Young people, sectarianism and George Wyllie’s sculpture to open the eighth annual Festival of Politics


For the eighth year running, the Scottish Parliament is hosting its Festival of Politics. Known for its challenging and thought-provoking events, this year is no different. Featuring an insight into the inspiration of George Wyllie, a play about two opposing football fans locked up in a cell for the night and a debate on talented young people.  

The Festival has a reputation for tackling controversial topics and tomorrow (17 August) will focus on sectarianism.  In the morning distinguished academics, community leaders and policy-makers will take part in ‘Scottish-Irish Conversations on Sectarianism’. Later that evening, Des Dillon’s award-winning anti-sectarian comedy ‘Singing I’m no a Billy he’s a Tim’ will be staged. 

‘The talent of our young people’ will debate how we can encourage young people to play their part in the creativity of the country. Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP will be joined by a distinguished panel of guests including Ricky Ross from Deacon Blue and Vicky Featherstone from the National Theatre of Scotland.

Other events include a discussion of George Wyllie’s influence on younger generations with his daughter Louise Wyllie and contributors including writer and curator Murray Grigor and artist Roddy Buchanan.

In the morning, ‘Scotland – is there a THERE here?' will question if our Scottish identity is defined and shaped by our buildings and places. ‘Sounds, voices and the Parliament’ is an interactive session exploring political oratory, voices and sound. Participants will contribute to a new artwork inspired by experiences of daily life in Parliament.

In the afternoon, ‘Libraries in the digital age’ will consider how new technology provides new opportunities for public libraries to reimagine themselves and will include contributions from Microsoft, the National Library of Scotland, Touch Press and Edinburgh City Libraries.

‘Scotch Whisky – Local Hero or International Ambassador’ will ask if Scotch whisky can be a pioneer for other Scottish products and discuss the role of the industry to Scotland’s heritage and future. 

Festival of Politics Partners

Our Festival partners are Carnegie UK Trust, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and The Law Society of Scotland and our media partner is the Holyrood Magazine.

Programme availability and tickets

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Photographs of the event will be available free of charge from the following gallery:

Please use the following password if prompted: 2012fop

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