George Eliot at 200
More info soon
MW has contributed to the Summer 2019 issue of Aperture Magazine, more info here
6th June 2019
Stories in Transit, Oxford
More info soon
31st May 2019
Words on the Move 4: The Digital Body – Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
This workshop series explores potential forms of expression in different media for displaced people today; this one looks at embodiment in digital space.
Speakers: Mustapha Conteh, Ibrahim Ture, Adam Stark, Kate Daudy, Alex Reuben And Chris Frith, Dana Naomy Mills
Chairs: Marina Warner, Steve Willey, Luke Williams
In collaboration with creative writers in The West Bank, Palestine, the Akwaaba group in Hackney, and refugees living in Palermo, Sicily, this workshop will explore how mapping and walking can help stimulate stories, made from memories and imagination, and connect individuals who have lost their homes. Together with artists, dancers, designers and writers, they will explore the issue of dematerialisation on the web, of AI as a site of potential expression, of prosthetic and cyborg enhancement, and explore virtual media as an unexpectedly productive zone of haptic knowledge ; we shall reflect upon the multi-media character of internet communications as a para-linguistic, polyglot, macaronic arena where exchanges can take place between people without languages in common through embodied systems of sound, and movement. Rather than announce the end of humanity, the speakers will explore the possibilities that computerised conjunctions of bodies, code, and virtual representations offer in conditions of dislocation and isolation. The series of workshop forms the theoretical arm of the project Stories in Transit, which has been working with asylum seekers in Palermo, Sicily, since 2016.
Image: Broomberg & Chanarin, ‘The Painter’s Wife’, Spirit is a bone, 2013
Despite talk about globalization and international community, new borders, fences, and walls are erected all over the world—around states, occupied territories, and gated communities, between public and private spaces. Some of these borders are visible, others are drawn by means of language tests and biometric methods. Borders and cultural codes spell the difference between life and death, “identity” and “alienness,” belonging and exclusion. They determine the right of people to move from one place to another or even to be in any particular place at all.
With contributions by:
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (London/Beirut), Francis Alÿs (Mexiko-Stadt), Ovidiu Anton (Wien), Emily Apter, Zach Blas (London), Sophie Calle (Paris), Arno Gisinger (Paris), Zali Gurevitch, Vincent Grunwald (Berlin), Gabriel Heim, Katarina Holländer, Ryan S. Jeffery (Los Angeles), Leon Kahane (Berlin/Tel Aviv), Boaz Levin, Mikael Levin (New York), Hanno Loewy (Hohenems), Fiamma Montezemolo (San Francisco), Pīnar Öğrenci (Istanbul), Selim Özdogan, Anika Reichwald, Fazal Sheikh (Zurich), Quinn Slobodian, Frances Stonor Saunders, Vladimir Vertlib, Najem Wali, and Marina Warner
Catalog accompanying the exhibition in the Jewish Museum Hohenems from March 18, 2018 to February 17, 2019
The exhibition will be on display again between 29th May – 23rd February 2020 more info here
Opera of the World (2017) – Arts Week 2019 at Birkbeck College
This remarkable film directed by Manthia Diawara, tells the story of the making and performance in Mali of poet and dramatist Koulsy Lamko’s Bintou Wéré: A Sahel Opera. Roger Malbert introduces with Marina Warner. Monika Szewczyk writes: ‘Diawara’s cameraman captured the dramatically lit and ritualized scenes of village elders and proletarians—among them the Bintou Were herself, pregnant with child and protecting herself from suitors who, like the man who raped her, wish to take advantage by claiming fatherhood—as well as the smuggler who seduces these desperate people northward…In the course of the film, one crosses into the world of opera from the tradition of sung wisdoms and sentiments, which has characterized West African culture for centuries… [Manthia] asks us to tremble together, upholding the words of the Martinican poet, philosopher, and his dear friend, Édouard Glissant.’ In French with English subtitles.
This event is part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2019 – more info here
Birkbeck Arts Week 2019 – The full programme can be found here
20th May 2019
If, on a summer’s night, a traveller… Stories in Transit Workshop – Community event at Elephant West
Creative Imaginative Play with Marina Warner and guests from Stories in Transit
You are invited to an afternoon/evening of creative workshops exploring themes of journeys and migration through imaginative play and collaborative storytelling, bringing stories to life with drawing, printmaking, music, puppets and movement. With Marina Warner from Stories in Transit, Bobby Lloyd and Miriam Nabarro from Art Refuge UK, storytellers, artists, dancers and musicians the event will take place at Elephant West. This drop-in event will be open to everyone from the local community, across London and beyond: children, families, teenagers, adults, artists, writers, storytellers, researchers, poets, community workers, office workers ….
These workshops will begin with a story from the Arabian Nights, about someone who dreams the clues to finding lost treasure. This will act as a starting point for a new set of imagined stories created by you! Cyanotype (sunprint) and experimental mono-print with Bobby Lloyd and Miriam Nabarro from Art Refuge UK. The artists will introduce the printing processes of cyanotype and mono-print to explore place, journeys, maps and migration – using ink, water, tape, toy vehicles, tracks, objects, cloud and hopefully sun!
11th-12th May 2019
‘Critical Thought in Times of Attrition’ A University Weekend at Birkbeck
University of London, at the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, in collaboration with The London Review of Books
Over the past few years, political events – Brexit, Trump, austerity, the rise of neo-fascism and rascal across the world, continuing violence against women, climate change, the ongoing exploitation of the Global South – have cast a dark shadow over the world, making it all the more urgent for intellectual life to preserve a space for dissent. More info soon.
Announcing the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature Shortlist
‘Books by three writers from Trinidad and Tobago have made the shortlist for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.This is the first time in the history of the prize, first awarded in 2011, that writers from a single Caribbean country have won all three genre categories, forming the shortlist for the overall award. The three books will now enter the final round of judging, and vie for the overall award of US$10,000, to be presented on 4 May during the 2019 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.’
The final cross-genre judging panel for the prize, chaired by the celebrated writer Marina Warner, includes poet Geoffrey Philp, scholar and writer Jane Bryce, and journalist and editor Gary Younge.
MW BocasJudge’stalk link 02nd May 2019
Bocas Lit Fest 2019 -Take Two: Marina Warner and Abigail Parry
Marina Warner (Fly Away Home) and Abigail Parry (Jinx) read from their stories and poems inspired by a rich tradition of fairy tales, folklore, spells and curses; chaired by Shivanee Ramlochan.
Stream the readings here
MW has written the introduction to Robert Kirk’s The Secret Commonwealth: Of Elves, Fauns, And Fairies (New York Review Books Classics) re-published in paperback in May 2019 (NYRB Classics), pp vii-xl
This display unveils a major new commission of portrait drawings of leading film directors by the artist Nina Mae Fowler (b.1981). Each director was depicted whilst watching a film of importance to them; intriguingly their film choice is not revealed. With their faces illuminated only by the light of the screen, Fowler took several stills of the directors and made preliminary sketches that formed the basis of the final pencil and charcoal drawings. The intimate scale of the works draws the viewer into the minds of the people behind the lens, conveying the inspiration felt by the directors when watching great cinema.
‘Is it time to rewrite fairy tales?’ BBC Culture
22-31 March 2019
MW contributed to Pripovedovalskifestival the 22nd Story-telling festival in Slovenia.
‘Marina Warner will enrich the Festival with her critical thought and present her current research on Friday, 22 March, Saturday, 23 March, and Monday, 25 March.’
MW becomes patron of The Story Museum, Oxford
23rd March 2019
Marina Warner at Essex Book Festival 2019
18th March 2019
Ali Smith and Marina Warner in conversation chaired by Jacqueline Rose (Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities)
Clore Management Building, Torrington Square, London, WC1E 7HX
Ali Smith and Marina Warner are writers who have both engaged with the issue of refugees and migrants in our time. Ali Smith has been centrally involved with the campaigning group Refugee Tales, which publishes the stories of individual refugees about their experiences of migration, trafficking and detention. Its main target is ending indefinite detention in the UK. Through Stories in Transit, a project which began in 2016 in Palermo, Sicily, Marina Warner has worked with refugees there and in London, trying to develop a method and establish a forum for expression, narrative and performance. Both are trying to take part in creating ‘a language of welcome’ at a time when policies of this government here and elsewhere are seeking to normalise xenophobia and intolerance. In this conversation they will discuss the work to be done to generate spaces of potential understanding and modes of resistance around one of the most vexed issues of modern times.
Interview with MW in The Thinking Woman by ‘One of the age-old questions of philosophy is what does it mean to live a good life? In this extraordinary book, scholar and writer, Julienne van Loon, applies a range of philosophical ideas to her own experience. Van Loon engages with the work of six leading contemporary thinkers and writers — Rosi Braidotti, Nancy Holmstrom, Siri Hustvedt, Laura Kipnis, Julia Kristeva and Marina Warner — through interrogating and enlivening their ideas on love, play, fear, work, wonder and friendship.
Her journey is intellectual and deeply personal, political and intimate at once. It introduces readers to six extraordinary women whose own deeply thoughtful work has much to offer all of us. They may transform our own views of what it means to live a good life.’ https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/thinking-woman/
15th March 2019
In Conversation: Dame Marina Warner and Jennifer Scott at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Inspired by the mythic symbolism of Harald Sohlberg’s work, join author and historian Professor Dame Marina Warner and Jennifer Scott, Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Sackler Director, for a conversation about mythology and enchantment in the arts.
Drawing upon Warner’s book, Forms of Enchantment; Writings on Art and Artists, the pair will discuss the work of Harald Sohlberg and the power that symbols and stories have within today’s culture.
16th February 2019
Art as fulfilment: the use of religion and spirituality in contemporary art at Royal Academy of Arts, London
The preoccupation with fundamental questions of life is often central to an artist, their work and their audiences. Join our panel, including Marina Warner and Professor Ben Quash, as they examine how artists and the public might “use” contemporary art as a means to express and reflect on religion and spirituality.
Art can challenge our beliefs and provoke debate. For an artist, art can be a place where personal thoughts and beliefs can be expressed and problems can be detoxified. Our panel questions whether an audience can achieve an emotional or spiritual connection through art? Are they more likely to visit a museum than a place of worship? In contrast, what is intended when contemporary art is shown in a place of worship? Can we find meaning in the fundamental questions of life through art?
Panellists include writer, historian and mythographer Marina Warner, and Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London, Ben Quash. Further panellists to be announced.
MW becomes a patron of Sphinx Theatre Company
6th February 2019
Narrative Intelligence – A conversation with Marina Warner, Shezad Dawood and Marc Davis, moderated by Nick Hackworth
The fourth in a series of talks organised by ArtReview and Modern Forms.
From the birth of writing to recent developments in VR and the narrative capabilities of Artificial Intelligence, technology has the power to radically alter the nature of the stories that we tell about ourselves and the world. Artist Shezad Dawood and technologist Marc Davis join the writer and academic Marina Warner to discuss the complex relationship between technology and storytelling.
18th January 2019
Loss Sings Arabic Poetry and Stories in Translation: a series of workshops at Birkbeck and SOAS, Presented by Marina Warner and Wen-chin Ouyang
The Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London
In this deeply personal meditation, part prose memoir, part poetry translation, James E. Montgomery explores memory, grief and the consolatory power of words through the prism of his personal circumstances. Cahiers is a series of publications about translation by writer/translators, and in this latest publication, Montgomery refracts his thoughts with renderings of the laments that the 6th-Century poetess al-Khansa’ wrote after her two brothers died in battle. The text spans a fortnight, ending on 11 September 2017, 16 years after Montgomery witnessed, from his Greenwich Village window, the haunting and ‘strange beauty’ of the day’s catastrophe. He has commented on the process of making this opuscule: ‘Translation is also mourning for what we want to retain, what we value and cherish; it is, equally, mourning for what we know we must lose’.