Category: EventsTTTT

Emirates LitFest Orwell Lecture 2011: Gavin Esler – George Orwell as a prophet of 21st Century culture

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Staged by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in association with the Orwell Trust.

Award-winning BBC broadcaster and novelist, and co-host of BBC’s Newsnight programme, Gavin Esler delivers the inaugural Orwell Lecture at Emirates Litfest. Gavin will discuss the importance of George Orwell to his own work, and examine one under-emphasised area of George Orwell’s thought: the erosion of cultural values – from the awfulness of Victory Gin to the banal and trivial nature of popular culture. And he points out that the Ministry of Truth, depicted in Orwell’s iconic novel, 1984, was mostly dedicated not to rewriting the past, but to producing dim-witted but catchy pop songs, idiotic TV programmes and newspapers obsessed with crime, sport and sex. Did George Orwell really see into the 21st century world of The X Factor, tabloid newspapers and Wayne Rooney?

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Orwell Lecture 2010: Ferdinand Mount – Orwell and the Oligarchs

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  • Ferdinand Mount (author, novelist, former head of the policy unit at 10 Downing Street and former judge of the Orwell Prize)

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Orwell and the Oligarchs: Back in 1946 George Orwell wrote that the general drift was towards oligarchy. We like to think that, on the contrary, modern society has been stumbling in the general direction of democracy and the wider spread of ownership, control and income. Recent events suggest that Orwell had a point and that power and reward these days are more not less concentrated in the hands of the few, not the many. We have, it seems, bred our own oligarchs. What’s the remedy?

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Orwell and Russia

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At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical admiration of Soviet Russia. Everyone knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious criticism of the Soviet regime, any disclosure of facts which the Soviet government would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable.’

George Orwell, ‘The Freedom of the Press

George Orwell’s writing – especially after his experience of the Spanish Civil War – is highly critical of the Soviet regime and its uncritical adherents. His works, especially Animal Farm and 1984 (which both satirise the USSR), circulated illicitly and widely behind the Iron Curtain. So what was – and what is – Orwell’s influence on Russia? The Orwell Prize is delighted to be bringing Masha Karp and John Lloyd together to talk about Orwell and Russia, chaired by Jean Seaton.

Drinks from 6.15pm, with the talk starting at 7pm.

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Launch Debate 2011: Poverty and the Spending Review

Image from Paolo Margari on flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/paolomargari/451545773/

Speakers

  • Chris Giles, economics editor of the Financial Times
  • Lisa Harker, former director of ippr
  • Dr Patrick Nolan, chief economist at Reform
  • David Walker, author of The Verdict: Did Labour Change Britain? and Unjust Rewards (both with Polly Toynbee)

Details

The programme for the evening was as follows:

6.30pm Drinks

7pm Launch of the Orwell Prize 2011

  • Jean Seaton (Director of the Prize) announced the judges for the year and opened the Prize for entries

7.10pm Debate: Poverty and the Spending Review

We’ll be making poverty a focus of our activity this year, with the 75th anniversary of Orwell’s journey to Wigan Pier coming up in January 2011.

Entries for the Orwell Prize 2011 will open on the evening of 21st October and remain open until Wednesday 19th January 2011. All work published for the first time between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2010 is eligible. There must be a clear relationship with the UK or Ireland – this ‘relationship’ might include citizenship, residency or first publication, but please contact the administrator if you have any queries. You can read the rules in full elsewhere on our website, along with the values of Orwell which our judges keep in mind when judging.

The Prizes are self-nominating – somebody involved in the production of the entered work, whether author, journalist, blogger, editor or publisher must put the work forward. If, however, you’ve come across something this year which you think we should look out for, please get in touch or discuss on our new Facebook page.

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Buxton 2010: Andrea Gillies in Conversation

  • Andrea Gillies (Orwell Prize-winning author of Keeper)
  • Chaired by Rebecca Nicolson (founder and publisher, Short Books)
  • With a brief introduction from Dame Janet Smith (chair, Buxton Festival)

In this talk, Andrea Gillies, winner of the Book Prize for 2010, discusses the inspiration behind her winning book Keeper with her publisher, Rebecca Nicolson. The book chronicles the author’s experience of caring for her mother-in-law, Nancy, as her Alzheimer’s disease accelerates, while running a bed and breakfast, being a mother of three children and failing to write a novel. Keeper also won the inaugural Wellcome Prize for medicine in literature.

  • More on Keeper by Andrea Gillies
  • Buxton 2010: The greatest political writer – Orwell versus Dickens
  • Orwell Prize events at the Buxton Festival 2009

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Buxton 2010: The greatest political writer – Orwell vs Dickens

Speakers

  • Orwell: D. J. Taylor (biographer, critic, novelist, author of George Orwell: The Life)
  • Dickens: Michael Slater (academic, author of Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing)
  • Orwell: David Aaronovitch (The Times, winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2001)
  • Dickens: Lucinda Hawksley (writer, great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens)
  • Chaired by Dame Janet Smith (chair, Buxton Festival)

In 1939, George Orwell composed a famous essay about Charles Dickens. ‘When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page’, wrote Orwell. But in this contest between two of Britain’s greatest writers, which face will fit? Advocates for both Orwell and Dickens speak up in this debate – and you, the audience, will decide.

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Awards Ceremony 2010

  • Andrea Gillies wins Book Prize for Keeper (Short Books)
  • Peter Hitchens wins Journalism Prize for foreign correspondence in the Mail on Sunday
  • Winston Smith wins Blog Prize for Working with the Underclass
  • Norma Percy awarded a Special Prize for Lifetime Achivement

The winners of the Orwell Prize 2010 were announced on Wednesday 19th May 2010 from 7pm at a ceremony at Church House, Westminster. Click here for the full press release and more reaction.

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Autopsy of a Story

  • John Arlidge (shortlisted for journalism in the Sunday Times)
  • Amelia Gentleman (shortlisted for journalism in The Guardian)
  • Peter Hitchens (shortlisted for journalism in the Mail on Sunday)
  • Chaired by Paddy O’Connell (host of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House)

Three of this year’s shortlisted journalists – John Arlidge, Amelia Gentleman and Peter Hitchens – talked to Paddy O’Connell about their work, before discussing the future of journalism in general.

Paddy asked John about his story on Goldman Sachs; Amelia about her reports on social work in the aftermath of the Baby P case, 21st century poverty and old people’s homes; and Peter about his counterfactual piece on the Berlin Wall not crumbling and his comparison of British and Canadian responses to the war in Afghanistan.

You can read all of this year’s shortlisted journalism here.

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Shortlist Debate 2010: Has the political class been fatally weakened?

  • David Halpern (research director of the Institute for Government, former chief analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit)
  • Helena Kennedy QC (lawyer, broadcaster and writer, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books 2005)
  • Cristina Odone (journalist, novelist and broadcaster)
  • Meg Russell (deputy director of the UCL Constitution Unit, adviser to the Wright Committee on parliamentary reform)
  • Chaired by Jodie Ginsberg (UK and Ireland Bureau Chief, Thomson Reuters)

This year’s shortlists – of 6 books, 7 journalists and 6 bloggers – were announced before a sparky debate on whether the political class had been fatally weakened by recent events including the expenses scandal.

  • Orwell Prize for Books Shortlist 2010
  • Orwell Prize for Journalism Shortlist 2010
  • Orwell Prize for Blogs Shortlist 2010
  • Judges 2010
  • Longlists 2010

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Oxford 2010: What is the BBC for?

  • David Mitchell (comedian, actor, Observer columnist)
  • Ed Vaizey MP (Conservative, Shadow Arts Minister)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize, official historian of the BBC)

The twelfth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

The last few years have been difficult ones for the BBC, with controversies ranging from Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s infamous radio prank to accusations of bias in news coverage, and from the role of BBC Worldwide (the Beeb’s commercial arm) to the Gaza appeal. But fundamentally, why does the BBC exist, and are its traditional aims still relevant in the 21st century? These are particularly relevant questions given the forthcoming election.

  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: Orwell and Waugh

  • Paula Byrne (author, Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead)
  • D. J. Taylor (author, George Orwell: The Life)

The eleventh of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

The Same Man, a recent book by American writer, David Lebedoff made the case that George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh had a lot more in common than simply being born in the same year, 1903. Despite the different paths that their lives and writing would take, Lebedoff argued, they both rebelled against the modern world and foresaw the materially rich but morally poor future. Two leading biographers – one Orwell, one Waugh – discuss the idea.

  • The Orwell Prize: D. J. Taylor, ‘The Road to 1984’
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: Dispatches – Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone

  • Jeremy Williams (director and producer)
  • Evan Williams (director and producer)
  • Chaired by Gavin Freeguard (Administrator of the Orwell Prize)

The tenth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

As part of a series of events marking the 75th anniversary of Orwell’s debut novel, Burmese Days, the Orwell Prize is delighted to screen Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone. First shown on TV as part of Channel 4’s Dispatches strand, the film – which follows eight Burmese orphans in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis – won a prestigious Rory Peck Award.

  • Dispatches: Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone
  • The Orwell Prize: What next for Burma?
  • The Orwell Prize: Works by, and on, Orwell and Burma
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: How intelligent are our intelligence services?

  • Miranda Carter (winner of the Orwell Prize 2002 for Anthony Blunt: His Lives, author of The Three Emperors)
  • Sir David Omand (former UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, former member of the Joint Intelligence Committee)
  • Christopher Andrew unfortunately had to pull out due to ill health
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

The seventh of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

The British Security Services have dealt with a variety of threats to national security during their century of existence: Germany between the wars, the Soviet bloc during the Cold War, and Islamist terrorism since 9/11. But with intelligence once again under the spotlight with another inquiry into the Iraq War, how can we be sure that we are getting the right sort of intelligence, and how has intelligence gathering evolved over the decades, as threats change and technologies advance?

  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: Screening of Burma VJ

The ninth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

As part of a series of events marking the 75th anniversary of Orwell’s debut novel, Burmese Days, the Orwell Prize is delighted to screen Burma VJ. This Oscar-nominated documentary by Anders Østergaard looks at the video-journalists risking their freedom – and lives – to document the reality of life inside Burma, and the protests of September 2007. The film lasts for 85 minutes.

  • Burma VJ website
  • The Orwell Prize: What next for Burma?
  • The Orwell Prize: Works by, and on, Orwell and Burma
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

Oxford 2010: The future of Burma

  • Tin Htar Swe (Burma editor, BBC World Service)
  • Justin Wintle (journalist, author of Perfect Hostage: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma and the Generals)
  • Maung Zarni (LSE Global Governance fellow; visiting senior fellow, Institute for Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (Director of the Orwell Prize)

The eighth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

‘In Burma there is a joke that Orwell wrote not just one novel about the country, but three: a trilogy composed of Burmese Days, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four,’ writes Emma Larkin in Finding George Orwell in Burma. Seventy-five years on from the first UK publication of Burmese Days, Orwell’s first novel, Burma is synonymous with totalitarianism and a ruthless attitude towards political dissent. Do the promised 2010 elections offer hope for change, or is the continued focus on Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention a distraction from the real issues?

  • The Orwell Prize: What next for Burma?
  • The Orwell Prize at Oxford 2010: Dispatches: Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone
  • The Orwell Prize: Works by, and on, Orwell and Burma
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: George Orwell – A Life in Pictures

  • Chris Durlacher (writer and director, George Orwell: A Life in Pictures)
  • Chaired by Gavin Freeguard (Administrator of the Orwell Prize)

The sixth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

Only a few seconds of video footage of George Orwell is known to exist – walking across a field while at Eton – so writer and director Chris Durlacher had to start from scratch with this dramatised biography. Starring Chris Langham as George Orwell, this critically acclaimed and Emmy-winning film was shown in 2003, the centenary of Orwell’s birth. Chris will be talking and taking questions about the documentary afterwards

  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: How do we stop torture – again?

  • Clare Algar (executive director of Reprieve)
  • Ian Cobain (The Guardian, winner of the Paul Foot Award)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (Director of the Orwell Prize)

The fifth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

‘The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?’ asks O’Brien while interrogating Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984. But over the last few years, torture has moved from the pages of novels and history books into newspapers. Our panel examine how and why

  • Clare Algar’s presentation
  • The Orwell Prize: 1984 and torture
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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Oxford 2010: The future of Great Britain

  • Ian Jack (journalist, author of The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain, Orwell Prize 2009 judge)
  • Peter Kellner (Orwell Prize 2010 judge, President of YouGov, author of Democracy: 1000 Years in Pursuit of British Liberty)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (Director of the Orwell Prize)

The fourth of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010.

With a General Election imminent, it’s a good time to consider what the future might hold for the UK. How different will its destiny be, depending on the result of the election? Will we experience as much change in the next half-century as we have in the last 50 years? And will there even be a “Great Britain” in the near, let alone distant, future? Our distinguished panel will share their thoughts on past, present and times to come.

  • The Orwell Prize: Are political parties bankrupt?
  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • Orwell Prize events at the Oxford Literary Festival 2009
  • Orwell Prize event at the Oxford Literary Festival 2008

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