This month brings together a vast range of festival activity – from poetry readings and circus, to exhibitions, lectures and walking tours. Here are ten highlights:


Beyond Bauhaus – Modernism in Britain 1933-66

RIBA, London
1 October 2019 – 1 February 2020

This exhibition revisits the impact on British architecture and design of three notable Bauhaus émigrés: Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy. On 16 October the exhibition’s co-curator, Valeria Carullo, launches her book Moholy-Nagy in Britain with a talk at the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London.


Living with the Wire: Guided Walks

Manx Museum, Isle of Man
4 and 11 October 2019, 10.30am and 2pm

As part of the Isle of Man’s annual Heritage Open Day weekends, join Manx National Heritage Curator Yvonne Cresswell on a series of walking tours exploring the major role that the Isle of Man played in the civilian internment of so-called ‘Enemy Aliens’ during the Second World War. The guided walks will provide an opportunity to discover where the various internment camps were created out of the Island’s tourist accommodation of h=otels and boarding houses along Douglas promenade and around Onchan.


Mendelsohn’s De La Warr Pavilion

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
6 October, 12pm

Explore Erich Mendelsohn’s design legacy with a talk on his life and a tour of the De La Warr Pavilion.

A refugee from Hitler’s Germany, Erich Mendelsohn had already established an international reputation when in 1934, together with Russian-born Serge Chermayeff, he won the commission led by the 9th Earl De La Warr to design a new Pavilion for Bexhill. The result, a ‘people’s palace for art and culture’, was and continues to be an expression of a specifically social and moral agenda.


Exiled Lit Café: Opening Lands

Poetry Café, London
7 October, 7pm

An evening of poetry, prose, discussion and creative partnerships.

A chance to hear excerpts from three upcoming books with Ziba Karbassi reading from Lemon Sun, Marta Dziurosz reading from Renia’s Diary and Stephen Duncan reading from Beata Duncan’s Breaking Glass.

Further to the recent launch of the Towards an Open Land project, a series of workshops in London and the road that invite writers from Muslim and Jewish backgrounds to explore identity and creativity in an era of increasing Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism, this event will also be a chance to hear the results of the first round of collaborations with Shamim Azad, Jennifer Langer, Hasan Khaya, Anba Jawi, Justin Hoffman and Mark Collins.


Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

Archive Gallery, Tate Britain, London
7 October 2019 – 27 March 2020

This free display will examine the life and work of Austrian-born painter Marie-Louise von Motesiczky alongside other émigrés who escaped Nazi Europe for the safety of Britain.

In addition to material relating to her friendship with Oskar Kokoschka, the display will be augmented by archival items and works of art relating to other émigré artists such as Milein Cosman, Josef Herman, and Fred Uhlman.

East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil

London Literature Festival
Southbank Centre, London
21 October 2019, 7.30pm

A partly staged reading inspired by international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands’ award-winning bestseller about the Nuremberg trials.




From The Tattooist of Auschwitz to Cilka’s Journey

London Literature Festival
Southbank Centre, London
22 October 2019, 7.30pm

Find out what happened to The Tattooist of Auschwitz’s Cilka Klein from author Heather Morris as she discusses her latest novel at a London-exclusive event.




Academic Refugees in the 1930’s: In and Around the Warburg Circle

Lecture by Professor Elizabeth Sears, University of Michigan

Warburg Institute, London
22 October 2019, 5.30pm

Having accepted the necessity of exile as they ventured into the unknown, refugees had massive practicalities to contend with. This talk draws on archival materials, especially relating to the activities of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL), to reconstruct procedures and indicate the nature of the help émigrés received from organizations and individuals in Britain and the United States. In 1933 the SPSL had helped the Warburg Library and staff leave Hamburg and transfer to London to become the Warburg Institute, which in turn played a major role in helping academic refugees to find their way.


William Feaver on the Lives of Lucian Freud

The London Library, London
24 October, 6.45pm

In partnership with The London Library and Jewish Book Week, renowned art critic William Feaver, discusses the first volume of his landmark new biography of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.

Though ferociously private, Lucian Freud spoke most weeks for many years to Feaver – his close confidante and collaborator – about painting and the art world, but also about his life and loves. The result is a definitive, electrifying biography, shot through with Freud’s own words.


The Escape Act – A Holocaust Memoir

Circusmash, Birmingham
26 and 27 October, 8pm

The Lowry, Manchester
29 October, 8pm

The Escape Act – A Holocaust Memoir is a one-woman theatre show incorporating circus and puppetry. It is based on the real life story of Irene Danner, a Jewish acrobat who survived the Holocaust hiding from the Nazis in a German circus. The show goes back and forth between past and present, between character and performer, and combines the historical events of Irene’s life with the experiences of the performer as a grandchild of Holocaust survivors.