. Join award-winning illustrator William Grill and author Katherine Rundell as they discuss their respective books and the enduring fictional appeal of wolves. The Wolves of Currumpaw is the winner of the 2017 Bolognaragazzi Non-Fiction Award. Chaired by Jonathan Douglas, director of National Literacy Trust
In the age of Charlemagne, Rome gained a prominent position in the cultural memory of the Frankish elites. This city was not just associated with the glory of classical and late antique empire, but above all with an authentic Christianity represented by the apostles and the martyrs. North of the Alps, rulers and aristocrats created a virtual Rome by importing relics as well as liturgical practices that were thought of as typically Roman. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
In this illustrated lecture the art historian explores our obsession with the human body and compares the classical perfection of the nude with the raw, intensely human representation of the C20th and C21st. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
If we’re going to win the climate war, the battle cry has to be positive. “Pain now or apocalypse later” just doesn’t cut it, and nor does “save the planet”. The climate scientist and strategist argues that it’s time to stop focusing on disaster and start pouring our energy into imagining – and creating – the promised land. Because fundamentally the planet doesn’t care what we do. This is about saving ourselves. Chaired by Jim Al-Khalili.
As support for the extremes of the political spectrum increases across Europe, and Britain threatens to pull out of the EU, what does the future hold for our continent? Abbas is a research associate at the University of Cambridge, Bickerton is a lecturer in politics and Karcher is a research associate in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. Simms is the author of Britain's Europe: A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation.
The Professor of Management Studies at the SaïdBusinessSchool at the University of Oxford offers a lucid and revelatory analysis of Why The Corporation Is Failing Us And How To Restore Trust In It.
In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage. British POWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped.
Photo: Donny Fitzpatrick
Which tree is often used in the treatment of cancer? Which everyday condiment is the most widely traded spice on the planet? Plants are an indispensable part of our everyday lives. From the coffee bush and grass for cattle (which give us milk for our cappuccinos), to the rubber tree that produces tyres for our cars, our lives are inextricably linked to the world of plants. The Curator of the Oxford University Herbaria identifies the plants that have been key to the development of the western world.
Discovering a new craft or skill, and doing it well, can give untold satisfaction. Two speakers on two very different topics are connected by a desire to drive positive change in everyday life. Join designer Alan Moore, author of Do Design: Why beauty is key to everything and local caterer/smallholder Jen Goss, co-author of Do Preserve: Make your own jams, chutneys, pickles and cordials, as they urge you to consider beauty and function in everything you produce. Introduced by Andy Fryers.
We all know that ’flu is bad for you. And Ebola. And Zika. Why on earth are there so many viruses that cause such terrible diseases? And what does current research teach us about the fascinating rabbit-hole that is the world of virology?
Veering between carnival and apocalypse, Mexico has in the past ten years become the epicentre of the international drug trade. The so-called war on drugs has been a brutal and chaotic failure: more than 160,000 lives have been lost. The drug cartels and the forces of law and order are often in collusion; corruption is everywhere. Life is cheap, and inconvenient people – the poor, the unlucky, the honest or the inquisitive – become the ‘disappeared’, leaving not a trace behind. In September 2015, more than 26,798 were officially registered as ‘not located’. Yet people in all walks of life have refused to give up. Hernandez gives a chilling account of the ‘disappearance'” of 43 students. Cacho describes what it’s like to live every day as a journalist under threat of death.