19 November 2020
7:00 pm



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GLOW: With The MERL – exploring the light & the dark

As part of the Being Human Festival, this November we are taking our ever-popular MERL Lates online and bringing a glow to lockdown life.

GLOW will be an evening of exploration of linked themes of light and darkness, harvest and festivals, community and celebration. The programme offers a fantastic opportunity for all to enjoy Diwali cultural heritage brought to you by Reading’s Kala the Arts, combined with virtual experiences and talks from the University of Reading and beyond.

Join our hosts, Dr Ollie Douglas (Curator of MERL Collections) and Anna Jones (MERL Public Programmes Manager), for an evening of conversation by the virtual fireside.


7pm – 8pm 

Discover Diwali with Dr Shalini Sinha (Lecturer in Non-Western Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of Reading); see artist Bhajan Hunjan create a MERL harvest jug inspired Rangoli; and hear about the impact of electrification on farming and farmers from Dr Jeremy Burchardt (Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Reading).

8pm – 9pm 

Find out how to make a Diya lamp and about their importance in Diwali celebrations; be illuminated by Solar divinities in Ancient Egypt and oil lamps in Cyprus and Rome with Dr Jayne Holly (Curator, The Ure Museum); and reflect on the relationship between light and dark with Dr Neil Cocks (Associate Professor, Department of English Literature, University of Reading).

9pm – 10pm 

Uncover the Day of the Dead with Dr Alanna Cant (Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Department of Archaeology, University of Reading); delve into the dark side of the landscape with Dr Paddy Bullard (Associate Professor, Department of English Literature, University of Reading); and for the grand finale, watch the sunset on Reading Abbey Ruins with tabla drums, santoor and vocals, and performances inspired by beautiful Odissi dance with Kala the Arts.

* Please note that, like everything these days, our programme is subject to change.


Please note that due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we are ensuring that our programme meets with government and University guidance and legislation.


The Museum of English Rural Life  – Website / Facebook / Twitter

Kala The Arts  – Website / Facebook / Twitter

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