The Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics is an 18-day festival showcasing new ideas on politics, culture and civic activism. Bringing together a host of workshops, talks, comedy, music, film and exhibitions the event aims to entertain not pontificate. 

The festival, which is organised by volunteer group Imagine Belfast, will take place online and runs from Wednesday 10th March through to Sunday the 28th March 2021. The event will feature a whopping 100 events, all of which are completely free of charge, however you do have to register your place. 

My Bandana, My Embroidered Voice. 

Wednesday 10th March, 1pm.

Social justice campaigner, Erika Silva kicks off the events and asks what democracy means to you. Erika is part of the Chilean activist group Memorarte, an art collective who stitch embroideries and make appliqués, which they use in a variety of campaigns for different kinds of justice. Participants will be invited to discuss their ideas and to embroider their own bandana. 

Barry Shepard, The Truth in The News. 

Monday 22nd March, 1pm. 

PhD researcher in History and presenter of History Now on NVTV, Barry Sheppard hosts an upbeat presentation exploring a selection of Victor ‘Bee’ Browns cartoons. The illustrations appeared in the Irish Press newspaper in the 1930s. Sheppard will be highlighting themes which not only dominated the Anglo-Irish trade war of the 1930s but also highlights the parallels in the recent post-Brexit trade negotiations. 

Noam Chomsky: Reflections on the Future of Democracy. 

Monday 22nd March, 8pm. 

BBC Broadcast journalist William Crawley interviews celebrated American linguist, philosopher, and political activist Noam Chomsky as they discussthe current threats to democracy. Often described as “the father of modern linguistics”, Noam is also a major figure in analytic philosophy, and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science and is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. 

Women in Parliament, Campaigning for Change. 

Tuesday 23rd March, 12.30pm. 

Exploring the role of women in parliament, this workshop will examine the impact of influential women in the past to the importance of women’s issues in Parliament today looking at how women can engage with and participate in politics. 

Prof John Barry: The Pandemic and the planetary emergency. 

Tuesday 23rd March, 3pm. 

John Barry is a Professor of Green Political Economy and Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queens University Belfast and is an author of books such as ‘The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Constrained World.’ In this discussion Barry will be looking at how can we rise to the challenges and opportunities of tackling our planetary emergency. 

Discussing Steve McQueen’s Black Britain. 

Thursday 25th March, 8pm. 

Join Lori Gatsi-Barnett from JoinHer Network, Joanna Leech from the Strand Arts Centre and Ester Andare from the Golden Thread Gallery plus a special guest to talk about Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe Film, ‘Lovers Rock’. The discussion will follow a screening of the film on BBC iplayer. 

Places on the festival are free of charge but can be limited so it’s best to register your interest as soon as possible to ensure your place. For more information and to register for an event visit https://imaginebelfast.com/events-at-a-glance-2021/ or visit www.imaginebelfast.com