Dewsbury arts organisation announces two new events for its Festival of Conversations this summer

Dewsbury-based arts organisation Manasamitra has announced two new events for its Festival of Conversations later this month.
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Festival of Conversations is in association with the Kirklees Year of Music and features a series of conversation-focussed events, covering a broad range of subjects and challenges that unite people, emphasising the similarities between communities rather than the differences.

The festival is a series of events that aim to spark meaningful dialogue and promote diversity and inclusion.

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Alok Jha, an accomplished science and technology editor at The Economist, will be reading from his latest work, "The Water Book”.

Supriya Nagarajan, founder of ManasamitraSupriya Nagarajan, founder of Manasamitra
Supriya Nagarajan, founder of Manasamitra

Jha will be exploring “the unexpected weirdness of water” and why that weirdness means that life exists on earth. From its origins in outer space to its fundamental role in shaping our planet and civilisation, Alok's talk will take audiences on an unforgettable journey.

Jay Courtney, author of “Juicy Crones”, a book that celebrates women in later life and offers a roadmap for finding new meaning and purpose, will also be joining Festival of Conversations.

After retiring from a distinguished career in education and health, Courtney found herself lost and uncertain. But, through the stories of twelve inspiring women who, like her, were navigating the post-menopausal years, she discovered that “cronehood” can be a time of cataclysmic – and exciting – change.

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Supriya Nagarajan, founder of Manasamitra, said: "We are thrilled to announce two remarkable events for the Festival of Conversations, featuring Alok Jha and Jay Courtney.

"We believe that the work both Alok and Jay have done perfectly fits into the theme of our festival.

“This festival is a celebration of meaningful dialogue, focusing on subjects that unite us and highlight the similarities among communities rather than the differences, and Alok and Jay do this perfectly.”

Alok said: “I’m really looking forward to speaking at the Festival of Conversations this year about the most interesting topic in the world – water.

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“We take it for granted and many of us probably dismiss it as an ordinary and boring thing, hardly ripe for much conversation. But water is, in fact, one of the strangest and most mysterious things in the entire universe.

“I want to lift the veil for attendees, help them to see how remarkable and profoundly weird this ‘ordinary’ thing really is. Without water’s weirdness, there would be no life on Earth.”

Both events will take place at Dewsbury Town Hall, with Jay appearing on June 9 and Alok on June 15.

Festival of Conversations is funded by Taking the Lead, a Dewsbury Town Investment Plan project funded by the Town Fund and aims to support a vibrant cultural community in Dewsbury and surrounding areas using a programme of events, skills development and participatory opportunities across music, textiles, visual arts and performance, exploring heritage, community, culture and beyond with people living, working and studying in Dewsbury as they plan for the future together.

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