Conversation, culture and challenge

By Katie MacFadyen
August 25, 2012

This Saturday, 25 August, will be the last full day of the 2012 Festival of Spirituality and Peace events (though the final day is Monday 27th), and as ever there is a full and varied programme planned.

There will be two conversations. The first, at 10 am, will be Challenging Islamophobia: the twelve Cities Project. Islamophobia is rife all across Europe. The Rev Donald Reeves, Director of the Soul of Europe and Shaykh Amer Jamil of the Solas Foundation will be discussing and challenging these issues.

At noon will come our very last conversation and the third in a series on Scottish identity and Sectarianism, The Power of Youth and Football to Heal a Divided City (illustrated). Divided City is a book and musical set in Glasgow: Theresa Breslin, its author, Martin Travers, the playwright, and Jenny Marra MSP will reflect on its success and impact.

On the artistic side, the day will begin at 11 am, with Scotland: The Journey Continues, in St John's church. Fife-born songwriter Alan Forrester reflects on his travels around Scotland through songs, readings, photos and painting and on how he became 'even more Scottish'.

At the same time will be the penultimate Poetry in the Persian Tent, this time with a Gaelic flavour as Aonghas MacNeacail, South Uist poet Niall Campbell and Jim Carruth recite their poetry with musical accompaniment from acclaimed Clarsach player and Gaelic singer Patsy Seddon.

A musical afternoon with Rhapsody of Indian Melodies at 2 pm. A group of musicians trained under Smt. Chandrima Misra, a Hindustani Classical Vocalist, and Pt. Rajkumar Misra, the Tabla Maestro will blend spirituality and musical excellence with their vocal melodies and rhythmic cycles. Brought to you by the Tagore Centre UK. After this, Soweto Entsha will be performing at 4pm.

Also at 4 pm, a unique opportunity to experience poetry in a new way in The Breeze at Dawn - a Rumi Workshop with Duncan Mackintosh. Let Rumi's poems inspire exploration of your own experiences.

Steamer Lane and Stuart McNair will both be performing again in the evening, at 8 pm and 10 pm. Also at 8 pm will be the Glasgow Gospel Choir. This choir was established twelve years ago by Jerry Boweh, originally from Liberia, and blends African, Gospel, Motown and Blues. All profits will go to the African Youth Development Action Project.

At 6 pm the final Japanese Tea Ceremony takes place with Mio Shapley, followed by the first of our closing events, the End of Festival Ceilidh with the Caleerie Buskers at 7pm. This will be great fun for all the family - children under twelve get in free, and instructions and light refreshments will be provided.

Elsewhere in the city, there will be a Breadmaking for Beginners workshop at 9:30 am over at the Garvald Bakery. As ever, the Persian Tent village will be open all day, and, as it's Saturday, Wendy Curan will be doing her Finding your Way Massage Session from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace, now in its twelfth year in Edinburgh, features 400 cultural and discussion events across 21 venues. Its theme this year is ‘Cooperation for Change’.

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(c) Katie MacFadyen is studying classics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a media intern for the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, and also reviewing on the Fringe this year.

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