When deciding upon this year’s theme, we knew we wanted something close to our hearts: something reflective of the diversity that Brixton is famed for. We wanted to explore opposites being brought together in a positive way; to show that being different doesn’t mean being divisive.
This idea unexpectedly accelerated* after Stephanie’s visit to the CERN building in Geneva, home of the Large Hadron Collider. Amongst the crashing particles, the theme sparked and fizzled cosmically. Later, back in the no less luminous Brixton, we mused…
What happens when very distinct groups unexpectedly collaborate? When seemingly incompatible industries or people work together? Well, the results can be surprising. Just take a look at what transpires when one of the world’s oldest and most revered forms of communication meets hip-hop; Or when a Boiler Engineer helps fix his own heart; Or when a gardener becomes a pseudo town landscaper and urban farmer.
Amazing, huh? But what might happen when seemingly irreconcilable worlds crash into one another? Can any good come out of such friction? Can positive change come out of conflict? We think it might be possible. And with Brixton’s constant evolution, there are bound to be some examples right on our doorstep. Alongside this, we want to explore what ‘belonging’ means. In an area with abundant cultural history and where more than 150 languages are spoken, people bump against one another on a daily basis. How does this work?
As we considered the theme further, we also wondered about unplanned synchronicity: those times when you encounter someone or something with a link to a completely different part of your life. Is this a case of it being a small world? Coincidence? Fate? Or something else?
For us, ‘When worlds collide’ is all about the Big – and small – Bang of collaboration, positive disruption and serendipity.
* Disclaimer: TEDxBrixton does not encourage the use of terrible puns.