The Inaugural Rosemary Bechler Memorial Lecture


The inaugural Rosemary Bechler lecture will be delivered by Neal Lawson. Neal will address the following questions:

In all the bleakness of our age where is and what is hope? Not hope as wishful thinking but realistic hope, grounded in ideas and in practice. And if we find it, what do we then do with it? If the human condition is ground down, that condition can do nothing but fight back, finding the cracks and the spaces in which to be as human as possible. Shafts of hope can suddenly go off like fireworks that momentarily and beautifully illuminate the darkness. They show us what might be possible — but all too often they fade just as fast, and leave us back in the dark and without direction. How can a new politics reorientate us, galvanise us and energise us in the search for a good society, which by definition is a society which knows it's not yet good enough?

Neal is Executive Director of the good society pressure group Compass and was author of All Consuming (Penguin, 2009) and co-editor of The Progressive Century (Palgrave, 2001). He serves on the Advisory Board of the social democracy journal Renewal which he helped found, is  an adviser to public ownership campaigners We Own It, a Commissioner for a Gender Equal Economy and a Senior Fellow at Radix. He writes about politics, democracy and societal transformation on sites such as the Guardian, New Statesman and Prospect magazine.

After an interval, Activism as Art will be presented, a new lecture presentation created by Gus Mitchell.

The drive of the artistic imagination and the ‘art of the possible’ –– also known as politics –– are considered opposites. Now that everything about how we think about and practice politics seems to be failing our present and our future, it might be time to reconsider their affinity. Those pressing for true change can find, in the various approaches and viewpoints of artists, a different way of thinking about the ongoing struggle. Mould-breaking political leaders and passionate everyday activists, past and present, have much more of the ‘artistic’ in them than we often realise. Activism as Art will explore what art-making and political action have in common, and how we can reimagine ourselves as actors, in a world in crisis.

Rosemary Bechler was an editor for open Democracy, specifically Can Europe Make It? and founder member of Diem 25 - the trans-national European movement. She also edited several  books of essays for the British Council and coordinated the partnership network of the Convention on Modern Liberty.  Although uncompromising in her own political values and beliefs, she also had a talent to lead others in the  reflection , reassessment and critical examination of political processes. Deliberative interaction was her bi-word.  Rosemary held a doctorate in English Literature from Cambridge University, remained passionate about literature and music in particular and was a strong advocate of creative commons. Her considerable intellect  was equalled by her activist credentials and she exploited  both these qualities to influence, motivate and provide weight to the room.- peace and progress towards social justice were her twin drivers.

Želite prejemati obvestila o dejavnostih DiEM25? _Prijavite se tukaj_

21/01/2024 @ 12:00 EST
Marylebone Theatre @ London, Združeno kraljestvo
London Collective Contact
Javno, do 150 udeležencev
Event type


Marylebone Theatre


‍The nearest underground stations are Marylebone, accessible via Bakerloo line, and Baker Street served by the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. Both stations are only 5 minutes' walk from Marylebone Theatre.