Isaac Julien in Conversation with Celeste Marie Bernier

Together, they discussed Lessons of the Hour and Frederick Douglass' time in Edinburgh
August 19, 2021

As a highlight of Edinburgh Arts Festival openning  weekend programme, Isaac Julien CBE RA and Celeste-Marie Bernier, Chair of United States and Atlantic Studies, University of Edinburgh were delighted to reunite after working together on the making of the film to give an online keynote lecture.


In a conversation specially recorded in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms and now available to watch on the Edinburgh Arts Festival page, Julien and Bernier discussed Lessons of the Hour and Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) time in the Scottish capital.


The visionary orator, philosopher, intellectual and self-liberated freedom fighter himself spoke on seven separate occasions in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, as he was a frequent visitor to Edinburgh between 1845-7, campaigning against slavery and for freedom and equal rights.


Speaking from such a historically meaningful space, Julien describes his approach as ‘a staging of history seen through a contemporary lens’, as his compelling portrait foregrounds the continuing relevance and urgency of Frederick Douglass’s words in the present day.


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