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Being A Man Festival: CALM’s top picks

The excellent Being a Man festival returns to Southbank Centre for its fourth year, here’s our top picks from the programme. Get your tickets here and make sure to come meet the CALM team at our stall in the festival’s Marketplace area.


12 – 5pm Fri/Sat/Sun: Man Now self-portrait project 

Photographer Casey Moore has reinvented the selfie with his project Man Now – exploring ideas of masculinity through self portraiture. Now he wants you to be part of the project – sit in front of a two-way mirror with a 10×8 camera and capture an honest reflection of yourself, fill out a questionnaire and you’ll receive a majestic hand-printed 10×8 inch darkroom print of your own beautiful head.

12pm – Emotional Rescue: Men, Suicide and Mental Health

Comedian Jack Rooke joins psychotherapist and activist Dr Jay Watts and others on this panel to question if talking about emotions is still a taboo for men. In the context of suicide being the single biggest killer of men under 45, expect a critical look at mental health services and an exploration of how men can take their health into their own hands.

2pm – More Than Talking

Fresh out of the Emotional Rescue panel, Jack Rooke brings some excellent voices together, including spoken word artist Cecilia Knapp and comedian Richard Gadd, to look beyond talking and the NHS in the quest to improve mental wellbeing and tackle toxic masculinity.

3.30pm – From Grime to Classical: Men and Music

A panel discussing the role music plays in shaping male identity. Featuring Jeffrey Boayke, author of Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials and the Meaning of Grime, and Nils Rune Utsi aka Slincraze, a Sami-Norwegian rapper who was the subject of award-winning documentary, Arctic Superstar.


10am – BAM Run

Get your BAM day started with a 5km group run around central London, led by CALM Ambassador Chevy Rough (by name, not nature). You can’t help but be motivated by this guy, so don’t forget your trainers.

1.15 pm – Why Are Most Terrorists Men?

Erm, good bloody question. We’re all ears for this panel featuring Hussein Kesvani, co-host of the No Country For Brown Men podcast.

3.45pm – The New Man

Watch this heartbreaking and hilarious autobiographical documentary about becoming a dad, followed by a Q&A with creators Josh Appignanesi and Devorah Baum.

5pm – Simon Amstell in Conversation

With a new book out called Help, we’ll be looking to one of our favourite comedians Simon Amstell for help indeed, steering us through musings on modern masculinity, what it’s like to do stand-up since being an Essex kid, and what happens when you take Ayahuasca in the Amazon rainforest.

7pm – Robert Webb: How Not To Be A Boy

We’re looking forward to seeing funnyman Robert Webb for an insight into his brilliant book How Not To Be A Boy, which is a frank assessment of a life lived as a man and the absurd expectations we collectively place on boys. We still can’t get our heads round him not actually being Jeremy from Peep Show though…


10am – BAM Run

Another chance to raise your heart rate with a 5km group run around central London, led by CALM Ambassador Chevy Rough.

3.15pm – From Trump to Trudeau: Masculinity in Power

It’s a strange world we live in, with more-than-alpha Trump in the White House, but do you have to be a bellend to be in power? This panel discusses the role of masculinity in leadership and power, and how a new wave of male politicians – such as Macron and Trudeau – are reshaping our expectations.

3.15 pm – More than Male: Sex, Identity and Masculinity

Clashfinder alert! This may not be Glastonbury, but we’ll be managing our FOMO deciding between this and the Power panel above. This event features speakers discussing what it means to be gay, bisexual, trans and queer, and how these identities interact with our understanding of masculinity.

Check out the full Being A Man festival programme >

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