Leeds International Festival is back for its second year, with an unforgettable fortnight of events to excite, entertain and inspire.
The UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation celebrates local creativity and international culture whilst creating one of the biggest events in Leeds. Launched in 2017 to critical acclaim, this year’s festival, running from 28th April – 12th May, promises not to disappoint.
The eclectic programme boasts an array of original performances, world firsts, premieres, seminars and discussions with compelling speakers addressing thought- provoking topics such as human innovation and pioneering technology, with big names from across the worlds of music, technology, moving image and fashion, popping up in venues across the city. Among those topping the bill are some exceptional, inspirational women, experts in their field who are fronting many of the festival’s stand- out events.
June Sarpong MBE
Women take centre stage for one of the festival favourites from last year’s LIF, with the return of the Empowering Women with Science and Tech all day conference. Hosted by June Sarpong MBE, the conference aims to inspire the current and next generation of females in STEM by showcasing internationally acclaimed female role models from a diverse range of sectors.
On the bill are speakers and panellists including TV presenter Sarah Beeny, Belinda Parmar OBE, Dr Suze Kundu, Dr Sophie Scott, Linda Liukas, Samantha Payne and Dr Pippa Malmgren.
Helen Sharman CMG OBE
On May 18th 1991, Helen Sharman CMG OBE, a food chemist from Sheffield, became the first Briton to go to space, and the first woman to visit the Russian space station Mir. Sharman is one of three experts heading up Astronauts required, no experience necessary, discussing space travel – past, present and future. She will be describing her journey to the audience, from the endless preparation to the realities of life in space, to adjusting back to life with her feet on planet Earth.
One of the UK’s foremost experts on human sexuality and technology, Dr Kate Devlin, explores the history of sex and tech for Sex Robots.
In this intriguing look into the innovations that are bringing together the worlds of love and AI in new (and controversial) ways, Devlin, a senior lecturer at Goldsmith’s specialising in computer-human interaction, will consider the ethical implications and help explain the advancements and potential benefits.
Chats and chinwags as part of the festival programme give an insight into the interesting lives of Cosey Fanni Tutti – punk, pornographer, pioneer and provocateur, uncovering more about one of the pioneering voices of the Avant Garde, envelope- pushing 70s, and a life spent crossing boundaries; and British singer and songwriter Viv Albertine, best known as the guitarist on 70s English all-girl punk group, The Slits.
There are also opportunities to hear from some of fashion’s leading industry experts, such as Founder and Director of Fashion East and Editor-at-large of Condé Nast’s LOVE magazine, Lulu Kennedy MBE; Claudia Croft, Fashion Feature Director at British Vogue, talks about her curation of an exhibition from the M&S company archive with its archive and style team; and one to watch designer Sadie Williams chats about her progression from Central St Martin’s to international success.
One of the festival finales is Opera North’s stunning specially-commissioned production of Salomé, with the startlingly seductive, scandalous 1923 silent movie based in the story of Herod’s stepdaughter brought to life with an original soundtrack performed by Haley Fohr, of Circuit des Yeux.
To find out about Leeds International Festival, event information and
to buy tickets visit www. leedsinternationalfestival.com @leedsintfest #leedsintfest