As the cultural world gears up for a busy autumn, so does our festival.

We have a really exciting and varied line-up this month, with talks at the Italian Cultural Institute and Wallace Collection in London; a dance symposium in Wolverhampton; an exhibition in Hampstead exploring how this area of north London became a melting pot for some of the most creative minds of the last few hundred years; and marking our first foray outside the UK, a special two-day conference at The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.

Here are some highlights, and do also check the calendar for the full programme:


Conference: The Mad Silkman – Zika & Lida Ascher, Textiles and Fashion

U(P)M: The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague
9-10 September

In response to the positive reception the exhibition The Mad Silkman. Zika & Lida Ascher: Textiles and Fashion has enjoyed in the Czech Republic and abroad, among scholars and the general public alike, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague has decided to host an international conference. Experts from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, the Czech Republic and other countries have accepted invitations. Talks will be divided into sections covering history, art, textiles, fashion and current student projects. The conference will also look at migration and how it can contribute to society.

Germano Facetti: A Nazi labour camp survivor who revolutionised British book design

Italian Cultural Institute, London
10 September, 6.30pm

Presented by Chiara Barbieri, the event opens with a screening of the documentary The Yellow Box: Short History of Hate, directed by Anthony West. In this, Facetti recalls his experience as a prisoner of the Nazis, commenting on drawings, pictures and documents he made and collected at Mauthausen concentration camp.

Following the screening, guest speakers Rick Poynor (University of Reading) and Phil Baines (Central Saint Martin) present Facetti’s contributions to British design, publishing and visual culture with a focus on his work as Art Director at Penguin Books in the 1960s.

Insiders/Outsiders: Refugee Dancers from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British Culture

Performance Hub, Walsall Campus, University of Wolverhampton
14 September, 10am – 5.30pm

This one-day symposium will examine the contribution of refugee dancers from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British culture. It will include papers, presentations, and discussions of well-known figures such as Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leeder, and also of those whose contributions have been forgotten or perhaps have never been highlighted from this perspective, such as Stella Mann and Helen Lewis.

20:20 vision

London College of Communication, London
14 September – 30 October

20:20 vision is a dynamic arts and community legacy project from not-for-profits Salusbury WORLD Refugee Centre and FotoDocument, which celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK. The project focuses on 20 children from diverse backgrounds who arrived in the UK circa 1999 and casts a long lens over their lives and achievements fast forwarding 20 years later to 2019. 20:20 vision uses photography, film, written & spoken word and visual theatre to capture the stories which are being showcased in a touring exhibition alongside archival photographs, significant objects, children’s drawings, letters, diaries and other relevant ephemera.

Maurice Blik, Exhibition and Artist’s Talk

Bowman Sculpture, London
16-20 September

After decades of making sculpture, in the last two years, Maurice Blik has identified a unique and personal way of working to externalise his thoughts and feelings.  Now his sculptures leap, dance, stride, walk, hurry, peer, to express what it feels like to be alive.

Born in Amsterdam in 1939 and having survived Bergen-Belsen, Maurice arrived in the UK aged six. The ability to come to terms with those experiences, to confront the face of humanity that he had witnessed, stayed silent in him for some 40 years until it found a voice in the passionate and exquisite sculpture that he began to produce in the 1980s. Also, don’t miss the Artist’s Talk at 6.30pm, Thursday 19 September.

The Life of Herbert Bier though his Archive

Visitors’ Library, Wallace Collection, London
23 September, 6pm

This will be a chance to view the archive material and hear a talk on the life of the art dealer Herbert Bier (1905-1981) in the Visitors’ Library at the Wallace Collection. Bier had clients from all over the world and dealt with top museums in Britain, America and Australia. His interests and expertise were wide-ranging and thousands of works of art went through his hands during his lifetime. He was meticulous record keeper and his archive is not only useful for provenance research of paintings but shows the discrimination he faced in Germany as well as life in London after he emigrated in 1936.

Lecture: Stranger at the Door

JW3, London
25 September, 2pm

Representations of the Other in Art, lecture by Lydia Bauman.

At a time when so many problems afflicting our world are the result of our distrust and fear of strangers, we take a timely look at the representations of the Other in art history.

The Bible, History and Classical Mythology all abound in stories of adversity brought about by mistrust, mistaken identities and misunderstood intentions of strangers.

Stories of angels, heretics, gods and foreigners – from tragic to humorous – make us consider frankly the problems of prejudice, racism, small mindedness and folly besetting humankind.

The Escape Act – A Holocaust Memoir

Jackson’s Lane, London
23 & 24 September, 7.30pm

Circomedia, Bristol
26 September, 7.30pm

The Escape Act – A Holocaust Memoir is a one-woman theatre show, written and performed by Stav Meishar, incorporating circus and puppetry. It is based on the life of Irene Danner, a Jewish acrobat who survived the Holocaust hiding from the Nazis at 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 to Holocaust survivors.

Art Aiding Politics: Hampstead in the 1930s and ’40s

Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London
25 September 2019 – 29 March 2020

Hampstead has been a place of refuge, reflection and community for centuries. This exhibition aims to show the response of some of its most creative residents to the tumultuous political events of the early twentieth century; from the Spanish Civil War to the rise of the Nazi party and the outbreak of the Second World War and beyond. Including art and artefacts relating to Roland Penrose and Lee Miller, Fred Uhlman, Milein Cosman, FHK Henrion and many others, this exhibition will examine the artists’ reactions to these events, and the communities of support that developed as a result.

Belonging and Not Belonging: Émigré Artists in Britain after 1933

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
26 September, 6pm

Monica Bohm-Duchen considers the experiences of the visual artists who sought refuge from Nazi persecution in Britain.

In this talk, Monica Bohm-Duchen, Creative Director of the Insiders/Outsiders Festival, celebrates the achievements and legacy of the European émigré artists during the 1930s but also reveals the challenges and obstacles they faced on their arrival in Britain.