I staggered into Clephan 3.03 yesterday with some piece by Bach stuck in my head, not knowing what to expect. My first foray into De Montfort's 2015 Cultural Exchanges Festival was a talk by Dr. Michael Paraskos, entitled: "Mise en Abyme: Anarchism, Art & Theology". The talk began with him discussing the nature of art. What can be called art? What purpose does art serve? Interesting, nuanced questions that invite discussion. He then delved deeper into the philosophy and history of art, linking it to thoughts on Marxism & Anarchism.
When he was done he opened the floor to questions from the audience, and I, puzzled by some of his comments, asked him a question about Cultural Marxism. His response was solemn and full of hope. He spoke of being pleased, and surprised to be here. He spoke of being allowed to share his thoughts, and his opinions, views far from the mainstream in academia that he felt would normally be opposed.
This is what the festival is about, hearing the voices of those whom you would normally never hear. The marginalised, the silenced, the dissenters. I was more than pleased to witness this talk, I was honoured, and I hope Dr. Paraskos returns next year.