Ancient Egyptian Demons - Swansea Museum festival event

People in Swansea can learn more about the mysterious world of ancient Egyptian demons, and create their very own, at a hands-on arts and crafts session taking place at Swansea Museum, home of the famous Egyptian mummy, on Saturday 19 November, as part of the Being Human Festival 2016.

300 x 443‘Demon stations’ will give people a chance to create their very own heroes and demons.  Children can dress up as their favourite hero or villain and come along to Swansea Museum to make their own character based on their hopes, dreams or fears. 

Swansea University expert Dr Kasia Szpakowska, Associate Professor of Egyptology, will also be talking about the world of Egyptian demons, describing how people used them to explain everything from illness to anxiety and bad weather. 

Dr Szpakowska is also Director of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project.  Her research focuses on Ancient Egyptian private religious practices, dreams, gender and the archaeology of magic.   She studies how objects such as clay cobra figurines and images helped people in Ancient Egypt cope with physical and mental health problems.

Being Human, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, runs from 17-25 November. The theme for 2016, ‘hope and fear’ will inspire more than 250 free events across 45 towns and cities.   Swansea University’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) has been chosen as one of seven hubs for Being Human 2016.

  • The event is from 11am to 1pm on Saturday 19 November at Swansea Museum, SA1 1SN
  • It is free of charge and open to all.  
  • No booking necessary.

Burning cobra demon

Picture:  a clay cobra figurine representing the fiery power of the sun. Credit:  Dr Kasia Szpakowska, Swansea University

Dr Elaine Canning, Head of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities at Swansea University, which is organising the event, said:

“We are delighted to be hosting a festival hub as part of Being Human 2016 and wish to thank the festival organisers for giving us this exciting opportunity to bring our research into the community.

‘Dreams, Demons and Discovery’ will provide meaningful ways for us to engage with the public via a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, photography, creative writing and music at a variety of venues across the city”.


Being HumanBeing Human is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy.

 During the festival week, 17 – 25 November 2016, Swansea University’s hub ‘Dreams, Demons and Discovery’ will inspire you to express your hopes and fears in creative ways. Our programme will excite and challenge you to contemplate and reinterpret significant issues facing us today – from climate change and the changing face of energy, to our relationship with landscape.

Across the festival period, events in Swansea include:

  • an evening with Michael Morpurgo, one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers;
  • a unique exhibition of public response photography to the beautiful Swansea coastline alongside a screening of Owen Sheers’ On the Sea’s Land (Ar-for-dir);
  • a chance to share your stories of hope and fear with our award winning Creative Writing team;
  • an evening of Welsh poetry and celebration with the chaired bard at the 2016 National Eisteddfod, Aneirin Karadog.

These events will be delivered by Swansea University’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) in collaboration with the following partners: Swansea Museum; National Waterfront Museum; Tidal Lagoon Power; Llansamlet Resource Centre; Clyne Farm Centre; Volcano Theatre Company; Coastal Housing; Trust New Art; The National Trust; Sound UK; and the Challenging Human Environments and Research Impact for a Sustainable and Healthy Digital Economy (CHERISH-DE) centre at Swansea University.

For more information, please visit or follow the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest