Bristol Festival of Ideas at Waterstones

Festival of Ideas

The Bristol Festival of Ideas aims to stimulate people’s minds and passions with an inspiring programme of discussion and debate throughout the year.

Waterstones in The Galleries is a regular Festival of Ideas venue and this spring hosts a number of events.

All events run from 7-8pm, unless otherwise stated, and tickets are priced at £8/£6.

Nathan Filer – Heartland: Finding and losing Schizophrenia

Wednesday 19 June

Festival of Ideas

Schizophrenia: whether it’s the associations it conjures or the people it brings to mind, it is a word on which we all have a view. How we perceive it – and how we treat people living with it – is at the core of how we understand mental health.

Nathan Filer, mental health nurse and award-winning writer, takes us on a journey into the psychiatric wards on which he once worked. He talks about his discussions with world-leading experts and the people who have shared their own stories about living with this strange and misunderstood condition. In conversation with Tom Sperlinger.

Book HERE.

Paul Collier – Does Capitalism Have a Future?

Wednesday 26 June

Festival of Ideas

Capitalism is in crisis and many question if it can survive. It’s faced problems before, but the crisis has intensified since the crash. Economic growth is sluggish and the benefits of capitalism are not shared widely. Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the highly-skilled elite versus the less educated, wealthy versus developing countries. Economist Paul Collier believes we have lost the sense of ethical obligation to others that was crucial to the rise of post-war social democracy. So far these rifts have been answered only by the revivalist ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit and the return of the far right in Germany.

Collier outlines ways to heal these economic, social and cultural rifts. Based on personal experience of having lived across these three divides – moving from working-class Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, and working between Britain and Africa – he shows us how to save capitalism from itself – and free ourselves from the intellectual baggage of the 20th century.

This event is part of the annual Coleridge Series, inspired by Coleridge’s wide-ranging and radical lectures in Bristol in the 1790s.

Please note the date of this event has changed from Tuesday 14 May. If you purchased tickets for that date and can no longer attend, Bristol Festival of Ideas will issue a full refund.

Book HERE.

Caine Prize Writers In Conversation – with Nikesh Shukla

Sunday 30 June, 6-7:30PM

Festival of Ideas

This year the Caine Prize for African Writing marks its 20th anniversary, celebrating two decades of championing, developing and promoting African literature. Join writers from the 2019 Caine Prize shortlist for a rare appearance outside of London, as they talk to Nikesh Shukla about writing, publishing and prizing.

Africa Writes – Bristol 2019 is brought to you by the Royal African Society and Saseni!, and supported by Arts Council England, the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, University of Bristol and University of Exeter.

Book HERE.

Namwali Serpell – The Old Drift

Wednesday 3 July

Festival of Ideas

Described by Salman Rushdie as a ‘dazzling debut’, award-winning writer Namwali Serpell reads from and discusses her new genre-bending epic novel with Billy Kahora. The Old Drift traces three Zambian families across centuries and borders, taking readers on a playful journey through history, fairytale, romance and science fiction.

Taking its title from the name given by British colonialists in the 1800s to a region near Victoria Falls, The Old Drift is an extraordinary book exploding with energy and featuring a cast of unlikely and highly memorable characters. A sprawling and ambitious family saga that sweeps over the years and the globe subverting expectations along the way, it is a celebration of complexity and a meditation on the passage of time.

Africa Writes – Bristol 2019 is brought to you by the Royal African Society and Saseni!, and supported by Arts Council England, the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, University of Bristol and University of Exeter.

Book HERE.

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff with Kemi Alemoru and Sharmaine Lovegrove – Stories of the Windrush Children

Thursday 4 July

Festival of Ideas

For the pioneers of the Windrush generation, Britain was ‘the Mother Country’. They made the long journey across the sea, expecting to find a place where they would be welcomed with open arms; a land in which they were free to build a new life, eight thousand miles away from home.

Award-winning writer and editor Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (pictured) explores the reality of their experiences, and those of their children and grandchildren in a collection of essays. She is joined by two of the contributors to the collection, Kemi Alemoru and Sharmaine Lovegrove, to discuss some of the 22 real-life stories that span more than 70 years.

In partnership with Africa Writes Bristol and St Pauls Carnival.

Book HERE.

Further information

To find out more about Bristol Festival of Ideas, including the full programme, visit ideasfestival.co.uk