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How does the concept of class influence creativity?

Festival of Ideas


Sunday 9 September 2018
3 — 4pm

This event has now ended

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Three award-winning artists from the world of film, literature and visual art examine how class has shaped and influenced their individual creative outputs.

According to recent surveys, working-class artists continue to be underrepresented in the arts. With people in top-level positions being either indifferent or reluctant to recognise this, readdressing the inequality is slow. How has this inequality shaped the practice of contemporary artists? Has it helped or hindered their creativity?

This debate brings together the Academy Award and Grammy winning film director Asif Kapadia, the award-winning crime novelist Dreda Say Mitchell, and the artist Bob and Roberta Smith RA, as they reflect on their own experiences of class and its influence on their work. Chaired by the writer and broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, the panel will also look at what needs to change and how.

Asif Kapadia

Kapadia is a film director known for his genre-breaking films including Senna, Amy and The Warrior, exploring characters in extreme landscapes, corruption and the price of fame. Kapadia trained at the Royal College of Art, his films have won numerous awards including an Academy Award, a Grammy and four BAFTA Awards.

Dreda Say Mitchell

Mitchell is an award-winning crime novelist, broadcaster, campaigner, journalist and motivational speaker. She is the author of ten novels, and in 2005 she was the first Black British author to win the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey Dagger award, with her debut novel, Running Hot.

Bob and Roberta Smith RA

Bob and Roberta Smith RA trained as a sign painter in New York in the 1980s and uses text as an art form, creating colourful slogans on banners and placards that challenge elitism and advocate the importance of creativity in politics and education.

His latest exhibition, The Secret to a Good Life, which explores art as a tool to social mobility in the lives of his parents opens in September 2018 at the Royal Academy of Arts in the new Macaulay Gallery.

This talk will be accompanied by BSL (British Sign Language) interpretation.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Sunday 9 September 2018

3 — 4pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£16, £10 concessions