‘Icons and Idols’

Thursday 20th

18.00 BST

Superstar: What Andy Warhol know about contemporary celebrity

During this lecture will discover the world of Andy Warhol’s art, offering insights into his profound understanding of the role of media in shaping contemporary celebrity culture. The talk will examine Warhol’s iconic silkscreen prints and groundbreaking film work. Through an in-depth analysis of his portrayals of iconic figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, we’ll gain valuable insights into Warhol’s prophetic vision of contemporary media culture. 

Monday 24th

19.00 BST

Japanese Calligraphy – ‘skill’

The kanji “能” (Noh) carries the meaning of “ability,” “capability,” or “skill.” In the context of theatre, the character “能” represents the artistry and skill involved in this traditional Japanese performing art. It reflects the capabilities and talents required by performers to master the highly stylised movements, vocal techniques, and emotional expressions characteristic of Noh theatre.

Tuesday, 25th

18.00 BST

Marina Abramović, the cult of the hero

The making of Marina Abramović as an icon, an idol, a brand has grown the moment she landed in America. Her show in MOMA reaffirmed the artist’s capacity for endurance and interpersonal engagement, but also revealed the powerful appeal of the idol, the ever-expanding cult of celebrity, and the current love to share every single minute and every aspect of our lives with everyone. In this one hour talk we look at the work of the incredible charismatic Abramović, where life is art and art is life.

Wednesday, 26th

18.00 BST

The On-Screen Anti-Hero

This session will consider the rising popularity of the anti-hero across film and television and to some extent, computer gaming. It will question why viewers and gamers are drawn to morally questionable characters in popular culture. During this talk we will explore some of the reasons audiences and players are drawn to this content, the concept of bad fans and the blur between heroic and anti-heroic figures. 


‘Thoughts on cosmopolitanism’

Monday, 1st

19.30 BST

Poetry Reading: thoughts on cosmopolitanism

Join our next Poetry Night session and enjoy poems read by amazing actor – Matthew Peter-Carter. In July, our selection of poems will address ideas of cosmopolitanism…

Monday, 8th

19.00 BST

Japanese Calligraphy – ‘feel’

We are thrilled to announce our upcoming Japanese Calligraphy session where we will explore the elegance and meaning of a new character: “feel” (感). In this session, we will not only learn the traditional techniques of Japanese calligraphy but also contemplate how the concept of “feel” transcends cultural boundaries and fosters empathy and understanding among diverse communities.

Wednesday, 10th

18.00 BST

Art on the Silk Road

This talk examines the rich artistic heritage that flourished as a result of the extensive trade network spanning from East Asia to the Mediterranean. From the sublime Buddhist statues of Central Asia to the exquisite silk paintings of China and the intricately crafted ceramics of Persia, we’ll examine the multifaceted artistic expressions that adorned this ancient trade route. 

Tuesday, 16th

19.00 BST

Cultural Fusion: How Foreign Influences Shaped Japanese Culture

Join us as we uncover the rich variety of cultural imports that have left an indelible mark on Japan’s history and identity. Discover how Chinese characters were adapted into the Japanese writing system, how tea cultivation techniques were introduced from China, leading to the development of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and how Western styles of clothing and architecture were embraced during the Meiji Restoration.

Wednesday, 17th

18.00 BST

Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism: Is it possible to be both?

In times of increasing political polarisation the divide between nationalists and cosmopolitans seems to be one of the major rupture points. This lecture outlines the two positions and explains the appeal of each. The question to be considered is whether it is possible to be both a nationalist and a cosmopolitan—are the two really incompatible after all?

Thursday, 25th

18.00 BST

John Singer Sargent’s Cosmopolitan Aesthetics

Born in Florence to American parents who took him all over Europe, John Singer Sargent studied in both Italy and France, while continuing his own explorations in places like Spain, the Netherlands and Morocco. He would eventually settle in London, with stints on the East Coast of America, painting landscapes and society portraits. In this talk we will examine how this citizen of nowhere became everyone’s favourite portraitist.

Tuesday, 30th

18.00 BST

Climate crisis: from unequal impacts to collective response?

In this talk, we will look into the varied impacts of the climate crisis and the diverse responses it provokes across different communities. We’ll investigate a wide range of responses—from shifts in voting patterns to inspiring collective actions—and discuss who and what motivates these efforts. How can we turn this global emergency into a unifying force, making climate action a shared priority for everyone?

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