Exhibitions FoI 2018

All of the Festival of Ideas exhibitions are free to attend. Each exhibition has an accompanying event where the artist’s and/or the curators will in discussion about the work displayed.
Click the images to find out more about each accompanying event.

Ethel Leginska: The Musical Pioneer

Thursday 17th May – Sunday 17th June
The Arts Centre Foyer

This exhibition of materials from the Sinfonia UK Collective Leginska Archive tells the extraordinary story of Ethel Leginska, the British pianist who paved the way for women all over the world to find a place on the professional conducting podium.

The exhibition’s updated narrative provides new insight into Leginska’s activities and relationships, her constructed image(s) and ‘voice(s)’ and their contexts. Essential materials (images, documents, recordings), many of which have been newly discovered since the Broadbents’ biography of 2002, have been drawn together into a single archival resource with a view to facilitating future research and to reasserting Leginska’s position within wider consciousness. This new archive fleshes out our understanding of Leginska’s public and private image and clarifies matters relating to her achievements.

A version of this exhibition was previously shown as part of the Women of the World Festival Hull as part of Hull 2017 UK City of Culture, supported by Arts Council England.


Transmission Lifelines: Modern Slavery, Freedom and the ‘Waiting Place’

Thursday 17th May – Tuesday 12th June
Creative Edge

With view of addressing this gap in current understandings, this study builds on participatory, narrative and visual methodologies, to incorporate participants’ creativity and active engagement and systematically explore trafficked people’s lived experiences in the UK, to relay a more balanced and equal representation of respondents’ realities. By means of facilitating a reflexive process, respondents chose their preferred methodology for relaying their experiences through visual and/or textual methods, and were subsequently invited to discus, interpret and illuminate their findings. Specifically, the research indicates that the process of meaning making experienced by trafficked individuals offers new insights of participants’ sense of self that includes emotive and aesthetic qualities, to illuminate the process of integration and better explore visions for wellbeing, rehabilitation, freedom and equality post trafficking identification. Additionally, findings from the study highlight further the therapeutic potential of the use of research as intervention.

This exhibition will present 30 A3 size pictures from images created by survivors of trafficking and Modern slavery. These visual findings, accompanied by captions from participants’ narratives, are a reflection of how trafficked people chose to represent themselves as part of an ongoing study.  The images, selected due to the depth of insight, evocation and significance of meaning that participants invested in them, celebrate trafficked people’s resilience and contribute to their more accurate and fairer representation.


Who are the New ‘Boat People’: Unheard Stories from the Fastest Growing Refugee Crisis

Wednesday 30th May – Tuesday 12th June
Hale Hall

Who are the Rohingya? What is happening to them? Is it genocide, and what can be done about it?

Amnesty International describes the Rohingya as ‘one of the most persecuted minorities in the world’. They have fled from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, with almost sixty-percent of the refugees being children, and are now faced with deportation, even though they remain stateless, with uncertain futures. It has been observed that there has been very little awareness of this catastrophic human disaster in the Western world.

Fojit Sheikh Babu, a photo journalist from Bangladesh has taken more than five thousand photographs of the Rohingya, capturing their painful journeys crossing the Myanmar border, entering Bangladesh soil (near Cox’s Bazar), and later to a number of makeshift refugee camps since August 2017.

Fojit was sponsored by Edge Hill University to travel to Lancashire, UK from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was invited to bring a sample of his photographs for an exhibition at the University’s Festival of Ideas 2018, and in particular to the specific Rohingya Awareness Event on Friday 1st June, co-ordinated by Dr Tasleem Shakur (Senior Lecturer of Human Geography). This exhibition forms part of the event, which will also present an exhibition of prints and paintings of the 1971 Bangladesh/Pakistan conflict, which is comparable to the Rohingya situation, by accomplished Bangladeshi/French artist, Shahabuddin. The event also includes panel discussions and performances, a screening of a Rohingya documentary (directed by Fojit’s younger brother Abul Hossain), and the launch of a special issue of SACS journal (South Asian Cultural Studies)  entitled ‘Imaging south Asian culture in non-English: Reconstructing popular textual and visual representations’. (Shakur, T and Highet, K eds 2018)…


Votes for Women? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

Thursday 31st May – Tuesday 12th June
Creative Edge

The use of cartoons to convey a political message has a long history.  Often a clever image says much more than a wealth of text.  Today politicians admit that their image can be ruined, or boosted, by the skill of the cartoonist.

In terms of the suffrage campaign, whilst female lobbyists were often drawn as unfeminine, in the 20th century cartoons also mocked politicians’ inaction and law officials’ overreaction to suffragette protests. By the early 20th century, with women ensuring the survival of the British economy during WW1, Punch included cartoons that noted the irony of denying the vote to women for so long, and even acknowledged the magazine had been wrong to oppose the vote.

This exhibition will enable visitors to view a selection of the cartoons.


Cegin y Capel (The Chapel Kitchen)

Saturday 2nd June – Sunday 3rd June
Rehearsal Room 2, The Arts Centre

Cegin y capel is an installation of found objects, images, text and sound collated into an environment documenting Theatr Gadair Ddu’s recent tour of theatrical interventions located in chapel kitchens in Liverpool and in North Wales.  Part of the company’s Daughters of Gwenfrewi Project, each Cegin y Capel event used the company’s recent theatrical piece, Cartref, as the focal point for a community cooking event.  Whilst working together in their local chapel kitchen, participants were encouraged to share community and individual narratives as they prepared a celebratory tea party for themselves and their local community. This installation collates aspects of this ‘tour’ into an environment that explores one of Wales’ most influential ‘ex-pat’ communities by foregrounding the histories of its women.

Theatr Gadair Ddu’s project, The Daughters of Gwenfrewi is a collection of theatre performances and theatrical interventions exploring the documented and oral histories of the Liverpool Welsh community.  With bases in Liverpool and Rhuthun, the company is led by Emma Heron (Theatr Gadair Ddu and Edge Hill University) and Emyr John (Theatr Gadair Ddu and Theatr Clwyd).

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