From connection and conversation to movies, art and drama, what we miss most during lockdown is varied and individual. The missing, however, is universal.


While the temptation to slump in front of yet another boxset with yet another tub of Ben & Jerry’s (just us?) can be strong, there’s still so much going on this weekend. And if lockdown has an upside, it’s that the geographical boundaries of our own cultural climates have been obliterated this year.


From Seattle to St Ives, this weekend’s programme of virtual events from across the globe offer something for every family member. The best bit? You won’t even need to get out of your PJs…


The Festival of Discovery

Image: Getty Images


Held within Cornwall’s groundbreaking Eden project, this family-friendly festival will this year aim to explore what a future beyond 2020 could look like.


Running throughout the weekend, the range of talks is as varied as it is entertaining, and there are some big names beaming their way onto household screens. Join Eddie Izzard for an exploration of how to ‘make humanity great again’, or sit down with Jo Brand as she explores the life lessons that have helped her traverse this year of uncertainty.


Attendees can also take a virtual wander around the Eden Project’s festival grounds, learning about everything from foraging to growing food, and the best bit is, the entire programme is free.


Find out more here


TEDx Seattle

Image:Alabastro Photography


It’s one of the largest Tedx events on the planet – but until 2020, Seattle’s annual gathering of great minds has been out of bounds for many of us, thanks to geography and cost.


2020 will make that a thing of the past, however, with the full programme of events broadcast live, and free, throughout Saturday. Under the tagline of ‘Other Side’, speakers will present their own take on what a post-pandemic world could look like, covering everything from creativity to equality in the workplace.


If you’re missing the opportunity to learn, grow and converse with others, this is the place to show up (virtually) this Saturday.


Find out more here


Online Black History for Children

Image: Shutterstock


Presented by renowned educationalist David Simon, this online event for kids aged from five to 11 will explore what it really means to be Black in 2020.


Covering what so many believe our school curricula are currently missing, Simon’s entertaining approach to Black British history will take kids on a journey through the era of the Tudors and Victorians, to the Windrush generation, through to contemporary Black excellence. Meanwhile, his lessons on global race relations will introduce the concept of African migration, exploring everything from the power of melanin through the introduction of Black superheroes.


An ideal opportunity to teach your kids about equality, diversity and allyship in a way that’s tailored to them, this is an event no parent of young kids will want to skip.


Find out more here


Louvre Live

Image: Civitatis


So, you can’t get to Paris – but who wants to queue to see the Mona Lisa anyway, when you can view it up close and personal from the comfort of your sofa?


If the idea of a virtual museum tour conjures images of swearing at your computer as you try to pinch your screen around a corner, think again. The Louvre has nailed the genre, offering a genuinely immersive 60-minute ‘stroll’ around its most famed exhibits, all in the company of a licensed expert. Learn more about the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Liberty Leading the People, among others, then take part in a live Q&A.


This is the sort of access tourists can often only dream of in the City of Lights’ busiest season – and with tickets starting from £11, it’s a lot cheaper than a mini-break too.


Find out more here


A Woman’s Place is reading The Politicization of Mumsnet

Image: Joel Muniz/Unsplash


Over recent years, online parenting platform Mumsnet has become the place of choice for politicians and would-be MPs to explore the needs, wants and priorities of women with children – and ultimately, a space in which they want to wield influence.


It has also become a place in which gender-critical feminism is openly, and often controversially, discussed, earning the platform both criticism and praise for its free-speech approach.


Now, academic Sarah Pederson has turned to the site to research her latest book and, this Saturday, she’ll sit down with fellow lecturer, Oxford University’s Selina Todd, to discuss the issues she’s uncovered. The Politicization of Mumsnet is not for the faint-hearted – but if you’ve ever wondered why gender has become such a toxic topic of late, this conversation will help shine a light into the darkest corners of the debate.


Find out more here


Scottish Ballet’s The Swan

Image: Drew Forsyth


The continuing closure of theatres won’t keep Scottish Ballet still. The renowned company has this week kicked off its winter programme with the premiere of The Swan, a brand new short film inspired by Swan Lake.


Screening until this Thursday, the premiere marks the beginning of a programme which will also offer a host of children’s and adult classes, talks and interactive events, and movement resources for NHS key workers, culminating in the world premiere of the company’s latest work, The Secret Theatre, this Christmas.


In a 2020 first, the company has also launched a free membership programme, to enable dance enthusiasts to keep in touch with the company’s work throughout a year in which the arts have unquestionably been sidelined.


Find out more here


Norwich Film Festival

Image: Felix Mooneeram/Unsplash


From love, romance and sexuality, to immigration, war and illness, Norwich Film Festival’s 2020 programme of short films tackles every aspect of modern humanity.


Selected by a veritable who’s who of movie industry bigwigs – patrons include Olivia Colman, Stephen Fry and Brian Cox – the programme features more than 150 films, screening regularly until November 29.


While the festival itself was launched in a bid to encourage and nurture the film industry outside of the M25, the impact of lockdown has ensured it’s now available to everyone, regardless of geography. Rentals start from just £1, while a full festival pass, offering access to every single screening, costs just £10 – making this a great value option for those now plumbing the dregs of their Netflix subscription.


Find out more here


Festival of Politics

Image: TheStockCube/Adobe Stock


While the Scottish Parliament remains closed to the public, there’s never been a year in which transparency in leadership has been more critical. That’s why Holyrood’s annual Festival of Politics has moved online for 2020 – and the subjects under discussion throughout today and tomorrow are of the utmost importance to women across Britain.


From insistutional racism to the future of the United Kingdom, via the pandemic’s impact on gender equality and women’s work, the programme is demanding, confronting and tough in places – but also offers a space for conversation about the most damaging, and the most hopeful, impacts of a year unlike any other we’ve lived through.


Events are free to ‘attend’, and aim to leave you feeling empowered towards helping create a better world when those vaccine programmes finally commence…


Find out more here


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