To launch the 2017 Being a Man Festival, the Pureland Series at China Exchange is hosting a panel discussion led by the event’s founder, Jude Kelly CBE, artistic director of the Southbank Centre.
Speakers at The Impact of being a Man, on October 24, will include Jack Rooke, whose Edinburgh Fringe show – Good Grief – was nominated for Best Show by an Emerging Artist at the Total Theatre Awards 2015, and LionHeart, a TEDx speaker, award-winning poet and international spoken-word performer, author of upcoming poetry collection The Mute’s Rebellion and co-founder of innovative debate platform SubjectivityUK.
Completing the line-up is Leiran Gibson, a British-born Caribbean actor, writer and illustrator, who trained at St Mary’s University before becoming a Youth Ambassador and BAMbassador for the Southbank Centre.
Being A Man (BAM) is a three-day festival that takes place in November each year, celebrating boys and men, and addressing the pressures of masculine identity in the 21st century. The Pureland Foundation is a founder patron and past topics to have been covered by the BAM programme – via talks, debates, exhibitions and performances – have included lad culture, gang culture, depression, fatherhood, pornography, mental health, male suicide, men behind bars, body image and sexuality.
The festival itself takes as its theme the question What Makes a Man? Discussions will cover masculinity and power, Nordic masculinity, male identity and fatherhood, bullying, porn, teenage knife-crime and music, to name just a few.
The festival, now in its fourth year, attracts more than 150,000 visitors to the Southbank Centre in London. Events encourage conversations and the sharing of stories – serious, challenging and light-hearted – about being a man today, including paternity leave, shyness, video games and transgender identity.