The second Bristol Festival of Ideas seeks to bring together the best thinkers and writers working in fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. The theme in the Brunel year is progress: sessions at Arnolfini explore progress in race issues and the natural world as well as readings by Margaret Atwood and Sebastian Junger.
Tariq Modood and Ziauddin Sardar
Tue 9 May 7.30pm £6/£4.50 concs
Broadcaster and journalist Ziauddin Sardar joins University of Bristol professor Tariq Modood, to debate the future of multiculturalism and Islam in the West.
James Lovelock with John Gray
Thu 18 May 6.00pm £6/£4.50 concs
James Lovelocks The Revenge of Gaia (Allen Lane) made front page news with his view that it is probably too late to stop climate change. He argues that science and technology are essential as they provide safe and reliable sources of energy but also offer the only way to counter the lethal heat waves and rising sea levels that will increasingly threaten civilisations. James will discuss his book with political philosopher John Gray.
The Lovelock Nature Debate
Thu 18 May 7.30pm Admission included with James Lovelock ticket
With Roy Hattersley, Ruth Padel, Ian Jack, John Gray.
Starting with James Lovelocks book, but ranging over a number of pressing environmental and ecological issues, four leading writers debate how we can come to terms with the natural world. Roy Hattersley has taken an increasing interest in environmental issues; Ian Jack, editor of Granta, has long held an interest in the environment; Ruth Padels poetry and her recent book Tigers in Red Weather reflect great interest in, and concern for, wildlife. They join John Gray who chairs
Thu 25 May 6.00pm £6/£4.50 concs
Bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger reads from his latest novel A Death in Belmont (Fourth Estate). A compelling portrait of 1960s America, A Death in Belmont is centred on the still controversial case of the Boston Strangler and tackles painful truths about race and justice.
Margaret Atwood – The Tent
Thu 25 May 7.30pm £6/£4.50 concs
One of the worlds most celebrated authors, Margaret Atwood will be talking about The Tent (Bloomsbury), her collection of smart and entertaining fictional essays. Chilling and witty, prescient and personal, the essays speak on a broad range of subjects, reflecting the times we live in with deadly accuracy.