B!RTH is an international theatre festival developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and The Oglesby Charitable Trust to provoke debate on a global scale and question one of the key issues of our time, the vast inequality in healthcare across the world. The Royal Exchange Theatre has commissioned seven leading female playwrights from across the globe (Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Syria, UK and USA) to explore this issue through their country’s approach to childbirth.
“Each year, millions of women and children die from preventable causes. These are not mere statistics. They are people with names and faces.”
– United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
BIRTH debate 2016
The FBMH staff and students will be collaborating in a pivotal international theatre festival organised by the Royal Exchange Theatre and The Oglesby Charitable Trust this autumn as part of Manchester’s year as the European City of Science 2016. This festival is set to bring artists, academics, clinicians, opinion makers and the wider public together in order to focus minds on some key public health issues related to maternal health the World over
Mukesh Kapila, Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs, Dame Tina Lavendar, Professor of Midwifery and Director for the Centre for Global Women’s Health and the student-led Global Health Society have been key partners in this project so far.
B!RTH will take place at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 19 – 22 October 2016 and include theatrical events, debates and workshops that bring together leading voices from the world of science, art, academic, politics and charities. 7 female playwrights have been commissioned from across the globe to explore health inequality through their country’s approach to childbirth. Each writer will meet healthcare experts, scientists, parents and people touched by this vital issue to support their research.
You can follow their journeys through the B!RTH debate website http://www.birthdebate.com/writers/.
Professor Mahesh Nirmalan, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility comments:
“In dealing with multi-faceted issues such as maternal deaths and inequality in access to maternal health services, it is clear that a ‘top-down’ approach, by the WHO or other National Governments alone can have only a limited impact in the absence of engagement and involvement of the wider population. Achieving grass-root level involvement remains a challenge in many low-income countries and in this context the use of Art and Theatre as a medium for spreading key health messages to achieve better public engagement is pertinent”
For more information visit the B!RTH website where you can sign up for the newsletter and submit queries http://www.birthdebate.com/contact/ directly to the B!RTH team.