Taking the Air, supported by The Wellcome Trust, will investigate ideas around breath. 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long-term lung-related illness and 115,000 die from lung disease each year. A series of five truly fascinating events, looking at sighing, singing, poetry, air quality and taking our last breath, will explore the impact of storytelling and reading on our psychological, physiological and social wellbeing.
The events are:
- A World of Sighs (5.30pm, Sun 13 August) – A history of the sigh, from poetry to prayer and health to ecstasy, featuring Imtiaz Dharker
- An Encyclopaedia of Breath (all day, Sat 19 & Sun 20 August) – Help create an illuminated exploration of the language and history of breath and air
- The Sound of Breath (5.30pm, Thu 24 August) – How do poets and composers think about breath? Featuring Michael Symmons Roberts
- The History of All We Breathe (12.15pm, Fri 25 August) – Science writer Sam Keantraces how the air we breathe has shaped human progress
- The Last Breath (7.30pm, Fri 25 August) – As our relationship with death becomes increasingly medicalised what does that mean for our own sense of mortality? Featuring Havi Carel.