The Chilean anthropologist introduces the colonial history and culture of the Polynesian island, and the islanders’ relationship with food, language and the renowned stone sculptures.
Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Renton reveals a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.
Why are the ‘junior doctors’ calling an all-out strike? What do the PFI hospital contracts mean? How much of the NHS is privatised already? How could it all be better? And what can we do about that? The physician, philosopher and writer Raymond Tallis is the author of NHS SOS; Donley is Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians; Grigg is a GP in the Hay Medical Centre practice.
We’re delighted to celebrate two of the stars of our Africa 39 project. H J Golakai’s The Lazarus Effect sends a Cape Town journalist, Voinjama Johnson, on an investigation into missing children. In Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, an affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative northern Nigeria. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.
Sarah Ridley and Rebecca Stevens were both inspired by real stories in their families, including letters sent home from soldiers away at war. Find out how their research inspired their books, Dear Jelly and Valentine Joe.
We have been repeatedly told that the UK will be looking to create new free-trade partnerships following Brexit, above all with the 'Anglosphere'. Why then do we need to study or learn other languages? Everyone speaks English. This session will unpack some of the monolingual attitudes that sit behind such views and ask participants to think about the role of languages and language learning for Britain's relationships with a brave new world post-Brexit. #unpack
In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In her illuminating new account of Elizabeth’s reign, Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity – an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
The former BP CEO of BP articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation. It’s a call to arms for real and effective corporate social responsibility. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.
Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.
The author of Cables From Kabul unpacks his diplomatic bag and spills the beans on how the world works in his riveting memoir Confessions Of A Foreign Office Mandarin.
With a death toll of 50-100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish 'flu of 1918-1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the 20th century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War One. Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. Telling the story from the point of view of those who lived through it, she shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test. Chaired by Stephanie Boland of Prospect magazine.
A new tale of ageing, lust, helplessness and deception told with the trademark black humour of one of the great British novelists whose films and books include The Buddha of Suburbia, Venus, The Mother and My Beautiful Launderette. Kureishi is one of the wisest and most humane writers with an acute eye for vulnerabilities and quiet desperation.
In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start. The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power. Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.
Would you eat an insect? Try it out for yourself at an amazing event with M.G. Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, discussing the inspiration for the book including entomophagy – the practice of eating insects – which features in it. Entomologist Dr Sarah Beynon of The Bug Farm will explain why eating and farming insects could be the future of food, whilst Andy Holcroft of Grub Kitchen cooks up yummy insect bites live on stage for Leonard to eat.
The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Shadbolt dispels terror, confusion and misconception. We are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. We were using tools before we became homo sapiens, and will continue to control them. How we exercise that control – in our private lives, in employment, in politics – and make the best of the wonderful opportunities, will determine our collective future well-being. Shadbolt is one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists. He is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and chairman of the Open Data Institute, which he co-founded with Tim Berners-Lee.
Slow Fashion offers creatives, entrepreneurs and ethical consumers a glimpse into the innovative world of the eco-concept store movement. It focuses on sustainable design and businesses that makes people, livelihoods and sustainability central to everything they do. Minney is founder and CEO of fairtrade and sustainable fashion label People Tree. Williams is Director of The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion.