Wind turbines

Being Human 2021

Being Human 2021 took place 11–20 November, with the theme 'Renewal'.


The past twelve months have brought enormous challenges across the globe. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular, have been world-changing and are far from over. Whilst we continue to live through a moment of unprecedented challenge, strain, and change, however, one thing is clear for many people: whatever follows on from Covid-19 must, if nothing else, be an opportunity to do things differently. Whether in relation to our political systems, the cities in which we live, the ways in which we work and spend our leisure time, or our relationship with the planet and the natural world, the current historical moment offers an opportunity to rethink, to do things differently, to renew. In 2020 Being Human festival imagined ‘New Worlds’. In 2021 it is time to renew our sense of Being Human.

Map of events

What to expect

From performances to workshops, postal packs to walks and tours, you can find a range of online and in-person events at this year's festival — as organisers work hard to create another brilliant and varied programme of events and activities.

As ever, the festival programme explores a wide range of topics rooted in fascinating humanities research, including everything from the future of our high streets to the urgent global issue of urban air pollution. Browse by programme theme here.

There are hundreds of free events and activities taking place across the country, led by researchers and staff at universities and research organisations, in collaboration with local cultural and community partners. As well as the individual events and small series, each year we have a small number of festival Hubs which present programmes of events responding to the histories, cultures and communities of their local areas and are aimed at a variety of ages and interests. Learn more about our festival Hubs below.