Magma deaf issue exhibition

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International Women’s Day 2018

4th March, 3pm

New Factory of the Eccentric Actor celebrates with performance, readings, tea and cake. Revolutionary songs will be sung. Free!


Torriano Poetry Sunday 4th February 2018, 7.30pm. £5/£4 according to pocket

The launch of Metamorphic – contemporary responses to Ovid’s Metamorphosis. Readers Maggie Butt, Anne Caldwell, Oliver Comins, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Philip Gross, Steven Matthews, Paul Munden, Nessa O’Mahony, George Szirtes and Jane Yeh


Antonio del Pollaiolo Apollo and Daphne

Hungarian Film Club

Saturday 10th February 3 pm

Fényes szelek by Miklós Jancsó 

Paralleling the dramatic student protests and riots that were exploding across the world in the 1960s at the time the film was made, Fényes szelek, (The Confrontation) is a story of protest and rebellion in 1947 Hungary when the Communist Party have just taken power.

Jancso’s first colour film is another virtuoso display by a director at the peak of his powers, and eloquently explores the complex issues and inherent problems of revolutionary democracy.


John Hegley starts the January season

Torriano Poetry Sunday 21 January 7.30pm.  

Guest poet John Hegley.
The writer and performer John Hegley has been described as the Spike Milligan for our time, and as ‘awesomely mundane’ by The Independent . Described by Peace News as ‘devastatingly funny magical word master’

Poets from the floor welcome

£5/4 according to pocket


John Hegley reading

Come All Ye!

This Sunday 17th at Torriano  – 4.30pm – 8pm. Come all ye! Mince pies and mulled wine! Bring poems and food (and oranges) and drink to share.

View Agnes Hay’s strange and wonderful narancs mobiles and make your own erotic rabbits from orange peel.



The Wandering Frame

cropped-e28098otto-the-giant_-still-from-all-this-can-happen-courtesy-of-british-pathecc8119 November
The Wandering Frame is a day of screenings based around the experience of walking the city. The films presented include the process of contemplation, as one wanders and wonders on a walk or a cycle through the urban landscape. How do the architecture, people and history of our surrounding environments impact us and influence our thought processes? The “turmoil of life” of the metropolis is a trigger for reflexive states of mind, put in motion while we walk through its streets.

Two films will be shown at 2pm and 4.30pm at Torriano Meeting House 

Cycling the Frame   (Cynthia Beatt, Germany, 1988, 27mins) and The Invisible Frame  (Cynthia Beatt, 60 mins, 2009, Germany)

“You sit and travel in a direction, your head is free, you can take your time or speed along, and your thoughts flow with you.” – Cynthia Beatt

From quotidian to-do lists to philosophical ponderings about history and the influence of the Berlin wall on the city’s inhabitants, the thoughts that accompany Tilda Swinton on her cycle resemble the stream of consciousness that occurs as one contemplatively wanders through the city.

Cycling the Frame follows Tilda Swinton as she rides along the Berlin wall in 1988, one year before its fall and as Germany enters a phase of change and reunification. The Invisible Frame traces the same journey 22 years later, in a modernised Berlin where very few traces of the previously imposing monument still remain. Screened together, they represent a filmed testimony to the absurdity of such border building. Questions arise when an erasure of the past isn’t as invisible as it seems; which is more strongly felt, the presence of the wall or its subsequent absence?

The screenings will take place on the 19th November across three non-traditional venues, Torriano Meeting House, The Constitution pub and the crypt of St Pancras New Church welcoming you to walk between these places to reflect on what you’ve just seen, discover new spaces in your city, or simply to get lost in streets or thoughts.

For more information see The Wandering Frame

Curated by Maureen Gueunet as part of the M.A. in Film Studies Programming and Curation at the National Film and Television School

 “Libres” Songs from the Spanish Revolution

libres-picture“Libres” is a concert and a lecture, story telling and folk song presented by Pilar Lopez

In 1936, in an unprecedented act of solidarity, people from many countries in Europe, Asia and the American continent traveled to Spain to risk their lives fighting fascism.
At the same time workers & their unions were engaging in a deep transformaion of society, a Social Revolution.

“Libres” brings stories, songs and images from these times and makes connections with today’s resistance to fascism and with contemporary currents striving for peace & liberty.

Friday 17 November, 7pm, donations welcome

Hear Pilar here singing En la plaza de mi pueblo

More on the Libres project here

Commemorating György Krassó

You are cordially invited to our commemoration of György Krassó and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom fight
6pm Friday 20th of October
Russell Square, at Krassó’s tree, London WC1

Krassó founded the Hungarian Association of London at Torriano Meeting House

Out of his struggles, Kosuke Shirasu

Torriano Poetry, Sunday 15 October, 7.30pm. £5/£4 according to pocket. Poets from the floor welcome.

A bi-lingual reading from the work of poet and political activist, Kosuke Shirasu, (1905-1943), by the joint interpreters, Bruce Barnes and Jun Shirasu.

The reading is in the memory of the poet’s daughter Ichiko Shirasu

Kosuke Shirasu (1905-1943) was born in Tokyo, and worked as a journalist and pamphleteer. His involvement in the Japanese Communist Party was reflected in his work in Akita City, producing and circulating a newsletter for local workers as well as documenting the farmers’ riots against local landowners. In 1928 he joined NAPF, the All Japan Federation of Proletarian Arts, contributing to its official magazine, Battle Flag; by 1930 he had collected and published many of these contributions in his pamphlet Strike.

Proletarian writers such as Kosuke worked under extremely adverse conditions: state censorship, the mass arrests of communists and other political activists that began in 1928, and the impact on morale of the renunciation of communism by the Party’s two most experienced activists, Manabu Sano and Sadachika Nabeyama, in 1933.

His poems are influenced by European styles of free verse and often explore multiple perspectives; however his main concern appears to be a desire to record the day to day experience of workers in struggle.

The ‘interpretation’ process

Over a four year period, Jun Shirasu, the poet’s grandson, searched libraries and journals for Kosuke’s work and then shared his partial English translation with the co-author Bruce Barnes; a definitive interpretation was then developed through email exchange, and through Bruce Barnes background reading on the Japanese social history of the period, the development of Communism and the proletarian writers movement in Japan.

About Ichiko Shirasu

Ichiko Shirasu, the poet’s daughter, was the inspiration for the publication: a BBC World Service journalist, translator, and a polymath who kept faith with her father’s socialist principles by demonstrating them through her kindness and generosity. Sadly, her untimely death meant that she was unable to see her idea come to fruition.

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