Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Diary for 25th October - 31st October 2007

THURSDAY 25TH OCTOBER - Sculpting history

Today I'm going to see the unveiling of a sculpture down at the Horniman Museum. Blue Earth, by Taslim Martin, will be on show in the African Worlds Gallery and is made up of a large globe with the transatlantic slave routes etched into its surface. Together with the unveiling, there's a talk at 21.00 by the artist, together with experts from the museum and beyond, about the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery. Entrance to both events is FREE - make sure you take time to check out the rest of the collection in the gallery too!

FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER - Festival favourite

On Friday, I want to attend another of the London Film Festival's educational screenings. At 10.15 in the National Film Theatre, Kim Longinotto's latest film is showing, called "Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go". Longinotto is renowned for her anthropological style of film-making, as she spends a long amount of time with the people she works with, capturing intimate moments of their lives through quiet observation. This film is about the lives of a group of boarding school children recovering from emotional trauma. If you can't make the free educational screening, then the film is showing again on the 25th at 18.00 and the 27th at 18.30 in the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton - tickets for both venues are £8.50.

SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER - Films & skull caps at the British Museum

This Saturday, as part of Black History Month, I'll be going along to the British Museum for a day of African films. The screenings last from 14.00 until 17.00 in the Stevenson Theatre, and include pieces about the use of dance as resistance amongst slaves, and the journey of a Somalian refugee through Kenya. You need to book in advance on 020 7323 8181, but entrance is FREE. If you've an hour free beforehand, why not also check out the gallery talk 'Soul-catchers to skull cups: ritual art in Canada, Korea and Tibet' - also FREE - you can just drop in.

SUNDAY 28TH OCTOBER - Beyond borders, inside a tent

Today I'll be attending an afternoon of performance and workshops at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation & Peace in Central London which is being put on by the Exiled Writers Collective. 'Homeland....beyond borders - International Exchange Day' is an opportunity for people from different faiths and cultural backgrounds to come together and learn about each others beliefs and lives. The centre has many similar and interesting events throughout the year, often taking place in 'the tent', a 16-sided meeting space - based on Bedouin designs - for people to compare their societies and try to understand where conflicts come from. Well worth an anthropological look... For more information on Sunday's session, which lasts from 12.00 to 17.00 contact

MONDAY 29TH OCTOBER - Making objects the subject

Today I'm heading back to The Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford, to see a new exhibition by Les Biggs called 'Trace'. It is an artist's personal reflection on the collections of the museum which houses over half a million artefacts of anthropological interest. Unlike many collections, they are grouped according to type, not region, so it will be fascinating to see how he has responded to this. In the past, Biggs has concentrated on on objects that are on the verge of being forgotten, and how we understand their importance today. The museum is open daily until 16.30, with late opening on a Monday, and admission is FREE

TUESDAY 30TH OCTOBER - Buddhist ramblings

This evening I'm off to see a lecture at Asia House in London about Tibetan Mysticism, given by an anthropologist from Oxford University, Dr Charles Ramble. He has worked and written for many years in the Himalayan region, and will be talking about the differences between Tibetan Buddhist worship and that of other Buddhist groups. Their practices include necromancy (communication with the dead) and techniques for generating psychic 'heat', all in the name of liberation. Get down there early - admission is FREE but places are on a first come, first served basis.

WEDNESDAY 31ST OCTOBER - Ex-anthropologist in the news

If you've been following the latest developments from the Houses of Parliament, you will have noticed that the Liberal Democrats are currently searching for a new leader. One of the two contenders is Nick Clegg, who studied anthropology at university. Apparently he also campaigned for the rights of indigenous peoples with Survival International whilst a student - you can read his full profile here. Let's see if he'll be using the fieldwork techniques he learnt all those years ago in Parliamentary debates! If not, then at least it will be intriguing to see whether his anthropological background has any impact on his approach to politics...

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