Dystopia in light of Magna Carta: an interview with Kerry Drewery

YA author Kerry Drewery reflects on her upcoming novel Cell 7, faraway visions of human rights and the power of fiction born of fact The sealing of Magna Carta is widely considered an embryonic step towards enshrining the human rights we value today. But can we imagine a world in which such rights were never conceived? … Continue reading Dystopia in light of Magna Carta: an interview with Kerry Drewery

Music for Suffrage: scoring silent film with Lillian Henley

Composer Lillian Henley tunes into women’s rights to score a film compilation documenting women’s fight for suffrage Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film is a new archival compilation from the BFI featuring footage of women from the earliest days of film. It combines suffrage marches with comedies, and scenes of oppression with moments of empowerment. Lillian Henley … Continue reading Music for Suffrage: scoring silent film with Lillian Henley

Charters of Liberty in the 21st Century: a Peter Linebaugh talk

Watch famous historian Peter Linebaugh’s talk at Lincoln Castle on privatisation from 1215 to today You could not be more than five miles from any gallows in Lincolnshire at the time of the Magna Carta or the Charter of the Forest. Back in June, on the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta, renowned historian … Continue reading Charters of Liberty in the 21st Century: a Peter Linebaugh talk

Carleen Anderson: Grains of Dust

Watch jazz singer-songwriter Carleen Anderson’s video for Grains of Dust, a song about cultural disunity in the US Soul, gospel and blues are all important for Carleen Anderson, a Texas-born jazz singer. Plus James Brown is her Godfather, and Amy Winehouse was a big fan. Grains of Dust, written for the project Occupation: Five songs … Continue reading Carleen Anderson: Grains of Dust

Judith Weir: The Sleeping-Mat Ballad

View contemporary composer Judith Weir’s video for The Sleeping-Mat Ballad, a song about the 2014 Hong Kong ‘umbrella revolution’ The ingenious contemporary composer Judith Weir once wrote an epic opera about the 11th century Norwegian army, which lasts ten minutes (possibly the shortest opera ever). She heard that the 2014 Hong Kong protesters – fighting … Continue reading Judith Weir: The Sleeping-Mat Ballad

Cerys Matthews: I Can’t Breathe

Watch Cerys Matthews’ powerful video for I Can’t Breathe, which reacts to killings of black teenagers by white police in the US In a country that prizes personal freedom, racism is still a very real problem, as the musician, DJ and founding member of Welsh band Catatonia, Cerys Matthews found when she lived in the … Continue reading Cerys Matthews: I Can’t Breathe

When is Change Gonna Come? Cerys Matthews on music for good

Cerys Matthews explains the song-writing project Occupation: Five songs that shook the world, and what inspired her contribution to it I watched with dismay as two stories unfolded in the news in Missouri and Ohio, the shootings by police officers of two young American boys, aged just 12 and 18 years old. The two youngsters … Continue reading When is Change Gonna Come? Cerys Matthews on music for good

Bahia Shehab: A Thousand Times No

The artist explains the people of Egypt’s struggles from 2010–11, illustrated through street art Bahia Shehab was living in Cairo during the Arab Spring, a wave of protests in 2010 and 2011 that led to the overthrowing of many rulers in North Africa and the Middle East. Some people turned to graffiti to express resistance to … Continue reading Bahia Shehab: A Thousand Times No