To Be a Pilgrim w/ Victoria Preston and Justin Butcher

17 Sep 2022 – 10:30 - 11:15 BST
FlipSide Festival
Yew Tree Farm
IP17 2BU
Pilgrimage has been central to faith, culture and civilisation for millennia. Ranging across time and place, Victoria Preston’s We Are Pilgrims investigates this crucial human pursuit while writer, actor and activist Justin Butcher relates the timely and transformative journey he made on foot from London to Jersualem in support of Palestinian rights and justice for all across the Middle East. Join them at this year’s FlipSide Festival for a conversation about what it means to be a pilgrim.
About We Are Pilgrims

Each year, 200 million of us embark on a pilgrimage of some kind. We have been making ritual journeys for millennia, ever since our ancient ancestors followed migrating animals, coming together to hunt and celebrate. The era of setting out as a matter of survival is long gone, but the impulse to travel somewhere sacred to us remains.

Victoria Preston discovers that, whether we set forth in search of solace or liberation, as an expression of gratitude or faith, journeys of meaning and purpose are always a powerful reminder that we are each part of something much greater than ourselves.

From the Stone Age pilgrims of Anatolia to the present-day crowds at Glastonbury, We Are Pilgrims is a quest to understand what drives this rich and varied human behaviour, unbounded by time or space, faith or identity.

About the speakers

Victoria Preston has roamed far and wide in her thirty years advising corporate and government clients in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. She is an associate fellow at the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications, with an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

Justin Butcher is the multi-award winning writer of Scaramouche JonesThe Madness of George DubyaThe Devil’s Passion and many other plays, including six dramas for BBC Radio, and his acclaimed travelogue, Walking to Jerusalem, which tells the story of his 2017 walk from London to Jerusalem, calling for equal rights in the Holy Land. Working with UK human rights charity Amos Trust, he conceived, planned and jointly led the Just Walk to Jerusalem, a 5-month, 2000-mile pilgrimage on foot across Europe and the Middle East, marking the tenth year of the blockade of Gaza, the fiftieth year of Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Alongside his long-term creative collaboration with Amos Trust, other creative projects in the field of Palestine advocacy include three plays written in collaboration with Palestinian writer Ahmed Masoud: Go To Gaza, Drink The Sea (London & Edinburgh, 2009), Escape From Gaza (BBC Radio 4, 2011) and The Shroud Maker (Amnesty International UK, Greenwich Theatre & UK tour, 2018).

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