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.

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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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 Paris mirrors, September, 2016. Hannah Starkey, courtesy Maureen Paley, London.
7:00 pm
Mon 01 Apr 2019
7:00 pm | Mon 01 Apr 2019
Art
Talks & Topics
Explore Arbus’ early work at a talk with writer Charlie Fox and photographer Hannah Starkey
Explore Arbus’ early work at a talk with writer Charlie Fox and photographer Hannah Starkey
Installation view of Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion at Hayward Gallery, 2019
7:00 pm
Wed 17 Apr 2019
7:00 pm | Wed 17 Apr 2019
Art
Talks & Topics
A diverse range of thinkers and practitioners discuss repair as a physical and symbolic act
A diverse range of thinkers and practitioners discuss repair as a physical and symbolic act
Kit de Waal, writer
7:30 pm
Wed 01 May 2019
7:30 pm | Wed 01 May 2019
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
What does it mean to be working class in Britain today?
What does it mean to be working class in Britain today?
11:00 am
Fri 10 May 2019
11:00 am | Fri 10 May 2019
Talks & Topics
Our 7,866-pipe organ reveals its mysteries in an in-depth workshop
Our 7,866-pipe organ reveals its mysteries in an in-depth workshop
7:30 pm
Mon 10 Jun 2019
7:30 pm | Mon 10 Jun 2019
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
The Oscar-winning writer of biopic Milk brings Hollywood sparkle to the LGBTQ+ literary salon’s stage
The Oscar-winning writer of biopic Milk brings Hollywood sparkle to the LGBTQ+ literary salon’s...
Paul Burston, journalist and author
7:30 pm
Fri 26 Jul 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 26 Jul 2019
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
Stride into summer with the best in queer writing at an evening with the LGBTQ+ literary salon
Stride into summer with the best in queer writing at an evening with the LGBTQ+ literary salon

talks & debates highlights

30 Apr
Art
Literature
Hear the Pulitzer Prize-winning author on the themes of his work, from memory and family to war and repair
3 Jun
Literature
Talks & Topics
One of the world’s leading commentators on religion speaks on the use and abuse of holy texts
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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