In the run up to Valentines, intimacy sounds like another continent. A tropical tax haven for rich thin folk.

 

Workplaces and bars turn into randomised turing tests searching for proof of human life. A psychic B-Movie where the world becomes populated with sophisticated machines and mad scientists leaving us with the sinking existential feeling that love is done. Decades of front line love experience gets stripped away replaced by a teenage-folded-arm-shoulder-shrugging at the challenge of getting close to other people.

 

People, can we get better at love?

 

You are invited to an informal and loving discussion between real live human beings in their mildly dysfunctional glory, on the subject of love. Using different aspects of love in Greek philosophy – agápe, éros, philía, and storgē – and Freud’s conceptualisations of Eros,  we will think about why it’s so difficult to love.

 

David Morgan will look at the profound experiences we face with intimacy, in learning deeply about ourselves.

 

Candida Yates will look at ‘new intimacies’ in our representations of love, jealousy and flirtation in popular culture.

 

Matt Gieve and Milena Stateva will think about love as the interplay between emancipation and resistance in an economic view in contemporary notions of love.

 

Steve Fuller will ask, as the sphere of human concern extends beyond Homo sapiens to other animals and even machines, is our capacity for agape, a ‘higher love’  increased as well?

 

Yiannis Gabriel will look at what happens when all love is sucked out of a community in the grip of a contagious pathogen which dissolves bonds of solidarity and trust among its members.

 

Marianna Fotaki will talk about the link between a culture of compulsive consumerism and toxic attachments and propose an ethics of relationality and compassionate care.

 

The event will be managed compassionately by Elizabeth Cotton, a surviving worker.

 

Do yourself a favour and join us.

 

As part of this event we are asking you to send us your experiences and questions about love. This week we will be mainly asking you what are your top tips for increasing intimacy with other love amateurs.

 

Seriously, how do you do it?