The Festival of Belonging 2012


The Festival of Belonging takes place this week at various venues in Gateshead and Newcastle. The week-long festival consists of workshops, literary events and gigs, all designed to explore ideas of what it means to belong. Questions of immigration, identity, and social inclusion and exclusion will all be up for discussion.

The Festival begins with a Fringe Programme curated by Trashed Organ, a Newcastle-based literature, music and events collective, and will cumulate with Weekend Programme of work produced by the Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts (NCLA). The Festival Fringe brings together some of the North East’s most exciting writers, musicians and artists. Highlights include The Lake Poets, following a sell-out gig at The Sage Gateshead last week and Siddhartha Bose’s evocative Kalagora (recently seen at CPT, during the Sprint Festival), which splices theatre, poetry and video.

The Fringe Programme closes with I Don’t Think We’ve Met, a night of collaborative work which will bring together writers, poets, visual artists and musicians to explore the idea of ‘un-belonging’ and the role the outsider.

Jackie Kay will be in conversation with Sapphire, author of best-selling novel Push, and there will be readings and workshops from authors including NCLA writer-in-residence Helen Oyeyemi, Tahmima Anam and Hari Kunzru. The Festival closes with a screening of Tina Gharavi’s feature film I am Nasrine, which will be followed by a chance to hear the filmmaker in conversation with Jackie Kay.

The Festival runs from 30th April to 6th May 2012. For further details visit the NCLA website.