Cambridge Festival of Ideas prepares for week 2

Image copyright: Paul Kidby

Care of the elderly, hate crime, diversity and inclusion in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and a year of Google news headlines, these are just a few of the many topics covered during week 2 of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, which draws to a close on Sunday 27th October.

The second week is packed with over 100 events including debates, talks, exhibitions, film screenings and performances at venues across the city.

Top picks for the second week include:

Monday: Who will look after us in our old age? Will it be robots, women or will immigration need to rise to deal with the growth in the numbers of elderly people needing care? Panel discussion with affective computing expert Professor Peter Robinson, Sociologist Elif Cetin, economist Victoria Bateman and Dan Holden from the International Longevity Centre. Chaired by BBC Cambridgeshire's Chris Mann.

Tuesday: Hate crime: time to stop the hate. We are more aware of hate crime than ever before. What is it? What are the causes? How does it affect people? What is being done to stop the hate? With Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of the leading national charity, Stop Hate UK; Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East of England Area; Sgt Phil Priestly, Cambridgeshire Police. The event will be chaired by Graham Lewis, who is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Stop Hate UK, Special Advisor on Hate Crime to Encompass Network and activist on Equalities in Cambridgeshire.

Wednesday: Animals in the city. Historian Dr Tom Almeroth-Williams, author of City of Beasts, will talk about the fascinating facts his research has uncovered about the interaction between humans and animals in Georgian London when people and animals lived in proximity. He will compare the experience of living with cows in 21st century Cambridge with the experience of living in the shadow of Smithfield Market in Georgian London, painting a picture of life then and now.

Thursday: Viva Cuba! Sing and dance with Classico Latino children’s workshop. Renowned for their exciting and communicative performances of toe-tapping Latin-American music with a classical twist, Classico Latino presents a dynamic workshop and taster concert, specially aimed at children and families.          

Friday: Distorting time and space: inspiring creative adventuring for children’s wellbeing. This interactive artist-led workshop showcases the artistic practice of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, a charity whose work brings together artists, educators, parents and researchers with a shared passion for how the arts and nature can transform lives.

Saturday is the busiest day of week 2 and primarily takes place at Anglia Ruskin University. Top picks include:

  • Dads get sad too: a psychologist opens up about postnatal depression. Drawing on his experience of becoming a new father and being diagnosed with postnatal depression, Professor Viren Swami tries to understand why some dads get sad and what needs to change to better support them.
  • Are we all thin enough yet? How the thin ideal conquered the world. Professor Viren Swami also presents a history of the thin ideal of beauty, showing how this ideal – far from being ‘natural’ – has been shaped by culture, politics and patriarchy.
  • From auditors to zombies: exploring diversity and inclusion in Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. From Fourex to Klatch and Llamedos to Genua, there is a swilling miscellany of gender, race, culture, species, dead and undead. Dr Terri Simpkin presents a quirky Pratchett quote-packed discussion about diversity, inclusion and Discworld.
  • Breaking: a year of google news headlines. Artist Robert Good explores what a year's worth of online news looks like during an entertaining and informative talk. He reflects on the state of the news industry as it grapples with fake news and clickbait and attempts to migrate from print to digital format. Robert asks, what information are we being drip-fed hour-by-hour and what sort of picture does it paint of life today?  Every day during 2018, he collected the headlines offered to him by the Google News feed and compiled them into an exhibition and book, Breaking – a mesmerising mix of sport, fashion, gossip and gloom.
  • Because we are worth it! on changes in advertising, gender and society. Dr Magdalena Zawisza-Riley examines how men and women are portrayed in advertising following the recent publication of her new book, Advertising, Gender And Society, and the consequences of this portrayal for society.

The Festival concludes on a high with an afternoon packed full of talks, a guided walk, and activities for older kids and adults during Sunday papers live on 27th October. Hosted at the beautiful Cambridge Union, Sunday Papers Live aims to offer a thought-provoking and enjoyable Sunday, where people can relax, but engage with current issues and intellectual topics, as well as giggle and laugh their way through comedy and fun games and activities. There will be Bloody Marys, prosecco, and Sunday-roast-themed food. £15 adults, £10 12-16yrs (does not include food or drink). £8 for pre-ordered Sunday roast rolls.

Speaking ahead of week 2, David Cain, Cambridge Festival Manager said: “It really is a challenge choosing top picks as there are so many excellent, deeply thought-provoking events at this year’s Festival, suited to everyone who is curious about the world we live in, past, present and future. Our aim is to provide as wide-ranging and diverse a programme as possible to reflect all aspects of society, from the serious to the playful, quirky to the realities of day-to-day life for all of us. We would like to thank all those who have attended the events in week 1, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone to next week’s events.”

 *The programme is available in hard copy around Cambridge and online here. Booking lines are open from 11am-3pm each weekday. Please call 01223 766 766.

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Image copyrightPaul Kidby

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