Apr 03, 2023

Community & Connection at this year’s Literary Festival

Community and Connection are two central themes of this year’s Festival. In a post-pandemic world, we all have a new understanding of how important it is to reconnect with loved ones and the communities that surround us after spending such a long time isolated from one another. The value of care and community is, perhaps now more than ever, essential for living fulfilled and connected lives. We have a variety of speakers joining us at this year’s Literary Festival who will touch on the themes of community and connection and discuss how we can all become more compassionate, caring and connected.

We’ve curated the following events exploring this theme, and look forward to hearing the insights that these speakers have to share with us. 

Mim Skinner: Living Together — Searching for Community in a Fractured World

When: Wednesday 10 May, 15:00–16:00
Where: Les Cotils

Mim Skinner spent 2022 touring the UK and Europe, meeting people living in alternative communities before moving into a community farm at seven months pregnant. She visited a naturist village, urban wellness community, religious order, hippy eco-commune and disability-inclusive home to ask, can communal living help us live greener, more affordable and more connected lives? Mim will share her discoveries, as well as her experience of writing Living Together. Chaired by Terry Waite CBE and kindly sponsored by the John Ramplin Charitable Trust.

Kim Samuel: On Belonging — Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation

When: Thursday 11 May, 15:00–16:00
Where: Les Cotils

An activist and thought leader on questions of social connectedness, Kim Samuel, in her book ‘On Belonging’, introduces readers to leaders around the world who are doing the important work to cultivate a sense of belonging. Whether this is through sports, medicine, music, business, culture or advocacy, the people and programmes depicted in this book offer us meaningful lessons on building a world where we can all feel at home. Chaired by Bella Farrell and kindly supported by Health Connections.

Onjali Q. Raúf: Hope on the Horizon — A Children’s Handbook on Empathy, Kindness and Making a Better World

When: Saturday 13 May, 10:00–11:00
Where: Guille-Allès Library

Growing up, there is so much out of our control and to feel frustrated about, but Onjali Q. Raúf shares her top ways for finding hope, creating change and making a difference, no matter how young you are. In this engaging event, Onjali invites us to discover everything there is to know about connection, kindness, empathy, friendship and fighting for the things that truly matter. Because, with compassion, hope and even the smallest act of kindness, great things can happen and changes can be made. Hope is on the horizon; and this event teaches us how children everywhere can find it. Kindly sponsored by Rothschild & Co.

Manni Coe: brother.do.you.love.me.

When: Saturday 13 May, 12:00–13:00
Where: Les Cotils

When Manni Coe received this desperate message from his youngest brother, he knew everything had to change, immediately leaving his life in Spain and returning to England. He moved his brother Reuben out of his care home and into an old farm cottage in the countryside, where they began an extraordinary journey of repair, rediscovering their brotherhood together. Combining Manni’s words with Reuben’s illustrations, their story of hope and resilience will make us question how well we care for those we love and demands that we learn how to take better care of each other and our communities. Chaired by Gillie Revill and kindly sponsored by The John Ramplin Charitable Trust.

Emily Kenway: Who Cares

When: Sunday 14 May, 12:00–13:00
Where: Les Cotils

Globally, millions of people are caring for long-term unwell, elderly or disabled loved ones. This figure accounts for one in eight people in the UK alone. Blending memoir, polemic and investigation, Who Cares combines Emily’s own experience in caring for her mother with the voices of caregivers and those receiving care, as well as the scientists who are developing potential solutions to the care crisis, to show how we as a society need to reorganise and reimagine the fundamental building blocks of our world to ensure caregiving is at its heart. Chaired by Susie Gallienne.