Massive demand brings forward online release of Jihad: a story of the others


We are delighted to hear that since Deeyah Khan’s remarkable and thought-provoking TEDxExeter talk went online in May this year, her production company Fuuse has been “inundated with requests from people all over the world asking to see her film Jihad: a story of the others.

The good news is that TEDxExeter will be showing the film in November this year at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM). Deeyah and Manwar Ali (who features in the film, telling of his transition from jihadi to someone who works to prevent radicalisation) will be at the screening and will lead discussion afterwards. Sign up for our newsletter (on our website) to be first to find out when the tickets go on sale.

If you can’t wait until November to see the film, the even better news is that Fuuse has made the film available online. They planned to do so at the end of the year, but have released it early due to the massive demand caused by Deeyah’s TEDxExeter talk. You can watch Jihad: as story of others here.

Manwar Ali also told his story in a TEDxExeter talk this year – watch Reclaiming Jihad here

What is identity?

Marcus LyonIs identity given or created? asked Marcus Lyon in his TEDxExeter talk earlier this year. An English photographer (originally from Exeter) he is married to a Brazilian woman. When their British-born, Brazenglish children started to say “nos somos Brasileiros” (we are Brazilian) it sparked the idea for his most recent art project.

Marcus started his career with Amnesty International and The International Children’s Trust photographing street children in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Through three decades of work across the Americas he became fascinated by how differently north and south Americans identify themselves. Whereas in the United States people seem very attached to ideas of a motherland – being African American or Italian American for instance – Brazilians are simply Brazilian. 

In Somos Brazil Marcus has gone beyond photography. Each picture is accompanied by a DNA map and an audio file, so you can see a breakdown of each person’s origins and hear them speak about themselves. The project was recently featured in the Guardian, where you can see a selection of the photographs from the exhibition, with genetic origin and sound.

You can find out more about the exhibition at Marcus’s website.
Watch his TEDxExeter talk: Is your identity given or created?

Other TEDxExeter blogs about identity:

Visions of a future without origin stories and identity myths by Chetan Bhatt

Work life balance: balancing identity or balancing time by Michelle Ryan

Making IT beautiful by Matt Hayler

Film-maker and TEDxExeter speaker Deeyah Khan is nominated for a Grierson Award

Deeyah Khan
Deeyah Khan

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the documentary world, The Grierson Awards are held in high regard. Jihad: A British Story, made by TEDxExeter speaker Deeyah Khan, has just been shortlisted for the award in the Best Documentary on Current Affairs category.

The film was also nominated for a BAFTA 2016 in the Current Affairs documentary category and a 2016 Golden Nymph Award at Monte-Carlo TV Festival and won a Norwegian Ministry of Arts & Culture Human Rights Award.

The film shows that Westerners embracing jihad and death is nothing new. For three generations now, young people across Europe have fallen prey to extremist groups and fought, killed and died with mujahideen movements from Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kashmir, to Chechnya and Burma.

In the film, Deeyah, who has herself faced threats from extremist fundamentalists in the past, sets out to find out why the jihadi message has such an alluring hold on young Westerners.

Deeyah spoke passionately and movingly at this year’s TEDxExeter conference about her experience growing up as a Muslim in Norway. Aged 17, she fled from Norway confused, lost and torn between cultures. Unlike some young Muslims she picked up a camera instead of a gun. She now uses her camera to shed light on the clash of cultures between Muslim parents who prioritise honour and their children who desire freedom.

She argues that we all need to understand what is happening to fight the pull to extremism. “We can’t afford to give up on each other, or on our kids, even if they’ve given up on themselves.” she said. “We are all in this together.”

Abu MuntasirThe film features another of this year’s TEDxExeter speaker, Manwar Ali, also known as Shaikh Abu Muntasir. One of the early British jihadis he fought in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Burma and recruited others to fight too. Back in those days he would arrive at Heathrow in his battle dress to fly to Afghanistan.

In his very personal and thought-provoking talk, Reclaiming Jihad (I was moved to tears even though I’d heard him rehearse it several times), he reflects on his experience of radicalisation and violent Jihad and how his views on what is Jihad have completely changed. He makes a powerful and direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups who claim that their violence and brutality are Jihad to think again.

Click here to watch Deeyah Khan’s talk: What we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids and why we should care.

Click here to watch Manwar Ali’s talk: Reclaiming Jihad.

We will be screening Jihad: A British Story in Exeter later this year with a Q&A with Deeyah and Manwar. Sign up to our newsletter (top right corner of the website) to be first to hear more.

Nominations to speak and perform at TEDxExeter 2017 are now open

Imagining the world anew
Danny Dorling – Imagining the world anew

At TEDxExeter we seek exceptional people to share their ideas with our community. We welcome nominations for speakers and performers of any age or background – people with ideas worth spreading. You can now nominate yourself or someone you know or admire as a potential speaker for TEDxExeter 2017, which will take place on Friday 21 April 2017. Nominations must be in before midnight on Friday 9 September 2016. Read on to find out more.

TEDx talks are all about ideas. The format is simple – a powerful idea, communicated to connect with the audience and change the prism through which we view the world. Our talks are compelling, challenging, inspiring, and delivered without notes or complicated slides.

TEDxExeter is one of the UK’s foremost TEDx events, a platform for exceptional ideas, and a catalyst for profound change.

We hold an annual one-day conference which draws a diverse and passionate array of speakers, performers, demos and audience members – almost 1,000 people are there on the day.

We livestream the whole day, and in 2016 people gathered in over 30 viewing parties around the world, and viewers from 69 countries watched live online.

We also run community events throughout the year exploring issues with local relevance.

Talks from TEDxExeter have been viewed over 6.5 million times around the globe and so far four of our speakers have been featured on, one of the world’s leading platforms for big ideas, with more of our talks to be featured there soon.

All TEDxExeter speakers and the team are volunteers, committed to nurturing and amplifying the innovative ideas that we hope will make Exeter — and the world — a better place.

What is a TEDx talk?

If a lecture is a cup of tea, then a TEDxTalk is a double shot of expresso. A TEDxTalk is a way to condense your ideas into a compelling brief talk that spreads a big idea. We’ve discovered that these short talks can have a long lasting impact.

What is your big idea?

We are now looking for speakers and performers for TEDxExeter 2017 where we will explore the theme of Hope. It will be held in Exeter on 21 April 2017.

This year we will also hold smaller TEDxExeter events and we’ll consider your applications for them too.

So, how do we begin choosing individuals for the TEDxExeter stage? Who are we looking for?

In 2017 our speakers will explore some of the biggest challenges facing us all, looking at them through the lens of Hope. We look for speakers who are changing the world through their work and ideas. We approach speakers directly, and we also invite applications from people who want to be considered.

How do you become a TEDxExeter speaker or performer?

Apply now to speak or perform at TEDxExeter 2017 – or nominate someone you would like to see or hear. Applications close at midnight on 9 September 2016.

Never given a talk before?

Members of our team work closely with selected people to help them prepare and develop their talk or performance. All the speakers, performers and coaches volunteer their time to ensure a memorable and impactful experience on conference day.

How does it work?

Click here to complete the submission form.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You also have the option of attaching a video file with a maximum length of two minutes. Submissions will be reviewed by our speaker team, and we’ll reply to you by email by 1 October. Please be concise, keeping your answers below 150 words per question.


At TEDxExeter we are lucky to have many more nominations for speakers and performers than we can possibly use. Whether you are nominating yourself, or someone you’d love to hear speak or perform in Exeter, you will stand a much better chance of success if you read (and follow) these tips before you nominate.

1. What is the big idea?

At TEDxExeter, like its parent TED, speakers are selected for their “Idea Worth Spreading”. If you think your idea is new, make sure it hasn’t already been shared – especially at another TED or TEDx conference. Most importantly, make sure the nominee’s message is one that will make the audience wonder, one that will inspire, and one that will make them continue the conversation.

2. Think local, act global

We want our speakers to connect with the audience here in Exeter, but their ideas should have global significance and be applicable to the broader global community.

3. The right fit

Is your nominee the right person to share this big idea? Think about why you or the person you are nominating should take the stage to convey their message, and whether they are the best ambassador for that topic or idea. 

4. Sell your idea, not your product.

We often receive nominations from talented individuals looking to promote or sell their book, business or service. The TEDxExeter stage is not an opportunity for self promotion or to promote companies or organisations, but a platform for exceptional ideas and a catalyst for profound change. One of TEDs key rules is no selling from the stage.

There you have it! We sincerely appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into each submission – and we look forward to revealing our line up of speakers in January 2017!

Click here to nominate now. The closing date for nominations is by midnight on Friday 9 September 2016.