Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

Berwins Salon North asks the question ‘what makes us human’?

8 May 2022 by Harrogate International Festivals

An acclaimed writer and broadcaster, described by The Washington Post as a ‘rock star mythologist’ is one of three guest speakers appearing at May’s Berwins Salon North.

Chamber Blog Image 1 Chamber Blog Image 1
Natalie Haynes

And the question Natalie Haynes - together with researcher and author Melanie Challenger, and travel writer, memoirist and children’s author, Horatio Clare – will look closely at is ‘What Makes us Human’?

In a time of polarised debate, Salon – voted as number six in the ‘Top 100 Things to do in the World’ by GQ magazine - is a space to learn, it is getting post-clubbing audiences back to live events, and it is sparking debate across the Harrogate District.

Natalie, who has spoken on the modern relevance of the classical world on three continents, from Cambridge to Chicago to Auckland, will be exploring the modern relevance of the classical world, and reframing how we perceive the women of Ancient mythology who have been painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil.

When not giving talks or penning books, Natalie writes for the Guardian, is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4, and six series of her show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, have been broadcast on Radio 4.

For her part, Melanie Challenger, who works as a researcher on the history of humanity and the natural world, and environmental philosophy, will be asking how well we really know ourselves, offering a radical take on what it means to be human and arguing that at the heart of our psychology is a profound struggle with being animal.

Melanie is the author of On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature. She received a Darwin Now Award for her research in the Canadian Arctic, and the Arts Council International Fellowship with the British Antarctic Survey for her work on the history of whaling.

And finally, after a lifetime of ups and downs, Horatio Clare – who has worked as a BBC radio producer on cultural programmes ‘Front Row’, ‘Nightwaves’ and ‘The Verb’ - will be sharing his experience of mental illness and being committed to hospital under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act.

From hypomania in the Alps, to a complete breakdown and a locked ward in Wakefield, the author of 14 books will give us a first-hand account of how the mind loses touch with reality, how we fall apart and how we can be healed – or not – by treatment.

Sharon Canavar, Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive, said: “For our next Berwins Salon North, we have three fantastic speakers who will be exploring the question of What Makes us Human?

“Thanks to Berwins for their continuing sponsorship, we have once again been able to being these evenings of fantastic thought-provoking and stimulating talks to Harrogate.

“After the Covid lockdowns there’s a renewed appetite from the post-clubbing generations to attend live events, and Berwins Salon North is helping satisfy this demand.

“The two previous two Salon Norths have been incredibly well received by their audiences, and with the line-up of Natalie Haynes, Melanie Challenger, and Horatio Clare, I know this one certainly won’t disappoint.” 

Salon North, sponsored by Harrogate law firm, Berwins, and produced by Harrogate International Festivals, is being held on Thursday, May April 19, at The Crown Hotel.

Tickets for the event, priced at £16, are available from the Harrogate International Festival website https://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/ or by calling the Box Office on 01423 562303.