ARTMar 1

Arts & Science Festival

12 – 18 MARCH 2018

12 – 18 MARCH 2018, BIRMINGHAM, UK


The University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Festival have announced the programme for the 6th edition of the festival, taking place from 12 to 18 March across the University’s campus and beyond.

The 7-day festival will treat audiences to over 60 inspiring events exploring art, science and the spaces between. This year’s theme is Stop Start! prompting a diverse programme exploring time, movement, migration, behaviours, life, death and much more.


This year’s festival talks will provide opportunities to learn about an amazing array of topics: ten years on from her landmark BBC series THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN JOURNEY, Alice Roberts explores the latest insights into the colonisation of the globe by our ancient forebears. Enter the world of DIGITAL DINOSAURS with palaeontologist Dr Stephan Lautenschlager at the Lapworth Museum of Geology and unearth CREEPY CRAWLIES OF THE 1600s at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Reflect on bipolar disorder in STOP, START, PAUSE: KEEPING MOOD ON TRACK and in STARTING WITH STEAM: THE ORIGINS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN BIRMINGHAM Dr Malcolm Dick and Dr Kate Croft will lead an interactive session exploring the significance of Matthew Boulton and James Watts’ steam engine.


Arts & Science Festival returns to Birmingham’s Electric Cinema with sci-fi thrillers TIMECRIMES (2007) and FLATLINERS (1990) introduced by University of Birmingham academics, as well as the hilarious Trash Film Night, featuring the brilliantly terrible HARD TICKET TO HAWAII (1987). Other screening highlights include the Oscar-nominated A MAN CALLED OVE (2015) and the sweeping biopic about the first woman to win the Nobel Prize MARIE CURIE: THE COURAGE OF KNOWLEDGE (2016) at mac Birmingham.

On-campus screening events include an evening of STOP MOTION SHORTS curated by the Flatpack Film Festival; LIFE:MOVING, a series of six short films challenging society’s misconceptions about terminal illness and a screening of Emmy-winning documentary YEMEN UNDER SIEGE (2016), followed by a panel discussion with the director Safa al-Ahmad. The Festival will also screen UNREST (2017) at the University of Birmingham Medical School, a powerful documentary which charts the journey of twenty-eight year-old Jennifer Brea, who upon being diagnosed with ME (commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome), turns her camera on herself and discovers a hidden world of millions confined to their homes and bedrooms.


A series of insightful exhibitions will be hosted on campus and across the city. Highlights include BLACK COUNTRY LUNGS, a unique collaboration between community arts organisation Multistory, Dutch photographer Corinne Noordenbos, and local people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Ort Gallery will present GHOST STREETS OF BALSALL HEATH in partnership with Flatpack Film Festival – a fascinating exhibition featuring previously unseen photographs of Balsall Heath and Highgate in the late 60s by Janet Mendelsohn. ART AND ANATOMY will showcase the creative talents of students in the Institute of Clinical Sciences, who have been invited to interpret this year’s festival theme – Stop Start! – from an anatomical perspective and SLIME CITIES explores the microbes found in our mouths and features works by artists, students and visitors of Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry.


The workshops will provide opportunities to experiment and explore the intriguing connections between art and science. Events include STOP SITTING, START MOVING, an interactive session on why being sedentary is bad for your health and YOU WANT ME TO STOP DOING WHAT? a lively workshop on climate change. MAKE YOUR OWN PARTICLE! is a hands-on session designed to teach children and their parents about the varying personalities and behaviours of different particles and in ART AND TECHNOLOGY participants will be able explore some of the technologies that are helping to reshape art and its production.

Artist Ian Andrews and physicist Kosta Nikolopoulous experiment with visualisation and mark-making in PARTICLE PHYSICS AND FINE ARTS and DYS FUNCTION, presented by Vivid Projects’ Black Hole Club, is an interactive workshop examining the form and function of cognitive interruption as experienced by neuro-divergent individuals.


Visitors will be able to explore campus through guided walks including SOUNDWALKS, a new series exploring hidden audio worlds. THE INVISIBLE ART OF THE GUIDED WALK is a city-wide walk unpicking of the hidden mechanics of the guided tour by Ben Waddington (Director of Birmingham’s Still Walking Festival). PATHWAYS TO BIRMINGHAM’S FUTURE starts in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and explores the impact of urban regeneration in the city and TIME MOVES considers time and movement in a selection of interactive and participatory family activities at Winterbourne House and Garden.


For family fun, WHERE’S MY IGLOO GONE? is an extraordinary immersive performance journeying into the Arctic, presented by The Bone Ensemble. THE PARTICLE EVENT at mac Birmingham presents works that explore the connections between movement, interaction and the invisible including Neutrino Passoire, a performance by contemporary dancers Mairi Pardalaki and Fanny Travaglino and musician Katerina Fotinaki.

Full details of the Arts and Science programme and ticket information can be found at Twitter: @artssciencefest Instagram: @artssciencefest Facebook: artsandsciencefestival