Simon Barrow's blog

Ian Berry: the pictures, the man behind the camera

Magnum photographer Ian Berry first set out to South Africa as a boy of 17 years, recording ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances.

Are we losing faith in the media?

That's an interesting and tantalisingly ambiguous question. Are we talking about the appearance of beliefs in an increasingly multi-platform world, the question of belief or otherwise in media values and performance, or some combination of the two?

Making sense of the new unrest

From anti-neoliberal protests around globalisation through to the Occupy movement, environmental direct action and mass anti-austerity demonstrations, there has been an explosion of grassroots activism that has moved in tandem with the wave of crises facing western-driven free market capitalism since 2008.

Thinking again about religion

Religion is a 'hot topic' one way or another. Some love it, some loathe it, many go meh... but you can't ignore the diverse belief mix that now makes up a modern plural society.

Israel-Palestine: reality of occupation, challenge of peace

"Of course Israel has a right to exist... but with Palestine, not at the expense of the Palestinians." That was the message of an ecumenical accompanier speaking today (6th August 2013) at Just Festival in Edinburgh.

A conversation among creative and hopeful sceptics

What would a conversation about religion among those who have abandoned it, or who are on the very edge of it, sound and feel like?

Changing the world: real conversation is the key

As the huge media coverage of internet abuse has made clear (not least the appalling targeting of women on Twitter and other social media platforms), when public conversation is debased, we all suffer - though those at the sharp end suffer most.

Just starting

St John's Church in Edinburgh was packed last night (3 August 2013) for 'Just Starting', the opening event for Just Festival 2013, which attracted several hundred people.

Everyday economy: fairtrade and moving your money

One of the focuses of the Just Festival's programme for Saturday 3rd August is the linkage between everyday life and money.

Are you 'flying the flag'?

The term popular 'fly the flag' is all too often a cipher for "support us against them" or "toe the line". But from the beginning of August through to the beginning of September 2013, creative artist Peter Liversidge is helping us to recognise and practice another, positive meaning.