1 – 31 May 2024
Venues across the Liverpool City Region
IRVINE WELSH, BEATRIX CAMPBELL, JON RONSON, JACKIE KAY, JAH WOBBLE, SALENA GODDEN, PETER HOOTON, JOELLE TAYLOR, ANDREW MCMILLIAN, PAUL FARLEY, LUKE WRIGHT + more to be revealed soon!
In the grip of a climate emergency, as culture wars and real wars rage, WoWFEST: FAHRENHEIT 2024 is an arena for ideas and a call to action.
The New World Order is causing disorder and destruction on an unprecedented scale, with global warming, polluted air, raw sewage poured into the sea and rivers, soil degradation, deforestation, and the loss of biodiversity all the result of the pursuit of profit over people and the planet. Forty-five armed conflicts are raging in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, with countless people maimed and killed; toxic bombs equal a toxic environment. Still the bombs keep dropping, still they turn their heads.
WoWFEST: FAHRENHEIT 2024 will unite writers, artists and audiences to highlight the urgent need for change through writing, performance and activism to fight for the preservation of our planet.
This year’s festival title is inspired by Ray Bradbury’s prescient 1951 book Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel set in a near-future, where books are outlawed and Firemen create fires, burning any discovered books, leading protagonist Guy Montag to question his role in preserving knowledge. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn. WoWFEST is concerned about the temperature at which the world burns.
Despite facing censorship in apartheid South Africa and certain U.S. schools, Fahrenheit 451 stands as a critical success and a powerful critique of censorship and intellectual suppression. It draws inspiration from Nazi Germany’s book burnings and repression in the Soviet Union and although the book was written in 1953, it bears a resemblance to society today. Several US states have introduced anti-LGBTQ+ laws, including the banning of books containing descriptions of ‘sexual conduct’ from educational institutions and libraries as well as the banning of public drag shows. Authors whose books are challenged are disproportionately female, black and from LGBTQ+ communities. Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison’s book The Bluest Eye is one of the most banned books in school districts across America.
In America now we see life imitating art, with books being banned from schools and libraries, and right-wing Republican candidates using flame throwers to burn books. Censorship and laws to hinder or ban protests are on the rise across the world.
“At Writing on the Wall social justice and collective action are at our core. Now, more than ever, it’s time to stand up, mobilise, and utilise writing and creativity as tools for transformation.” Mike Morris and Madeline Heneghan, WoW Co-Directors
Join us throughout May as WOWFEST ignites the city with the voices of local, national, and international writers, activists, performers and audiences to explore, discuss, and challenge these burning issues.
Design by Ged Doyle @piecesofplastic