King’s College London’s mission has always been to serve society. It has become increasingly international, and focused on global challenges. What does Brexit mean for UK universities? How is our understanding of borders changing? Why are global leaders failing to address urgent issues?
The Festival programme tackled these questions and more, exploring the transient nature of language, of identity, and the importance of freedom of expression and human rights.
The programme also sought to build on the College’s acquisition of Bush House, the home of the BBC World Service 1941-2012, and the exemplary cultural capital it represents for the Arts & Humanities. You can read more about the history of Bush House on the King's venues pages.
Whether broadcasting to the Empire or the World, the BBC World Service propagated versions of Englishness and of other local, national cultural identities. In doing so, it drew in commentators, creative practitioners and intellectuals from all over the Empire and the world. It thus offers a lens through which to study cultural identities, migration, globalisation and multiculturalism.
The Festival was part of a larger two-year World Service project; an interdisciplinary programme including talks, performances, seminars, broadcasts, and conferences, running 2016 - 2018.
The diverse programme included a panel discussion about the role and shape of universities in the world, both now and after Brexit with Labour MP Tulip Siddiq; a talk with British Writer George Monbiot and a whole host of exhibitions, performances and multimedia events exploring the festival theme.