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.

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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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Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion designer
6:00 pm
Tue 23 Jul 2019
6:00 pm | Tue 23 Jul 2019
performance & theatre
talks & debates
The man behind the conical bustier: Jean Paul Gaultier discusses his decades at the forefront of fashion
The man behind the conical bustier: Jean Paul Gaultier discusses his decades at the forefront of...
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...
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
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
How can the industry better represent diverse identities, both on and off the catwalk?
How can the industry better represent diverse identities, both on and off the catwalk?
Simon Frederick, actor
1:00 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
1:00 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens
A panel discussion on the power of black perspectives, both in front of and behind the lens
Africa Utopia Member's Salon at the Royal Festival Hall

Free

Free

2:00 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
An open conversation on how we identify as African and what our labels mean
The Music That Made Us
4:30 pm
Sun 15 Sep 2019
4:30 pm | Sun 15 Sep 2019
talks & debates
How does the music made by black artists explore the breadth of blackness?
How does the music made by black artists explore the breadth of blackness?
Richard Dawkins, ethologist
7:30 pm
Sun 22 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 22 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
Louis Theroux, filmmaker
7:30 pm
Wed 25 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 25 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian

Pages

highlights

25 Sep
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Journey through the highs and lows of two decades of groundbreaking work with the documentarian

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