2016 Programme

‘Touching Shakespeare’ Live!

The work of the world’s greatest playwright, the skill and energy of professional actors and twenty-first century technology combine in this innovative event designed especially for schools. ‘Touching Shakespeare’ is an iPad app developed to enhance students’ experience of Shakespeare. Working with professional actors from the acclaimed company Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, students will take part in an active workshop on key scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Students will then work in small groups alongside the actors and teachers to use the app: they will consider nuances of language and presentation before filming their own scene (with the students themselves taking on roles and directing) to drop into the app’s interactive timeline of the play. There will be a chance for some groups to showcase their completed scenes and discuss the presentations with the actors.

Getting things changed: tackling disabling practices

As part of our national research to explore disabled people’s university experience, we would like to raise awareness of disabling practices with a view to getting things changed. Our audience will have the opportunity to shareperspectives and help us distinguish what enables disabled people in Higher Education, and what prolongs institutional prejudice. As the event is organised by a group of disabled students, we endeavour to make it as accessible as possible – you will find more information about access online. Using Forum Theatre, we will become a group of change agents. A series of scenarios will be acted out and audience members will be invited to stop the performance to offer suggestions and ideas for how to improve the situation. All participation is voluntary and a facilitator will guide the audience throughout, as we explore an improved approach to disability.

Bridge over trouble waters. What future for Bristol and the UK after Brexit?

In June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This momentous decision was followed by unprecedented political, economic and social uncertainty. Regardless of how they cast their vote, citizens have to navigate a new reality characterised by a deeply divided country, a changing political leadership, and new international challenges. Political leaders and particularly the UK’s government need to define a road map for the country’s new position outside the EU that protects the national interest and builds new bridges with the rest of Europe. The European Union needs to make use of its extensive experience of consensus building to define a future relationship with the UK without undermining European integration or alienating a key ally. What does the Brexit vote mean for the UK’s international outlook? How will this momentous European divorce shape our economy, politics and culture? How will the UK build new bridges with the rest of Europe? What is the European Union’s agenda? How should Bristol respond to the new challenges and what does the future hold? Join our expert panel to explore and discuss these questions with the colleagues, partners and citizens across the city of Bristol.

Gender, Violence and Justice: What does justice look like?

This event will look at how individuals and communities can play a part in seeking ‘justice’ for those who experience different types of gender-based violence. This will include thinking about which types of justice which work, and don’t work, for those who experience sexual violence, so-called honour based violence, domestic violence, and female genital manipulation or cutting. The audience will be asked to act as a ‘citizen jury’ to offer their thoughts on what justice might look like. There will be brief presentations of expert evidence to help inform the audience, and those attending will be asked to think about how we, as a society, respond to victims/survivors. The issues under discussion, which may include some personal experiences, can be distressing. Information about local and national support services will be provided for those who would like it. This event builds on research conducted by staff from the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the School for Policy Studies.

Tales of Migration, Citizenship, Law and Belonging

Brexit brings to the surface anxieties of being British today. Is being British the same as being European, or is it about being patriotic to an English, Scottish, Welsh, or Northern Irish identity. Can you be British as well as identify with your country of origin? Such anxieties are commonplace in the age of mass migration when people can maintain close links with more than one country. Loyalty, identity and belonging matter but perhaps so do the practical necessities of holding the right passport for travel and work. In this event we hear the stories of long term residents who have become British by law. Through the sharing of stories we find out how the pathways to citizenship operate, and how citizenship and law constitute an everyday experience for many. As being ‘British’ is likely to vary based on ones race, class, gender, ethnicity, and life experience, we invite you to join us with your stories as well.