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The 2019 edition of Just Festival is held under the theme 'Transitions'. We have curated a programme of performing arts events, conversations, talks and exhibitions that address an array of different transitional moments, incidents and processes in life . Be it ageing, resettlement, gender reassignment, socio-political changes, we want to explore what has an impact on our choices and well-being. We are interested in the surrounding environments that determine who we are or how we perceive the world around us.

The 19th edition of Just Festival will take place at St John's Church (Princes Street/Lothian Road) between 2nd and 25th August 2019.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE BOX OFFICE PAGE

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE BOX OFFICE PAGE

Qais Al Sindy

Qais Al Sindy

 

Abraham: Out of One, Many Exhibition

'Abraham: Out of One, Many' is a timely artistic exploration on living harmoniously, inspired by Abraham; the common ancestor of three celebrated contemporary Middle Eastern artists from Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. In these three faith traditions, whose followers are referred to as “children of Abraham,” the figure of Abraham is seen as a model of welcoming the “stranger” and embracing the "other." For this exhibition, artists Qais Al Sindy, Sinan Hussein and Shai Azoulay have each created paintings that interpret Abraham’s life for us today, serving as a guide toward creating cultures of peace, harmony, justice and healing – all as descendants of a shared heritage. What can Abraham teach us today toward freeing our world from sectarian strife? That is the question this strategic exhibition attempts to answer on its 24-month global tour in Europe and throughout the USA.

For more information about the exhibition, see: www.oncaravan.org/abraham.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 2nd August 2019 - Sun 25th August 2019: 9AM-3PM

Opening Event | 2 August, 18h00: with Iraqi artist Qais Al Sindy and Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, President/CEO of CARAVAN. The event is free but ticketed. Please book now.

Sheila Lawson

Sheila Lawson

Heart for Art Exhibition

Heart for Art seeks to bring creativity and connection to those living with dementia in Scotland. We celebrate the individual behind the diagnosis and seek to reduce the stigma often associated with dementia. We seek to demonstrate what can be done and focus on the creative skills that everyone possesses, witnessing the transition for those who believed “I am not an artist” At our community based classes participants express their ideas and feelings on canvas, alongside volunteers, carers and art students in a shared interest. This exhibition is a collaboration of two art groups based in Edinburgh and Musselburgh.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 2nd August 2019 - Sun 25th August 2019: 9AM-3PM

 

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Death Café Gathering

Hosted by Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh.

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Join us to share your thoughts on death and dying.

Please be advised that filming may take place; if so, it will be on an ‘opt in’ basis.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 2nd August 2019, 4:00PM & Sat 24th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)


Sinan Hussein

Sinan Hussein

Abraham: Out of One, Many Conversation & Opening Reception

Panelists: Rev Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler (CEO, CARAVAN), Iraqi artist Qais Al Sindy

Join us for the opening event of the 2019 Just Festival celebrating the three faith traditions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Speakers are Rev Paul-Gordon Chandler (CEO, CARAVAN), curator of the 'Abraham: Out of One, Many' exhibition at St John’s Church, and Qais Al Sindy, an Iraqi artist whose paintings are displayed as part of the exhibition. The event will focus on different interpretations of biblical stories seen through the prism of the three faith traditions. We will celebrate the artistic collaboration between the artists and address questions about dialogue between religious groups and divided communities; reconciliation, and whether there are currently places, apart from arts exhibitions, where three traditions live peacefully side by side.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 2nd August 2019, 6:00PM, Free (ticketed)


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So you say you come from? Prove it! Theatre

The Asylum Project at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic is proud to invite you to an interactive event aimed at highlighting how easy it can be to fall through the cracks and end up stateless, in a hostile environment. In this forum theatre production, the Asylum Project addresses the issues of obtaining new identity documents and having to prove one's nationality in order to be entitled to basic services and rights. Stories of asylum seekers and refugees will be explored in this theatre piece.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Sat 3rd August 2019, 5:00PM & 7:30PM, £5

Archbishop Angaelos

Archbishop Angaelos

Festival Pulpit Talk

Curated by The Rev Rosie Addis, Associate Rector of St John's Church.

Come and join us at St John's Festival Pulpit to hear voices from inside and outside the church. Each evening will commence at 6pm with a traditional sung Anglican Evensong. This will be followed by a presentation by the guest speaker and a Q&A session. All are welcome!

4 August: The Revd Dr Yazeed Said, Liverpool Hope University
11 August: The Revd Maxwell Reay, Augustine United Church
18 August: Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church
25 August: Rabbi Mark Salomon, Sukkat Shalom Edinburgh

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Sun 4th August 2019, Sun 11th August 2019, Sun 18th August 2019, Sun 25th August 2019, 6:00PM

Please note all events are free and unticketed.

 

Dr Kathryn Mannix

Dr Kathryn Mannix

Fun at the End with Dr Kathryn Mannix Talk

Hosted by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief: “We’re all going to die!”- Fun At The End with Dr Kathryn Mannix.

Cinema and TV love to use death as a dramatic device. But is death on screen anything like real dying? How does the cinematic portrayal of death impact on our ideas, beliefs and willingness to discuss our own deaths? After 30 years as a palliative care doctor, Kathryn Mannix wants us to think more about dying before we reach our death beds. Come and ponder: we will certainly laugh. We will possibly cry. We will definitely think. And there may be zombies...

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 5th August 2019, 4:00PM, £6

 

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Lives in Transition Conversation

Chair: Dr Agatha Kai-Kai (Refugee Survival Trust Trustee)
Panelists: Rev Kirrilee Reid (Chaplain and Refugee Projects Officer in Pas-de-Calais, Scottish Episcopal Church), Sabine Chalmers (Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees)

According to the UN Refugee Agency there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Stories of refugees and asylum seekers are often misrepresented or misconstrued in the mainstream media. This conversation event will shed light on the roots of displacement and obstacles many refugees and asylum seekers face in seeking freedom and safety. Our distinguished panel will share their experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers who have undergone the process of resettlement and assimilation in their new communities.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 5 Aug 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

Rachel Flynn / Interabang Productions

Rachel Flynn / Interabang Productions

Being Liza Musical Theatre

A new play with music by Rachel Flynn. Being Liza is an original story about a girl in a pivotal transition of her life, discovering who she really is behind the mask of an icon. Frances Edwards is Scotland's premiere Liza Minnelli tribute act. Her dad Pete is her demanding manager and co-star, blindly focussed on their ultimate success. Fusing classic Liza Minnelli songs such as 'New York, New York' and 'Cabaret'.

*****
'An experience you won't forget...a stunning and beautifully judged comedy drama' - ScotsGay

'A smart and sensitive study of a young woman on the cusp' - The Herald

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Tue 6th August 2019, Tue 13th August 2019, Tue 20th August 2019, 4PM, £10/£9

 

Prof Emerita Mary Marshall

Prof Emerita Mary Marshall

Nearing Retirement Conversation

Chair: Prof Emerita Mary Marshall (The University of Stirling)
Panelists: Maureen O'Neill (Faith in Older People), Rt Rev Bruce Cameron (Scottish Episcopal Church), Age Scotland Representative

Retirement is often ideally presented as a period of endless freedom and lack of responsibilities. But do we ever really retire? Many now want to, or have to, keep working, volunteering, or helping family members. Is the secret of a successful retirement/ageing to pre-plan? What are the practical and financial issues to consider? How easy is it to adapt to a new pace of life? Is retirement a time when our social connections are fewer and loneliness and isolation affect us more than before, and how could we prevent that? Join our conversation to hear from the panel members and share your stories.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Tue 6th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

 

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Home Theatre

There is no place like Home - but what is it? What does Home mean if you don't have one? Or if it is a place you are scared to be in or to leave? Can you really feel at home if it is temporary or there is a constant threat of eviction? This latest production from Active Inquiry tells different stories of Home in Edinburgh. Based on real-life experiences, the performance invites the audience to dream of a City where everyone feels secure in their home and to join us in working out how we get there.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 9 Aug 2019, Sat 10 Aug 2019, Fri 16 Aug 2019, Sat 17 Aug 2019, 4:00PM, £10/£8

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Into Recovery Conversation

Chair: Jardine Simpson (CEO, Scottish Recovery Consortium)
Panelists: Justina Murray (CEO, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs), Gavin Crichton & Adi (Active Inquiry)

The Scottish Government has stated,” Scotland has a long legacy of drug and alcohol misuse. This damages lives, families and communities, and contributes to violence and crime. Many of those affected will have experienced difficult life circumstances, and are among the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, subject to stigma because of their addiction.” Our panel will discuss the most recent developments in support provided to people affected by addictions, and the means by which we, as community members, can assist with tackling stigma and prejudice.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 9th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

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Ending Slavery Conversation

Hosted by: International Justice Mission (IJM) and the One World Shop

International Justice Mission (IJM), the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world, will be partnering with the One World Shop, a pioneering fair trade organisation, for a conversation event unpacking how we can end the slavery and exploitation in our supply chains. 25 million people are in forced labour slavery, many are making the products we buy every day. Come and learn about the scale of modern slavery today and your power as a consumer to see an end to it. Pop into the One World Shop below St John’s Church beforehand from 4:30pm for a free drink and browse of the brands taking active steps to stop slavery. Together we can make #SlaveFree normal.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Sat 10th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (Ticketed)

 

Barbara Peters

Barbara Peters

The CSI Effect Conversation

Hosted by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief: The CSI Effect with Barbara Peters.

What most of us know of post mortems comes from television crime dramas, with equipment so cutting edge it borders on science fiction. Good-looking forensic pathologists and gothic looking mortuary technicians obtain conveniently swift results from unrealistic cases - the ‘CSI Effect’. As part of Death on the Fringe, fully qualified mortuary technician, Barbara Peters, will explain what actually happens in a forensic post mortem. She will compare the bad examples of television with the real-life workings of a mortuary and dispel any myths about the profession.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 12th August 2019, 4:00PM, £6

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Towards the Bionic Human Conversation

Chair: Professor Emeritus Kenneth Boyd (University of Edinburgh)
Panelists: Jeremy Balfour MSP, Dr Gill Haddow (University of Edinburgh)

In our modern-day technology-driven world, we have accepted the presence of devices and digital improvements that make our lives easier. Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Bioengineering are some of the fastest growing disciplines that directly affect peoples’ lives due to the introduction of bionic body improvements. The development has, however, also met with criticism as an unnatural intervention into human bodies. Our panel will discuss the relationship between the body and technology and share their perspectives on the ethics of bioengineering.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 12th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

Bob Fyffe

Bob Fyffe

From Consumerism to Compassion Conversation

Chair: Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)
Panelists: Lisa Hough-Stewart, Communications and Mobilisation Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), Dr Line Kikkenborg Christensen (Campaign Director, Jubilee Scotland)

A modern day lifestyle heavily affected by consumerism has led to alienation, isolation and loneliness. Should we, as a society, rethink our priorities and redesign our approach to one another? Countries which promote the importance of Gross National Happiness (GNH) over Gross Domestic Product (GDP) understand the value of kindness, fairness and compassion in everyday life which in turn define the direction of policies and sustainable development. How can we ensure that compassion does indeed lie at the core of all societal systems, from the judiciary, to healthcare and education? Are Western societies too trapped in the rat race to see the benefits from reaching the finish line together?

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Tue 13th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

Zoe van Zwanenberg

Zoe van Zwanenberg

Dancing into Retirement Conversation

Chair: The Reverend Paul Burrows (Church of Scotland)
Panelists: Zoe van Zwanenberg (Chair of Dancers Career Development), Morag Deyes (Artistic Director, Dance Base: Scotland's National Centre for Dance)

Many professional dancers dedicate their early life to achieving their dream of reaching greatness in their field. Once physical abilities are affected by injury or age, there seem to be limited options to continue a career in the limelight. Our panel will share their personal stories of how dance has affected their life choices and discuss routes to achieving professional satisfaction once retired from a dance career.


Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 16th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

Rt Revd Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh

Rt Revd Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh

Transitioning: the Joys and the Challenges Conversation

Chair: Rt Revd Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh
Panelists: Maxwell Reay (Minister at Augustine United Church and NHS Lothian Chaplain), David Parker (The National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland)

An opportunity to explore gender transition and its impact on people’s spiritual lives. The conversation will examine ideas of identity and what it means to be an embodied person who is made in the image of God. Join us for a respectful dialogue surrounding male and female reassignment and medical interventions.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Sat 17th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)

Dr Elaine Kasket

Dr Elaine Kasket

Will Facebook Be Your Funeral Director? Talk

Hosted by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief: Will Facebook Be Your Funeral Director? Who Owns Your Data After Death, and How to Fight Back with Dr Elaine Kasket.

One day, the breadcrumb trail of zeros and ones that you leave behind as you traverse your online environment will become your digital legacy - and social media are only the tip of the iceberg. Our digital legacies can be exquisitely revealing, showing our loved ones both the person they knew, and the person they didn’t. What will yours say about you?

Elaine Kasket, counselling psychologist and author of All the Ghosts in the Machine, invites you on a tour of the murky and fascinating territory where death and the digital meet. Along the way, we’ll play a little game to illustrate just how much your digital footprint might say about you. If it’s not how you’d want to be remembered, is it even possible to seize control of your digital persona back from Big Tech?

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 19th August 2019, 4:00PM, £6

 

Very Rev Derek Browning, Church of Scotland

Very Rev Derek Browning, Church of Scotland

Breaking the Cycle Conversation

Chair: The Very Rev Derek Browning (Church of Scotland)
Panelists: The Very Revd Dr Andrew McLellan (former HMI Scottish Prisons), Sandy Cameron (Chair of Sacro Board)

In the last 20 years the prison population in Scotland increased from 5,869 in 2000 to 7,595 in 2018, reaching its peak at 8,212 in 2012 (World Prison Brief). Many lives are thereby directly or indirectly affected by the imprisonment of a family member or friend. With widespread criticism over traditional justice systems that punish but fail to reduce reoffending, the Scottish justice system has undertaken several reviews to improve connectedness with family members and the community at large, with young offenders in particular in mind. Join our panel to discuss ways in which offenders and ex-offenders can be supported as they transition back to civilian life, to ensure their wellbeing and to increase public safety.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Mon 19th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)


 

Nadin Akta

Nadin Akta

From Syria to Scotland Conversation

Chair: Tom Lea (Alwaleed Centre, University of Edinburgh)
Panelists: Nadin Akta (Syrian Futures Project, University of Edinburgh), Ammar Albawab (Chef, Pomegranate Takeaway), Marwa Daher (Media student, City of Glasgow College), Liz McArthur (Re-Act, Refugee Action Scotland), Estifa'a Zaid (Student Action for Refugees, University of Edinburgh)

Scotland has welcomed more than 2,500 refugees from Syria since the devastating conflict began in 2011. The initial challenges of transitioning to a very different culture and environment can be incredibly hard for many new Scottish Syrians. But what about the longer-term challenges of building a new life in a very different country? How do young Syrians in Scotland navigate their way through the education system and onto further/higher education or employment? How do professional Syrians find fulfilling jobs and careers that suit their skill sets and expertise? In this conversation we will hear from Scottish Syrians who have made that transition, as well as organisations who support refugees through the process. We will also consider what we can all do to help our Syrian friends, neighbours and colleagues find long-term happiness in Scotland.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Tue 20th August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)



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Where are you really from? Theatre

Where are you really from? explores identity, culture, labels and stories of migration. Sharing the stories of asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland, what label they are given and how they are treated. The play shows why people leave their home countries, what they face in a new community and how they are treated in a new country. Co-created by World Spirit Theatre and Citizens Theatre. World Spirit Theatre produces community theatre that explores integration and the asylum process from the perspective of those with direct experience as well as celebrates the contributions of asylum seekers and refugees to Scottish communities.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 23rd August 2019 & Sat 24th August 2019, 4:00PM, £6/£4

 

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Cherished and Challenged Conversation

Chair: Sebastian Fischer (CEO, Voice of Carers Across Lothian VOCAL)
Panelists: Viv Dickenson (CEO, CrossReach), Carers Scotland Representative

Circumstances which lead to being a carer vary from parenthood, old age, accident or injury or finally to taking on extra responsibly as a young person due to the needs at home. The ways in which a carer’s life changes gradually or overnight affect their mental health, well-being and scope for social interactions. But caring for a family member, friend or neighbour can be rewarding as it provides an opportunity to better connect with one another. Our distinguished panel will discuss what makes caring special and challenging, and how carers can be supported both at the start of their caring, and once the duties end. Join us for an insightful conversation and contribute with your own thoughts and experiences.

Just Festival at St John's Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ

Fri 23rd August 2019, 5:30PM, Free (ticketed)