Our final theme for 2022 moves us into the mythological realm (or does it matter as old friend of ALSO Philippa Perry says myths are true), encoded into the creation myth of ALSO is the desire to be constantly trying to never do the same thing twice. One way we have sought to do this is to work with talent who are amenable to our approach and one of our favourites for this is the 'rock star classicist', Natalie Haynes who has been in our corner since the beginning - perhaps understanding the ambitions we had to make the clever entertaining and the entertaining interesting. It's hard for authors to work with us like this but then again most authors aren’t Natalie Haynes. So as she moves towards the publication of her next book – she’s kind of had a hand in the design of this theme. Her next book is about Medusa – described as doing the job of bringing Medusa into the light – I know – beautiful, right?
So this year’s Saturday Night parade (working title: Raising Medusa) is dedicated to this goddess and aims to restore Medusa to the beauty and life she had before she was monstered. We want her out of the shadows. So anyone who wants to can join us at dusk at the lake stage, there will be lantern workshops in festival to help create lanterns to guide the littlest ones and to create huge animal (of real and mythological sea creatures) to accompany Medusa on her way. There will be opportunities to draw your own Gorgoneia on shields and we together with the Tribo Brazilian drummers will walk Medusa through the site along the banks of the lake at sunset and a good time will be had by all, including her…because we don’t have to accept the Victorian’s idea of history or myth or gods – we are free to change it because myths are true – remember.
Talking of truth and myth we will be going further into the role of myth and legend in the most glorious kind of Christianity vs. the classics battle as Natalie Haynes and Catherine Nixey (author of Heretic, Savoir, Lover, Killer – the many lives and deaths of Jesus Christ) on why we need gods and monsters at all. What a trip. On the main stage don’t miss it…
And talking about (great segue here) they who hold the pen writes the history we’re going to be looking firmly in the face of the future of news. It’s been a tricky time for the contract between we the people and the news in the last few years. What is the role for journalists – what is the future of their industry – what is the future for us and our relationship with news in the age of many broadcast platforms. Alan Rusbridger (he off of the Guardian) is on the stage to give all of us (journalists and consumers) a future we could all be working towards, and welsh wonder Catrin Nye brings her big debate back to the main stage.