Festival of Ideas May 2017
Power, Control and the Fight for Our Future
Free markets, free elections, free media, free thought, free speech, free will – the language of freedom pervades our lives, framing the most urgent issues of our time and the deepest questions about who we are and who we want to be. It is a foundational concept at the heart of our civilisation, but it has long been distorted to justify its opposite: soaring inequality, the erosion of democracy, irrational criminal justice systems and dehumanising foreign policies.
Raoul Martinez exposes the mechanisms of control in our lives, arguing that the more we understand the limits on our freedom, the better placed we are to transcend them. Exploring the lottery of our birth, the coercive influence of concentrated wealth and the consent-manufacturing realities of undemocratic power, he draws together findings and ideas from neuroscience, criminology, psychology, politics, climate science, economics and philosophy to construct a radical framework to make sense of the world. He explodes myths at the heart of the systems that dominate our lives, and calls for a profound transformation in the way we think about democracy, equality and our own identities.
Raoul Martinez is a philosopher, artist and award-winning filmmaker. Creating Freedom, his first book, is informed by over a decade of research and is accompanied by a documentary series of the same name. Episode One, The Lottery of Birth, was nominated for Best Documentary at London’s Raindance Film Festival and went on to win the Artivist Spirit 2012 Award at Hollywood’s Artivist Festival.