Meeting House showing multi-coloured windows

Sussex Festival of Ideas

The Sussex Festival of Ideas is a dynamic and engaging programme of talks, events and activities, from the School of Media, Arts and Humanities.

2024 Festival

Photo of Aleema Gray.

Curating Conflict: curator talk & exhibition in library

Monday 22 April, 11.30am - 12.30pm

Curating is an activity with different iterations, from curating a small collection of objects on a mantelpiece, to a large scale art exhibition in a gallery. Dr Aleema Gray, curator of the Black British Music exhibition opening at the British Library in April, will talk about the exigencies of curating exhibitions and her own experience

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Photo of person using an old fashioned printpress

Letterpress Masterclass & Publication Launch

Monday 22 April, 2pm - 4pm (workshop), 5pm-6.30pm (launch)

Have you ever thought of experimenting with printing, making your own books or zines? Did you know that Sussex University has a working printing press that is being used to create unique publications? Join Richard Lawrence for this letterpress masterclass!

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Photo of Manasi Barmecha

Who’s that next to you?

Monday 22 April, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

This interactive session, facilitated by student Manasi Barmecha, invites you to reconnect with yourself and the other participants in a way that is fun, different, and meaningful.

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Photo of Boris Johnson.

A roundtable on the post-truth rhetoric of the Covid-19 pandemic

Wednesday 24 April, 3.30pm - 5pm

Join a panel of experts from the fields of Media, Politics, English, and Medicine as they discuss how post-truth rhetoric continues to shape both our comprehension of and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

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Text on book cover saying 'Do your own thing'

Do Your Own Thing: A Conversation with artist Richard Phoenix

Thursday 25 April, 3.30pm - 5pm

Musician and artist Richard Phoenix talks about his work, including the 2024 Turner Prize Year 9 education programme and the ‘best underground arts scene you’ve never heard of’, Do Your Own Thing, a project run by learning disability arts organisation Heart n Soul.

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Photo of Namse Udosen.

African Storytelling Fiesta: A journey into African Knowledges

Thursday 25 April, 6pm - 7.30pm

Join us for an evening of storytelling and discussion led by University of Sussex Chevening Scholar and writer Namse Udosen, Pendo Fondo (Sussex MA graduate International Relations), and Mamoudu Sanghre (MA student International Education and Development).

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Photograph of bird singing in tree.

Bird Bath

Monday 6 May - Sunday 12 May

Created by meditator and broadcaster Alistair Appleton (Mindsprings) and musician and ecoacoustician Alice Eldridge (University of Sussex), Bird Bath transforms beautiful buildings into restorative spaces by inviting you to pause, rest and ‘bathe’ in the sound of local birdsong.

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Photo of Zoë Howe

Remember When the Turner Prize Came to Sussex?

Friday 10 May, 7.30pm - 9pm

An inside look at what happened when the Turner Prize came to Eastbourne, and what it means for the future of the arts.

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Photo of Zoe Howe

The Radical, Revolutionary Witch

Saturday 11 May, 7.30pm - 8.30pm

Dr Laura Kounine (University of Sussex) will be in conversation with Zoë Howe (author and host of Rock and Roll Witch on Soho Radio) about her book Witchful Thinking. They will discuss in particular how the witch in contemporary culture has come to represent feminism and radical and revolutionary activism.

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Photo of Jeremy Deller

Now That’s What I Call Magic

Tuesday 21 May, 7pm - 9.30pm

Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller talks collaboration, British history, protest and pop culture with Professor Lucy Robinson, author of Now That’s What I Call a History of the 1980s: Pop Culture and Politics in the Decade That Shaped Modern Britain.

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Photo of Subira Joy

Radical Remembering

Wednesday 22 May, 7.30pm - 9pm

Combining spoken word, discussions, performances, and more to explore queer and Black activism, archival research and radical lineages, Radical Remembering invites you to challenge how and why we hold our histories.

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Photo of Augusto Corrieri showing someone a card.


Friday 24 May, 9am - 3pm

Inside a working café, surrounded by unsuspecting customers, magician Vincent Gambini invites you to sit at a table and watch a 10-minute performance. In front of your very eyes, playing cards transform inexplicably and sugar cubes vanish without a trace. But as you listen to the magician’s pre-recorded voice and the sounds of the café on headphones, the line between reality and fiction becomes increasingly thin: is this a real café, or a film set filled with actors?

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If you have any questions, email