Theme: Power of Politics

Join world-class speakers at our Focus Day on peace in the Middle East, find out about the art of activism and examine notable speeches.

What's on

Fri
15
Jun

When They Go Low, We Go High

In his work as a speechwriter to senior politicians and business leaders around the world, Philip Collins has become well versed in understanding what it is that makes a speech great. Join Philip, author or When They Go Low, We Go High, as he explores the ways in which the most notable speeches in history have worked, analysing the rhetorical tricks to uncover how the right speech at the right time can profoundly shape the world.

Sun
10
Jun

I, Maybot: The rise and fall

Throughout 2017, the Guardian’s parliamentary sketch writer John Crace watched Theresa May’s efforts to remain strong and stable - and, indeed, Prime Minister. He coined the term 'Maybot' for her malfunctioning public appearances.

Sat
9
Jun

Art, Activism and the Political Imagination

Taking inspiration from a film documenting experimental arts-based research with activists and artists in Bangladesh and Uganda, you are invited to think about how the arts can help us imagine a different world.

Sat
9
Jun

Reporting from the Front Line

As part of our Focus Day on Achieving Peace in the Middle East we ask what’s it like to report from the front line. Join Middle East reporter Kareem Shaheen of the Guardian to discover what it’s like to work in the most difficult social and geographical environments.

Sat
9
Jun

Syria: Pathways to Resolution

Join experts including award-winning journalist Gareth Browne of The National, Alia Brahimi of Legatus Global, and John McHugo, author of Syria: A Recent History, as we explore the causes, impacts and consequences of war in Syria and whether peace is achievable.

Sat
9
Jun

Conditions Necessary for Peace

Ellen Laipson, Director of the International Security Program at George Mason University, a Middle East expert with 25 years government experience, presents the keynote speech. Next speakers, including Martyn Frampton, author of The Muslim Brotherhood and the West, Carly Beckerman of Durham University and Jacob Eriksson of the University of York, explore contemporary issues affecting peace in the Middle East, and how and if peace can ever be achieved.

Sat
9
Jun

Making Peace in the Middle East: Lessons and legacies from international diplomacy

More than 20 years on from the Oslo Accords, our Focus Day examines how peace can be achieved in the Middle East. Our keynote speakers are Ambassador Martin Indyk, former U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations at the U.S. Department of State, Petter Bauck, Editor of The Oslo Accords: A Critical Assessment and Uzi Rabi, Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.

Post Festival Events

Refuse/Refuge

Friday 20 July to Sunday 16 September, 10.00am to 5.00pm

Refuse/Refuge is an exhibition of contemporary art exploring the role of visual politics in shaping the public's reactions to the 21st-century refugee crisis. Curated by University of York PhD students Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani and Martha Cattell, the exhibition is supported by the University’s History of Art Department, York Festival of Ideas, the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Festival themes