Enlightenment Corner: 17-23 January
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If your brain is still flatlining from the holiday season, resuscitate it back to life with some edifying talks that'll have you thinking all sort of things. Like, why's everyone on that vegan tip all of a sudden? Is my desire neo-colonial? And, was the Wicker Man a good film? (Spoiler: yes.) Come on, it'll only hurt a little.
New year, new you? Well, maybe that new you is ready to ride the veganism wave that is currently washing over London. You may be a little nervous about taking the plunge, but pop along to this LDN Talks and by the end of the night you'll be surfing, carving and curling that wave. It's hosted by Loui Blake, a vegan entrepreneur, activist and speaker, so get ready to be fully enlightened in the ways and benefits of a plant-based diet.
The impact of war on human life and a people's security and livelihood is all too obvious, but often overlooked is the disastrous impact war can have on a country's culture. From the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, to footage of ISIL fighters taking sledgehammers to 3,000 year old statues in Mosul, these atrocious acts of war have lead to important questions - who owns cultural artefacts? What value do they have during conflict? Is anyone responsible for rebuilding them when war is over?
They say pop culture reflects the cultural mood - and judging by the recent resurgence of folk horror in Britain, the mood is pretty fucking bleak. Cults, human sacrifice, Donald Trump, Brexit - all equally terrifying phenomena that exist on a continuum in the cultural consciousness. Writer and researcher Howard David Ingham will be exploring how folk horror's recent revival reflects our political and social climate, tracing the genre from its first incarnation in the 70s to its second wave in the present day.
Luv is mysterious, otherworldly, transcending this mortal universe... right? Errr, no. It's like everything else - fucked right up by capitalist and colonial power structures. The cool social justice warriors at Consented magazine are taking romance to task this Saturday afternoon with a special day of discussions centring around love, sex, and desire. Smarty-pants professors, journalists, and activists will be interrogating how the world we live in directly affects our capacity for giving and receiving the big L.
Ska music came to prominence in the turbulent, combustive political climate of the 1970s, amidst tensions between anti-racism campaigns and the far right... sound familiar? History is cyclical and we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes forever. But anyways, come listen to the story of ska and mod revival from the people who made it happen - Eddie Piller, founder of Acid Jazz Records and former teenage mod; Terry Rawlings, mod and ska historian; and Rhoda Dakar, original vocalist for the Bodysnatchers.