This year’s lecture is given by the former Head of the United Nations in Sudan and author of Against A Tide Of Evil. In a no-holds-barred account, he reveals the shocking depths of evil plumbed by those who designed and orchestrated ‘the final solution’ in Darfur and why so many good men stood by and did nothing. He explores what empowers a man to make a stand to confront global indifference and venality.
Four poets read from new collections in this poetry platform. Campbell reads from her new collection Heat Signature. Blewitt reads from her Forward-commended This is Not a Rescue. Hooson reads from her collection The Other City. Atkin reads from Basic Nest Architecture.
The investigative reporter takes us on a journey through the lawless backstreets of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Bogotá, New Orleans, Barcelona and London. He uncovers the people and the scams that keep the global black economy moving. From dice games in steamy southern states to torture in British suburbs; from the sharp end of currency counterfeiting in Buenos Aires to the terrible truth behind antique forgery in the Middle East.
Life is at once wonderful and appalling, beautiful and horrific. How can we live with this contradiction? And how can we believe in a just and loving God in the face of all the evils of the world? Lord Harries was Bishop of Oxford for 19 years.
Sophocles stands as one of the greatest dramatists of all time, and one of the most influential on artists and thinkers over the centuries. Taplin has translated the four great tragedies in which he portrays the extremes of human suffering and emotion. Oedipus the King follows Oedipus, the “man of sorrow”, who has unwittingly chosen to enact his prophesied course by murdering his father and marrying his mother. In Aias, the great warrior confronts the harrowing humiliation inflicted upon him, while Philoctetes sees a once-noble hero nursing his resentment after ten years of marooned isolation. In Oedipus at Colonus the blind Oedipus, who has wandered far and wide as a beggar, finally meets his mysterious death. The great classicist, Oliver Taplin discusses the plays with Tim Whitmarsh, AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University.
In this first event celebrating the centenary of the Welsh poet Alun Lewis, Owen Sheers will read the poetry and Juliet Aykroyd will reveal how he and her mother, Freda, fell in love in India during World War II. Lewis’s letters to Freda, published in A Cypress Walk, prove him to be one of the great letter-writers.
Kamal Mouzawak created the first farmers’ market in Beirut (Souk el-Tayeb), preserving both food traditions and the culture of sustainable agriculture in Lebanon, while boosting the business of small producers. His celebrated restaurant Tawlet, a model of social enterprise, is one of Beirut’s more innovative and celebrated restaurants, and he has just opened a second Tawlet restaurant in the beautiful Bekaa valley. Kamal will discuss food, its relationship to the city and its inhabitants, and how development needs to be achieved carefully when it comes to where we live and what we eat. Rosie Boycott is a journalist, writer and the chairman of London Food, part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s attempt to improve Londoners’ access to healthy, locally produced and affordable food. Followed by a tasting provided by Tawlet.
Event in English
We are thrilled to launch Tom’s new novel, the story of two generations of the Hamer family working the Funnon Farm. There is Idris, stubborn, strong, a man of the plough and the prayer-sheet, haunted by the War. Then comes Oliver, a near mythic giant bestriding the landscape, a fighter, a man of the hills as hard as the prehistoric stone. Then there is Etty, Oliver’s mother, the centre of this close constellation, watching new technologies and old ways converge on the farm and on the life of her son. Addlands is instantly a classic of rural British fiction. The author talks to the journalist and writer, Oliver Bullough, his brother.
The Government hopes that the energy and environment sectors will provide strong economic growth and job creation in Ireland in the years and decades to come. What are the likely developments?
In the early 1880s the Mahdi unleashed a spectacularly successful jihadist uprising against Egyptian colonial rule in the Sudan. Major General Charles Gordon was despatched to evacuate Khartoum and turn the Sudan over to self-rule. The mission backfired and Sir Garnet Wolseley was sent to relieve him…
For the 3,000 children in London’s Science Museum and the many thousands of others around the country, 15 December 2015 was a day filled with pride and excitement. Major Tim Peake’s successful International Space Station mission confirmed the UK as a Space-faring nation, and is inspiring a generation of young people. The Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic describes the challenges involved, the progress made and the potential benefits to life on earth as the company strives to create the world’s first commercial Space line.
Join illustrators Chris Riddell and Leigh Hobbs, the Children’s Laureates of the UK and Australia respectively, as they discuss and demonstrate their work in an event of inspiration, entertainment and live drawing.
Ava’s always felt out of place: at public school, as a prison officer and a struggling teenage single mum. Luckily, the rising star of C4’s Kings Of Comedy and BBC2’s The Sack Race can laugh at her misfortunes. She’s consistently, delightfully, funny. ‘Vidal juggles the profound and the irreverent, rapidly alternating between the two.’
The Annual Smith-Soldat Memorial Lecture
Using digital mapping, aerial photography and LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), landscape historian David Lovelace reveals the hidden history of Herefordshire's landscape. From ancient ridge and furrow ploughing, medieval heathlands to the Royal forests, Lovelace explains the complex areas of multiple land use.
The campaigner, publisher and wanderer has spent his life travelling: “The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.”
At a time when migrations and borders are again central to our politics and national identity, the archaeologist looks back in time, to the creation of what was then Europe’s largest earthwork, Offa’s Dyke. He examines the role of the Mercian kingdom as a European power, and the ways in which Alfred and the Saxon kings rewrote that history. Chaired by Jesse Norman, MP for South Herefordshire, through which Offa’s Dyke approaches Hay.
Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged 16, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life for ever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, which was published exactly 200 years ago. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.
Atinuke collects stories, writes stories and tells stories, all of which originate in Africa. You will be spellbound by Atinuke’s traditional storytelling as she conjures up the sights, sounds and hustle and bustle of life in Nigeria, where she was born.
Mara tells the story of the great Scottish explorer David Livingstone from the perspective of his African friends. In an extraordinary attempt to ensure his spirit rested in peace, his companions Susi and Chuma and eighty others carried the doctor’s body from the very centre of Africa to the East African coast so he could be returned to the land of his birth. The story is revealed through vibrant storytelling and music.