The directors of the landmark Netflix series Our Planet introduce stories, photographs and film footage of the world’s rarest creatures and previously unseen parts of the Earth – from deep oceans to remote forests to ice caps. They take nature lovers deep into the science of our natural world and reveal the ways humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems, from the wildebeest migrations in Africa to the penguin colonies of Antarctica. Fothergill and Scholey, who ran the BBC Natural History Unit and produced The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet, engage in a global conversation about how to protect and preserve our world.
Martin Jones is Emeritus Professor of Archaeological Science at Cambridge University and a member of its Global Food Security research centre. An expert in archaeobotany and archaeogenetics, he will discuss how our prehistoric ancestors built resilience into their food supply and what we can learn from them.
The West has traditionally seen the rule of law as one of the cornerstones of liberty and freedom, of prosperity and an accountable democracy. It has had worldwide influence. But there are other approaches to the rule of law. One is the rule of law with Chinese characteristics; another is in effect rule by law. The former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales examines the impacts that economic success and the technological revolution are having on the different approaches, and how the Western approach can be promoted.
Dylan Moore hosts this conversation about two extraordinary novels. Seven-year-old Esther must negotiate adult dysfunction, and a school environment that exposes her to further prejudice and injustice. Joso’s From Seven to the Sea is a window onto the world of a child who rejects convention and expectation. Esther embarks on a creative expedition into liberty and free-thinking; and each day, in place of school, sets out to sea. Deborah Kay Davies’ Tirzah and the Prince of Crows is set in a remote valley in Wales. It is 1974, and Tirzah is sixteen, pretty, witty and wise. Brought up in a staunchly religious family, she has lived a sheltered life. But then she meets a boy. As she begins to struggle against the confines of her community, juggling everyone’s expectations and trying to find her own way in the world, life takes an unexpected turn, ultimately teaching her that freedom springs from within.
An afternoon of poems, songs, rhymes, drawings and jokes for children and their elders and betters and worsers with ‘the patron saint of poetry’ and his band, the delightful masters of poetry and song. As always, his poems are full of wit and wisdom, with word play, puns and sharp observations on all aspects of life. Come and savour a slice of this brand new poetry pie!
Holly Smale, author of the Geek Girl series, introduces The Valentines, a brand new series with a new cast of characters: sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy. The sisters seem to have everything: fame, success, money, beauty and a family steeped in movie star heritage. Except real-life isn’t like the movies, is it? Holly will be in conversation with Laura Dockrill, author of Big Bones and Lorali.
Join poet Eric Ngalle Charles and artist Nicky Arscott for a unique art workshop experimenting with words and pictures, and exploring identity, language and storytelling to create your own personal poetry comic.
What is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population? And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do? Fortunately, the environmental thinker and writer has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable.
The Oscar-winning director Steve Box (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and Tove Jansson’s niece Sophia introduce the new TV adaptation of the Swedish/Finnish writer-illustrator’s classic and much-loved stories about the Moomins. Directed at a family primetime audience, the drama fantasy series is full of life and laughter for lifelong Moomin fans and complete newcomers alike. The new animation series will be made using state-of-the-art 3D CGI to introduce Moomin to a new generation – and to screens in a way never seen before. Chaired by Francine Stock.
New technologies have revealed secrets locked in prehistoric bones in ways that nobody predicted. We can now work out the colour of dinosaurs, their bite forces, top speeds, and even how they cared for their young. Remarkable new fossil finds, such as giant sauropod dinosaur skeletons from Patagonia, dinosaurs with feathers from China and even a tiny dinosaur tail in Burmese amber – complete down to every detail of its filament-like feathers, skin, bones, and mummified tail muscles – have revolutionised palaeontology. Mike Benton is Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol.
This workshop will look at adaptation – how novels, plays and short stories become films. We’ll unpick the process of how this is done – from padding out some texts to cutting down others. How film represents the ideas of the text without losing the style of the author. We’ll look in detail at examples including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Jane Eyre, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, before having a go ourselves at adapting a text from novel to screenplay.
Join Leah Cowan, Nina Dahmani and Kuba Shand-Baptiste, three inspiring writers from the award-winning magazine gal-dem, created by a group of women and non-binary people of colour to address inequality and misrepresentation in the media by creating a space for everyone to enjoy. They will talk about their debut book for teens I Will Not Be Erased: Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour and how their game-changing collective began. Come and join this talented group for a witty and insightful chat about growing up, politics, race, mental health, love, activism and anything in between.
Chris Ryan, ex-SAS hero turned author, introduces his brand new action packed series Special Forces Cadets, which is inspired by his fascinating real-life army experiences. A top-secret government programme needs a crack team of undercover military operators. They must have awesome levels of determination, endurance and fitness. And in order to operate in circumstances where adult forces would be compromised, the recruits must be under sixteen. Only a few are tough enough and smart enough to make it… And once out in the field, they will require all their skills just to stay alive.
Join four Authors4Oceans writers to discover how you can save species large and small, on shore and off. Authors Lauren St John, Nicola Davies, Jasbinder Bilan and illustrator Yuval Zommer combine their passion for wildlife and its conservation with their writing and illustrating. They will discuss how that comes together in their books, including Kat Wolfe Takes the Case, When the Whales Walked, Asha and the Spirit Bird and The Big Book of the Blue.
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in her devastating narrative of five lives, historian Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories. Chaired by the historical thriller writer SJ Parris.
Climate change is an unprecedented global emergency. Successive governments have failed to put in place the legislation and processes necessary to provide for a sustainable future. To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got to spark and sustain a spirit of creative rebellion, which will enable much-needed changes in our political, economic and social landscape. Award-winning artist Gavin Turk and international environmental lawyer Farhana Yamin talk to environmental entrepreneur Ed Gillespie.
In an age of misinformation and pseudo-science, the world is getting fatter and the diet makers are getting richer. So how do we break this cycle that’s killing us all? Drawing on the very latest science and his own genetic research at Cambridge University, Yeo has written the seminal ‘anti-diet’ diet book. Exploring the history of our food, debunking marketing nonsense and toxic diet advice and confronting the advocates of ‘clean eating’, he translates his pioneering research into an engaging study of human appetite. Chaired by dietitian Ceris Devereux.