I made sure to visit some more University of London events throughout the run of the festival, starting with one organised by Senate House Library, ‘The Beginning of the End for Inequality’. The mini exhibition displayed some fascinating collections surrounding two major anniversaries; the centenary of the first female MP being elected, and the 15 year anniversary of the repeal of Section 28, the anti-gay legislation.
Later, I dropped in to University College London, who were bringing together science, medicine and the humanities for an event called, ‘Exploring Under the Skin’. In the Being Human programme UCL say, ‘Being human is not just skin deep’, and the evening set out to interrogate our perceptions of what lies beneath the exterior. From the mystery of anatomical paintings being dumped outside UCL, to the difference between early anatomical art and modern medical imaging, the event explored how attitudes to our anatomy and inner bodies have developed and changed. Most of all, I discovered the ways that medicine and the humanities work to help us understand ourselves.
To see what was happening at our London hub I headed to Brixton library to find out about ‘The End of Social Housing’. Queen Marys were exploring social housing structures, including housing cooperatives, specifically the Brixton and Effra housing co-ops in Lambeth. The public shared memories of the housing co-ops, crafting them in felt to be woven onto a patchwork map of the Brixton area, with plans to expand the map to include more of the 300 housing co-ops in London. The event focused on the value of housing, asking guests what ‘Home’ meant to them, with answers from ‘a place of love’ to ‘a basic human right’.