talks & debates

Our year-round programme of talks and debates showcases leading thinkers, activists, politicians and cultural observers. Be stimulated by new thoughts and ideas, or challenged to see the world with fresh eyes by today’s most exciting speakers.

This season documentarian Louis Theroux reflects on two decades of groundbreaking work and Lenny Henry takes us on a trip down memory lane. Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain talks cake and kids and comedian Sara Pascoe assesses what really matters to humans. We also welcome Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Dawkins, Hannah Gadsby and many more.

see upcoming talks & debates

 

Perhaps you don’t recognise that you have power but if you’re doing something to try to make a change you are already exercising power.
Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder of Ballet Black, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2018
The paradox of the last 20 years has been that we have increased our communication, its frequency, participants and methods to do so. But instead of taking this opportunity to produce a clear picture of the world, the content of that information, and what we actually know, is decreasing.
Yannis Varoufakis, speaking at Southbank Centre in 2015

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Brainchild Festival

Free

Free

7:00 pm
Thu 29 Aug 2019
7:00 pm | Thu 29 Aug 2019
talks & debates
family & young people
Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals with discussion and performance
Break the taboo around death, reframe grief and unearth new rituals with discussion and performance
Etgar Keret, writer
7:15 pm
Tue 03 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 03 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Malorie Blackman, writer
2:00 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts &...
Sara Pascoe, comedian
7:30 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Nathan Filer, writer
7:15 pm
Mon 09 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 09 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
Osi Umenyiora, American football defensive end
1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Explore the complexities, possibilities and personal cost of protest in sport
Africa Utopia Member's Salon

Free

Free

1:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
Turn the pages of timeless and undiscovered works of African literature
Akala, rapper and activist
2:45 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
2:45 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
A woman in glitter on the side of her face
4:30 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
4:30 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances

Pages

highlights

30 Sep
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Get ready to guffaw as the cherished comedian takes the stage to share his long-awaited autobiography

Randall Munore

Image Credit 
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Randall Munroe, cartoonist
7 Oct
talks & debates
accessible events
Open up new dimensions on the everyday in this talk by the webcomic creator and author
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blog: talks & debates

podcast
Dissect the making and unmaking of civilisations and cultures with Akala and David Olusoga
story
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture