A Toast to the People: Francesca Beard and Rafeef Ziadah

Join Francesca Beard and Rafeef Ziadah for an electric night of performance poetry and spoken word in the International Festival’s Old College Quad venue!

A Toast to the People: Francesca Beard and Rafeef Ziadah

About A Toast to the People: Francesca Beard and Rafeef Ziadah

Francesca Beard and Rafeef Ziadah share their human-focused works for A Toast to the People’s powerful finale.

Both artists have a strong human-focused repertoire of work, which promises to get audiences thinking about ourselves, our place in the world and our relationship to others.

Francesca Beard is a performance poet whose research-informed work is inspired by emerging knowledge about ourselves and the universe. She is a current Associate Artist with All Change and was previously poet-in-residence at The Barbican, BBC White City and The Tower of London, amongst others. Her stories about what it means to be human touch a raw nerve and she has represented contemporary UK literature with the British Council in 23 different countries, from Azerbaijan to Bangkok and Zimbabwe.

For this A Toast to the People event, Beard is joined by Rafeef Ziadah, a Palestinian spoken word artist and human rights activist based in London. Her live readings are a blend of poetry and music and she has released three albums to date, most recently the stirring Three Generations, a personal ode to Palestine and the themes of defiance and survival. Ziadah’s specially commissioned work promises a powerful finale to the event.

A Toast to the People brings together two spoken word artists, each performing their own set of performance poetry that includes a specially commissioned piece inspired by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s ‘A Toast to the People’. Following their sets, the two artists take part in an exclusive discussion about their work and the pervading issues and themes of today.


Venue: Old College Quad - University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Our Old College Quad outdoor venue is home to our afternoon chamber music series, a session of traditional Scottish music, five nights of inspirational spoken word and unmissable late night cabaret.

Our outdoor venues are covered, but you should come dressed appropriately for the weather, including suitable footwear for walking across grass.


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