Pestival celebrates the art of being an insect
2 September 2009
Focusing particularly on the current plight of bees, Pestival sets out to raise awareness of the importance of insects to human health and wellbeing. The festival will showcase insects in the arts and the art of being an insect.
The Wellcome Trust, which this year launched a funding scheme for research into the falling populations of bees and other pollinating insects, is supporting Pestival through our Engaging Science funding programme.
Pat Goodwin, the Wellcome Trust's Head of Pathogens, Immunology and Population Health, said: "The decline in bees and other pollinators may devastate our environment and would almost certainly have a serious impact on our health and wellbeing. As well as funding research into the reasons behind the decline in pollinators, the Wellcome Trust is delighted to be supporting Pestival, which will engage everyone with the vital role insects play in maintaining our way of life."
Take a closer look at the Beecab and find out more about Pestival in this short video, in which we hear from Briget Nicholls (Founder and Director of Pestival), Alistair Hadley (Creative Director of Pestival) and comedian Robin Ince. (Running time: 5 min 16 s)
Pestival highlights include: the Termite Pavilion, a six-metre cube on the South Bank recreating the intricate design of a Namibian termite mound; performances from artist-in-residence, renowned Japanese artist Noboru Tsubaki; a mobile brownfield site created by Bob and Roberta Smith to provide a safe haven for the capital's insects; and a workshop demonstrating how the most ancient form of kung fu is based on the moves of the praying mantis.
The Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall becomes Queen Bee Hall, providing evening entertainment from the likes of Blur's Graham Coxon, fellow musician Robyn Hitchcock and comedian Robin Ince; while outside, visitors can step inside the Beecab to meet urban beekeepers and their bees.
Pestival Founder and Director Bridget Nicholls said: "Insects are critical to human life on Earth. With over a million insect species, they are the most diverse group of animals on Earth. And yet insects are frequently misunderstood, reviled or ignored by the majority of the human population. Pestival will challenge stereotypes about insects and give them their rightful place, for good and bad, in our collective cultural consciousness."
Valerie Singleton OBE, a member of the Pestival Advisory Panel, said: "Since I moved to the country, I've really learnt to appreciate how many insects live along side us. I think Pestival is a wonderful idea, especially now with our bees, those vital pollinators, in such peril. The timing couldn't be better!"
Pestival is also generously supported by Arts Council England, The City Bridges Trust and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and is a Japan-UK 150 Event.