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Swansea University’s Cultural Institute has been chosen as one of four hubs for Being Human 2020, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.

Now in its seventh year, Being Human is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. This partnership draws together the three major bodies dedicated to supporting and promoting humanities research in the UK and internationally.

Being Human Logos

Returning between 12–22 November, Being Human’s theme this year is ‘New Worlds’ – perfectly timed to reflect on the radical global changes of 2020, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the Black Lives Matter protests and the most important US election in decades. Being Human is a free multi-city festival with hundreds of free events showcasing how humanities researchers work every day on issues that shape the world that we live in.

Due to the Covid-10 pandemic, all events will be online this year.

Our Swansea hub - ‘Building New Worlds’ - reflects on old worlds versus new worlds and new beginnings through politics, wellbeing, human connectivity and creativity. Highlights include:

  • ‘New World, New Beginnings’ (12 November)
    Join us for a celebration of human resilience and connectivity through poetry as we prepare for a newly ordered world. Critically-acclaimed poet and Professor in Creativity, Owen Sheers, will be joined by award-winning poets Natalie Holborow and Eric Ngalle Charles as they share new work and invite members of the public to read their own poems.
  • ‘Dawn of a New Era: Unfurling the South Wales Miners’ Banners’ (12–22 November). At least 50 miners’ banners are known to have existed in south Wales and many of them are preserved at the South Wales Miners’ Library at Swansea University. They have been used in protests, marches and demonstrations, including during the 1972, 1974 and 1984-85 miners’ strikes. Swansea University draws on this amazing collection for an online exhibition to explore the images, colours and slogans and their meanings.

Dr Elaine Canning, the Cultural Institute's Head of Cultural Engagement and Development, said: “We are delighted to be hosting a festival hub as part of Being Human 2020 and wish to thank the festival organisers for giving us this exciting opportunity to consider how the humanities might help us build new worlds.

“The challenges of 2020 make it all the more important to contemplate the responsibility of being human.”

All events are online and free and will be delivered by the Cultural Institute at Swansea University in collaboration with a range of partners from the Swansea Bay area.

Programme image

Thursday 12th November

Friday 13th November

Saturday 14th November

Monday 16th November

Tuesday 17th November

Wednesday 18th November

Thursday 19th November

'The Dawn of a New Era:' Unfurling the Welsh Miners' Banners - a new exhibition

Welsh Miners' Banners

Past Programmes