Northern Ireland

Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics' begins

The 'Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics' runs from March 20-26
The 'Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics' runs from March 20-26 The 'Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics' runs from March 20-26

ONE of Belfast's most "innovative and thought-provoking" festivals takes places this week.

A programme of film, humour, talks, music, poetry and theatre began on Monday as part of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics.

There will also be exhibitions, tours, discussion and workshops as part of the events that will explore the theme, 'Brain Food: A Feast of Ideas for A Better World'.

Now in its ninth year, the week-long festival runs until Sunday with more than over 130 in-person and online events.

Taking place at venues across the city, keynote speakers include world-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky, American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, British environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and Belfast poet Medbh McGuckian.

Campaigner George Monbiot, visual artist Colin Davidson, journalist Sally Hayden and satirist Oliver Callan are also set to take part.

Other events include a politics quiz, poetry and politics pub tour and a 'Poetry and Politics' performance, where local politicians will talk about their favourite poems.

Owen McCafferty’s new play, Agreement also premieres at the Lyric Theatre and examines this landmark moment in the history of Northern Ireland, while there is a new play by Joe Nawaz called 'Five Days' and the Reunion by Julie Dutkiewicz and Kabosh Theatre.

Musicians taking part include legendary performer, John Otway, alternative punks Wood Burning Savages and the acclaimed Australian song writer, Robert Forster.

Festival director and founder, Peter O’Neill said: "This year’s programme is jam-packed with a diverse range of events that will cater to a variety of tastes.

"Our events will nourish the mind and provide food for thought in this volatile world.

"We aim to put the fun into politics with lots of humour, performance and discussion."

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