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The Scottish Parliament will welcome a range of leading public figures such as Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr, and TV’s Dr Rangan Chaterjee, as part of this year’s Festival of Politics.

From Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 October 2019 the programme looks back at past events, and thinks ahead to future debates on the issues that shape our political and cultural landscape.

There will be sessions featuring Brexit, next year’s US presidential election, Islamophobia and the 20th anniversary of devolution.

The Festival offers people in Scotland the chance to engage and contribute directly alongside MSPs, journalists, academics and commentators on many of the biggest issues we face.

Speaking as the Festival programme was launched, the Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP said: 

“The Festival of Politics is an opportunity for the Parliament to open its doors to the people of Scotland. It provides a space for everyone to consider and debate issues that matter to them in the heart of our democracy.

“This year’s festival comes at a critical time. A range of anniversaries – not least the Scottish Parliament celebrating our 20th birthday – give us cause to reflect on the progress, or otherwise, made.

“There is much to debate, however, with the coming months holding major decisions which have the power to fundamentally alter the political landscape and our everyday lives.

“In this context, we are proud to present an interesting and varied programme of events, exhibitions and music which make up 2019’s Festival of Politics. Whether your interest is science, women’s or racial equality, mental health or US politics, we have an event for you.”

This year’s festival will also feature two captivating exhibitions, and see the return of our popular café bar, with free musical entertainment. The exhibitions will show a selection of portraits from the Royal Society of Edinburgh celebrating some of Scotland’s finest female scientists, and portraits reflecting on the process of ageing on the mind and body as captured by Fionna Carlisle.

Programme and tickets

Presiding officer Ken Macintosh MSP In Conversation with Darren McGarvey aka Loki. Darren McGarvey, aka LOKI, is a writer, performer, community activist and columnist. His book Poverty Safari, has recently won the prestigious Orwell Prize, is described by Irvine Welsh as, “an intellectual and spiritual rehab manual for the progressive left,” He was rapper-in-residence at Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit . 11 October 2018 . Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament