Friday 13th festival round up
By the Being Human team
The nights are drawing in, Halloween is approaching, and across the UK and beyond people are preparing for Being Human 2017. Academics, artists, writers, performers and creative humans of all sorts are preparing their activities… But what else is stirring out there in shadows? Are there also some non-humans getting in on the act? For Friday 13th we thought we’d bring you a round-up of some of our eeriest, spookiest and strangest events coming up across the country between 17-25 November. Enjoy, and be afraid!
Come along for a fun packed morning where Swansea University expert Dr Kasia Szpakowska will transport you to the magical realm of mummies and friendly and menacing demons! Link voices and faces in our ‘matching pairs’ game, meet the mummy and have a chance to decorate your own mummy! All mummy and demon-inspired costumes very welcome!
How do our cities’ buildings adapt to changing needs and economies, and what energies can bring a spark of life to old building stock? Through a Frankenstein-themed installation, screening and talks from a group of architectural researchers from Newcastle University ‘Sparks of life: Frankenstein and regeneration at Carliol House’ invites the public to discover more about the electrical past and contemporary revitalisation of this monumental Newcastle building and to debate the regeneration of the East Pilgrim Street Area.
This gruesome ‘show and tell’ workshop will see images of mysterious, unique, and bloody objects lost in the Science Museum’s archives uncovered in a way that enables the curious history of each piece, and its relationship to blood and the body, to be sensationally recovered or found. Participants will be encouraged to be creative and take part in a number of writing and drawing activities, based on Clive Barker’s notion of the body as a ‘book of blood’ that can be read.
In 1937, archaeologist Ludovic Mann painted a 4000-year-old prehistoric rock-art panel, the Cochno Stone (Faifley, West Dunbartonshire). He believed prehistoric people carved symbols on the rock to show how they predicted eclipses and so defeated the monster that ate the sun. Visitors flocked to the site and damaged the stone, so it was buried in 1965 to protect it. In 2016, a team from the University of Glasgow uncovered the Cochno Stone for the first time in 51 years and found that much of Mann’s paint survived.
How can we use the past to think about the present? The ancient Greek historian Thucydides claimed that his work would be a ‘possession for ever’, helping his readers understand war, politics and power – but his ideas are often used to make the world seem simpler than it really is, with dangerous consequences. This event will use games and role-playing to explore a key episode in Thucydides’ account, opening up issues of might and right, realism and idealism. A performance of this episode will then bring these debates to life, followed by a talk on how Thucydides can help us make sense of the world.
Come along to Portsmouth’s oldest and reputedly most haunted house, Wymering Manor, for three interactive tales of the lost and found of Portsmouth and Sussex. Stories include a pair of missing Portsmouth children from the 1920s, the inherent lost things that inhabit historic places such as Wymering, and the life of the forgotten Victorian poet Bessie Parkes Belloc. Presented by Karen Fielder, Debbie Parker-Kinch, and Rosie Paice, these stories will spark off each other to create uncanny echoes in a ghostly space.