Two internationally renowned figures in literature and film met on the Middleton Hall stage this week to discuss art, culture and politics in today’s world.
Held in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the event was the first to be organised by the Faculty’s Transnationality research group. The event was chaired by Dr Helena Chadderton and Dr Philip Crispin.
Starting with a recap of their distinguished careers so far, Coe and Loach held the audience captive with their sparkling and, at times gritty, stories. The conversation straddled a wide range of topics, from their view of being seen as ‘quintessentially British’ and the out-of-date notion of British nationality held across Europe, to opinions on the Brexit debate and the film industry in the UK and Europe.
Coe and Loach’s views of the world complemented and even overlapped at times, which made for an engaging conversation. Loach’s far left viewpoints proved very popular with the audience and he received several spontaneous rounds of applause. The ruthless honesty of Coe’s storytelling reaffirmed him in the minds of many as one of the leading literary figures of our times.
Following the conversation, the floor was opened to the audience and questions came from a broad cross section - 17 year old politics students, to Labour party activists and academics. They covered a avriety of subjects, including advice on breaking into the film industry to make politically influencing art, their approach to historical research, and what drives them to carry on achieving after such glittering careers. Both Coe and Loach gave generous answers and received thanks in return.
The event was closed by Professor Charles Fosdick, University of Liverpool – the AHRC theme convenor for ‘Translating Cultures’. He thanked the speakers and all involved in what proved to be another very interesting and worthwhile event held at Middleton Hall.