Inspired by African-American author Octavia Butler’s last epigraph: “There’s nothing new under the sun. But there are new suns” – New Suns is a brand new one-day festival inviting writers, artists, academics, poets and readers to explore contemporary feminism through the lens of mythology and current myth-making. It forms part of the Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change, an exploration of how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially affect change in the social and political landscape.
Recent events such as the Women’s March protests, the #MeToo movement and the precarity of abortion rights around the world have created an explosion of energy in literature, raising many questions around power, justice and solidarity. New Suns will make space for discussion on those topics and others, from occult poetry, to unruly bodies and sex work. Expect over thirty stalls from publishing heavyweights like Granta Books and Magazine, Hachette, Haymarket Books and Penguin Random House, plus a kaleidoscope of independent feminist imprints.
Highlights of the multidisciplinary programme include a panel discussion exploring the experiences and myths surrounding the Caribbean matriarch in the UK, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, led by gal-dem deputy editor; an ultra-rare screening of the 1972 adaptation of Joan Didion’s cult novel, Play As It Lays and a workshop dismantling the myths surrounding bodies with Bethany Rutter, body activist and editor of Plus+ and illustrator/author Tallulah Pomeroy. An illuminating one-dayer to expand your mind – and bookshelf.