Free Thinking Festival
Tom Sutcliffe with the filmmaker Harriet Shawcross, US diplomat William J Burns, musician Kathryn Tickell and academic Thomas Dixon
At the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead Tom Sutcliffe presents a special edition exploring the art and science of communication. The American diplomat William J Burns played a central role in American foreign policy from the end of the Cold War to the collapse of relations with Putin’s Russian, and including secret talks with Iran. He explores the language of diplomacy.
Harriet Shawcross is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. She reflects on how as a teenager she stopped speaking for almost a year. In her book Unspeakable she considers the power of silence.
The musician and composer Kathryn Tickell roots her work in in the landscape and people of Northumbria. She is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, and tells the story of Northumbria with - and without - words.
Thomas Dixon studies emotional outbursts as the director of the Centre for the History of Emotions. He unveils the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of anger and weeping.
Producer: Katy Hickman
William J. Burns
The Back Channel: American Diplomacy in a Disordered World is published by Hurst
Unspeakable – The Things We Cannot Say is published by Canongate
Kathryn Tickell currently tours with her new band The Darkening to promote their new album Hollowbone, released on 5th April
Thomas Dixon is giving the Free Thinking Lecture 2019 on Friday 29th March.