Freedom Talks – The Art of Change by Freedom Festival

Embarking on a journey of creative exploration and empowerment – Freedom Talks at Freedom Festival Hull.

Freedom Talks aim to captivate and inspire at this year’s Freedom Festival in Hull. Delve into a world of thought-provoking discussions, invigorating motivation, and intellectual challenges that promise to ignite passion for change.

The talks take place over four days, from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September, at Middleton Hall at the University of Hull, and Social on Humber Street.

Middleton Hall highlights on Thursday 31 August and Friday 1 September include: Creativity and climate adaptation awareness, Academia, Journalism and Creativity – The Guardian newspaper’s Cotton Capital & Legacies of Enslavement Project, creative responses to the (mis)representation of migrants, how creative practice can impact mental health and recovery and key note presentation by Luis Rodriquez who served as the official Poet Laureate of Los Angeles between 2014-2016.

Professor Darren Mundy said: “Our partnership with the Freedom Festival Arts Trust builds on our long-standing relationship and shared alignment on key issues such as social justice and sustainability. Freedom Festival is a vibrant example of the city’s culture that our students and staff can experience. We’re also proud that, thanks to this partnership, our students have the chance to take part in a range of creative learning and work experience opportunities – such as internships with the Freedom Festival team.”

Highlights at Social on Humber Street on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September include: Overview of Flanders Circus arts sector and its impact on health and wellbeing, plus an outdoor arts UK fundraising workshop.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, explains: “At the heart of Freedom Talks lies a dedication to the power of creative expression. We believe in the potential of the arts and culture to illuminate critical issues surrounding social justice and climate adaptation. Steeped in the festival’s rich heritage, Freedom Talks aim to reimagine the notion of modern-day freedom through the lens of creativity.

“This year’s festival collaborates with esteemed partners, including the University of Hull, historians, and journalists from The Guardian’s Cotton Capital and Legacies of Enslavement projects. Our international network encompasses visionaries from the InSitu Network of Oerol Festival (Netherlands), La Strada Festival (Austria), The CircusCentrum (Belgium), Ell Circo D’ell Fuego, Cirkus in Beweging, and Outdoor Arts UK. Together, we’ve crafted a four-day programme to push the boundaries.

“Amidst mounting climate emergencies and the impact of social injustice, arts and culture emerge as catalysts for community engagement and empowerment. This year, Freedom Talks champions this cause, providing an avenue to explore and navigate the connections between creativity and environmental impact.

“We beckon individuals from all walks of life who are curious about the dynamics between arts, research, public spaces, and the societal impact of arts-driven practices. This is more than just a gathering, it’s a platform to forge connections, amplify unheard narratives of artistic journeys, and immerse into the array of interactive experiences.

“We firmly believe that Freedom Festival stands among the world’s finest arts festivals. Hull’s cultural prowess deserves nothing less than access to the insights of global experts. The calibre of cultural content and performances rival that of any metropolis – it is important that this work is spread around the UK.”

All talks will be BSL interpreted.

The four-day schedule is available here:

Reserve FREE tickets here: