Living with mental illness (my own and that of my husband), I am bombarded with jingoistic slogans like ‘R U OK?’, parroted by gurus of ‘Mindfulness’, and by their minions who wave yellow balloons in my face, or consultants who advise employers to host endless parties, or feign empathy in exchange for docility, or friends who assume we need an ideological revamp. If wellbeing crusaders really cared how we felt, they would be quieter and let us have our contemplation; or ask a complete sentence with rounded vowels, including the last two letters of ‘you’. If a person cannot ask ‘How are you feeling?’ without abbreviating it into an acronym, clearly they have no time to hear us. If we had the power to define mental health, perhaps it would differ from current expectations? Who would the ‘sick’ ones be then?
What's more important: answers, or questions? Are the ‘big’ questions - life, the universe, everything - more important than ‘little’ ones? Does a good question provoke debate or laughter, lead to certain answers or create reflective pause? Can it change laws, minds or lives? Are questions the best answers?
The Interrobang – a new festival from the Wheeler Centre – is looking for the best questions in the world.
Ask your questions and vote on others, then join us on 27 – 28 November for a feast of frequently unanswered questions – as we present your most controversial, revealing, funny and insightful ideas to a 25-strong Brains Trust of the world’s most inquisitive thinkers.
So pose your burning questions. We’ll build this festival on your curiosity, so brace yourself – and wonder hard.