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What went down: CALM at Being a Man Festival

Being a Man Festival at London’s Southbank Centre is a celebration of boys and men and explores the nature of modern masculinity. From making music to bringing up babies, from sexuality to being shy, this year’s BAM was a treasure trove of incredible talks and debates about what it means to be a man today.

CALM’s ambassadors spoke at four key events across the weekend, whilst we hosted our very own CALMzone in the heart of the festival, where you guys helped us make the next issue of CALMzine. Massive heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered, spoke, asked questions, took photos, tweeted and made BAM 2016 CALM’s best yet.

Here are our 10 favourite moments…

1. Male suicide was firmly on the agenda

CALM’s CEO Jane Powell joined campaigner Jonny Benjamin, Tim Grayburn and comedian Aaron Gillies for the Mandown talk exploring male mental health and suicide.

2. You helped us build the Future Man

We asked you what makes a Future Man and had 81 submissions ranging from the sublime (“he can be whoever he wants to be”) to the ridiculous ( “cries and wanks at the same time”). We’re writing up the whole shebang for CALMzine so watch this space…


3. CALM’s patron Professor Green dropped by ON HIS BIRTHDAY

What a guy. Before his amazing talk in conversation with BAM’s founder Jude Kelly, Professor Green stopped by the CALMzone to have a chat with us about life, growing up in Hackney and men being “works in progress”.

4. We found our next CALMzine cover star

But shhhhhh it’s still a secret. Could be one of these though…


(and yes that’s a massive magazine cover made entirely from jeans thanks to superstar denim artist Ian Berry @ianberry84)

5. CALM ambassador and artist Philip Levine had a sparkly head

What a thing of beauty. The wonderfully witty Philip (@Headism) started losing his hair in his early twenties and decided to do something creative, so began to make art on his head. As part of the fantastic Headspace talk at BAM, he sparkled up as an example. All head, all heart. Here he is with some of his fellow panellists.


6. CALM illustrator Chris Sav shared the insecurities of his comic character ‘Disappointman’

Look at this guy with his lone grey pube (@Disappointman)


7. Matt opened up his Man Case and you opened up about the case of man

CALM’s wonderful volunteer Matt Kynaston (@mattkyns)brought along the Man Case, a compendium of manly man things to get everyone talking and thinking about male identity and gender.


8. We live tweeted Grayson Perry’s talk

Including such nuggets as this comedy London underground penis.

9. Jack Rooke had us in fits of tears and giggles, at the same time

CALM ambassador Jack (@jackrooke) joined Ivan Blackstock, Louis Collenette and Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz in the “Boys Don’t Cry” talk, and has us weeping and laughing in equal measure with tales of losing his dad and then making a comedy show about it with his nan. Here’s a banging sketch of Jack by CALMzine illustrator Edson Lovatto (@edsonlovatto).


10. Friendly poet Lionheart performed a piece specially for CALM

Finally, thank you everyone who stopped by and helped us make the CALMzine.

Phew! Coming out mid-December…

All photography thanks to Hannah Goodwin @InquisitiveEye.

Related issues

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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