How should culture be valued by politicians? What does it contribute to the GDP and Britain’s sense of identity? Tusa, the former Barbican chief, is the author of Pain in the Arts. Norman, a director of Hay Festival and the Roundhouse, is writing Soul Food – The Conservative Case for the Arts. Lammy was Minister for the Arts in the last Labour government and is a prospective candidate for London Mayor. Kampfner is Director of the Creative Industries Federation. Chaired by Liz Hunt.
The poet introduces readings from his new play, which premières at the Manchester Royal Exchange in May. He is joined by the production’s director, his Helen of Troy and his Patroclus. ‘The Iliad is tense and intriguing, with moments of great tragedy and breathtaking humility. Everything we have come to expect of the great myths.’
Alzheimer’s and Other Plagues
Plagues have changed history, stopped armies in their tracks and altered the fate of nations. Mary and Christopher Dobson outline the impact of plagues on human history and reflect on related challenges that will be faced by future generations. Their talk ranges from the plagues of antiquity and the medieval period to the recent pandemic of HIV/AIDS and includes discussion of the increasingly prevalent afflictions of ageing and affluent societies, including dementia and diabetes.
Far removed from the picture of Tehran that we glimpse in news stories, there is another hidden city where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and falsehoods. It is a place where Mullahs visit prostitutes, cosmetic surgeons restore girls’ virginity and homemade porn is bought and sold in the bazaars. Chaired by Oliver Balch.
Barry’s A Temporary Gentleman is a heartbreaking portrait of Jack McNulty. He is an ordinary man, both petty and heroic, but he has seen extraordinary things. Cunningham’s The Snow Queen follows the divergent lives of two American brothers as they search for meaning and transcendence. The authors talk to Rosie Goldsmith.
The historian presents his magisterial study of the Jewish people with previews of the themes, stories and arguments that inform the second and final volume of his epic When Words Fail including the persistence of anti-semitism, even after the Holocaust and, disturbingly with gathering force, into our own times.
Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, Jazz Age society darling and actress of stage and screen. Sharing the letters she wrote to her only son, John Julius Norwich discusses the dazzling life his mother led as the original ‘It’ girl. He’s joined by the actress who played Lady Diana in the original 1970s TV drama, to bring to life some of the most moving and entertaining of the letters.
Nuremberg, 1946. Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin, prosecuting ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’; Hans Frank, Hitler’s lawyer, the defendant. Three lives, connected to events in Poland, and music that offered solace and hope. A drama about the origins of modern justice, in images, and in words and music by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Louis Aragon and Leonard Cohen.
Ukraine: What Should The West Do?
150 years on, Crimea is again the centre of a geo-political crisis that threatens to destabilize East–West relations. How should the West react to Putin’s decisive intervention? Rausing works in the human rights field around the Caucasus, Butler is an energy expert, frontline journalist Bullough has newly returned from Ukraine. They talk to the editor of Prospect.
Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…
Why did the size of the US economy increase by three percent on one day in mid-2013? Or Ghana’s balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the UK financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008 – just as the world’s financial system went into meltdown? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product.
On 11 September 1973, President Salvador Allende of Chile, Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president, was deposed in a violent coup d’état. The Colombian historian explains why and how business leaders in Chile, extreme right-wing groups, high-ranking officers in the Chilean military and the US administration, and the CIA worked together to secure a prompt and dramatic end to his progressive social programme.