Festival of Ideas – 2019

The Headingley Festival of Ideas is all about creative ideas which may not necessarily lead to something – although some might – but the main purpose is to tap into the joy of ideas, debate and discussion. We aim to appeal to the wide variety of people in Headingley, and to all age groups.

The 2019 Festival, which took place from 9 – 25 May, was a feast of information, discussion and debate on the theme of BORDERS.

Highlights included a panel discussion with Alex Sobel MP and others, looking at the UK’s interpretation of the Refugee Convention and what it means on the ground for people seeking asylum here.  There was also a Fringe Event – a day of events and presentations at South Parade Baptist Church looking at the impacts of borders and walls around the world, ranging from our own Hadrians’ Wall to the Balkans Peace Park area and the nitty gritty of working for Medecins sans Frontieres in areas of conflict. The day ended with an evening showing of the film ‘Les Sauteurs’.

There was also an opportunity to see Sound Company performing their latest piece ‘Wall in the Mind’, hear local poets exploring their concepts of borders and – on the lighter side – to learn about making a prize winning long garden border or walk around the boundaries of Headingley. There were also conversations on the experiences of refugees looking for asylum within the borders of Europe and discussions on how prison affects the personal boundaries of its inmates.

Cafe Scientifique’s contribution was a talk and discussion on changes to the earth’s boundaries following movements in tectonic plates and the Festival ended with a wonderful evening exploring the changing boundaries of jazz.

We are grateful for all the support for this Festival from our local councillors, Leeds Inspired , Wade’s Charity and Leeds Philosophical & Literary Society.

The programme is shown below. They were available from the farmers’ market, HEART and other local outlets.

Details of the special ‘fringe’ event at South Parade Baptist Church, held on Saturday 18th May, are available here:


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