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Glow: exploring the light & the dark

Dancing outdoors

Join the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) for an evening exploring the themes of light and darkness, harvest and festivals, community and celebration.

Thursday 19 November, 19:00-22:00

Watch online via YouTube. No booking required.

As part of the Being Human Festival, 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), live on YouTube for an evening of conversation by the virtual fireside with actual cocktails from Milk Bar Reading.

Discover Diwali with Dr Shalini Sinha (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 (University of Reading).

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 (University of Reading).

Uncover the Day of the Dead with Dr Alanna Cant (University of Reading); delve into the dark side of the landscape with Dr Paddy Bullard (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.

You can book advance delivery of special MERL mixed cocktails from

Further details are available on the MERL website.

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