It's been a long time since we were last able to meet together to celebrate Esperanto but after a three-year break, the British Esperanto Conference will be back, taking place from the Conwy Business Centre, around a mile away from Llandudno Junction, from Friday, April 22 until Sunday, April 24.
Our guest speaker is Hans Becklin, an American Esperantist, and a particularly erudite one at that. He serves on the board of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, is a committee member of UEA and TEJO, contributes to the Plena Ilustrita Vortaro as part of the team revising it, and teaches at the Nord-Amerika Somera Kursaro. He’s also been nominated for the Akademio de Esperanto, and is a prolific contributor to Esperanto’s cultural output via his presentations, reviews, essays, and translations. And all that by the age of 30, folks!
Hans won’t be our only guest speaker! We were looking forward so much to Stela Besenyei-Merger’s presentations at our cancelled conference in Leicester that we’ve asked her to join us in Conwy! Since she grew up with Esperanto as one of her native languages, she knows a thing or two about the parents of native speakers from her own experience, but also from the interviews she's conducted with other people with similar backgrounds. She’ll share some of that knowledge with you, explaining a little about the motivations of parents who bring their children up with Esperanto as a native language. And since she’s been around Esperanto since her birth, she’s experienced the whole range of offerings of the Esperanto calendar, playing key roles in organising some of them herself. She’ll give you some insight into what makes a successful event in a special workshop!
Besides Hans and Stela as our main guests, there will be contributions on offer from some known British Esperantists too, including Mark Wootton, Maurizio Giacometto and Tim Owen. And we’ve rented the entire conference centre, meaning that if a particular session in the main room doesn’t appeal to you, there’s bound to be something elsewhere which does, including discussion groups, games, and educational sessions.
Nearby accommodation comes in the form of a Premier Inn around a mile away from the venue, and Llandudno boasts a vast array of seaside accommodation. It's only four miles or so away and is served by several buses each hour, as well as a handful of trains during the day. Conwy, with its spectacular castle, is only a one-mile stroll away from the conference centre.
As usual, a buffet will be available on the Friday evening, as will refreshments over the weekend, all of which are included in the £60 ticket price. Pre-pandemic the venue offered optional light lunches, and are hopeful that these will return: we’ll contact people who have already signed up to make them aware of the option, if so. The conference will formally close on the Sunday evening but we’ll follow it with an optional group meal in Conwy itself for people who won’t be heading straight home: it’s a short walk across a bridge to Conwy, and there are trains and taxis available for who have difficulty with mobility.
This year, we’re not proposing an organised excursion on the Monday since our recommendation is to visit the seaside town of Llandudno, to which there are frequent buses and trains, meaning you can travel by your own timetable. Those with legs which yearn for some stretching can climb the Great Orme (you may see the Isle of Man if the weather is clear!), and you have the option of a visit to the Great Orme Mine. We’ll also recommend some other activities which you may wish to partake in.
We’ll be adding more details as the programme takes shape on britakongreso.org.
Sign up here:
(Under-25 and normally resident in the UK? Contact us: we might be able to help you with some financial support towards your costs of participating.)