Press Releases, Previews, Interviews and Reviews - all you need to know about the 2018 Just Festival Programme.

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Press Release: 2018 Just Festival Programme

The Just Festival Team are proud to present the 2018 'OutsideIn' programme that engages everyone in reflection upon vital social justice matters. From theatre productions that remind us of the lessons from history - 'The Island' directed by Christopher Weare, 'Dr Korczak's Example' by Strange Town Theatre Company and 'bloominauschwitz' by Menagerie Theatre Company - and comment on contemporary societal relations - 'Connected Lives' by The Active Inquiry Network, 'Where Are You Really From?' by the World Spirit Theatre and Glasgow Citizens Theatre to word-class music performances from Adaawe ('We Are'), Alabaster Box ('Sounds from Gold Coast'), Song Radio ('CROW') and Nevis Ensemble ('Nevis Ensemble'), you will be spoilt for quality choice this year.

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Preview: 2018 Just Festival | The List

From apartheid-era drama to creative responses to terrorism, Just Festival looks injustice square in the eye

Celebrating humanity in all its diverse forms might not be in vogue for some of our world leaders, but the Edinburgh Festival has always promoted fairness and eclecticism in equal measure. At the heart of that mission is the Just Festival, with its annual array of theatre, talks, music, dance and exhibitions.

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Press Release: Slaves in Scotland (conversation)

'But we have no slaves in Scotland…,' states a Scottish law report from 1687. And yet, it was not made illegal to own a slave in Scotland until 1788. Newspapers in Edinburgh and Glasgow used to run adverts for slaves, at various prices, or offer rewards for escaped slaves. The wealth of Scotland benefitted from the Atlantic Slave trade as much as the rest of the British Isles.

After a long abolition campaign, slavery (the entire trade, not just keeping a slave on UK soil) was formally abolished by Parliament in 1833. Yet slavery is still very much present in Scotland today – it simply takes different forms. It is less open and brazen, and more hidden under the surface of society – via trafficking, indentured servitude or unlawful imprisonment. Slaves are no longer openly traded, and yet slavery has been found to exist in a number of industries – domestic service, sex work and construction.


Press Release: Faith-based Courts (conversation)

What autonomy should faith-based and family courts have in the UK? And how can it be ensured that an individual's basic human rights, and the right to a fair trial, are respected within a religious framework?

An open discussion on the practice of Sharia and Jewish courts in the UK, Faith-based Courts will seek to explore what faith-based courts do, what they are used for, and what legal accommodations are made for the UK’s Muslim and Jewish communities. The conversation will be chaired by Brent Haywood, of Lindsays. The panel will feature Professor Mona Siddiqui, of the University of Edinburgh, and one of Britain’s most prominent scholars of Islamic law. Professor Siddiqui has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day, BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze, and chairs the BBC’s Religious Advisory Committee in Scotland. In 2016, she led an independent review of shari`a councils across the UK.

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Review: bloominauschwitz (theatre)

Leopold Bloom is stuck. Stuck in a book, stuck in a routine, stuck in the same clothes. He’s even stuck on the toilet.

As the hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Bloom’s life is entirely a creation of the author. He is everyman and no man, a genial soul required to repeat the events of 16 June 1904 forever. But when Bloom starts to question things, to abandon Joyce and look for his own identity, he discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems, and that becoming too obsessed with any one point of view can have terrible consequences.

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Press Release: The Island (Theatre)

The Island is an award-winning and acclaimed apartheid-era play set on Robben Island telling a moving story celebrating hope, passion and resilience. Two cellmates perform futile physical labour by day while rehearsing a makeshift performance of Sophocles’ play Antigone by night.  The play written by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona draws parallels between Antigone’s situation and the situation of black political prisoners. Directed by Chris Weare starring Siya Mayola and Luntu Masiza.  The Island is supported by the Global Partnerships Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

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Preview: 2018 Just Festival | The Wee Review

At a time when so many people are worrying over the future and anxious about the lack of care they see around them, the annual socially-conscious Just Festival is more welcome than ever. On their website, they state that they are “in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, celebrating humanity in all its differences, and promoting the exploration of new perspectives with the aim of reducing religious, political and social intolerance.” This is a tall order, but a mighty refreshing one.

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Press Release: bloominauschwitz (theatre)

Something is going very wrong for Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce’s great novel ‘Ulysses’ and a worldwide phenomenon.

He is plagued by visitations from the future, ghosts from the past and the burning question ‘Who am I and where do I belong?!’ His only clues lie in the 24 hours of life he occupies on 16 June 1904, as written for him by Joyce.

So to discover the answers, his answers, Leopold escapes the pages and confines of his famous book, embarking on a rampage through the storm of 20th century European history. Bounding back and forth through time and crossing Europe he attempts to discover his true identity and his Jewish roots. In doing so he bumbles into the dark heart of the 20th century and the dangers that lurk within.

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Press Release: Alabaster Box (music)

Acappella from Africa to rock the Edinburgh Fringe

Ghana's leading a cappella/Afroppella quartet, Alabaster Box returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year with a mix bag of gospel Afroppella music presentation dubbed Sounds from Gold Coast.

Sounds from Gold Coast is a package of Alabaster Box's unique Afroppella style music, interspersed with anecdotal interludes that presents information about the cultural heritage and history of the West African gold coast now called Ghana. Sounds from Gold Coast promises to be the gateway for many audiences into the rich cultural heritage and proverbial hospitality of the country Ghana and its people. But most importantly, it also presents the gospel of Jesus Christ who is the centre of our faith.

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Review: Dr Korczak's Example (theatre)

David Greig’s solemn play is set in the hot summer of 1942 in an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto where Dr Janusz Korczak is caring for 200 young people. They are in the heart of an area covering a few streets into which 350,000 Jews have been crammed.

In Steve Small’s austere production, cleverly animated by Nicola Milazzo’s puppets, Fraser Dodds plays the selfless doctor with a heartfelt reverence. He also cameos as a heartless Gestapo officer and a toadying unchristian priest.

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Review: We Are (music)

Dance and music inspired by African culture is almost always joyous, and We Are is no exception. Part of the Just Festival at St John’s, the show was devised and performed by Adaawe with Anindo Marshall (co-founder) on vocals and percussion, Dez “the Pharoah” Glover using drum kit and vocals, and Chiyumba Ossone, also on percussion and vocals – all from Los Angeles. They are backed up by Karel Kalef (bass guitar), Neil Martin (guitar) and Suzy Cargill (percussion), all from Edinburgh. They are on stage with Ula Enaholo (vocals), a talented teenager from our local Royal Lyceum Youth Theatre, and a host of enthusiastic and committed children from the Marion Sweeney School of Dance in Linlithgow, just outside the city. Dedicated to and inspired by the women of Ghana, West Africa, they bounce off their own ethnic roots from Africa to the Middle East, Morocco and Panama, as well as the US.

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Press Release: Every Girl Matters (Talk)

Every Girl Matters is part of our series of talks and conversations. Gender equality is one of the central themes of the Just Festival. This event focuses on working to bring change to the global disparity between the sexes.

Because Every Girl Matters.