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A night at the British Museum: after-hours with Dan Snow at Defining Beauty

Event preview

AT 6.30pm on Thursday, May 28, 2015, the British Museum will present a live 30 minute broadcast from its current blockbuster exhibition, Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, sponsored by Julius Baer.

This unique broadcast will be live-streamed using the hugely popular Periscope app to share the secrets of these remarkable works of Ancient Greek art.

Viewers will be treated to an exclusive live guided tour of the exhibition by TV historian Dan Snow. The broadcast will be entitled Discover the naked truth behind Greek art with Dan Snow in this exclusive live tour and will begin as the British Museum closes to the public.

Snow will invite all those watching to join in with his journey around the exhibition, getting up close to iconic white marble statues, exquisite works in terracotta and beautiful bronzes and fascinating vases. As the tour progresses, viewers will be able to submit their questions via Twitter and the Periscope app and these will be put to exhibition curator Ian Jenkins in a one-off interactive Q & A hosted live by Snow.

Periscope is the recently-launched app from Twitter which streams video direct from a smartphone or tablet to a global audience online. Released in March 2015, the app has been downloaded millions of times. Periscope enables users to stream live whatever is visible to their smartphone or tablet camera and anyone watching can leave comments or share the link to the video via their Twitter account.

Chris Michaels, Head of Digital & Publishing at the British Museum said:

“As a museum of the world for the world, we are always looking to experiment with new ways to share our exhibitions with the world, both the huge audiences who do visit us, and the audiences that cannot. Mobile technology and social media offer incredible ways to do that, and Periscope is a brilliant new innovation. The immediacy and intimacy of this way of broadcasting can help bring the wonder of Greek sculpture to a new audience.”

Dan Snow, presenter of the live broadcast said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes at the British Museum and to share this experience with a global audience. The British Museum is placing itself at the cutting-edge of new technology by using Periscope to broadcast live to a potential reach of millions. This event comes very early in the life of Periscope as users experiment with ways to instantly stream and record unique moments. I hope everyone watching will share in my enjoyment as I explore the British Museum after-hours and show them the exhibition Defining beauty in a way that no other visitor has had the chance to view it.”

The live link will be shared from the BM’s Twitter feed (@britishmuseum #DefiningBeauty), along with a series of exclusive content.

The broadcast can be watched live within the Periscope app, and a replay version will be available on the app for 24 hours afterwards.

The broadcast can also be watched live on desktop computers but will no longer be viewable on this site once the broadcast ends.

A recording will be available to view the next day on the British Museum’s Facebook page and Youtube channel, as well the British Museum’s webpage.

Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art in on display in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery until July 5, 2015.

Riviera Style: Resort and Swimwear since 1900

Exhibition preview

RIVIERA Style: Resort and Swimwear since 1900, a new exhibition exploring over 100 years of fashionable bathing from the English seaside to the Côte d’Azur and California, will be on display at the Fashion and Textile Museum from May 22 to August 29, 2015.

From the English Riviera to the Côte d’Azur, Riviera Style celebrates fashion at its most fun. With swimsuits and sarongs, brightly patterned cover-ups, boat neck Bretons and beach pyjamas, playsuits, bikinis and burkinis, the exhibition brings together over 100 years of clothing worn in and by the sea. See how clothing design, fabric and attitudes to modesty have changed over many years, in combination with a social history of holidays.

Exhibition research by guest curator and design historian, Dr Christine Boydell, sheds new light on the relationship with swimwear, beachwear and the body.

‘A key feature of the items selected is the importance of material’, says Dr Boydell, ‘from early examples to produce the perfect fabric that didn’t bag or sag when wet, to more recent technical developments designed to improve fit and increase speed in the water.’

Dr Boydell, whose scholarly research on Horrockses Fashions led to a national resurgence of interest in the brand, identifies the changes in swim and beachwear as a reflection of the changing mores of society.

‘Days at the beach began as a health cure when sea air was prescribed by doctors in the Victorian era. Before the 1920s swimming costumes were for bathing; the trend for sunbathing which emerged led to a radical change in the design of swimsuits and beach attire. By the 1930s men’s and women’s suits had cut away sections and later two-piece models became popular, though many 1940s and 50s swimsuits still had modesty skirts. In the 1940s, swimwear became more like corsetry and a lot of companies, particularly Symington, used the idea of “corset-cut” as a selling point’, states Dr Boydell.

The exhibition delves into the extensive archives at Leicestershire County Council, private collections, fashion magazines and trade journals for original source material. From Edwardian bathing dresses, which preserved the wearer’s modesty, and knitted swimsuits to barely there Lycra, it’s all here – including the burkini which drew national attention when worn by Nigella Lawson on holiday.

There are glamorous swimming costumes worn by beauty queens at the seaside resorts of Britain – and there’s even one off-the-peg Symington’s design which was worn by the winner of Miss Great Britain in 1965. (In a sign of the times, she was presented with her prize by comedians Morecambe and Wise).

Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum, Celia Joicey said: ‘Thanks to Leicestershire County Council, the UK is guardian to one of the world’s most significant collections of swimwear. We are delighted to be showing these rare examples in London for the first time, and to make them accessible to as many people as possible. In collaboration with Newham College and De Montfort University, we hope the exhibition will illuminate past and present swimwear fashions, and inspire future design directions in the industry’.

The exhibition is organized in five themes:

Bathing Beauties 1900–20

Bathing became a recreational pastime in the mid-nineteenth century and specialised dress was all about preserving the wearers’ modesty. Resort wear was quite formal and the only difference from ordinary fashion was the use of lighter fabrics often in paler colours. Early swimwear was knitted; men wore one-piece garments designed to cover their chests, while women’s bathing dresses were, in the earlier days, made of serge, cotton or jersey fabric and stockings and hats were essential accessories.

Cling, Bag, Stretch 1920–40

This section looks at the different fabrics which have been used over the years. One of the great challenges to designers of swimwear has been the maintenance of good fit when the suit was dry and wet. The introduction of elastic-based yarns in the 1930s was a real innovation. The period saw top designers including resort wear in their collections.

Mould and Control 1940–60

Mould and control charts how designs moved to more sculpted models, based on corsetry designs. Manufacturers exploited the growing trend for an annual summer holiday creating daywear and beach ensembles in bright colourful prints. Swimwear was essentially a form of underwear worn in public and many of the techniques used in underwear manufacturer were used for swimming costumes, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Body Beautiful 1960–90

The period from 1960 to the end of the 1980s was characterised by the shrinking swimsuit. As the amount of fabric decreased and internal support was reduced it became more important for the wearer to improve their physique through exercise and diet.

Second Skin 1990 onwards

The end of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty first have seen the introduction of sophisticated fabric technology which has found its way to the beach via competitive swimming at the highest level.

Tickets: £8.80 adults, £6.60 concessions, £5.50 students, inclusive of 10% donation. Under 12s are free.

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursday until 8pm; Sunday until 5pm (last admission 45 minutes prior to closing). Closed Mondays.

The Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

Website: www.ftmlondon.org/

As the exhibition’s official image partner, King & McGaw, the UK’s leading printer and publisher, will curate a display of images from their collection that will form part of the exhibition. These will be available to buy as prints exclusively from www.kingandmcgaw.com/.

Exhibitions at Rich Mix - June 2015

RICH Mix has two exhibitions lined up for June 2015.

Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too – Mezzanine gallery from June 4 to June 27. Free.

An exhibition by artist Sanchita Islam, looking at issues of psychosis and postpartum psychosis and how art can be used as an alternative to medication to stay well and manage a mental health condition.

The Travelling Archive In East London – Lower Café Gallery from June 22 to July 5. All day. Free.

This exhibition will create an intimate listening space for stories and histories contained in field recordings of the music of Bengal. It is inspired by multiple times and locations, including London.

See also May exhibitions at Rich Mix.

For more information visit www.richmix.org.uk/.

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain - Victoria and Albert Museum

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Exhibition preview

THE transformative power of extreme footwear will be explored in the V&A’s summer 2015 fashion exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, on display from June 13, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

More than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary shoes from around the world will be on display, many for the first time. The exhibition will explore the agonizing aspect of wearing shoes as well as the euphoria and obsession they can inspire.

The V&A’s shoe collection is unrivalled, spanning the globe and over 2000 years.

For Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, curator Helen Persson has delved into this, other international collections and the wardrobes of private individuals to select an exceptional range of shoes from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to futuristic looking shoes created using 3D printing.

Shoes worn by or associated with high profile figures including Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria, Sarah Jessica Parker and the Hon Daphne Guinness will be shown as well as famous shoes, such as the ballet slippers designed for Moira Shearer in the 1948 film The Red Shoes.

Footwear for men and women by 70 named designers including Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Prada will be on display. Historic lotus shoes made for bound feet and 16th century chopines, silk mules with vertiginous platforms designed to lift skirts above the muddy streets, will also feature.

Exhibition curator, Helen Persson, said: “Shoes are one of the most telling aspects of dress. Beautiful, sculptural objects, they are also powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and even sexual preference. Our choice in shoes can help project an image of who we want to be.”

The exhibition will be shown over two floors. The luxurious, boudoir design of the ground floor gallery will examine three themes: transformation, status and seduction.

‘Transformation’ will present shoes that are the things of myth and legend, opening with different cultural interpretations of the Cinderella story from across the globe. It will explore the concept of shoes being empowering as passed down through folklore, illustrated by the Seven League Boots from the Hop o’ My Thumb tale, and how this feeds into contemporary marketing for such things as football boots and the concept of modern-day, fairy-tale shoemakers, whose designs will magically transform the life of the wearer.

‘Status’ will reveal how impractical shoes have been worn to represent privileged and leisurely lifestyles – their design, shape and material can often make them unsuitable for walking – and how shoes also dictate the way in which the wearer moves, how they are seen and even heard. Shoes on display will include Indian men’s shoes with extremely long toes, noisy slap-sole shoes worn in Europe during the 17th century and the now infamous Vivienne Westwood blue platforms worn by Naomi Campbell in 1993.

‘Status’ will also demonstrate how historically shoe fashions originated from the European royal courts, while today the focus has shifted to famous shoe designers. Desirable shoes such as the ‘Pompadour’, worn by trend-setting women in the 18th century French court will sit together with designs by some of the most well-known names in fashion today, including Alexander McQueen and Sophia Webster.

Within ‘Seduction’, the shoes represent an expression of sexual empowerment or a passive source of pleasure. Like feet, shoes can be objects of fetishism. High Japanese geta, extreme heels and tight-laced leather boots will be on display as well as examples of erotic styles channeled by mainstream fashion in recent years.

In contrast, the laboratory style setting of the first floor gallery is dedicated to dissecting the processes involved in designing and creating footwear, laying out the story from concept to final shoe. This will be enhanced by films and animations that peel back the layers of a shoe and reveal how they are made. The displays will show how makers combine traditional craftsmanship with technological innovation and how they unite function with art.

Designer sketches, materials, embellishments and shoe lasts, such as the lasts created by H. & M. Rayne for Princess Diana, will be on show, alongside ‘pullovers’ from Roger Vivier for Christian Dior. The section will highlight the makers’ ingenuity in creating innovative styles and dealing with the structural challenges of creating ever higher heels and more dramatic shapes and will feature filmed interviews with five designers and makers.

The exhibition will go on to examine shifts in consumption and production – with examples from an 18th century ‘cheap shoe warehouse’, one-off handmade men’s brogues and trainers made in China. It will also look at the future of shoe design, with experiments of material and shapes, moulding and plastics.

On display will be footwear that pushes the boundaries of possibility, including the form-pressed ‘Nova’ shoes designed by Zaha Hadid with an unsupported 16cm heel and Andreia Chaves’ ‘Invisible Naked’ shoes that fuse a study of optical illusion with 3D printing and high quality leather making techniques.

The last section of the exhibition will look at shoes as commodities and collectibles. Six different people’s collections will be presented from trainers to luxury footwear.

Tickets: £12 (concessions available). To book, visit www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/shoes-pleasure-and-pain/ or call 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

The Black Cat Cabaret: Nocturne - London Wonderground

The Black Cat Cabaret: Nocturne

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING their sell out run of 2014, The Black Cat Cabaret’s latest production, Nocturne, runs at the Southbank Centre’s London Wonderground from May 15 to September 11, 2015.

It stars the sensational soprano Lili La Scala as an unsleeping queen of the night who guides the audience on a supernatural voyage through a shadowy dream landscape. Along the way there are encounters with showgirl sirens, otherworldly acrobats, shady troubadour tricksters and many other glorious late night eccentrics.

Drawing inspiration from Freudian dream archetypes, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and a fin de siècle mood of giddy abandonment, the story of Nocturne is infused with an original score interspersed with rediscovered musical gems spanning multiple eras and genres.

The show features exclusive cabaret, circus and dance acts from a company of internationally acclaimed performers – including aerial daredevil and star of La Soirée Bret Pfister; breathtaking hand-to-hand acrobatic duo Nathan and Isis; fire performer, contortionist and aerialist Katrina Lilwall; comic, actress and singer Abi Collins; and the stunning dance trio Cabaret Rouge.

The musical director is Michael Roulston and the director is Secret Cinema and Donmar Warehouse director and National Theatre magical consultant Simon Evans.

With a pedigree unrivalled on the international scene, The Black Cat Cabaret draws together exceptional performers from the worlds of cabaret, burlesque, circus and variety – to create high-end theatrical experiences as diverse as they are decadent. The company won the prestigious “Best Production” prize at London Cabaret Awards 2014 and was shortlisted as “Best Ongoing Production” for 2015.

Inspired by dark and daring Parisian cabaret culture, yet ground-breaking in format, BCC events combine the sophisticated and the unexpected, the classic and the contemporary.

Tickets: £19 – £25.50. To book, visit www.londonwonderground.co.uk/.

Dates: May 15 and 29; June 19 and 26; July 3, 17, 24 and 31; August 7 and 14; and September 11.

Time: 9.30pm.

London Wonderground, Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX

Russian Art Week - May/June 2015

Event preview

THIS June, London’s premier auction houses and arts venues are set to welcome the sixth Russian Art Week in London. Auctions of valuable Russian paintings, icons, Fabergé and works of art will be held at all the major auction houses, alongside a series of Russian fine art exhibitions and performances by renowned Russian musicians.

To celebrate Russian Art Week at Erarta Galleries London, Leonid Tishkov, a world-renowned Russian artist, brings his Private Moon to London for the first time since 2013.

Major London galleries will showcase their collections of Russian art in displays, designed especially for Russian Art Week, including Brun Fine Art exhibition of exquisite Russian works of art from the 19th century.

Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s will all be presenting Russian auctions, whilst Maxim Boxer will be bringing his third contemporary Russian art auction to London, this time looking at the tradition of “cartoon-like art” in Russia.

Other exhibitions include Tate Modern’s show dedicated to 20th century Russian émigré Sonia Delaunay, a leading abstract painter, and Pushkin House’s photography exhibition of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer James Hill called Russian Veterans, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Exhibitions of contemporary Russian artists will also take place during the Week, including Sanya Kantarovsky’s show at Studio Voltaire called Apricot Juice, Cotton Duck by Anton Zolotov and E-E=mc3 by Evgenij Kozlov at Hannah Barry Gallery.

Music enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the variety of concerts and performances during Russian Art Week. The renowned singer Hibla Gerzmava will perform a selection of the best Italian and Russian opera at Opera Holland Park, while on the South Bank pianist Alexei Volodin will be making an appearance at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

English National Opera will present The Queen of Spades, a dramatic new production of Tchaikovsky’s opera about greed and obsession, and The National Theatre will stage a contemporary adaptation of Turgenev’s Three Days in the Country.

Dates: May 29 to June 5, 2015.

For a full listing of events and to download the guide visit www.russianartweek.co.uk.

The next Russian Art Week will take place in late November 2015.

Miaz Brothers - Antimatter Series: A Boundless Vision - Lazarides Rathbone

Miaz Brothers - Antimatter Series: A Boundless Vision

Exhibition preview

LAZARIDES Rathbone is presenting a new exhibition of contemporary portraiture by the Miaz Brothers. Entitled Antimatter Series: A Boundless Vision, it will be on display from June 5 to July 2, 2015.

We are interested in the ‘perception’ and not the ‘representation’ – a direct relationship with the senses and the capacity of the self when faced with the elaborate influx of information that nowadays is becoming more and more important. – Miaz Brothers, 2014.

Antimatter Series: A Boundless Vision is comprised of an all-female body of work, marking a brief departure from the Italian duo’s previously male dominated canvases.

The visceral series leads the viewer on a journey through multiple variations of perceiving the same subject, stretching processes of identification to achieve something not fixed and limited but boundless and personal.

The Miaz Brothers continue their multifaceted airbrushing technique by erasing all unnecessary detail to gain a flawless movement of infinite particles of colour, constructing complex compositions that are not instantly recognisable but become clearer from a distance. The large-scale works develop the artists’ ongoing interest in seventeenth-century renaissance painting, previously displayed in 2014’s Dematerialized: A New Contemporary Vision.

Their lack of detail calls for attention as viewers find themselves scanning each delicately subdued face to place together the larger picture. The Miaz Brothers force the viewer to filter their awareness of what they automatically see and what they naturally perceive, making a nod towards the philosophical implications of beauty and the role of portraiture in modern society.

The skilful series attempts to regain a consciousness of the subtle and spiritual qualities that constitute each portrait, paraphrasing an ideology in which still-frames and fragments of memory become clouded and in turn re-establish the subject’s truest form.

Alongside the gallery exhibition, the Miaz Brothers will be giving an artist-led tour of the new works during SohoCreate Festival. Celebrating the most creative square mile in the world, SohoCreate runs from the June 3 to June 7 with the Miaz Brother’s Open House taking place at 2pm on Thursday, June 4.

Lazarides Rathbone, 11 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HR

Website: www.lazinc.com/

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust - Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibition preview

FROM July 4 to September 27, 2015, the Royal Academy of Arts will present an exhibition of works by American artist Joseph Cornell (1903 – 1972).

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust will offer an overview of the artist’s inventive oeuvre, surveying around 80 of Cornell’s remarkable box constructions, assemblages, collages and films.

The last major solo exhibition of Cornell in Europe took place nearly 35 years ago, originating at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1980, and travelling to the Whitechapel Gallery in the UK.

With very few works on permanent display in European museums, the exhibition will be an opportunity to see rarely lent masterpieces from public and private collections in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Cornell himself never left America and hardly ventured beyond New York City, yet through his art he set out to travel through history, the continents of the globe and even the spiritual realm. His works are manifestations of a powerful ‘wanderlust’ of the mind and soul.

Collecting was central to Cornell’s creativity; he amassed a vast and eclectic personal archive of paper ephemera and found objects, eventually numbering tens of thousands of items. This material revealed his wide-ranging interests from opera, ballet, cinema and theatre to history, ornithology, poetry and astronomy.

Europe held a special place in Cornell’s imagination, and many of the works selected for this exhibition highlight his love of its historic cultures, from the Belle Époque to the Italian Renaissance. Inspired by these interests, he incorporated his collected materials inside glass-fronted wooden box constructions creating miniature worlds known as his ‘shadow boxes’, as well as producing collages and film.

Cornell was entirely self-taught and has often been characterised as an outsider to the New York art scene. In reality, he was highly engaged with the art movements and artists of the time, exhibiting regularly alongside the Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists, whilst carefully maintaining his independence from any one group.

He counted many vanguard artists among his friends including Marcel Duchamp, Robert Motherwell, and Dorothea Tanning.

The exhibition will be arranged thematically in four sections that reflect the artistic processes expressed in Cornell’s diaries and notes; Play & Experiment, Collecting & Classification, Observation & Exploration and Longing & Reverie. The selection will bring together key works from his major series: Museums, Aviaries, Soap Bubble Sets, Palaces, Medici Slot Machines, Hotels and Dovecotes.

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust will introduce this extraordinary artist to a new generation who, from the basement of his family home on Utopia Parkway, Queens, New York, quietly assembled one of the most original bodies of work in twentieth century art.

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (exhibition tour: October 20, 2015 – January 10, 2016). The exhibition is curated by Sarah Lea, Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, and Jasper Sharp, Curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, with Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, as Academic Advisor. In London, the exhibition has been designed by Carmody Groarke.

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust is supported by The Terra Foundation.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Sarah Lea, Jasper Sharp, and Lynda Roscoe Hartigan with a chronology by Ben Street.

Image: Joseph Cornell. Object (Soap Bubble Set), 1941. Box construction, 46.4 × 31.4 × 9.5 cm. The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, Courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Photo: Quicksilver Photographers, LLC.

Admission: £11.50 full price (£10 excluding Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

Times: Daily from 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm); Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

Tickets for Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust are available daily at the RA or online at www.royalacademy.org.uk. Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email adultgroups@royalacademy.org.uk.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

Tel: 020 7300 8000

Website: www.royalacademy.org.uk/

A survey of the figurative and abstract works of Richard Diebenkorn continues at the Royal Academy of Arts until June 7, 2015.

LEGS-hibition - Darren Baker Gallery

Exhibition preview

LEGS-hibition, an exclusive exhibition showcasing pinnacle leg moments from popular culture throughout the ages, is on display at the Darren Baker Gallery on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

From Twiggy in the 60’s debuting the mini-skirt to Taylor Swift giving the Victoria Secret models a run for their money, the exhibition – fronted by razor brand Wilkinson Sword – will showcase the little moments when women’s legs have taken centre stage.

In celebration of a new product offered by Wilkinson Sword, a lucky door prize will be drawn at random every hour with the lucky chosen gallery-goer walking away with a Wilkinson Sword gift pack.

Admission: Free.

Time: 11am – 5pm.

Darren Baker Gallery, 81 Charlotte St, London, W1T 4PP

The Tuareg and a history of the Sahara - The Royal Geographical Society

The Veil. Photo credit: Henrietta Butler.

Exhibition preview

AS THE Tuareg of Mali and Niger combat global politics and economics to hold on to their way of life, a moving photography exhibition, The Tuareg and a history of the Sahara, and series of events at The Royal Geographical Society from June 2 to June 20, 2015 will focus on this proud nomadic culture – that modernised and withstood the challenges of the 20th Century, but is now in peril.

Tuareg society and culture is little known in the UK and the exhibition and events, the first of their kind in the UK, will give the public an opportunity to learn about Tuareg history and culture at this time of difficulty for their people.

Often referred to as the “Blue Men of the Desert”, the Tuareg have lived in extreme desert conditions deep in the Sahara for over a thousand years.

Through photography, poetry, historical documents and letters, drawings and maps, debate and music the exhibition and additional events will recount Tuareg history in Algeria, Libya, Niger and Mali from the 19th Century to the present day, giving the public a fascinating opportunity to discover and learn more about these extraordinary people – from when the Tuareg ruled the Sahara to how they see themselves today.

Their language and distinctive dress – with the men heavily veiled and the women not – unite them and guides their behaviour. Their rich poems and ballads relate a colourful but poignant history and ideology.

Poetry, which is the Tuareg’s most cherished art form, is also at the core of their contemporary pop music and now gives the Tuareg a world stage. The 2012 Grammy award-winning Tinariwen (who will play at WOMAD in July 2015) are the most well-known; while Toumast, who will perform at the event, are releasing a new album in April.

Nomadson Camels. Photo credit: Henrietta Butler.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, co-founder Survival International, said: “This event will thoroughly illuminate and explain the Tuareg’s intriguing, vibrant culture – contradictory but sincere, powerful and resilient. A timely, important show, and to my knowledge the first major exhibition on the Tuareg in the UK.”

The exhibition, on display in the Pavilion, will be curated by the photographer Henrietta Butler and will include her photographs and those of renowned Saharan photographers, and paintings by Tuareg artists.

A 105 page book, The Tuareg and a history of the Sahara, edited by Henrietta Butler will be published by Unicorn Press on May 28, 2015.

For more information, visit www.tuaregtime.co.uk/.

Admission: Free.

Times: Weekdays from 10am – 9pm (except: closed 12pm on Friday, June 5 to Sunday, June 7). Weekends: Saturday, June 13, 10am – 7pm; Sunday, June 14, 10am – 5pm; Saturday, June 20, 10am – 5pm.

The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Related Events

Panel discussion: “Where Now”? – Wednesday, June 3 from 7pm – 9.15pm in the Ondaatje Theatre.

English, French and Tuareg academics and authors, Pierre Boilley, Berny Sèbe, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Adal Rhoubëid, Mohamed Aghali-Zakara and Barnaby Rogerson discuss Tuareg society and culture and, with regard to Saharan turmoil, Tuareg life today, in the Sahara and elsewhere.

Auction in aid of Karl-G. Prasse Ecolé primaire, Amataltal.

Doors, Exhibition and Bar open at 6pm.

Tickets: £10 RGS-IBG members; £12 non-members; £7 students – available online at www.eventbrite.co.uk/.

The Tuareg band Toumast, and friends in The Troubadour Café, 267 Old Brompton Road, London, SW5 9JA on Thursday, June 4 from 8.30pm – 2am. Doors open 8pm.

Tickets: £12.

For more information, call 020 7370 1434 or visit www.troubadour.co.uk.