Battle of Ideas – All in Britain strand

All in Britain is taking an important step forward. We are partnering with the organisers of the Battle of Ideas to organise a strand of talks on the Identity Wars.


See below for further details of the talks, dates, times and tickets. Do join us to talk openly about the important issues on culture, race and identity.

Saturday 13 & 14 October

Barbican, London



In partnership with the Battle of Ideas


The Battle of Ideas is a weekend of lively debate and discussion on today’s most pressing political, cultural and artistic issues. The weekend will tackle tough contemporary questions through wide-ranging, thought-provoking and wonderfully argumentative debate.


An antidote to today’s climate of offence taking, the festival slogan is: FREE SPEECH ALLOWED.


This year’s festival features more than 400 internationally acclaimed speakers, over 3,000 attendees and over 100 panels. All In Britain is partnering on the important strand, Identity Wars: Race and Society, which is made up of the following sessions:



Coming at a crucial time for politics and society, the Battle of Ideas is the forum to get to grips with the current political maelstrom. When the world seems more divided than ever, the festival will be a living example of the importance of frank, serious but respectful public debate.


Ticket prices start at £30 (including a wide variety of concessions), so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to get involved in discussing the key issues of our time at the UK’s premier festival of ideas.


We look forward to welcoming you to the festival!



As the Brexit battle rages on, we’ll be discussing the meaning of democracy and citizenship in our Keynote Controversies.


Advances in science and technology have raised new questions about medical ethics and the role of AI, which we’ll explore in three of our festival strands.


And the feminist #MeToo movement has become such a huge phenomenon that we have dedicated an entire strand of debates to it.


Join us for these and other strands including:



There is a huge range of topics under discussion in over 100 sessions, including:


What is a woman anyway?The moral responsibility of the artistThe Jordan Peterson effectHave we defused the ‘population bomb’?The new Irish border questionDo we need consent classes?From anti-vaxers to ‘Alfie’s Army’: are we losing faith in medical science?Should we be fighting a ‘war on plastic’?Is university making us sick?Democracy under siegeNational identity and belonging: what does it mean to be a citizen?Is free speech a fiction?


You can see an overview of the festival programme here:




Lionel ShriverFrank FurediJulie BurchillAndrew DoyleRobert PlominSimon WesselySir Nicholas KenyonVanity von GlowBrendan O’NeillStephen Kinnock MPJacob MchangamaMunira MirzaKatharine BirbalsinghLinda YuehWendy LiuJane RobinsCatherine McGuinnessJohn LloydTimandra HarknessShiv MalikSophie WalkerJames DreyfusLatifa AkayMatthew GoodwinCameron AbadiJames BallJulie BindelJames DelingpoleDavid GoodhartSimon EvansJulia Hobsbawm • and many more.


Get your tickets now and join the debate! Visit our tickets page here:


See you at the Barbican on 13 & 14 October.


Claire Fox

Director, Academy of Ideas

Weaponising victimhood

Trevor Phillips once said to me – only half joking – that newspapers should have identity correspondents, just as they have economics or environment correspondents. Certainly there appears to be an inexhaustible appetite on the part of media outlets for stories that focus on social divisions, real or imagined. Usually these are framed as moral parables featuring virtuous victims, usually female, ethnic minority or gay, and contemptible wrong-doers who are male, white or straight. Sometimes the perpetrator is institutional – often, as with the Windrush generation controversy, the British state itself.

Artists4Brexit: Response to Matthew Parris

It has long been a curatorial fantasy of mine to organise a re-staging of a boxing match that took place in 1972 between the German artist Joseph Beuys, regarded as a giant of modern art, with a local art student of his.