Stars of arts and culture feature in major DMU student-led festival


Inspirational entrepreneur and founder of SBTV Jamal Edwards, iconic transgender rights activist Munroe Bergdorf and renowned writer and journalist Will Self join an eclectic list of guests taking part in De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Cultural Exchanges festival.


Jamal Edwards

The annual event is being staged by 13 final-year Arts and Festivals Management students who have been involved in every aspect of the festival, from planning and booking the events to designing the brochure and marketing.

Running from Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March, Cultural Exchanges 2019 boasts 43 events on campus and across the city - many of them free – including challenging art exhibitions, compelling performances and inspiring talks.


Munroe Bergdorf

Jamal Edwards will share his journey from creating a successful YouTube channel to curating stages at Bestival and Wireless, while Munroe Bergdorf will provide insight into ‘white privilege’, diversity and the LGBT+ community, and Will Self will address constructions of psychopathology with reference to philosophy and culture.

The festival continues to collaborate with local partners to amplify diverse voices. In association with The Asian Writer it will welcome the celebrated writer Nikesh Shukla and editor of the bestselling essay collection The Good Immigrant, voted the British public’s favourite book at the inaugural Books Are My Bag Awards 2016.

Working with arts charity Serendipity it will bring Commonwealth middleweight title-holder Michael Watson MBE to campus, who will be sharing his experiences of bouncing back from adversity after his boxing career was tragically cut short by life-threatening brain injuries sustained during a title fight with Chris Eubank in 1991.


Will Self

Student Kate Askew, the festival’s head of social media and engagement, said: “It’s been invaluable working with industry professionals and big names to put years of theory into practice. Seeing our initial ideas through to execution has been incredible.

“I’m so excited for Munroe Bergdorf’s talk as she really epitomises this year’s festival themes of accessibility, forward-thinking, progression and collaboration.”

Volunteering and hospitality manager for the festival Laura Flowers said: “I’ve loved being so involved with everything, as I’ve never be able to see all of these little parts of a festival come together before.

“I’m really looking forward to Ugly Bucket Theatre's Bost-Uni Plues performance. As a joint honours Drama student, seeing a clowning show about life after university will be super relevant and it could be an essential watch for all students panicking about ‘adulting’.”


The DMU students behind Cultural Exchanges 2019

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Leah Frederick, working in the festival’s admin team, said: “It's a great feeling to see how all of our individual contributions have come together to make the festival what it is.

“People should come along as the programme of events has been carefully designed to offer an engaging experience and there's something for everyone.”

Tony Graves, subject leader for Arts and Festivals Management and the festival director, said: “The students have worked incredibly hard to put together a programme which we hope has, yet again, made Cultural Exchanges one of the annual high points in the region’s arts calendar.

“I would urge as many people as possible to come along and support an absorbing celebration of culture in 2019.”

Browse the Cultural Exchanges 2019 brochure and book your tickets online.

Posted on Friday 8th February 2019

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