I hope my fellow students are all looking forward to going back to university in the next couple of weeks!
Anyway, whilst I'm sure you'd love to get the worlds smallest violin out and pay tribute to my dashed hopes and dreams (if they ever existed in the first place), I wanted to share my Greenbelt experience with you. Hopefully this will provide a little bit of an insight to anybody looking for a place to see some prominent activists, public speakers and academics, all in one weekend. To quote the Greenbelt website directly, they market themselves as "a festival of arts, faith and justice" with the theme for this year being 'The Common Good'. Prior to working with the Programme Manager, I had never heard of Greenbelt and I wasn't sure what to expect.
Their history is predominantly rooted in Christian tradition and I wondered how I would be received at such an event, given that I am not religious, nor do I come from a religious background. Despite this, however, I quickly discovered it was not an issue and I was made to feel very welcome indeed. Fundamentally, I wanted to attend so I could hear people discussing the current political climate and expand my knowledge on progressive political thought. Lord knows I need all the help I can get with that!
The programme offered up an array of interesting talks from discussion panels about Brexit, to top management gurus such as Charles Handy, to Human Rights Lawyer and activist Clive Stafford Smith. Quite a selection there! As a politics student, I felt this festival was hugely relevant and exposed me to a range of wonderful thinkers I had not previously encountered. The festival has a great set-up for wheelchair users and scooter access and is well catered for young children, allowing families to get in touch with their creative endeavours, regardless of age. It was refreshing to see so many young people in attendance and showing an interest in social justice and alternative ways of living. One thing that certainly struck me was the community spirit and sense of togetherness this festival offers up to its loyal 'Greenbelters'. Check out a link to their website: Greenbelt.Org
- First and foremost, bring a chair. It's a must have at this festival.
- Secondly, make sure you take a tour around Boughton House itself if you can. Definitely worth a look if you like a bit of history and for the bargain price of £5.00 you can't go wrong!
Finally: Check out my video on YouTube if you get the chance: Greenbelt The Movie .