Bristol Festival of Ideas * Highlights

Whether it is the people, history, architecture, food, art, science, vibrancy or diversity, Bristol is a place of ideas.

Celebrating its tenth year this month, Bristol Festival of Ideas started back in 2005, as part of Bristol’s bid to be European Capital of Culture. While the bid failed, the celebration of knowledge and ideas continued, bringing a wealth of exciting and inspirational speakers right to the Bristolian’s doorstep. This May, there are just under 100 speakers and over 60 events, discussing everything from the Bristol suffragette movement and the Vagenda, to the future of cities, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the ‘true cost of meat’ and the state of inequality in the UK.

In association with The Observer and The University of Bristol, this year most tickets only cost £4 for students. With such significant speakers as Mark Kermode, Irvine Welsh, John Carey, James Lovelock and Arianna Huffington, BFOI should be a date in any student’s diary. Whether it be taking a break from revision, attending a discussion relating to your course, or just to learn something completely new, make sure you get down to an event this May.

The ones to watch:

Frédéric Gros: A Philosophy of Walking

Professor of Philosophy Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B – the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble – and shows what these tell us about ourselves. Brilliant, erudite, and always entertaining, Gros is certain to make you reconsider this everyday activity.

Watershed, Wed 14 May, 18.00-19.00.WhitLit Curious Career Apr-Jun 2014 01

Lynn Barber: A Curious Career

The tables are turned on Lynn Barber, one of Britain’s greatest and most ferocious interviewers and in this special event we get to ask the questions. Her early career at Penthouse, the celebrities she has met, her memoir An Education, her childhood nosiness and her unusual lack of the very English fear of social embarrassment – nothing is off limits!

Watershed, Thu 15 May, 18.15-19.15.

The Personal Is Still Political: Will You Occupy Your Body?

Led by body activists AnyBody, UK chapter of international initiative Endangered Bodies, this event explores the complex ways in which ownership is claimed over a woman’s body by people other than herself. Join us for a discussion with the panel and audience, and walk the talk by formulating campaign strategies with us.

Watershed, Sat 17 May, 119781408837856.30-12.30.

Edmund White: Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris

Edmund White is a master memoirist. In Inside A Pearl White turns his attention to his 15 years in Paris, the sexiest and most exciting times in his life. With the extraordinary cast of characters including Yves St Laurent, Susan Sontag, Julian Barnes and Kristin Scott- Thomas, he provides a hugely significant document of cultural history and a brilliant examination of a city.

Foyles, Cabot Circus, Thu 22 May, 18.30-19.30.

To claim your student ticket, go to the venue in person or book over the phone. See a brochure listing all events here:

Booking in advance is highly recommended.

Foyles: 0117 376 3975

Watershed: 0117 927 5100

For more information visit, and take part in the discussion on Facebook Twitter @Festivalofideas

Lindsay Rose

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