A new season kicks off at the refurbished Bishopsgate Institute, looking at past, present and future threats to London. A series of walks, talks and discussions curated by BBC London’s Robert Elms, it covers everything from Guy Fawkes to terrorism.
There’s plenty to get the brain cells fizzing, but as far as we’re concerned the highlights include:
- a walk round Whitechapel, visiting sites affected by the Blitz – not just bomb sites, but shelters and other aspects of life on the Home Front
- a discussion about perception of crime, with Jason Bennetto, Clive Emsley and Barbara Nadel. Was the 19th century actually rife with robbery, and could you really leave your door open in the 1950s?
- Iain Sinclair and a panel of guests debating whether all London’s grand projects – the Dome, Olympic Park, Thames Gateway – are destined to join other crumbling white elephants around the city
- an examination of protest in London, past and present, with Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens, Clive Bloom and Stop the War’s Lindsey German
- a look at the impact of gentrification on London, including the winners and losers
- a talk by Nicholas Faith about whether the City threatens the wider city more than it contributes.
There’s also a little sub-season covering London in Fiction, with appearances by Jake Arnott, Sarah Wise, Cathi Unsworth and China Mieville. Get your hard hat / tin foil hat out (delete as appropriate) and head down.
The London in Peril season runs 17th May – 21st July at the Bishopsgate Insitute, 230 Bishopsgate. Some events are free, others priced at £8 / £6 concessions. For more information see the Bishopsgate Institute website.