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Birkbeck Arts Week returns to Bloomsbury with a rich tapestry of free events

From 7-10 May, the public will have the opportunity to witness and experience the latest innovations emerging from the intersection of art, research, and culture.

An abstract image combining a soft blue light falling into a dark room with a flat-top shot of an open notebook with handwriting filling both pages, and two leaves laid over one of the pages.

Birkbeck, University of London is proud to announce its annually anticipated arts festival, a celebration of the latest creativity and research emerging from its diverse community of arts practitioners, students, scholars and associates. Organised by Birkbeck’s School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication, the eclectic programme of Arts Week is open to all and aims to captivate and inspire audiences with a showcase of art, performance, and intellectual inquiry. 

Event highlights include a BBC Writers Masterclass with Development Executive for BBC Writers, Simon Nelson; an interactive performance-creating session led by writer and actor Dickie Beau; a staged reading and discussion of new Ukrainian theatre; a showcase of art that transports attendees to the iconic city of Venice; and an exhibition exploring colonial India’s silenced narratives.  

Professor Fintan Walsh, Head of Birkbeck’s School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication, commented: "We are thrilled to invite the public to join us for a week of inspiration, creativity, and discovery. Birkbeck’s annual Arts Week stands as a testament to the remarkable artistic knowledge, skill, and passion thriving within the community of staff and students at Birkbeck’s School of Creative Arts, Culture, and Communication. More than just a showcase of talent, Arts Week fosters a vibrant sense of community and dialogue, highlighting the transformative power of the arts and research." 

Below is an overview of the events currently on offer, with more to come:  

Paper Cuts: Art, Bureaucracy, and Silenced Histories in Colonial India 
Delve into colonial India's silenced narratives as Surya Bower curates works by Ravista Mehra and Divya Sharma alongside colonialist images, questioning who gets remembered and forgotten in this critical examination of the past. 

Stella Symposium with Dickie Beau
Shape the future of performance art with writer and performer Dickie Beau, who invites audiences to participate in planning a show. 

Breaking Kayfabe 
Join writer Wes Brown on a journey of self-discovery as he reads from his book Breaking Kayfabe and explores the fictions that shape our identities in this modern-day Pinocchio story. 

Cracking Windows / Passo Veneziana
Experience Venice through the eyes of Birkbeck students as Olivia Hamblett and Grace Higgins Brown present a multi-sensory research showcase inspired by their time at the Venice Biennale, offering insights through printed images, writings, and videos. 

Launch of CILAVS Film Club
Immerse yourself in Argentinean cinema with a screening of Fabian Bielinsky's Nine Queens, followed by a thought-provoking Q&A session exploring the film's themes and its relevance to contemporary society. 

Theatre Scratch Night
Be captivated by the raw talent of Birkbeck's theatre and creative writing students as they deliver electrifying performances, offering a glimpse into the freshest new talents in theatre practice. 

What was French Symbolism? 
Journey into the world of French symbolism with Birkbeck’s Joseph Brooker and Damian Catani, exploring the movement's influence on modern arts and its relevance in today's cultural landscape. 

Decolonizing Testimony: Frederick Douglass and Primo Levi
Explore narratives of slavery and forced labour with University of Reading’s Professor Brian Cheyette, as he uncovers the stories of Frederick Douglass and Primo Levi, shedding light on their enduring relevance in the fight against modern-day slavery. 

BBC Writers Masterclass with Simon Nelson 
Gain invaluable insights into the world of screenwriting with BBC Writers Development Executive Simon Nelson, in conversation with Birkbeck lecturer and screenwriter Daragh Carville, offering essential guidance for aspiring dramatists. 

Magic Lantern Cinema 
Experience the magic of the past with a mesmerizing magic lantern performance accompanied by live piano music, promising an enchanting journey through time and a visual spectacle. 

The Value of Dramaturgs
Discover the significance of dramaturgy in the world of theatre in an engaging panel discussion with the Dramaturg's Network, offering insights into this essential but often overlooked role. 

Bring Your Own Victorian Objects 
Step into the world of Victorian treasures as enthusiasts share their favourite artifacts and stories, offering a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of the Victorian era. 

Ukrainian New Drama 
Engage with the vibrant landscape of Ukrainian theatre through a staged reading and discussion of new works, offering a glimpse into the country's cultural and political landscape. 

Poetry and Psychoanalysis 
Explore the intersection of poetry and psychoanalysis in a captivating reading and discussion, offering insights into the complexities of the human psyche and emotional expression through art. 

Arts Week 2024 will run from 7-10 May. 

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