Document Actions

Arts Week 2018

Missed an event at Birkbeck Arts Week 2018? Take a look at some of our blog posts or listen to the podcasts listed below to find out what happened. Some of our events were also photographed, and you can see the albums here.


  • Plantae Amozonicae: art, ethnobotany and biocultural artefacts
    What do art and botany tell us about the Amazon? Artist Lindsay Sekulowicz’s latest exhibition is the culmination of a decade of work with botanists at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and a wider research team in the UK and Brazil who are examining the collections of 19th century botanist and explorer Richard Spruce. Along with the artist, panellists Antje Southern (Royal Drawing School), William Milliken (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) and Luciana Martins (Birkbeck) discuss the encounter between academics, artists and scientists.
  • Paper Peepshow: peep into the rabbit hole
    This panel discussion investigated the popular optical toy, the paper peepshow. A curator, a collector, an academic and an artist discussed the paper peepshow and highlighted its role in expanding our understanding of nineteenth-century visual culture. The speakers are (in order): Shijia Yu (Birkbeck), Jonathan Gestetner (collector), Professor Marina Warner (Birkbeck), Dr Catherine Yvard (V&A) and Dr John Plunkett (Exeter).
  • Curating sounds for difficult histories
    Focusing on the Holocaust, this event explored how soundscapes - music, noise, voices, speech and silence - have the ability to evoke difficult histories. Scholars and practitioners considered the use of sound and sonic landscapes in the arts to address questions around representation, remembering, authenticity and affect.  How do film, music composition, installation art and museum exhibitions tackle what is unspeakable? Recordings include a welcome and introduction by Dr Silke Arnold de-Simine (Birkbeck) and Dr Janet McCabe (Birkbeck) and talks by Professor Stephen Frosh (Birkbeck) and Esther Shalev-Gerz (Artist) with an introduction by Dr Diana Popescu (Pears Institute).
  • Creative Writing as Research
    Discussing creative writing as research, writers Julia Bell (Birkbeck) and Honor Gavin (University of Manchester) shared aspects of their processes and practices. Hosted by Corkscrew: practice-based/led research at Birkbeck.
  • Marilyn Monroe: An unlikely feminist?
    Was Marilyn Monroe a feminist? Birkbeck alumna and freelance screenwriter Gabriella Apicella discussed the topic with Catherine Grant (Birkbeck) and Michelle Morgan author of The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist. Followed by a panel Q&A.
  • Landscape storytelling: the story of an ‘enemy alien’ set designer
    Writer, dramaturg and translator Sophie Rashbrook discusses her new play exploring the life of British set designer Ralph Koltai, a refugee who arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport in 1939 and translated at the Nuremburg Trials.
  • Renegade: Austin Collings
    Mark E. Smith, who died in January this year at the age of sixty, recorded 32 studio albums as frontman of legendary independent band The Fall. To celebrate a body of work that is at turns highly literary, unconventional, mischievous and abrasively honest, Austin Collings discusses the experience of ghost-writing Smith’s memoir, Renegade.
  • Gaelic Hardship: Flann O’Brien’s ‘The Poor Mouth’
    The Irish comic writer Flann O'Brien's third major work was An Béal Bocht (1941): a slim novel parodying peasant memoirs of the West of Ireland, published under the name Myles na gCopaleen. Forty-five years ago, Patrick C. Power produced what remains the only full English translation of this work. In this workshop, Birkbeck’s Tobias Harris, Joseph Brooker and guest speaker Eoin Byrne (Galway) led an exploration of the novel, using Power's English text.