Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Polari Goes Pope | Southbank Centre

Angelo Quattrocchi’s The Pope is Not Gay! will launch on the 14th September at the Southbank Centre, from 6:30-9:00pm at September’s Polari, London’s “peerless gay literary salon”. Host Paul Burston presents readings from the book, musicians and performers protesting the Pope, including:

Pope is not gay cover image

  • David Hoyle: An artist working across stage, television and film, David Hoyle “embraces controversy as easily as he embraces the avant garde.”
  • Ste McCabe: One-man-band who “blends punk rock riffs, pop melodies and retro beats with sarcastic, radical, queer, feminist lyrics.”
  • Chloe Poems Music: Billed as “Britain’s first gay socialist transvestite poet”, Chloe Poems Music promises to bring “playful lyrics” and “a rock and roll ethos” to the evening’s proceedings.

Join the Facebook group for the event here.

See the Protest the Pope website for more events in protest of the Pope’s four-day state visit from 16-19 September.


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David Harvey, radical geographer and author of A Companion to Marx’s Capital will speak at King’s on 27th April and at the ICA on 28th April.

The Centre for European Studies & KCL Reading Capital present…
A talk by the world’s most cited academic geographer
Author of ‘A Companion to Marx’s Capital’
Tuesday 27 April. 6.30pm. Free.
Great Hall, Strand, King’s College London
Please arrive early to avoid disappointment (Doors open 6pm).
For more info contact kclreadingcapital@gmail.com
With grateful thanks to

Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Crisis of Capitalism
Wednesday 28 April 2010 6:45 pm
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
£12 / £11 Concessions / £10 ICA Members
Book tickets here

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Storytelling: Bewitching the Modern Mind


Published 22nd March 2010


8 April, 1pm at the RSA, London: ‘Storytelling: How narratives shape our reality, ideas and behaviour’. For more information and book your free place here.

8 April, 6.30pm at the ICA, London: ‘Making Believe’, with Julia Hobsbawm, founder of media analysis and networking firm Editorial Intelligence and pioneer of ‘integrity PR’, and Neil Boorman, author of Bonfire of the Brands. Chaired by ICA director Ekow Eshun. For more information and booking click here.


“French writer Salmon here treats us to the useful spectacle of a relentless polemic against a ubiquitous idea widely held to provoke only positive feelings. As used by branders or politicians, “storytelling” is, on his argument, a sedative, suppressing the desire for truth in favour of satisfying narrative form.” Steven Poole, Guardian

See the full review here.

“This book, which is both concise and clearly written … guides us through these texts which are largely unknown and now very influential.” Le Monde

“There are certain books that make you feel less stupid after reading them than before. … It is a fascinating and never jargon-heavy book.” Le Progres

“Lively, very well informed and slickly handled.” Les Inrockuptibles


Ever since its emergence, humanity has cultivated the art of telling stories, an art that is everywhere at the heart of the social bond. But since the 1990s, first in the US and then in Europe, this art has been colonized by the domain of public relations and triumphant capitalism, and relabelled with the anodyne name of “storytelling.” This has become a weapon in the hands of marketing, management and political gurus, so as to better format the minds of consumers and citizens. Behind the advertising campaigns, but also in the shadows of victorious electoral campaigns from Bush to Sarkozy and Obama hide sophisticated “storytelling management” or “digital storytelling” technicians.

It is this incredible hold-up of human imagination that Christian Salmon reveals here, after an enquiry into the ever greater number of applications for which storytelling has been mobilized. Marketing now depends more on the history of brands than on their images, managers have to tell stories to motivate their employees, soldiers in Iraq train themselves on computer games conceived in Hollywood, and spin doctors construct a political life as if it were a narrative. Salmon unveils here the mechanics of a “storytelling machine,” far more effective than Orwellian visions of totalitarian society. The subject that it wants to create is a bewitched individual, immersed in a fictive universe that filters perceptions, stimulates feelings and frames behavior and ideas.


Christian Salmon is a writer and researcher in the Centre for Research in the Arts and Language at the CNRS in Paris. He is the founder of the International Parliament of Writers, of which he was president from 1993 to 2003 and editor of the organisation’s journal Autodafe. He has worked as a literary critic and is the author of several works, including Kate Moss Machine, Verbicide and Devenir minoritaire and writes a regular column for Le Monde.

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On Wednesday 3rd March at 7.30, join us for the launch of Eric Hazan’s The Invention of Paris

at the Institut françaisthe French Cultural Institute in the UK, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT

Radical author and publisher Eric Hazan will be in conversation with Iain Sinclair about the relation between literature and development of spaces, focussing on their journeys through Paris and London.

Eric Hazan will discuss his newly translated urban history of Paris, The Invention of Paris, A History in Footsteps.

In The Invention of Paris, Eric Hazan takes the reader on an exciting and historically rich tour through the construction of Paris, exploring the places and struggles that have marked its growth. Concentrating both on the literary and cultural representations of the city, as well as riots, rebellions and revolutions — throughout the nineteenth century and up until 1968—Hazan acts as a guide who is simultaneously personal and rigorous in tone.

Introducing us to characters as varied as Balzac, Baudelaire, Blanqui, Flaubert, Hugo, Manet and Proust, Hazan charts the formation of a “Red Paris” through the sedimentation of acts and sources of insurgency, and gives us an unparalleled history of the barricade in the life of the city. The Invention of Paris opens a window on a Paris too often hidden beneath tourist kitsch and bourgeois.

Iain Sinclair is the acclaimed author of many books. In London Orbital Sinclair walked the length of the M5 motorway circling London on foot.  His latest work, Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire pieces together the oral accounts and occult psychogeography of East London.

For further information, click here.

Tickets are £5, £3 concessions . Book online / 020 7073 1350.

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The Saudi Gazette has picked up on the disruption and heckling that occured during Shlomo Sand’s ‘In Conversation with the New Statesman’ event at Border’s Bookshop. Witnessing last week’s event, Susannah Tarbush writes:




Border’s bookshop in Charing Cross Road, central London, is normally a tranquil haven where book lovers can browse the shelves at leisure and perhaps refresh themselves at the in-house café.

But last week the shop’s calm was shattered by the uproar that erupted during the launch of one of the most controversial books to have been published in London this year: the English-language version of Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People.”

During the launch certain hard-line supporters of Israel in the audience shouted hostile remarks at the author to the annoyance of other attendees. The vocal pro-Israel faction included Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice chair of the Zionist Federation in Britain, who declared: “Why, Shlomo Sand, have you chosen to write an anti-Semitic book: was it because of the fame, or was it because of the money?” Sand vigorously denied that his book was anti-Semitic and answered his critics’ various points robustly.

Read the full article here.

The Invention of the Jewish People is available from Verso.

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Shlomo Sand will be in London from the 9th – 12thVerso 9781844674220 UK Invention of the Jewish People small of November to promote The Invention of the Jewish People. For more information see the events listings below:

November 9th (18.30)

‘In Conversation with The New Statesman’ event at Borders Bookshop.  Professor Sand will discuss his book with the Labour MP Denis MacShane in a public event chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire,  Culture Editor of The New Statesman.

Details: Borders Bookshop, 122 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JR


(Free and open to the public / Borders Bookshop Tel: +44 (0)20 7379 8877)

November  11th (18.30)

Professor Sand’s only UK lecture on ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ at SOAS

Details: The Brunei Lecture Theatre, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

e-mail for further information: shlomosandsoaslecture@verso.co.uk

November 12th  (19.00)

An evening with Professor Sand and Professor Avi Shlaim, author of ‘Israel and Palestine’, in conversation at the Frontline Club.

Details: The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ   (Tel: +44 (0)20 7479 8950)

(Tickets £10-12.50) http://frontlineclub.com/events/2009/11/avi-shlaim-in-conversation-with-shlomo-sand.html

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“Avi Shlaim’s essays on Israel and Palestine ought to be on Barack Obama’s reading list” – The Guardian

Shlaim, Avi, author photograph (black and white)

Avi Shlaim, author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations, will be opening the 13th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair tonight at 7pm. See full events listings below for more information:


  • 18.30 / Monday 9th November: Avi Shlaim will be giving The Tom Hurndall Memorial Lecture at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lecture Theatre 5, Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West, off Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6LL.
    Jocelyn Hurndall, Tom Hurndall’s mother, will also be speaking.


AVI SHLAIM – Fellow of St. Antony’s College and a Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. Avi Shlaim has personal experience of the Arab/Israeli conflict. He “served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and… has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders.” Born to Jewish parents in Baghdad, Shlaim’s family moved to Israel when he was a young boy. He moved to England to complete his schooling at the age of 16 but returned to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is now based at Oxford where he is a Professor of International Relations. Shlaim along with other members of the ‘New Historians’ – a group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional Israeli assumptions about the creation of the state of Israel – have shed new light on Israel’s role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The group gave impetus to ‘post-Zionism’ (a movement of Jewish Israelis who are critical of the Zionist enterprise) and includes renowned scholars such as Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe. With characteristic rigor and readability, Avi Shlaim reflects on a range of key issues, transformations and personalities in the Israel-Palestine conflict and places current events in their proper historical perspective. The essays in this book turn on three main watersheds: the creation of Israel in May 1948; the Six-Day War of 1967; and the Oslo Accord signed on 13 September 1993.

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