Festival Around Town list.co.uk/festival

Let’s have a heated debate! The Scottish Parliament’s annual festival of issues and debate is back again, with lectures on everything from the legality of Facebook to diabetes and time travel. Other events catching our beady little eyes include a discussion on Devolution and the Arts with James Kelman and the National Theatre of Scotland’s Vicky Featherstone, a night of salsa and song looking at the after-effects of the Cuban Revolution 50 years on, and our own favourite feminist Germaine Greer on sustainable Scotland. Festival of Politics, Scottish Parliament, 473 2000 www.list.co.uk/festival/politics or www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk 18–22 August, times vary, prices range from free–£6.


FOR DONALD REID, DIRECTOR OF THE FESTIVAL OF SPIRITUALITY AND PEACE Five events you’re most looking forward to at this year’s Festival The Root of All Evil? with Vincent Cable MP and Nic Marks; Chopin Recital by Aleksander Kudajczyk; Yathra (Journey) by Ragamala Dance; Rendition Monologues by iceandfire theatre; and the screening of War Requiem by Derek Jarman.

Four aims of the festival this year

To make a difference for good, to connect amazing people with other amazing people, to continue (humbly) to be the fastest-growing festival in Edinburgh, and to have fun preferably in our wonderful Festival Café. Three speakers you’re excited about hearing this year

Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican ‘liberation theologian’; Bob, a former RUC policeman talking about the pain on the Good Friday agreement for people like him; and Suhayl Saadi, author of Psychoraag and Joseph’s Box.

Two reasons why people should come Because stuff matters and they’ll meet others who think so too.

One wish you’ve got for the future

That we infect the world virally with the antidote to the disease of violence. 99% of people want to live in peace, so it’s our turn. Just watch out for the multicoloured lizards, though. St John’s Church, 473 2000, 9–30 August, times and prices vary.


Hitlist EVENTS, TALKS AND POLITICS* ✽✽ Annie Lennox & the SING Campaign We’ve got nothing but total respect for the former Eurythmic as she pops up to talk about her reinvention as a leading activist in the fight against AIDS as part of the Festival of Politics. Scottish Parliament, 348 5000, 18 Aug, 1pm, £6. ✽✽ Big Red Door Festival A fabulous pageant of freakery and skill from Edinburgh’s most secret venue. See picture caption, page 87. The Big Red Door, 10 Lady Lawson Street, 229 1480, until 1 Sep, times vary, £2–£10. ✽✽ Edinburgh Book Fringe A great line-up of local and international authors on at our favourite local book shop. Word Power’s Book Fringe this year includes Tom Leonard and Edwyn Collins. Word Power Books, 662 9112, www.word- power.co.uk, 12–22 Aug, free. ✽✽ West Port Book Festival Authors, poets and magicians congregate in ‘Edinburgh’s Soho’ for readings, happenings and workshops. The line-up includes Douglas Dunn, Alan Bissett, Eleanor Thom, and a whole host of writers and magicians. Various venues, West Port, westportbookfestival.org 13–16 Aug, times vary, free. ✽✽ Cachín Cachán Cachunga! An interdisciplinary arts event with music, Afro- Cuban dance, an experimental short film from Scotland (via Argentina), poetry from the heart of Glasgow, and poetry- music fusion, followed by DJ Lily. Free shot for the first 25 through the door. The Street, 2 Picardy Place, 556 4272, 17 Aug, 7.30pm. £3. ✽✽ Do I Ken Yer Faither? Prominent Asian Scots, including Suhayl Saadi, author of the fantastic Psychoraag and Atta Yaqub of Ae Fond Kiss, talk about their experiences of growing up in Scotland and pursuing careers in the arts, as part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace. St John’s, 221 2277, 15 Aug, 12.30pm, £5.