Tickets: From £4
Assembly Festival Garden: Piccolo Little Park Street, Coventry, CV1 2UR
Wed 29 Sep 2021 @ 19.25
Book tickets

Creative Freedom (Battle of Ideas)

Wed 29 Sep 2021 @ 19.25
Assembly Festival Garden: Piccolo
Little Park Street, Coventry, CV1 2UR Show on map
Duration: 90 minutes
From £4

*You will be transferred to an external ticketing website.

This event is recommended for ages 16+ (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

Produced by Academy of Ideas in Association with Coventry City of Culture Trust.

Battle of Ideas is a panel debate featuring experts and critics from the cultural world and beyond. After each panellist gives some short introductory remarks, at least half the session is given over to debate with questions and points from the audience. This event has been produced by Academy of Ideas and forms part of Battle of Ideas Festival 2021.

Creative freedom: can we separate art from the artist? 

Oscar Wilde once said: ‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.’ However, literary and artistic works are increasingly judged by the behaviour or beliefs of their creators. Over recent years, the practice of ‘cancelling’ high profile artists and other celebrities, in other words culturally blocking an individual from having prominent public exposure, has become a polarising topic of debate.

Philip Larkin, Scarlett Johansson and Wiley are just a few who are being ‘cancelled’ as a result of their words or actions. To many people, this process of publicly calling for accountability has become an important tool of social justice. Others think the moral character of the artist has no bearing on the worth of the art. Nick Cave says cancel culture has an ‘asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society’.

Should we cleanse cinemas of Kevin Spacey and Roman Polanski movies or banish Picasso and Caravaggio canvases from our galleries? Should the views and actions of artists be treated differently to those of other offensive celebrities?  Should art be policed on the basis of whether its creators are sending the right message - and, if so, what are the implications for artists themselves?


About Battle of Ideas Festival

Public life depends on constructive dialogue and in a rapidly changing world, debating ideas matters more than ever. Battle of Ideas festival has been running since 2005 and has featured hundreds of different debates and thousands of speakers over the years. This is the place to stretch your intellectual muscles. Get out of your comfort zone and get stuck into the debate. Find out more at Battle of ideas festival

About Academy of Ideas

Academy of Ideas is committed to organising open-minded public debates that explore current events and new ideas. Since our foundation in 2000, we’ve hosted thousands of public debates, festivals, forums and salons where people from all walks of life come together to engage in intelligent public debates – often on controversial topics – to challenge contemporary knee-jerk orthodoxies. Keep up to date with all the latest Academy of Ideas news and events - including updates on the Battle of Ideas - by subscribing to our email newsletter.

Access information

Assembly Festival Garden is located in Coventry City Centre near the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and 200m metres from Coventry Cathedral. There are two main entrances to Assembly Festival Garden, one to the west and one to the east. The western entrance is located on Little Park Street, CV1 2LU and at what3words ///like.stage.finely. This is also where you can find the ticket office. The eastern entrance is located on Much Park Street, CV1 2LU and at what3words ///gone.unique.drag

Both these entrances are step-free and each performance space has step-free access with the exception of the Treehouse.

We welcome all assistance dogs into Assembly Festival Garden including guide dogs and hearing dogs and our front of house team will be on hand to offer any assistance you might need.


Map and directions for Assembly Festival Garden: Piccolo