talks & debates

Violet Nights x Brainchild: Reimagining Grief

Part of Violet Nights

Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals at an evening of discussion and performance with Brainchild at our forum for people aged 18 – 30.

How can we support each other through grief? Why are we so afraid to talk about death? And does engaging with death change the way we live?

Continuing conversations from this year’s festival, together we unpick the silence around death and discuss how rituals and creativity might reframe our generation's experiences of loss.

Speakers include film-maker Zoe Hunter Gordon, writer Cecilia Knapp, artist Lucy Bairstow, comedian Isabella Farah and Ahmed Ali from Brainchild.

This Violet Nights event is in response to Hayward Gallery’s free Thabiso Sekgala exhibition at HENI Project Space.

Violet Nights is a space for young people to socialise and express their views on topical issues with music, performance and discussion.

In a more relaxed format to panel discussions, people aged 18 – 30 have the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage in issues that feel important to them, creating a real-life forum for online conversations.

Brainchild is a not-for-profit arts organisation and award-winning festival. Set up by friends when they were just 19, Brainchild has been driven by a desire to connect, celebrate and push forward brilliant emerging artists, and to make space where all people feel safe to creatively engage with what matters to them.

Seven years in, Brainchild projects are now home to an ever-growing community of musicians, theatre-makers, visual artists, film-makers and activists.

Zoe Hunter Gordon is an Associate Programmer on the Brainchild team and a film-maker with a background in documentary television.

Her debut documentary short as director, Ill, Actually was funded by the BFI and broadcast on BBC4. Her debut fiction short as writer/director, St Katherine’s Pier, stars Lauren Lyle (Outlander) and is currently in post-production.

Cecilia Knapp is a writer, performer, theatre-maker and poet. She has performed at festivals including Bestival, Secret Garden Party and Wilderness. She’s taken work to the Edinburgh Fringe and the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where she was guest curator in 2016.

She was an artist in residence at the Roundhouse and at Pimlico Library creating work with the community. Her poetry has been played on XFM, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4, 5 LIVE and 1Xtra and she has featured in Vogue, Dazed and Jungle magazines.

Lucy Bairstow is a multi-disciplinary artist. She works as a writer, performer, director and movement director, and is co-founder of Theatre with Legs. She makes bold, playful work focused on identity, connection and loss.

Isabella Farah is a British-Lebanese stand-up comedian, writer, actor and world-renowned sarcast. She was a Funny Women 2018 Semi-Finalist and is currently developing a one-woman show called Ellipsis about the public and private faces of grief.

Ahmed Ali (aka Raddish) is a 28-year-old Londoner who is part of the Brainchild community, a creative consultant, facilitator and producer.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
Blue Room, Level 1


Free, but ticketed

need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 18 – 30.

Related events
This Violet Nights event is in response to Hayward Gallery’s free Thabiso Sekgala exhibition at HENI Project Space, 28 August – 6 October 2019.
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