From 2014-2021 I acted as Curator & Manager of the Being Human festival of the humanities, helping to found this national festival.
Being Human started life in 2014 as the first national festival dedicated entirely to humanities research. It offers a forum for people to engage with some of the best work that is being done in the humanities and encourages researchers across disciplines to find inspiring and fun ways to involve non-specialist audiences in their work.
Since inception, the festival has featured well over 1,000 events across the UK, as well as across the globe in places like Rome, Paris, Melbourne and Singapore. Big organisations like the British Museum, the V&A and the National Museum of Scotland have taken part – but perhaps more importantly so have hundreds of local libraries, archives and grassroots organisations.
Every year the programme is diverse, with events taking place right across the country. The short films below provide a little snapshot into what we do with the festival.
Festival launch 2018
‘Alien Autopsy’ Footage from University of Dundee (2016)
Being Human festival film (2015)
Wilder Being: destruction and creation in the littoral zone – Orkney (2014)
We were thrilled to have an event in our programme as far north as the Outer Hebrides. We were even more thrilled that the project, Wilder Being: destruction and creation in the littoral zone, was so creative and evocative of that remote part of the country. The project brought together archeologists, artists and members of the local community to create a ‘wilder being’ costume. It also created this wonderful film, which taps into the mythology of the islands and, I think, into something important about the spirit of the Being Human festival itself.
Wealthy Weekend – Sheffield
The University of Sheffield curated a whole programme of events for Being Human 2014 based around John Ruskin’s famous quote that ‘there is no wealth but life’. In this video from their ‘Wealthy Weekend’ images and words from the Ruskin Collection, created for the workers of Sheffield over 130 years ago, along with the work of contemporary artists and people of Sheffield, were projected onto the front of the city’s Upper Chapel. The results were spectacular.