Wow..wow…wow this is the second ever TEDx event I have been to and it BLEW my mind. The speakers were phenomenal and so, so, so diverse and interesting. I loved how they explored the idea of “identity” through different life experiences. It really did speak out despite the speakers being completely different to each other and to me. Their stories were touching – I legit teared up multiple times.
I’m not going to go in-depth about each talk because they were LONG. But I will highlight my favourite speakers.
My favourite was Faraj and Shoshana. Faraj was HILARIOUS. He’s a Syrian refugee who talked about his journey to the UK and how hard it was. It made me cry so much it was such a powerful story of struggle, determination and drive to find a better life. He was put in prison, beaten, walked across countries, didn’t wash for 3 months, slept rough and came to the UK in a fridge. You see these stories in documentaries but it felt so real seeing him on the stage all chirpy telling such a harsh story in a humorous manner. It made you feel the real-life struggle of a refugee and the hardship they endure even before coming to the UK. It almost makes them begging in the street nothing compared to their previous life in an everyday-warzone. He talks about the aid he got, the charity and the help he’s had since he’s arrived. I understood a lot more why everyone comes here. We truly are a lucky country.
Dr. Kules Montague is a neurologist and gave a talk about Alzheimer’s. She felt strongly that we should not feel sorry for those with Alzheimer’s. The argument she gave was “What gives you your identity”. Someone with Alzheimer’s slowly gradually loses their memory does this mean you still the same person you were before? She argued that our moral ethics made us who we are and if those changed then so do we and used an interesting story about a guy who was super charming and friendly who suddenly got Alzheimer’s as her anecdote. Everyone still regarded him as the same even with memory loss of people, things, mannerisms until he started becoming bitter, hostile and rude to everyone.
At the end, there was a mini Drag King show by Adam All. I never knew Drag Kings existed it was so funny! Adam pulled loads of bras out of his clothing – LOL. He spoke a lot about identity and not feeling like his body was who he was inside. It’s interesting as society categorises and judges our identity with who we are physically but our mental identity is just as important.
The others were just as inspiring and eye-opening. I would definitely recommend going to one live. They gave out parcels and inside were random books donated by Harper Collins. I got one called The Idea is Brilliant. It’s about not widely known, innovative scientific concepts I can’t wait to read it!