Just Conversations

Part of Just Festival, discussions are being held in St John's Church throughout the course of the month, targeting important, interesting and sometimes controversial matters under the name of Just Conversations. I attended 'Does Slavery Exist in Scotland Today?' which approached the dark matter of human trafficking in our community.

The meeting was led by a number of esteemed professionals; chair of the discussion was Sheriff Rita E A Rae, with guest speakers Detective Chief Supt Gillian Imery and Jeremy Alford of the charity Hope for Justice, which deals specifically with survivors of human trafficking. With authorities on the procedure of the Scottish legal system and its attendant law enforcement agencies alongside Alford's wider perspective upon the issue from around the UK, the discussion was highly informative and engaging. We explored the lengths to which trafficking is present, what signs to look for, and what aftercare is available to those caught in the middle. What garnered much interest was the widespread ignorance of this problem among the employers of those victims of trafficking themselves. Overall, this proved an interesting and enlightening event.

Of course, with such a vast variety of topics for discussion each day, no review can truly encapsulate the experience of Just Conversations. Addressing the issue of human trafficking proved less of a debate, more an opportunity to raise awareness. In contrast, one of the previous debates, entitled 'A World Without Religion', brought together representatives of Christianity, Humanism and Atheism in healthy discussion (whilst also selling out within the first week of the festival). The program of topics to be discussed each day can be found on the website and so if something does catch your eye, do book in advance.

This is an excellent chance to engage with hot topics, with a whole host of professionals who are authorities on the subject put at your disposal for 90 minutes. There is also ample opportunity to ask questions, as the seminar is fairly small.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Ever wondered how to fight inequality? What the world would be like without religion? How human trafficking exists in the UK? Join the conversation as we discuss a different issue each day with experts, activists, and faith representatives.

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