Probing behind society's closed doors

By Press Office
August 15, 2013

'Behind closed doors' is one of the five strands of the 2013 Just Festival, incorporating a blend of conversations, drama, talks, art and other performance media to explore the exclusions and marginalisations faced by many people today.

Dr Eurig Scandrett of Queen Margaret University comments on the theme: "Great historical trajectories are played out in our daily lives. Writing in the 1950s, C Wright Mills argued that we must always understand ‘private troubles’ in the wider context of ‘public issues’.

"In the 1970s, the feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’ radically re-interpreted this quest by pointing out that political injustices, and therefore struggles for justice, occur in the everyday here and now.

"In the 21st century we are perhaps more individualised and privatised than ever before whilst the scope of political and economic change is increasingly global. It is therefore even more urgent today to contest publicly what goes on behind closed doors.

"Some of these historical trajectories interact in problematic ways. Take just a few: the neoliberal orthodoxy driving a shift from public welfare to private economic interests; the division of economic and political power between men and women; the legitimacy of the state in defining and policing deviance; the rise, in tandem, of secularism and fundamentalism; new economic dependencies in a largely post-colonial world.

"All of these seemingly abstract forces are lived every day in the ways that we understand ourselves as gendered human beings, as consumers, as citizens, as people who seek meaning in life."

Just Festival, also known simply as Just, runs from 2-26 August 2013. It is based at St John's Church (corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road) and some 27 other venues, and combines artistic and performance style events with conversations, talks, films exhibits and other ways of exploring how to live together creatively in a mixed-belief society.

* The programme events related to Behind Closed Doors are listed at the foot of this page:

* For more information on Just Festival, visit and

* Ekklesia is a sponsor of Just Festival. Our news, reporting and comment is aggregated at:

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