Festival of Politics gets revolutionary


Award-winning World Press Photo photographers Ed Ou and Anastasia Taylor-Lind will head up the festival of politics today. They will share their incredible experiences documenting everything from the Arab Spring to scouting for models on the trans-Siberian railway, on the closing day of this year’s festival.

Ed Ou will also take part in the highly topical ‘Where Next for the Arab Spring?’ to discuss the dramatic changes in the Middle East and North African regions. He is joined by:

  • BBC journalist Allan Little
  • film-maker and activist Omar Hamilton
  • director of 'Beyond Barriers', Mark Muller Stuart QC
  • and Dr Florence Gaub from NATO Defence College.

The revolutionary force of social media and its impact on broadcasters will be explored in ‘The Only Way Is . . .Twitter?’ with a panel including Father Ted and The IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan and chaired by broadcaster Janice Forsyth.

Other highlights today are –

In Defence of Politics: What is comedy and satire doing to our politics?

Comedian Helen Lederer is joined by Tim Telling from The Daily Mash and Professor Steven Fielding from the University of Nottingham to debate whether or not political comedy and satire undermine public support in democratic politics.

Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire

Glasgow singer-songwriter Roddy Hart, who has played with everyone from Ray Davies to Glen Campbell and Ray LaMontagne will play an acoustic set with his band The Lonesome Fire.

Making Human Rights Real – the impact and influence of social media

Professor Alan Miller from Scottish Human Rights Commission is joined by author and activist Ahdaf Soueif, filmmaker and activist Omar Hamilton and journalist Iain Macwhirter to discuss the impact of Twitter and blogging on how people understand human rights.

Programme availability and tickets

Festival Partners

This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with:

  • Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
  • The Law Society of Scotland


The Festival, which runs from 20 – 27 August, presents a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate. On their way to and from events, visitors will be able to view one of the largest and most prestigious photographic exhibitions – the World Press Photo exhibition 2011. Striking images taken by the world’s leading photo journalists that depict dramatic, life-changing events from around the world, line the public entrance to the Scottish Parliament. Photographic events for the public will take place alongside this year’s Festival sessions.

Contact information

For members of the media:
Sally Coyne: 0131 348 6265
RNID TypeTalk calls welcome

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  • Telephone: 0800 092 7500
  • Textphone users can contact us on 0800 092 7100. We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service. 
  • Text message: 07786 209888
  • Email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk

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