Front Page 2014

‘Peace is not only an absence of conflict, it is a presence.’

The issue of how that peace can be created is the focus of the 2014 just Festival, which opens on 1st August 2014. A vibrant and diverse programme of  performance, film, music, talks, conversations and family events will explore the festival’s key themes of home, freedom and forgiveness. With contributors from all over the world from Soweto to Assam, Syria to Scotland, the just Festival will open your eyes, lift your heart…..and teach you how to make a butter sculpture.


just Starting

The festival kicks off with guest speakers and special performances in a mix of culture and wisdom, followed by a reception.  Come and catch up with old friends, make new friends and get in the Festival spirit.

8-9pm (then reception till 10pm), Saturday 2nd August 2014, The Church at St John’s, Princes Street.


Tibetan Monks Art Workshop

Monks from Tashi Lhunpo offer you the chance to try the unique traditions of Buddhist monastic art: sand mandala making, prayer flag printing and butter sculpture.  Learn some Tibetan language or make a dukar wheel.

10-11.30am, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st August 2014, The Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace. Suitable for all ages. Tickets £5/£3.50


My Luxurious 50 Square Feet Life

A multi-media performance featuring the housing problem of Hong Kong.  Explore how life in a 50 sq ft ‘sub-divided unit’ influences people’s interpersonal relationships and family communications. Packed with cultural exchanges and new experiences.

6-7pm Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August, 4-5pm and 8.30-9.30pm Monday 11th August 2014. The Hall at St John’s Church, Princes Street. Tickets £10/£8.


Conscientious Objectors & Women’s Responses to the First World War

In the centenary year of the Great War, this conversation considers those who followed their consciences and refused to fight, and the women who, rather than urge their men to go to war, organised to oppose it.

3.30-5pm, Wednesday August 20th 2014, Peace & Justice Centre, 121 George Street. Tickets £5.

Mindfulness at Lunchtime and a Mindful Walk

Come and find peace and mindfulness at lunchtime with a guided sitting and walking meditation. Bring your lunch and enjoy food together, mindfully in silence, ending with a short silent meditation.

Tuesdays 5th, 12th and 19th August 2014, St Mark’s, Castle Terrace. Free.

Join a silent walking meditation led by Zen Buddhists and preceded by a brief introduction to mindful walking as meditation practice.

9.30 -10.45am, Sunday 3rd August 2014, meet beside Henderson @ St John’s, Princes Street.  Free. Children welcome when accompanied by an adult.


South African Voices – live and on film

Music from the townships is going to sing out in many forms at the festival – from Soweto Melodic Voices to Jabulani and Simply Soweto Encha (who are also the subject of a fascinating documentary), you can feel the rhythm and join in the song in these life affirming performances.

Various times, dates and venues – see programme for details.


Beyond Binaries: LGBT Voices & the Freedom to Self-Identify

Society’s need for everything to be categorised, often in binaries, has been cited as a cause of mental health problems in LGBT communities.  How can we remodel our language in addressing sexuality and gender? Or are genders and sexualities fixed identities controlled by society?

6-7.30pm, Friday 15th August 2014, The Hall at St John’s, Princes Street. Tickets £5.


Tango Negro: Slavery on Film

Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of the tango’s African-ness and the contribution of African cultures to its creation. The film reveals the depth of the footprints of African music on the tango, a reflection of the social life of the slaves who were taken to South America.

8-10pm, Thursday 14th August 2014, Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace. Tickets £6/£4.


Such a Nice Girl

Eilidh has always been such a nice girl. She’s caring, she’s polite…and she’s in jail over an email full of vicious threats and sectarian hate speech.  A play about grief and prejudice.

2-3pm, Friday 15th to Sunday 24th August 2014, The Church at St John’s.  Tickets £10/£8.  On Sunday 17th August at 3.15pm The Church at St John’s will host a free discussion with the writer, director and actors of Such a Nice Girl.


Kimono Japan

See a marvelous collection of Kimonos inherited from mothers and grandmothers at this stunning fashion show. The Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment, still worn and beloved in its home country.

4-5pm, Sunday 24th August 2014, The Church at St John’s,Princes Street. Entry by donation. Presented by the Consulate General of Japan and Japanese Arts and Culture International.


This is  just a small selection of what the festival has to offer – for full details see the festival website; programmes are also available at many venues in the city.  Tickets can be purchased online or via Brown Paper Tickets, Miller Row EH4 3BQ, tel: 0131 411 8881.

And if all that leaves you in need of refreshment, Knights Kitchen at St John’s Terrace will be open every day from 10am to 10pm, offering fantastic African fusion street food – everything from ginger tea and Mandazi (Kenyan doughnuts) to Peri-Peri chicken.  Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

The 2014 just Festival supports Streetwork and Mercy Corps. A 50p surcharge on every ticket sold will be shared between these two inspirational charities.

For more information and to book tickets, see