Engage with the Power of Reason – #imaginebelfast festival (12-18 March)

Next month sees the return of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics with over 80 free events in over 30 venues across the city between 12 and 18 March. It’s aim is to encourage people to engage with the big issues of our times, whether that be Brexit, poverty, (in)equality, gender or fake news. There’ll be talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, music, film, tours, exhibitions, dance, poetry and a video competition.

The full programme is now available to download as a PDF.

US activist Carmen Perez – national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington – will deliver a keynote speech on 14 March as part of a series of talks and workshops on Democracy Day that will look at participatory budgeting, deliberative conversations, the end of facts, and the fitness of purpose of the Good Friday Agreement.

Peter Hitchens will argue for closer and more trusting ties with Russia. Veteran political and satirical cartoonist Martin Rowson will explore the techniques, practice and purpose of his craft. [Ed – Alan’s still dubious about Rowson’s caricature of him back in November 2009!] Oxford’s Prof Danny Dorling will dive deep into an assessment of the extent to which inequality created the momentum behind the leave vote in 2016’s EU Referendum.

What currency does the concept of Universal Basic Income have compared to the existing system of social security? Can Belfast become a City of Sanctuary? Does Belfast needs a Night Mayor? Banterflix film podcast have arranged a screening of All The President’s Men.

Artist Kate Guelke will spend the duration of the festival barricaded in a small room at The Barracks and placing herself at the mercy of visitors from whom she’ll accept ‘The Bare Necessities‘ required to maintain human life: food, water, company. What does a person really need to survive?

The festival organisers encourage people to submit short videos (less than two minutes long, and can be filmed on mobile phones) that describe a change they’d like to see in the world.

“We would encourage you to be as imaginative as possible and offer new perspectives that challenge established thinking and orthodoxy. The best entries – not the most technically accomplished films, but the ones that we feel are the most thought-provoking – will be posted on our website and considered for screening at a future festival event.”

Check the Imagine festival website and the full programme for dates, times and venues.

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