When: 17th – 25th November 2017
Where: Across the UK
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
What does it mean to be human in 2017? The world we thought we knew suddenly seems unfamiliar, but what exactly have we lost? What might we have found in the process? Join the University of London’s School of Advanced Study for their annual Being Human festival, a nine-day celebration of the humanities.
The festival aims to highlight the richness and vitality of humanities research and the ways it addresses the big questions facing society. From the idea of a united Europe to the history of the British empire; from globalisation to ‘left behind’ communities and places; debates around Brexit and national sovereignty to environmental fears to imagined futures, the festival explores how research is helping us to navigate a new and unfamiliar world.
In a world dominated by Brexit and Trump, but which also marks historical anniversaries such as the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, Being Human demonstrates how humanities research can illuminate diverse histories, recover lost stories from the archives, breathe life into endangered languages, reclaim ‘lost’ novels, artworks and cultures, and preserve and illuminate our past for future generations.
Being Human 2017 will have more than 300 events hosted by 90 institutions, including universities, galleries, museums, publishers, community groups and education funding bodies.
Highlights will include:
Sleep: lost and found
Experts from the University of Manchester and the Children’s Sleep charity will dispense lessons in how to get a good night’s rest. At Manchester Museum, Manchester (25th November).
Lost, abandoned and forgotten
A photographic exhibition of abandoned buildings, taken by urban explorers, giving a voice to our neglected heritage. At New Victoria Hospital, Glasgow (17th – 25th November).
O what we ben! Discovering post-apocalyptic landscapes
An interactive walking tour uncovering the hidden post-apocalyptic landscapes of Canterbury through the narratives of Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker. At Newton building, Canterbury Christ Church (17th November).
Hidden tongues and missing sounds
An exploration of language, discussing topics such as how is an ‘r’ indifferent in English and Arabic, and can drumming help you learn to speak English better? At Govan Community Project Flat, Glasgow (17th & 22nd November).
Join sound artist and lecturer Dr Sebastiane Hegarty for a ‘Sound Walking’ tour and sound installation, exploring key landmarks in Southampton. At Solent Showcase Gallery, Southampton (17th November).
Finding Mr Hart
Discover the imaginative world of unassuming collector Robert Edward Hart with this creative theatre show. On at Senate Room, London (17th November) and Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery (24th November).
Hidden in the home: the concealed revealed roadshow
Houses can yield mysterious finds, from shoes up chimneys and cats bricked up in walls to horse skulls under hearthstones. These objects have been deliberately concealed, but why? At Digby Memorial Hall, Sherborne (17th November).
Beauty of Craftsmanship
Get a taste of Somali culture with a day of talks, weaving and object handling. Enjoy the new Somali object display in the Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying, and a practical workshop session with Numbi Arts to recreate traditional basketry. British Museum, London (18th November).
London: labyrinth of loss – a walking tour through time
An interactive walking tour, from Snow Hill Police Station to Fenchurch Street Station, exploring the shifting attitudes towards lost property. Step back in time and discover the illicit eighteenth-century practices of reclaiming stolen goods. Snow Hill Police Station, London (18th & 19th November).
British wrestling: history and resurgence
De Montfort University brings the entertaining sport into the world of academia by charting the fall and rise of this almost theatrical genre through a collection of artistic encounters – a training workshop, a discussion and two wrestling matches. At the Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester (19th November).
The great Yiddish parade
Watch a lively re-enactment of a demonstration by Jewish immigrant workers in Victorian Whitechapel. Join a band of klezmer musicians and singers performing newly discovered Yiddish protest songs in their original setting. At Whitechapel Road, London (19th November).
Being Human is already making an impact. Britain’s first black theatre manager, Ira Aldridge, has just been commemorated with a blue plaque at the site of the theatre he ran in Coventry more than a hundred years ago. It wouldn’t have happened without the festival, which provided seed funding for the University of Warwick’s Against prejudice: Ira Aldridge in Coventry 1828 event.