On Friday the 3rd of November, Tate Britain is holding one of its occassional "Late at Tate..." nights. These events cover a variety of subjects and this one is of particular relevance to those of us who live and work in London and who have an interest in how we move around and relate to the city. As their website puts it "The great city of London becomes our muse for the night."
The night itself runs from 18.00-22.00 and is split up into a series of talks and tours. Tickets are free for each event, and available from the Rotunda Information Desk on the night on a first come, first served basis. It's worth checking the website out yourself to see what most grabs your interest, as talks overlap, but for us, three things stand out:
Iain Sinclair and Will Self join others to discuss their relationship with the city. As two of the leading authors of our time, this should be fascinating to listen to. The Talk is to mark the publication of Sinclair's new book "London : City of Disappearances", which if it proves to be anything like as quirky, observant and insightful as his "London Orbital" will be well worth reading too.
Overlapping with this, between 19.00-20.00
Christian Wolmar discusses subterranean London and "talks through the history of this feat of imagination and construction". Having just read Wolmar's "Subterranean Railway : How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever ", I can attest to the fact that anyone interested in the history and make up of the underground should enjoy this. Wolmar is an author and speaker whose subject knowledge knows no bounds, yet he has a way of writing and speaking which imparts history without reducing it to the level of trainspotting statistics. Check out Wolmar's own website and blog here.
At 18.45-19.45 and again at 20.00-21.00
Joe Kerr leads a tour of London's bridges aboard a Routemaster bus. Head of Critical and Historical studies at the Royal College of Art, Kerr is also a former Routemaster (now sadly plain double-decker) bus driver and co-author of the excellent "London : From Punk to Blair" and "Autopia : Cars and Culture". Kerr has an unconventional way of viewing London, and the way he connects city development with social history make him an enchanting speaker. Allied to his passion and obsession for the Routemaster, this tour should be both enlightening and fun. Recommended.
Sadly, due to other commitments, we'll probably not make it on the night. So if you go along, do let us know what you thought by posting a comment.