Thinking Liverpool

A Weekly Newsletter of Talks, Debates & Interesting Events

Hand-Picked, Updated Weekly

An Evening With Hunter Davies

30 Aug 2016, 6:30 p.m., Waterstones Liverpool One

Huner Davies, who is arguably the person who knew The Beatles best - their only ever official biographer, will be discussing with Spencer Leigh the book described as Hunter's legacy "The Beatles Book" - a definitive and essential guide to the band. Bringing together three eminent Beatles experts, the book covers every element of the band’s history and the influences that shaped the incredible Beatles phenomenon. Joining Hunter on the night is one of those experts - Spencer Leigh - and they will be discussing every aspect of this book, including their controversial grading system where they have listed Top Tens of some of the bands achievements. Ticket required.

Migrating, Past and Present

30 Aug 2016, 6:30 p.m., 24 Kitchen Street

With support from Between the Borders magazine and the L15 Projector and Cinema Co-operative, this double-bill presents two accounts of migration. Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life is a documentary that portrays the Bakhtian people of Iran travel with their herd to the grasslands. Salam Neighbour is filmed inside a refugee camp on the Syrian border, 90 years later. Together, these two films investigate the difference in rights across history. The screening is a response to the difficult situation that migrants and refugees currently face, and to the international scope of the Biennial. Between the Borders are a collective of people with and without citizenship in the UK, who produce diverse publications and events. Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (Dir. Merian C. Cooper, 1925) Salam Neighbour (Dir. Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple, 2015)

"Twopence To Cross The Mersey" Readings

3 Sep 2016, 3 p.m., Waterstones Liverpool One

The new stage play version of the fantastically popular autobiographical books of the same name, Helen Forrester's Twopence to Cross the Mersey is coming to Liverpool's Royal Court following a hugely successful six-week tour in Spring 2015. This much loved account tells the true story of a young girl and her formerly wealthy family as they are suddenly thrown into poverty during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Leaving behind the nannies, servants and comfortable middle-class life in the South West of England, they uproot their shattered lives and choose Liverpool as the city to restart and rebuild their dreams and fortune. Unbeknown to them however, they are in for a terrible shock. Loved by millions of readers worldwide, see Helen’s dramatic, moving and heart-warming tale come to life as she and her family are forced to survive in the slums amongst the streetwise working class. Entrance is free but ticket will be required.

Patterns of Thought: A Workshop on Art and Wellbeing

14 Sep 2016, 5 p.m., Victoria Gallery

Researchers at the University of Liverpool will be discussing VG&M's latest Phantom Limb exhibition. This discussion will give participants the opportunity to reflect upon their own reactions to and evaluations of the artworks by trying to justify appraisals and also by creative and imaginative engagement with the issues at stake. Free event, no registration required

Why eating bugs will soon become the new normal – Jenny Josephs

15 Sep 2016, 8 a.m., The Vines

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion and this will put ever increasing pressure on food and environmental resources. How can we ensure global food security without further damaging the environment with intensified farming practices? One UN backed solution is to focus on alternative sources of protein, such as insects for food and animal feed. About 2 billion of us already include insects in our diets, though it is still a growing trend in the west. Insects are described as having a variety of different flavours, from mushroomy to pistachio or pork crackling. They are comparable to beef in protein and contain beneficial nutrients like iron and calcium. Their environmental impact is also minimal, requiring far less water and feed than cattle, and releasing fewer emissions. During this talk, Jenny will explain how insects might replace some of the meat in our diets and also give some tips on how to cook them. Jenny Josephs is the founder of The Bug Shack, a company aiming to promote edible insects as a sustainable source of protein. She has spoken at the Winchester Science Festival and TEDx Southampton Uni. Registration required.

ONE. TWO. ONE & Short

15 Sep 2016, 7 p.m., Liverpool Small Cinema

Beauty is on the eye of the beholder but in a society that pressurised women with a predetermined beauty cannon (East and West similarly, although in completely different ways), the protagonist Ava a young, attractive Iranian woman,whose face has been disfigured as the result of an accident has a challenge: to find self confidence and inner beauty despite having lost her physical beauty. Mania Akbari, star of Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten, is one of Iran’s most unique filmmakers and. One. Two. One is her latest feature, and most confrontational work, whose banning finally led to her exile from Iran. In One.Two. One, Akbari’s offers a different approach to another image of beauty by getting very close to the skin: ‘For me the skin is one of the most profound parts of the human anatomy. In my society the idea of beauty has become a bit damaged, and the protagonist is a manifestation of this’. In cinematic terms, Akbar’s offers a unique narrative structure where the film is presented in the form of a series of intimate conversational pieces and filmed on closed up and planned long takes to reflect in the concept of beauty and the weight placed on it by the Iranian society and serves as an allegory for the scars her country bears, making this film a rich experience that must be shared and seen by everyone. There will be a debate after the film. Ticket required.

Losing Ground

18 Sep 2016, 5:30 p.m., Liverpool Small Cinema

Elsewhere Cinema begin a new season exploring films by Women of Colour starting with Kathleen Collins, one of the first African-American women to direct a feature film and a lost voice amongst the black independent film scene. LOSING GROUND carefully and beautifully portrays the relationship dynamics between an independent academic and her artist partner as they reach a crossroads in their lives. The continuous dialogue and conflicting personal ideal this presents are comical as well as though provoking and offer an insight into black middle class lives and class and gender politics. ‘Often hilarious, the film follows its characters as they battle for ideals – artistic, political, racial – while unable to fully escape the everyday.’ Author of ‘Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema’ will be joining for a post film panel discussion. Ticket required.

Could Artificial Intelligence Become a Threat to Mankind?

21 Sep 2016, 6 p.m., The City of Liverpool College

Will we ever build machines that we can say are intelligent? Stephen Hawking has recently stated that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” This provoked a spirited reaction from computer scientists who were unable to reach a consensus on whether it would indeed be possible to build a machine that outperformed humanity to such an extent that we created a life-form that could make ourselves extinct. In fact, while computers haven’t yet passed the Turing test, the existing test for intelligence, some argue that the test itself is insufficient to measure “true intelligence”. Put simply, we don’t know what intelligence really is. There are therefore people who take very different stances in this debate. Some technologists are actively trying to create true artificial intelligence, while some technologists (even those doing the same research) believe that is impossible. Some scientists are trying to understand what it means to be conscious while religious leaders believe that such pursuit of a logical definition of the soul is elusive by design. Registration required.

MSS Presents: Socialist Fun-Times, with comedian Chris Coltrane

22 Sep 2016, 7:30 p.m., The Vines

Imagine writing a flyer in June for a political comedy show in August. What’s Britain even like now? Did we really Brexit? Has joy been privatised? Is Theresa May our Prime Minister? Oh god. Oh god no. Say it ain’t so. Well, if the world seems bleak, don’t despair: Chris Coltrane is back with another hour of hilarious, Tory-smashing stand-up comedy to inspire and delight. If you like social justice, kindness, libraries and joy, Coltrane has a show for you. In Socialist Fun-Times, comedian and activist Coltrane (“Josie Long’s favourite comedian on Twitter”) tries to find even a shred of optimism in this distinctly broken country. In a world full of Farage and Trump, Chris has the antidote. Along the way he champions political correctness, defends refugees, and asks why we can’t have Easter Eggs all year round. You’ll leave happy or hungry. Either way, Coltrane will consider it a victory. Registration required.

Dennis McNulty in Conversation with Matthew de Abaitua

27 Sep 2016, 6 p.m., Bluecoat

De Abaitua's recent novel "If Then" draws on the war diaries of Wirral-born science-fiction writer and philosopher Olaf Stapledon. Ticket required.

Why is investing in science and higher education essential for civil society?

11 Oct 2016, 5:30 p.m., Leggate Theatre

Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kent, and President, Universities UK will discuss the societal benefits for investing in science and higher education. Registration required.

Philosophy in the Gallery – Memory and Art

12 Oct 2016, 4 p.m., Victoria Gallery

Question how can art assist with stimulating memory, coping with trauma and bereavement. Free event, no registration required.

Art in Hospitals – The Aesthetics of Wellbeing: A Discussion

13 Oct 2016, 1 p.m., Victoria Gallery

What role does art play in making people better? Can artworks make hospitals a better place? Sociologist Prof. David Pilgrim, the philosopher Dr. Panayiota Vassilopoulou and Nicky Duirs, Arts for Health Lead at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, will consider these questions from an array of academic, practitioner and patient perspectives. Free event, no registration required.

Sleeping Giants: Theories of Sleep in Art and Philosophy from Ancient Greece to the Present Night

14 Oct 2016, 6 p.m., Tate Liverpool

Alexi Penzin and Matthew Fuller consider sleep as a point of resistance towards late capitalism. Registration required.