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OU at Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics

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The Open University is taking part in the Imagine Festival of Ideas and Politics, in venues across Belfast, 20-26 March. The Festival provides a high quality showcase for new ideas on politics, culture and activism in Northern Ireland to encourage the participation of under-represented groups in political/cultural debate and discussion, to stimulate reflection and debate on difficult and controversial issues, and to promote free speech. The week-long series of events is aimed at engaging people in political/cultural discussion and debate in the broadest sense. The festival seeks to cover a wide spectrum of issues including, but certainly not limited to, mainstream political debate.

Participate in the festival by attending an event, contributing to the discussion, proposing an event for future years and/or sharing your ideas and feedback on the website and via your own networks.

Full details of the programme are available at the Festival website


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences academics are running several events as part of the Festival:

‘Imagine’ the Belfast of your dreams – submission led by Belinda Wu, Phillip Horm, Julius Mugwagwa, Charlotte Cross
Tuesday 21st March 6.30-7.30pm
The Open University, 110 Victoria Street, BT1 3GN (Thomas Reynolds Room)

Brexit and the border: so what? Panel event organised by Dr Philip O’Sullivan (FASS) with the following speakers: Colette FitzGerald, Head of Office, Office of the European Commission in Northern Ireland; Rowena Dwyer, Chief Economist, Irish Farmers’ Association; Noel Doran, Editor, The Irish News; Professor David Phinnemore; Dr Anthony Soares, Deputy Director, Deputy Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies.
Wednesday 22nd March 6.30-7.30pm
Belfast Room, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, BT9 5AB

Open University students inside the Maze Long Kesh Compounds – Dr Philip O’Sullivan and Dr Jenny Meegan
Thursday 23rd March, 6.30-8pm
Belfast Room, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, BT9 5AB

Reading in conflict – Maya Parmar and Shaf Towheed
Thursday 23rd March 6.30-8pm
Waterstones, 44-46 Fountain Street, BT1 5EE

Why is Elvis in your toast? Dr Patrick Wright
Saturday 25th 6.30-7.30pm
The Studio, Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road, BT7 1NH

The Dodge Bus (installation) – Melissa Bailey
21-26th March (set up on the 20th)
The Gallery, Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road, BT7 1NH

From Titanic Town to Narnia – Dr Bree Hocking
Sunday 26th March 2-3pm
Belfast Room, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, BT9 5AB

A world without prisons? – James Mehigan, Dr Abigail Rowe, Victoria Cooper & David Scott
Sunday 26th March 7-8.30pm
Crumlin Road Gaol, 53-55 Crumlin Road, BT14 6ST 

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