Sunday, 28 June 2009

Culture vultures

As well as the many political meetings, there's a series of cultural events and films at Marxism this coming weekend. Some of the sessions are on cultural topics too, so all in all it's a fantastic event for arty farty lefties seeking their cultural fix. I thought I'd provide a round up of what look like being top notch performances, film showings, gigs and cultural sessions.

I've heard both Sam West and Michael Billington talk in previous years. Last year Billington, the Guardian's theatre critic, was interviewed by playwright David Edgar about British theatre since the war (I bought his excellent book on the subject, which he kindly signed). This year they are joining together in a tribute to the late, great Harold Pinter, outstanding playwright and fierce anti-imperialist (Sunday, SOAS). Edgar is back this year too, speaking about another of the great radical dramatists: Bertolt Brecht (Sunday, Royal National) .

I absolutely loved Call Mr Robeson when I saw it earlier in the year - Tyneside Stop the War hosted it as a fundraiser - and highly recommend it. I contacted Marxism organisers to suggest it, though I suspect they were planning to invite Tayo Aluko to perform his astonshing play anyway. It's a superb mix of Paul Robeson's songs - performed beautifully - with dramatic incidents from his life and a strong sense of his political heroism (Sunday, ULU).

Musical highlights include hip hop group Ramallah Underground headlining a night of 'Palestinian cultural resistance' (Saturday, Jeffery Hall), and the gig with Iraqi rapper Lowkey and the Neville Staple Band which closes the whole event (Monday, The Scala). Lowkey is involved, with Michael Rosen, in paying tribute to anti-war and left wing poet Adrian Mitchell in an evening of spoken word (Friday, Jeffery Hall). Rosen is also featuring as host of 'entertainment for lefties of all ages' called 'Socialists have kids too!' (Saturday, Jeffery Hall). It's designed for adults and their kids to attend together.

Film showings include Latin American film (Saturday, SOAS), a screening of 'The Battle for Haditha' accompanied by Q and A with director Nick Broomfield (Saturday, SOAS) and a lunchtime showing of footage from the recent victorious student occupation at SOAS, with a chance to hear from those central to the occupation (and some food thrown in too).

Finally, there are meetings on a wide range of cultural topics. I'd especially recommend Gareth Jenkins on Dickens (Friday), China Mieville on 'The politics of monsters' (Saturday) and Noel Douglas' illustrated talk 'Whose streets? Our streets!' (Sunday).

No comments:

Post a Comment