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Hope to host prominent anti-poverty campaigners at WoWFest event

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Liverpool Hope University is set to welcome some of the UK’s most powerful and prominent anti-poverty campaigners as part of Liverpool’s longest running literary festival.

The University will host Ian Byrne MP, Liverpool Echo Political Editor, Liam Thorp, and several renowned academics for the WoWFest event, Our Hands, Our Mouths – Poverty and Resistance.

Hosted by Writing on the Wall (WoW), WoWFest brings together local audiences with the best local, national and international writers, artists and social commentators. This year’s instalment – WoWFest: FARENHEIT 2024 - will unite guests for discussions, panels, speeches and debates.

The Festival aims to underline the severity of several topical issues, including climate change, censorship, attacks on free speech and the ongoing wars in Palestine and Ukraine and highlight ‘the urgent need for change and the preservation of our planet through writing, performance and activism’.

Our Hands, Our Mouths – Poverty and Resistance has been organised to respond to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the unprecedented and devastating level of poverty in the UK.

It will feature a panel of experts standing up against poverty and social injustice, who will explore and celebrate examples and opportunities for supporting resistance to austerity and poverty by communities across the country. 

This is a partnership event between WoW and the Poverty Research and Advocacy Network (PRAN), an independent, collectively run advocacy network set up at Liverpool Hope in June 2023, which aims to bring together various stakeholders to amplify voices fighting against poverty and injustice, both regionally and nationally.

Event details

  • Date and time: Friday 17 of May, 4-6pm
  • Venue: Grace Room, Cornerstone Building, Liverpool Hope University, Creative Campus,?Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP
  • Tickets: £5. Buy now.


Danny Dorling is a professor in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He was previously a professor for a decade at the University of Sheffield, and before then at the University of Leeds. He has also worked as an academic in Newcastle and Bristol. He was born and brought up in Oxford. In 2020 he published “Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration—and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives and in 2021, jointly with Annika Koljonen: Finntopia: what we can learn from the world’s happiest country. His 2023 book is titled: ‘Shattered Nation: Inequality, and the geography of a failing state’. Danny is a patron of the road crash charity RoadPeace, of Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, and of the educational campaign group Comprehensive Future. In his spare time, he makes sandcastles on beeches with clean streams and the right kind of sand. He errs towards being optimistic about the future, because his academic work suggests, to him, that this is the most rational stance to take – despite what you may see around you.

Imogen Tyler is a Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and a social activist who works with anti-poverty and anti-racist groups and organisations. All her research is in the area of social inequalities (historical and contemporary formations). Her books include Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain (2013) and Stigma: The Machinery of Inequality (2020). Imogen is currently collaborating with Joseph Rowntree Foundation on work focused on stigma power & poverty in the UK. She is developing new research on poverty & protest in Britain, that draws on longer histories of working class, anti-racist and anti-colonial struggle to help us better understand and resist the current war being waged against working class communities.

Liam Thorp is the award-winning Political Editor of the Liverpool Echo. In his seven years at the ECHO, Liam has made a name for himself for his reporting on politics, social affairs and local government. He has twice been named specialist journalist of the year at the Regional Press Awards and was also nominated for Private Eye's prestigious Paul Foot award for investigative journalism. In his journalism, Liam takes a special interest in reporting on issues of poverty, deprivation, injustice, health and transport.

Ian Byrne Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby:

  • Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care
  • Member of the House of Commons Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee
  • Member of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee


  • Right to Food Campaign: A campaign to make access to food a legal right for all
  • Real Truth Legacy Project: A campaign to educate all generations on the ‘real truth’ and injustice of Hillsborough
  • Hillsborough Law Now Campaign: A campaign to break the cycle of injustice for bereaved families and victims of public disasters

Amina Ismail is a Senior Community Mobiliser at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, actively engages in health equity projects across Merseyside. Her role is mobilising communities and health systems partners to codevelop and implement strategies to tackle health inequities. Amina has a background in education and is deeply committed to promoting social justice and equity. Amina has contributed to research aimed at identifying the barriers faced by BAME communities in accessing higher education. She is a community activist and utilises her networks in collaboration with communities to drive structural changes. With experience working in both the UK and Middle East, Amina has a broad understanding of engaging diverse communities within the education and health sectors. She is particularly passionate about addressing inequality, shifting power, and creating space for community voices.


Dr Natalija Atas is a Senior Lecturer of Public Health and Social Care at the School of Social Science at Liverpool Hope University. Her research interests incorporate the key areas of social policy inquiry related to poverty, inequality, and social determinants of health. She is currently conducting research into the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. Natalija strongly believes that our society cannot truly progress without addressing issues of poverty and inequality and that such progress can only be achieved through adopting positive forces of collaboration, empathy, and education.

*These are difficult times. We know some people may struggle to afford full price tickets. If you would like to attend this event but can’t afford to, please contact All queries will be treated in confidence.

If you would like to purchase a gifted ticket for someone who can’t afford it, please buy directly from the event page and we will offer your ticket out.

Published on 02/05/2024