Thursday, 30 January 2014

Being a Man - Southbank Centre Festival

WE are all used to events, awards, seminars, workshops, books and other activities and literature to engage women and promote and discuss the issues they face.
But what's it like for a man?
To find out, Southbank Centre (SBC) is launching a new festival, Being A Man which kicks off today (January 31).
Running until Sunday, men from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and experiences and of all ages are invited to the festival which takes place across the SBC site to explore what it means to be a man today.
Being A Man has been put together in consultation with more than 250 men who over the last few months have taken part in 'think-ins' to share ideas and different areas of interest.
The programme is many and varied, and aims to cover as broad a spectrum of subjects as possible - including fatherhood, gang culture and porn addiction, why, and whether, men like gaming, cars and football.
It will feature Q&A sessions, talks, keynotes and presentations, in addition to film screenings, music and performances, including Zachary Oberzan’s Your Brother.Remember?.
Jude Kelly, SBC's artistic director said: "I'm aware that men are subject to a great deal of often critical discussion about their role in modern society.
"I'm struck by how many male friends compare the statement 'it's a man's world' with how much individual power they do or don't feel in their own lives, and also how peer group pressure and social expectation make some men feel trapped and confused about appropriate ways to behave, yet there doesn’t seem to be a mainstream platform to discuss these things openly.
"Being A Man festival is intended to provide this platform for conversations on how men’s roles are evolving in the 21st century.
"It's an opportunity, amidst all the debate about men, for men themselves to come together to share stories, discuss the pleasures and challenges of being men, and look at what kind of world they want for themselves and others."
Kicking off the festival today will be Ziauddin Yousafzai, whose daughter Malala Yousafai was shot by the Taliban, talking to Ms Kelly about the kind of education boys would have in an ideal world.
The day will also feature journalist Jon Snow discussing fatherhood as well as talks, seminars and debates on topics including young male offenders, gang culture and suicide rates, to the loss of traditional male jobs, stress in the city and whether the education system is failing boys.
Other well known faces such as Billy Bragg, Larry Harvey of Burning Man, Nick Hornby, Akala, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Michael Kaufman of White Ribbon Campaign, Baaba Maal, Grayson Perry and Simon Armitage will also be taking part in the various discussions and debates throughout the weekend.
Jon Snow, said: "It sure is time to talk about men: men and change; men and women; and why many men fear both change and women!”
Akala, rapper and poet, added: "The Being a Man Festival offers chance to put to bed some myths, take men to task, and celebrate without gloating one half - almost - of the human species."

Being A Man runs from today until Sunday, February 2. Visit for full listings and to book tickets or call the box office on 0844 847 9944.

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