Human rights advocate tapped as guest director

LONDON — Aung San Suu Kyi, human rights advocate and Nobel Peace laureate, has been appointed as guest director of Brighton Festival, which runs May 7-29.

The genre-bending, cross-arts festival, held annually in the U.K. south-coast city, is a key event in the arts calendar. Previous directors have included sculptor Anish Kapoor and multi-media artist/composer Brian Eno.

Speaking of her appointment, Aung San Suu Kyi said, “It is especially pleasing for me to see, albeit remotely, Brighton Festival taking shape this year, and to think that so many people will come together in May to celebrate great art and experience the inner peace it brings. It is wonderful too to know that there is such support for the effort to bring democracy and freedom to Burma, for which the Burmese people have been diligently working for so long. I wish everyone involved in Brighton Festival this year — the artists and the audience — the happiest of times. And thank you — please continue to use your liberty to promote ours.”

Highlights of this year’s festival will include new work from Turkish artist Kutlug Ataman to a revival of the acclaimed site-specific theater commission “The New World Order” by Hydrocrackertheater company based on Harold Pinter’s political plays. The program also reflects Aung San Suu Kyi’s passion for classical music with performances including a concert of “Fidelio,” Beethoven’s opera about freedom and imprisonment, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Adam Fischer.

Although the full program will not be announced until Feb. 23, the lineup for the festival’s live debates includes Julian Assange discussing the Freedom of Information Act.

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