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Social and Educational Foraging and Gleaning: Only free open access events and activities get listed on the website…


Click on the event to get more information.  If you have an event or activity in Edinburgh which you want to put on the calendar email in the details.


Please check external event websites to confirm details and get tickets


Hafez & Burns – Bards Apart? (Performed in English, Scots & Farsi, with English Subtitles)
Jan 12 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Hafez & Burns - Bards Apart? (Performed in English, Scots & Farsi, with English Subtitles) @ Scotland | United Kingdom

Robert Burns: Ploughman Poet, Scotia’s Bard, Master of the Standard Habbie.

Hafez: Master of the Ghazal, his Divan in every Iranian home, his work unsurpassed in Persian literature.

Separated by four centuries and over 4000 miles, by culture, by history, by religion, by language, they can’t really have anything in common – can they?  Are Burns and Hafez “Bards Apart” or have they got far more in common than that which divides? Join us for this genre-defying event in celebration of both these great poets and you – the audience – will decide! In keeping with the traditions of both Scotland and Iran,  the two bards’ key poems and songs will be performed with a bit of context and discussion. For those who don’t understand Farsi – or 18th century Scots – we have English subtitles!

This event will be followed by a complimentary drinks reception.

Leith Labs: Madeleine Long discussing how learning a language will help keep your brain young @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
Jan 14 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Leith Labs: Madeleine Long discussing how learning a language will help keep your brain young @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal | Scotland | United Kingdom
An informal discussion over tea and biscuits with Madeleine Long (University of Edinburgh, @PhDLing) discussing that it’s never too late to learn a language and how her work suggests it will help keep your brain young!
She’ll share with us fascinating new research on language learning and ageing and how a new year’s resolution to learn a language may bring a mental boost in as little as one week…especially for those 40 and above! Learn about some of the cognitive mechanisms involved in language learning and how this research ties in with previous findings showing a delayed onset of dementia and better cognitive recovery following stroke for those who speak more than one language.
Part of the monthly community science project Leith Labs which will have activities for the whole family in Ocean Terminal from 12 – 4pm on the same day.
Iranian Music on Harp by Margaret Knight @ Filmhouse Café
Feb 9 @ 10:30 pm
Iranian Music on Harp by Margaret Knight @ Filmhouse Café | Scotland | United Kingdom

This is a free event for those attending the reception of the Iranian Film Season.

Margaret began her musical studies aged 18 and soon became a graduate and prize winner of the Royal Academy of Music, London, studying under Osian Ellis, David Watkins and later Tatiana Tauer in Russia.

Her performance at the reception of the Iranian Film Season will include classical and folk Iranian music, which have become one of her new potions.

Margaret has performed for the Russian Television in the winter palace of Peter-the-Great; in Japan for the Empress at the Soka harp festival, Tokyo; in North and South America; in Istanbul, Scandinavia, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania . She was awarded the Anglo Norse Prize in 1996 and performed for the Yehudi Menuhin “Live Music Now” scheme, and in 2008 she was invited to Buckingham Palace for her services to British music. Here she was greeted by HRH The Queen. Margaret has also performed to Princess Diana, Phillip and Princess Ann. She is harpist for the Hebridean Princess luxury cruises.

To contact Margaret you can email her on: [email protected]

Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
Feb 11 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology @ Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal | Scotland | United Kingdom
Leith Labs Explores Cell Biology
Saturday 11th February
Talk: 2 – 4PM
Drop-In: 12- 2PM
Venue: Living Memory Association, Ocean Terminal
How do you get 744 million miles of DNA into a single person? (That’s 4 times to the sun & back from the earth!)

Find out how proteins in the body pack that much DNA inside your body through epigenetics. From 2PM at the Living Memory Association, we will be hosting a relaxed discussion into the science of epigenetics and chromosomes, including hands-on activities and tea and biscuits, with PhD Students Ioanna Leontiou and Alina Gukova from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology. All curious adults are welcome and questions and group discussion encouraged!

Beforehand, the team will be running drop-in activities for families outside Debenhams in the Leith Lab’s unit, including interactive light glass sculpture, crafting your own and finding out how scientists model infections and use of antibiotics on our Leith Labs patient
Iranian Dance Workshop with Anna Tabe and the Colours of Life.
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Iranian Dance Workshop with Anna Tabe and the Colours of Life. @ Scotland | United Kingdom

Join Anna and The Colours of Life from the Maryhill Integration Network, for an amazing experience, a journey through Iran via the motif of dance. The workshop will start by a performance by The Colours of Life and then continue with traditional dances from different regions in Iran. There will also be a special workshop tailored for our younger audience, at 10am, which welcomes kids of all ages. All workshops are suitable for both males and females.

For Kids and Adults)
Date: Sunday 12th Feb 2017
Time (Kids Class): 10:00 – 11:00
Time (Adults Class): 11:00 – 12:00
Venue: 21 St Leonard’s Ln, Edinburgh EH8 9SH
Entry: FREE Admission

Brian Catling: The Erstwhile @ Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh
Mar 17 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Brian Catling: The Erstwhile @ Blackwell's Bookshop Edinburgh | Scotland | United Kingdom

Blackwell’s Bookshop is extremely excited to welcome Brian Catling, who will be in store to chat about his forthcoming book The Erstwhile, the second in The Vorrh series.

Brian will be in conversation with literary critic and fellow writer Stuart Kelly.

About the Book

In London and Germany, strange beings are reanimating themselves. They are the Erstwhile, the angels that failed to protect the Tree of Knowledge, and their reawakening will have major consequences.

In Africa, the colonial town of Essenwald has fallen into disarray because the timber workforce has disappeared into the Vorrh. Now a team of specialists are dispatched to find them. Led by Ishmael, the former cyclops, they enter the forest, but the Vorrh will not give them back so easily.

To make matters worse, an ancient guardian of the forest has plans for Ishmael and his crew. Meanwhile a child of mixed race has been found abandoned in a remote cottage. Her origins are unknown, but she has powers beyond her own understanding. Conflict is coming, as the old and new, human and inhuman are set on a collision course.

Once again blending the real and the imagined, The Erstwhile brings historical figures such as William Blake and places such as the Bedlam Asylum, as well as ingenious creations such as The Kin (a family of robots) together to create unforgettable novel of births and burials, excavations and disappearances.

About the Author

Brian Catling RA is an English sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist. He was educated at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He now holds the post of Professor of Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is a fellow of Linacre College.He has been exhibiting his work internationally since the 1970s. In 2001 he co founded the international performance collective WitW. He has published poetic works, including one compendium, A Court of Miracles, in 2009. His first prose book Bobby Awl was published in 2007. Currently he is writing novels and has just completed The Vorrh trilogy.

For more information or if you would like a signed copy because you can’t make it to the event, please contact Ellie Wixon on 0131 622 8229 or [email protected]

Solar Power & Energy Storage @ 7 Bristo Square Conference Room, University of Edinburgh
Mar 22 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Solar Power & Energy Storage @   7 Bristo Square Conference Room,  University of Edinburgh  | Scotland | United Kingdom

What energy source will power our vehicles in 2050? How will Renewables be integrated into new housing developments? Where will Energy Storage best be located? How has the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op fared in its first year of operation?

Come and hear how Renewable Energy technologies are eclipsing fossil fuels and – as price of both PhotoVoltaic Solar Panels and Wind Turbines comes down and capacity increases – this ushers in a new era of distributed energy. Our speakers will introduce the topics and then we will explore all aspects of the emerging questions.

  • Robert Murphy, Edinburgh College Electric Vehicle Project
  • Jestyn Davis, Moray Estates Garden District Project
  • Speaker on emerging Energy Storage technologies and
  • Richard Witney, Edinburgh Community Solar Cooperative.

1.30pm Registration and meeting people
2.00pm Introducing topic with first two keynote contributions
2.30pm Paired discussion about the issues raised
2.40pm More short contributions leading to questions identified
3.00pm Marketplace for topics needing exploration / refreshments
3.15pm Round-table conversations leading to ideas for action
4.15pm Coming together to share the ideas generated
4.30pm Close

Ragged Uni: An Evening In Dialogue with Prof Antonia Darder on Critical Pedagogy @ St John’s Church Community Hall
Jul 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Ragged Uni: An Evening In Dialogue with Prof Antonia Darder on Critical Pedagogy @ St John’s Church Community Hall  | Scotland | United Kingdom

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the event starts from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, and chance to listen to and discuss critical education with Antonia …

All are warmly invited to an evening in dialogue with Antonia Darder and other fellow critical educators exploring the relevance of Pedagogy of the Oppressed today and how we can draw greater value from this important text. This event is free and will offer a space to engage our hearts and minds around the opportunities and challenges for critical pedagogy today as well as hearing about Antonia Darder’s new Student Guide to Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Visiting from America, this is a unique and valuable opportunity to connect with Antonia’s thinking…


This event brings together various learning communities in Edinburgh including Critical and Alternative Methods & Ideas Network for Action (CAMINA) and Adult Learning Project (ALP) and Ragged University for an evening with Antonia Darder to explore key questions in critical education and what they mean in our lives.

CAMINA is a learning community which is made up of people who value the experience of critical education to transform lives in a variety of contexts.  It brings together individuals interested the challenges associated in practicing critical education in meaningful and sustainable ways. Through creating links they grow a community through creating connections locally, nationally and globally.

ALP is a learning community which has been active in Edinburgh for over 30 years.  Inspired by the methods and teachings of Paulo Freire, the well known activist and educationalist from South America, the community sees learning as an integral part of daily living.  Providing a home for various groups and activities, the community explores and investigates the issues important to people in a co-operative way through sharing, teaching and dialogue.

Ragged University is a project based around getting people who love what they do to share their knowledge and skills in social spaces; from that we build.  The central idea is “Everybody is a Ragged University; a unique and distinct body of knowledge accredited with their life experience and with a membership of one”.  Through sharing in social spaces a learning community is developed and ways are explored of supporting people achieving what they want to achieve. Inspired by the Ragged Schools created by communities for communities prior to universal formal education, it seeks to carry forward this tradition of sharing.

Three key questions will be examined in the evening:

What do we mean by critical pedagogy?

How is practicing critical pedagogy different in the current context compared to when Freire was writing?

What elements of Freire’s theory are still relavent and what elements might we question?


Ragged University: ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics’
Nov 27 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'The Art of Not-Knowing' - plus - 'Medical Imaging Physics'

Come along to St John’s Church Community Hall (Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ), doors open at 6.30pm and the talks start from 7pm. Come along for two talks, a chance to socialise and a bite to eat.  The two talks are ‘The Art of Not-Knowing’ by James Clegg – plus – ‘Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin’ by Tommy McMullan.  All are welcome….

The Art of Not-Knowing by James Clegg

I would like to talk about how it is okay not to know what you feel about an artwork or even contemporary art in general. That it isn’t your problem or failure if you don’t ‘get it’. BUT, how feeling uncertain can be the start of a really interesting set of questions and the beginning of you genuinely finding your creative self. ‘Getting it’ might turn out not to be such a good thing after all!

In order to make a convincing case I will need to draw from a broad set of reference points. So, more formally, I would like to talk about: How contemporary art practice is driven by a process of discovery, a not-knowing relationship to materiality that delights in the unexpected coming-together of disparate ideas.

Some of the roots of contemporary art practice, particularly those that emphasise experience, a transient not-knowing that is distinct from structural thinking. A not-knowing set of concepts drawn from thinkers like Giles Deleuze, Karen Barad, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Donna Haraway and Jacques Rancière. AND, how you might defend not-knowing (as a life-affirming position that enables a much richer understanding of the world) against a context in which it is often being politically, economically and culturally undermined.

All events are free and open to everyone but people who do come along are warmly invited to bring an item of food along to put on the table and take it away at the end.

Medical Imaging Physics; Seeing Beyond the Skin by Tommy McMullan

With advances in technology, doctors no longer need to perform surgery to see inside the human body. Today we have imaging technology which provides a safe, non-invasive way of seeing complex anatomy and physiological function. The imaging technologies can be split into two groups, which are characterised by the type of radiation used – ionising or non-ionising.

The modalities that use ionising radiation are X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and Nuclear Medicine. And the modalities that use non-ionising radiation are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. Each modality is suited to different clinical situations, and knowledge of each is crucial to ensure proper diagnosis and patient care.

During my talk I will introduce the listener to the basic principles behind each of the imaging techniques mentioned. The talk will be presented with minimal technical jargon and will be illustrated throughout using images to tell the story.



Ragged University: ‘Freedom in the Fridge’ – plus – ‘Butterfly Kisses from the Hunchback’ @ The Castle Hotel
Sep 12 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'Freedom in the Fridge' - plus - 'Butterfly Kisses from the Hunchback' @ The Castle Hotel | England | United Kingdom

Come along at 7pm to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LE) for two talks, relaxed company and a chance to discover something new.  Free event and all are welcome; put yer feet up yar at yer aunties..


Freedom in the Fridge by Sara Louise Dobson

Freedom in the Fridge is the notion of an individual’s freedom being right there in front of them, much like every day when opening the fridge door trying to find the one thing you need in that moment but unable able to see or feel it until someone or something else points it out.

It takes the audience through a journey from relying on landlords and energy suppliers, to owning your own home, developing new skills and learning to live a life on water. It talks through the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows (there are many of each!) and how I dealt with it all. Prepare for a water-based education, filled with love, laughter and the occasional tears…

CLICK HERE for more information


– Some food will be provided and everyone is invited to bring an item to put on the table and take something away at the end so that nothing goes to waste.  Bring what you enjoy –



Butterfly Kisses from the Hunchback (whilst driving on the M6) by Craig Hammond

In one sense, this is a talk about boredom; routine, confinement and disappointment; on reaching a goal and forgetting the purpose for striving. But this is also a talk about hope; about memory, music, and the potential for rediscovery and transformation. Utilising Bloch’s concept of the Trace, Augé’s reflections on travel, and Benjamin’s poignant ruminations on the Hunchback, this talk will be an autobiographical exposition of a journey towards continued (and continual) transformation.

CLICK HERE for more information