Written by Christina Bentley:
Last week the Corn Exchange was filled with an eager audience for the latest Bettakultcha event which drew a whopping 250 people. If you’ve never heard of Bettakultcha, it is a relatively new cultural experience in which people may give presentations on any topic they like so long as they fit into a five-minute window. Each presenter is allowed 20 slides, each lasting 15 seconds. Whether you’re a psychology major, gamer, or are just looking for an inspirational story, Bettakultcha has something for everyone.
Perhaps what drew so many to this event is the opportunity to experience the local discourse. Bettakultcha gives ordinary people who may not have had the chance to finally voice their opinion on a topic that inspires them. Its events like these that remind us that behind Tweets and screennames, there are fascinating people right here in Leeds.
Far from being a stuffy, pretentious event, the audience was encouraged to speak to the presenters after their five minutes, people were invited to B.Y.O.B or purchase drinks from Piazza by Anthony, and the friendly proprietors of Primos provided tasty gourmet hotdogs and bagel sandwiches.
The night’s speakers included:
Lee Jackson gave a hands on history of hip hop and scratching with live demonstrations.
Paul Rayment discussed the history of Tetris.
Richard McCann imparted his harrowing journey in coming to terms with his mother’s murder by the Yorkshire Ripper.
Fiona Dilston guided the audience through an inspirational spiritual self assessment.
Steve Manthorp talked about the history of male bedfellows in literature, film, and television.
Tim Ineaux fought admirably for the revival of projectors.
Mark Johnson argued that time travel doesn’t work in films.
Mike Chitty presented the work of artist Tony Earnshaw.
Eleanor Snare argued that fashion is more interesting than people think.
Matt Edgar gave a fascinating history of the Leeds Corn Exchange.
After the main presenters, four audience members were invited to volunteer for the “Random Challenge”: impromptu presentations in which they would speak about random slides.
Tickets are selling quickly, so don’t miss Bettakultcha VIII on 12 April at the Leeds Corn Exchange!
Christina is a recent graduate who received a B.A. in English at the University of Louisville in 2009 and moved to Leeds to embark on her writing career.