Turning City Inside Out
City will join other leading universities from across the capital and cultural venues such as Somerset House, The British Academy, The National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Brands to host a series of events during this year's Inside Out Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the week-long Inside Out Festival, which is curated and produced by The Culture Capital Exchange, provides a show case for the contribution that London universities make to the capital's cultural life. Throughout the festival campuses across London will welcome members of the public to hear from leading experts on topics from performing and visual arts to literature, design and fashion.
The festival begins on Monday 21st October with a panel debate examining failure "in all of its thorny glory." The session, which is chaired by actress and comedian Helen Lederer and features eminent academics including Professor Clive Holtham from City's Cass Business School, offers a "light-hearted and compelling" examination of failure in all its forms.
Events organised by City's academics begin the following evening, at the October Gallery, Bloomsbury, with Calypso, a contemporary re-imagining of a section of Homer's Odyssey, by Barabra Norden, Senior Lecturer on City's Creative Writing (Plays and Screenplays) MA. The performed reading, with Katherine Newman and Simon Muller, will be followed by a Q&A with the writer.
An exploration of the Middle East
On the same evening, critically acclaimed vocalist Kalia and her ensemble will bring the rugged mountains of Greece and the sunlight of the Mediterranean coast to City with a performance of folk songs from across the region. Singing in Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Aramaic, Ladino and Greco, Kalia tells folk tales of love and loss, sorrow and celebration and nostalgia for far-away homelands.
The following night contemporary musicians from the UK Middle Eastern music scene will gather for a half-day event entitled 'Off the Beaten Taqism' which will highlight the impact of the urban environment on musical output. The day will consist of a wide-ranging variety of presentations, from oud performance to a post-tonal-maqam blend. Artists will perform and talk about their work in a semi-formal setting, with plenty of time for questions and discussion.
Scene of the crime
Since last year, City's Creative Writing (Novels) MA has offered the chance for students to specialise in crime writing, a recognition of its status as one of the most enduring and popular genres in literature. On Thursday 24th October crime novelists Oliver Harris and MD Villiers (City Alumna) join City lecturer Emily Pedder to offer advice to aspiring crime writers and discuss the importance of 'place' when writing in the genre.
The Middle East: News and Narratives
Also on the 24th, City's pioneering Olive Tree project will be at King's College London, College Chapel for a panel discussion on the difficulties of interpreting news from the Middle East. How do we decide whether the Syrian regime, the rebels or the Americans can be believed? Whose 'narrative' is the more compelling - the Israeli one or the Palestinian one, if we are to understand what drives their conflict?
The panel will include Professor Rosemary Hollis, Director of the Olive Tree Programme; Dr James Rodgers from City's Department of Journalism, whose career as journalist spanned twenty years and included assignments in Moscow, Gaza, and Brussels; Yoav Galai (Olive Tree scholar 2008-2011), a Jerusalem-based photojournalist and Bahaa Milhem (Olive Tree Scholar 2010-13), a Palestinian journalist and TV presenter.
City's contribution to Inside Out culminates on Saturday 26th with an overview of classical and popular Iranian musical developments. The event will include a presentation from Laudan Nooshin, from City's Department of Music, of her most recent study entitled: 'Beyond the Radif: New Forms of Improvisational Practice in Iranian Music'
The majority of Inside Out Festival events are free, but require booking.