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Battle of Ideas 2013

Home > London > Festivals | Public Lectures
by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Encouraging Free Speech
battle of ideas, barbican

Have you got an opinion? Are your friends tired of hearing you voice it? Share your ideas with someone who cares. The Battle of Ideas is an annual festival at the Barbican Centre that invites everyone to voice their ideas to the masses. On the 19th and 20th October there will be lectures, discussions, and debates on all kind of big issues, as everyone tries to work out solutions to key challenges facing society.

There are talks on all kinds of topics, including Art & Culture, Health & Wellbeing, Science & Environment, Economics, International Relations and more. The main themes covered this year will be 'the private and the public', 'the battle over music', and 'generation wars'.

For example, on the Saturday 19th October at 10.30am, the festival opens with 'Is Nothing Private Anymore?' It explores how the need to assess taxes and benefits has increased the amount of probing into people's personal lives, and how social networks like Facebook mean that comments get shared worldwide.

In the afternoon, you can sit on a discussion called 'Only Words: Do Lyrics Matter?'. Poets, singers, and writers will look at the different genres of twentieth and twenty-first century music, and ask whether it is the words, music, or lyrics that are most important.

Sunday has a debate about 'Youth Today', which is being dubbed 'generation me, me, me.' It questions how austerity has lead to youth uprisings and protests.

Although the festival's motto is 'free speech is allowed', you should also remember the axiom 'nothing in life is free'. If you want your voice to be heard, tickets are £55 a day or £90 for a weekend pass. There are also concession tickets available.
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Why? Discuss big issues, questions, and ideas
When: 19th & 20th Oct
Phone: 44 (0)20 7269 9220
Where: Barbican Centre
Cost: £30-£90
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