From trawling for treasures in archives to discovering secret lives and overlooked histories, the annual Being Human festival is back this month; and it’s on a mission to bring the latest humanities research to life in fun, inspiring and socially relevant ways.
Being Human is the UK’s only national celebration of the humanities, and this year’s events will respond to the festival theme of Discoveries & Secrets. Events will include a recreation of the Victorian fern craze at Sefton Park Palm House in Liverpool, the uncovering of intriguing historical queer dating ads hosted by The National Archives, and a look at how music shapes Bangladeshi cultural identity in Manchester.
Other themes in this year’s festival will include a ‘secret city’ series that will uncover hidden lives and places in Wolverhampton, Margate, Nottingham and Oxford.
In Oxford, a series of ‘anti-walking tours’ will confront the city’s ‘uncomfortable’ histories of race, gender and class. Whereas in Scotland, the festival will uncover the dark and eerie history of the River Tay in ‘The Aquatic City’ at the University of Dundee.
Take part in an archaeological dig on a council estate, and a magical lantern parade through the University of Lincoln’s series on ‘Lives Lived Differently’. Discover ‘worlds of words’ through beat-making with London-based Moroccan rapper Dizzy DROS, and follow a treasure trail of lost translations with Queen Mary, University of London and King’s College London.
Festival guests can also immerse themselves in a theatrical Jacobean banquet and be inspired by mythological, allegorical journeys as part of the University of Sheffield’s ‘Myth, dream and love’ programme; or dig for buried treasure and embark on adventures across land and sea with Swansea University in its ‘Rediscovering Swansea’ series.
When: 14th – 23rd November 2019
Where: Across the UK
£: Many events are free
More info: beinghumanfestival.org