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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 Maggie Nelson, writer
7:15 pm
Mon 08 Jul 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 08 Jul 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
In an exclusive UK event, the bestselling writer discusses her electrifying, category-defying work
In an exclusive UK event, the bestselling writer discusses her electrifying, category-defying work
Merck Mercuriadis and Nile Rodgers
7:30 pm
Thu 08 Aug 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 08 Aug 2019
talks & debates
New frontiers in music: songwriter Nile Rodgers and manager Merck Mercuriadis share their industry knowledge
New frontiers in music: songwriter Nile Rodgers and manager Merck Mercuriadis share their industry...
Malorie Blackman, writer
2:00 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
family & young people
literature & poetry
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 &...
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
Beauty: It's a Shady Business
6:15 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
6:15 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
talks & debates
Beauty: from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep
Beauty: from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep

highlights

22 Jul
literature & poetry
poetry
Take a seat for an evening of poetry, featuring Morgan Parker, Brian Patten and Hannah Sullivan
14 Sep
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
see all events

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