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There's art in them there hills - Sunday 25 May, 6:00pm start

Sunday 25 May: There's art in them there hills

James Heartfield, Ann Jackson and John Siddique will explore the popularity of visual and literary art in the Pennines.

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There's art in them there hills - Sunday 25 May, 6:00pm startThere's art in them there hills

Sunday 25 May 2014, 6:00pm start

James Heartfield, Ann Jackson and John Siddique will explore the popularity of visual and literary art in the hills of the Pennines, chaired by Pauline Hadaway


James HertfieldThe Pennines have long been an alluring part of the world, both for industrialists utilising its natural resources and the workers in those industries escaping their factory life to enjoy the open and grand countryside. Developments in our technological infrastructure, particularly in the generation and distribution of electricity for power, has resulted in post war economic growth taking place in towns and cities rather than the countryside. There seems to have been something of a counter movement of preference by some for living in the urban countryside, particularly by artists, resulting in places like Hebden Bridge getting national recognition as a cultural hotspot.


Ann Jackson

Evan Davis in his recent BBC2 programme Mind the Gap, revisited David Fletcher's notion of Hebden Bridge for example becoming Britain's second city. This rather playful idea comes from Hebden Bridge being an inverted city with a greenbelt centre and suburbs called Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. The tension between urbane city life and the rather slower and historic pace of life in the country has long been the source of an interesting dialogue, codified in planning regulations around protection of the green belt and metropolitan types banning fox hunting or badger culls for example. The description of economic disparity across the nation, popularly tagged as a north / south economic divide in the Thatcher years, is today often used similarly used to explain a beleaguered countryside.


John SiddiqueThe Blair government response to the decline of traditional manufacturing industries and hollowing out of the economy was to front on Education, Education, Education, whilst heavily investing in the creative industries in the hope of giving UK PLC some sort of immediate purpose and niche offering beyond the City of London. Whilst some individual artists profited handsomely from this attention, the spread of funding for most was certainly far more modest. More importantly perhaps was the development of a new tier of state led funding agencies bringing into play a swathe of grant applications that effectively played off art project against art project, whilst introducing local participation, social equality and identity through locality agendas to the creative process, however loosely policed.

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First World War: origins and warnings for the 21st Century - Monday 16 June 2014, 6:45pm start

First World War: origins and warnings for the 21st Century

Monday 16th June, 6:45pm start

James Woudhuysen will introduce a discussion on the origins and warnings of the First World War.

James WoudhuysenThe origins of the First World War are variously attributed to the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the complex system of international alliances that developed before 1914, the way in which Germany's Schlieffen Plan depended on its army sticking to strict railway timetables, or the unreadiness of old dynasties to move with the times.


In fact, James will argue, it was the very 2014 phenomenon of Foreign Direct Investment that, before 1914, bound all the eventual participants in the conflict into a system of long-run, spiralling tensions. Today's commentators on the First World War often miss three other forces that mediated and accelerated the catastrophe.

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Writers and war: reflecting or shaping our perceptions?

Friday 24 October, 1:00pm start

Speakers will look at how literature shapes our perceptions of war, chaired by Rania Hafez

Popular cultural references to the global conflict of 1914-1918, which used to be called ‘the Great War’, would have us believe it was at best for no good reason, or more cynically with our Black Adder googles on, it was a parade of half wit toffs causing chaos with common folk bearing the real brunt of it all. There is clearly a grain of truth in such parodies, but are we collectively kidding ourselves with our modern sensibilities. Surely descriptions of the war as futile and incomprehensible obscure rather than clarify events. Indeed, it often seems that the First World War is even more perplexing today than it was 40, 50 or 80 years ago.

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Historiography, Histories and History Making

Saturday 25 October, 1:00pm start

Speakers will look at why we personalise History so much today, chaired by Rania Hafez



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Ethics and business: a mismatch made in Rochdale?

Sunday 26 October, 1:00pm start

Eileen Earnshaw and others will look at whether being ethical really can help business, chaired by Rania Hafez


The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers weren't the first co-operative group, but the Rochdale Principles they developed in 1844 to avoid the pitfalls of other co-ops before them became the blueprint for many who followed them. In this period of chronic unemployment, poverty, hunger and social inequality, after just 10 years there were 1,000 cooperatives. The Co-operative Bank is in the news as a failing institution, so where have things gone wrong and is mutuality an idea past its sell-by date? Is Fair-Trade a modern way of delivering on the Pioneers Principles in a more globalised world?

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