Just Festival

Edinburgh’s social justice and human rights festival


Just Festival 2023 Brochure

You can view a PDF of the 2023 Just Festival Brochure here: Just Festival 2023 Brochure


Gordon Graham

Gordon Graham is Chair of the Edinburgh Sacred Arts Foundation, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary in the USA, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s premier academy of science and letters.

Born in Ireland and educated in Ireland, Scotland and England, he taught philosophy in Scotland at the University of St Andrews (from 1975-95). He was Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen (from 1996-2006) before taking up his post as Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary (2006-18). He has published extensively on a wide range of philosophical topics relating to art, education, ethics, politics, religion, and technology. He has a special interest in the Scottish philosophical tradition, and was founding Editor of the Journal of Scottish Philosophy. From 2007-2018, he was Director the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy at Princeton. In 2021, he was honoured with the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ of the Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society. From 2008-2015 he was Director of The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology , and headed the Theology dimension of the Varieties of Understanding Project which ran from 2013-16.

An Anglican priest ordained in the Scottish Episcopal Church, he was licensed in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey from 2007-2018, and now serves in the Diocese of Edinburgh. In 1990 he was Sheffer Visiting Professor of Religion at The Colorado College, and in 2005 Stanton Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion at the University of Cambridge.

Gordon Graham was Director of the St Andrews University Music Centre from 1991-5, taught as an Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music at the Westminster Choir College in 2010-12, and since 2018 has directed the Edinburgh Festival of the Sacred Arts in the Fringe. He has written several texts for hymns and anthems. Two, set to music by the composer Paul Mealor — Lux benigna’ and ‘Anthem to St David — have been published by Novello.

Derek Mitchell

Derek Mitchell was born and raised in Ayrshire and has spent most of his working life in local government in a variety of management and public policy positions. He worked for the first Scottish Government as a Policy Advisor before joining COSLA in 2005, where he became a Chief Officer leading on work with both the UK and Scottish Governments, as well as other key stakeholders. He became Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) in August 2017. CAS is the national support organisation for Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland which has over 2500 volunteers and 1000 staff. The values and ethos of the service have stood the test of time and Derek’s passion and drive is to give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard and ensuring policy makers understand the real needs of many people in Scotland when making decisions. He lives in Edinburgh.

Claire Duncanson

Claire Duncanson is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on issues relating to gender, peace and security, with a particular focus on and gender and peacebuilding. She teaches and supervises in these areas to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh. Her current work aims to bring a feminist analysis to the political economy of building peace. She is the author of Gender and Peacebuilding (Polity Press, 2016), and a range of publications on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and on gender in militaries. Claire works with Carol Cohn at the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights on the “Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace” Project ( https://genderandsecurity.org/feminist-roadmap-sustainable-peace ), co-authoring “Whose Recovery? IFI Prescriptions for Postwar States”; in Review of International Political Economy (2019) and “WPS in a Changing Climate” in the International Feminist Journal of Politics (2020).

Claire is an active member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and has co- authored with fellow WILPF member Vanessa Farr on the implementation of the WPS agenda in Afghanistan for Sara Davies and Jacqui True’s Oxford Handbook on the WPS Agenda.


Dr Alice Tarbuck

Dr Alice Tarbuck

Dr Alice TarbuckAlice Tarbuck is an award-winning poet and writer. learn more

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen

Michael RosenMichael Rosen is one of the best-known figures in the children’s book world.  He is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. learn more

Leela Soma

Leela Soma is a writer and active member of Scottish PEN. Her latest crime novel, Murder at the Mela, explores tensions within Glasgow’s Asian communities and between diverse groups in the city.

Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications and she won the Margaret Thompson Davis Trophy, for the first 10,000 words of her first novel Twice Born.  Leela has been encouraged in her writing by none other than Willy Maley, Professor of Renaissance Studies (English Literature), University of Glasgow, who commended her in his book Discovering Scottish Literature, published by Scottish Book Trust. Thereafter, he urged her to: ‘finish the novel.’  She did, and won Strathkelvin Writes Best New Writers Trophy.

Twice Born was followed by Bombay Baby, published by Dahlia Publishing. – another book reflecting Scottish – Indian connections. Bombay Baby was reviewed in Scotland on Sunday by prize winning author, Suhayl Saadi, who recommended the book as: ‘an engaging, upbeat piece of popular fiction.’

Just Festival Age and Stage

Age and Stage

Forum Theatre Drama workshops

Supported by the Corra Foundation, ‘Age & Stage’ Project engages elderly people and their carers who experience loneliness and isolation. Active Inquiry, who specialise in producing devised plays, deliver drama workshops and guide project participants in telling and sharing their stories. learn more