Category: EventsTTTT

Oxford 2010: The future of policing

  • Sir Ian Blair (former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, author of Policing Controversy)
  • Roger Graef (broadcaster, producer of Thames Valley Police)
  • Robert Reiner (Professor of Criminology, author of The Politics of the Police)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

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

‘Having gone truncheons to tasers in a generation, I also have to wonder what purpose the current Police Service has been built for… Once people get over the quasi military kit, we are mostly approachable and pleasant people, it’s just that we dress like Imperial Stormtroopers.’ Policing has undergone a huge transformation over the last 15 years, as suggested by Orwell Prize-winning police blogger ‘Jack Night’, but what do the next few years hold for the Service?

  • Nightjack – An English Detective (cached blog)
  • 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

Video

Oxford 2010: The economy – what next?

  • Paul Collier (professor of economics at Oxford University, author of The Bottom Billion)
  • David Halpern (research director of the Institute for Government, author of The Hidden Wealth of Nations)
  • David Smith (economics editor of the Sunday Times, author of The Age of Instability)
  • Linda Yueh (fellow in economics and director of China Growth Centre at the University of Oxford, economic commentator)
  • Chaired by Daniel Pimlott (economics correspondent, Financial Times)

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

The dominant political story of the last few years has been the crisis afflicting the global economy. Fault has been ushered in through the doors of many professions – bankers, politicians, the public, academics – and the effects have been felt far and wide and deep. But over two years since the start of the crunch and subsequent recession, what can we expect to happen next?

  • The Orwell Prize: Coming Up for Air – Unemployment and Uncertainty
  • The Orwell Prize: 2009 and 1939 – How do we avoid political crisis after an economic crash?
  • 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

Video

Oxford 2010: How free should free speech be?

Speakers

  • Catherine Bennett (The Observer, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism 2009)
  • John Kampfner (director of Index on Censorship, author of Freedom for Sale, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2010)
  • Geoffrey Robertson QC (lawyer, broadcaster, author)
  • Chaired by Albert Scardino (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former Orwell Prize judge)

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

‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’; ‘The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment’; ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.’ Orwell was a staunch proponent of freedom of all kinds, especially of speech and of the press. But – with criticisms of the media flourishing, preachers of hate making headlines, the anonymity of the internet, and journalists complaining about libel laws – how free is free speech, and what should the limits be?

  • George Orwell: The Freedom of the Press
  • The Orwell Prize: What can’t you speak about in the 21st Century?
  • 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

Video

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010

The Orwell Prize took twelve events to the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010 – click on the links below to watch video of, and find out more about, each event.

Sunday 21st March

Monday 22nd March

Wednesday 24th March

Thursday 25th March

Friday 26th March

Saturday 27th March

Sunday 28th March

Colloque George Orwell – George Orwell Conference

On 19-20 March 2010, the Université Charles de Gaulle – Lille 3 held a conference, the first of its kind in France, on the politics and literature of George Orwell. Entitled ‘George Orwell – a political conscience of the 20th Century’, the event drew together a range of impressive speakers (in English and French) on subjects including Orwell on Palestine, Orwell’s works on film and commemorations of Orwell in Britain today.

To watch the presentations, visit our ‘About Orwell’ page.

Friday morning

  • Olivier Esteves (Lille 3): Orwell, l’empire colonial et l’opinion publique britannique (French)
  • Jacques Dewitte (philosopher, translator): Orwell, un conservateur-libéral-socialiste? (French)
  • Jean-Jacques Rosat (Collège de France): Ni anarchiste ni tory – Orwell et « la révolte intellectuelle » (French)

Friday afternoon

  • Charles Holdefer (Université de Poitiers): ‘As surely doomed as the hippopotamus’ – George Orwell and the anachronistic writer (English)
  • Joseph Maslen (University of Manchester): Inside the whale of British communism (English)
  • Antoine Capet (Université de Rouen): George Orwell and the ‘phoney left’, 1939-1945 (English)
  • Dominic Cavendish (Daily Telegraph, playwright): Coming Up for Air revisited – Orwell, England, and the idea of escape (English)
  • Sébastien Lefait (Université de Corse): « The Big Screen is watching you » – 1984 (Michael Radford) ou le Panopticon cinématographique (French)
  • Sébastien Denis (Université de Provence): La ferme des animaux revisitée – sur deux films et un album (French)

Saturday morning

  • Giora Goodman (Kinneret College, Israel): George Orwell and the question of Palestine (English)
  • François Bordes (IEP Paris): La gauche hétérodoxe et la réception d’Orwell en France au début de la guerre froide (French)
  • Christophe Le Dréau (IEP Paris): George Orwell, icône de l’Europe unie (French)
  • Dolores Martin (Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie): George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, Rethinking the Spanish Civil War (English)

Saturday afternoon

  • Marina Rémy Abrunhosa (ENS Lyon): Face-to-face encounters in Orwell’s early works – an aesthetics of the contemporary (English)
  • John Crowley (UNESCO), S. Romi Mukherjee (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, l’Université de Chicago): Orwell’s people (English, delivered by S. Romi Mukherjee)
  • Patricia Rae (Queen’s University, Ontario): Modernist Orwell (English)
  • John Baxendale (Sheffield Hallam University): Orwell and Priestley – two ways of being a left-wing writer in 20th Century England (English, delivered by Olivier Esteves)
  • Jeremy Tranmer (Nancy 2): Big brother watching friends and foes? George Orwell and the British Left (English)
  • Philippe Vervaecke (Université de Lille III): Orwell as heritage – commemorations of Orwell in contemporary Britain, c. 1994-2010 (English)

University of Oxford 2010: What can’t you speak about in the 21st Century?

  • Timothy Garton Ash (academic, writer, Orwell Prize-winning journalist)
  • Mehdi Hasan (senior editor – politics, New Statesman)
  • Douglas Murray (director, Centre for Social Cohesion)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

Ahead of this year’s Orwell Prize programme of events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival (20th-28th March 2010), we wanted to take a discussion to the University during term time. Thanks to Merton College, we ran a lively debate on ‘what can’t you speak about in the 21st Century?’.

  • Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
  • Orwell Prize at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2010
  • The Orwell Prize: 1984 and Thoughtcrime discussion
  • The Orwell Prize: 1984 and Civil Liberties discussion

Video

Writers in Schools Pilot: D. J. Taylor and David Kynaston, Norwich School

Speakers

  • David Kynaston (historian, longlisted for the Orwell Prize 2008 with Austerity Britain, 1945-51)
  • D. J. Taylor (critic, novelist, Orwell biographer)

The first in a series of ‘political writers in schools’ pilot projects, with Orwell biographer D. J. Taylor and historian David Kynaston talking to sixth form students from across Norwich.

David Kynaston talks about his latest book, Family Britain 1951-7, and D. J. Taylor talks about Orwell’s novels in a lecture called ‘The Road to 1984’, before discussion about Orwell and British society with the audience.

Video

Orwell Lecture 2009: Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel, author and winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 for Wolf Hall, gives the George Orwell Memorial Lecture 2009. The subject of the lecture was ‘“More like a castle than a realm” – Thomas Cromwell’s Radical England’.

Video

Launch Debate 2010: What next for Burma?

  • Andrew Mitchell MP (Shadow Secretary of State for International Development)
  • Alan Cox (actor)
  • Dr Michael Charney (SOAS)
  • Soe Win Than (BBC Burmese Service)
  • Pascal Khoo Thwe (author of From the Land of the Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey)
  • Derek Tonkin (former British ambassador to Vietnam, Thailand and Laos)

The Orwell Prize 2010 opened for entries with an evening of events on the theme, ‘What next for Burma?’, marking the 75th anniversary of Orwell’s Burmese Days. This was accompanied by an online selection of Orwell’s work about Burma, an introduction to Burmese Days by Emma Larkin and a photographic essay revisiting Orwell’s steps in Burma from photo-journalist Julio Etchart.

The evening ran as follows:

5.30 Doors open

5.45 Question and Answer session

  • Andrew Mitchell MP

6.15 Drinks

6.40 Launch: Opening of submissions for the Orwell Prize 2010, and announcement of judges

  • Professor Jean Seaton, Director of the Prize

6.50 Drama: An Incident in Rangoon – exclusive adaptation from Orwell’s sketches for Burmese Days by Dominic Cavendish

  • Alan Cox

7.00 Discussion: What next for Burma?

  • Dr Michael Charney
  • Derek Tonkin
  • Pascal Khoo Thwe
  • Soe Win Than
  • Jean Seaton (chair)

Video

Edinburgh Book Fringe 2009: Raja Shehadeh and Marina Lewycka

  • Raja Shehadeh (winner of the Orwell Prize 2008 for Palestinian Walks)
  • Marina Lewycka (shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2008 for Two Caravans)
  • Introduced by Gavin Freeguard (Administrator of the Orwell Prize)

Raja and Marina met at the Orwell Prize 2008 awards ceremony, and struck up a firm friendship. The two of them have since taken some Palestinian walks together, and some in the Peak District. During the event, Raja and Marina discuss their walks and Israel and Palestine, and read from their work, Raja from his recently republished memoir of growing up in Palestine, Strangers in the House, and Marina from her third novel, We Are All Made of Glue.

  • Raja Shehadeh: In conversation with Andrew Franklin, introduced by Sir Bernard Crick, Edinburgh International Book Festival 2008
  • Marina Lewycka: Orwell Prize event at Buxton, ‘What Makes a Good Political Novel?’
  • Marina Lewycka: Shortlisted for Two Caravans
  • Two Walks: Palestine and the Peak District

Video

Buxton 2009: Andrew Brown in Conversation

  • Andrew Brown (winner of the Orwell Prize 2009 for Fishing in Utopia)
  • Chaired by David Blunkett MP (Labour, Sheffield Brightside)
  • Introduced by Dame Janet Smith (chair, Buxton Festival)

Andrew Brown, editor of The Guardian’s Comment is free – belief and author of this year’s Orwell Prize-winning book, Fishing in Utopia, spoke to former Home Secretary and Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside, David Blunkett.

  • Buxton Festival
  • Buxton Festival: What makes a good political novel?
  • Orwell Prize at the Buxton Festival 2010
  • Buxton Festival Blog: The Orwell Prize at Buxton

Video

Buxton 2009: What makes a good political novel?

  • Chris Cleave (award-winning author of Incendiary and The Other Hand/Little Bee)
  • Delia Jarrett-Macauley (winner of the Orwell Prize 2006 for Moses, Citizen and Me)
  • Marina Lewycka (author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, the Orwell Prize-shortlisted Two Caravans, and We Are All Made of Glue)
  • Robert McCrum (Associate Editor and former Literary Editor of The Observer)
  • Chaired by Matthew Parris (winner of the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2005)

The Orwell Prize was delighted to bring one of its famous lively discussions to Buxton for the first time, asking: what makes a good political novel? How are they different from other novels? Are plot, characters and good writing sacrificed to make political points? Indeed, is it even possible to write good political fiction?

  • Buxton Festival
  • Buxton Festival: Andrew Brown in Conversation
  • Orwell Prize at the Buxton Festival 2010
  • Buxton Festival Blog: The Orwell Prize at Buxton
  • Robert McCrum: A literary festival that is in truly Peak condition

Video

Orwell – A Celebration: 1984, Torture

  • Clare Algar (executive director of Reprieve)
  • Glen Newey (Professor of Politics and International Relations at Keele University)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

The last of four panel discussions celebrating the 60th anniversary of 1984 and 70th anniversary of Coming Up for Air in conjunction with Orwell: A Celebration.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

The interrogation scene at the end of 1984 is a chilling lesson in torture, its effect on the one being tortured, and its effect on the one doing the torturing. 60 years after Orwell wrote 1984 in the aftermath of the Second World War, torture is again at the forefront at the news agenda. Why does an individual, and why does a state, turn to torture? Can it ever be justified? How surprising is it that in 2009, it is still being conducted, and will it continue? And what else in Orwell’s work – notably his concern with the misuse of language – is relevant?

  • Clare Algar’s presentation

Video

Orwell – A Celebration: 1984, Thoughtcrime

  • Jo Glanville (editor of Index on Censorship)
  • Maajid Nawaz (co-director of Quilliam)
  • Hopi Sen (longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Blogs 2009, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Blogs 2010)
  • Chaired by Patrick Marmion (journalist)

The third of four panel discussions celebrating the 60th anniversary of 1984 and 70th anniversary of Coming Up for Air in conjunction with Orwell: A Celebration.

Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed – would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper – the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed for ever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

Thoughtcrime – crimethink in Newspeak – is one of the most terrifying of Orwell’s conceits in 1984, where even thinking in opposition to the regime is a treacherous offence. 60 years after the novel was written, and 25 years after the year in which it was set, is thoughtcrime a reality? Are there certain thoughts and beliefs which should be punished? How should society deal with those who thoughts go beyond accepted political and social norms? And what does it feel like to think the unthinkable, controversial and uncomfortable?

  • Hopi Sen: Thoughtcrime

Video

Orwell – A Celebration: Adapting Orwell

  • Dominic Cavendish (Daily Telegraph deputy theatre critic and comedy critic, stage adapter of Orwell)
  • Alan Cox (actor)
  • Chris Durlacher (writer and producer of George Orwell: A Life in Pictures)

The second of four panel discussions celebrating the 60th anniversary of 1984 and 70th anniversary of Coming Up for Air in conjunction with Orwell: A Celebration. Unfortunately, the video of this debate was corrupted.

Orwell never lived to see televisions become as ubiquitous as the telescreens of 1984; none of his own recordings for radio are known to survive; he wrote nothing serious for the stage; and in noting that ‘everyone in this world has someone else whom he can look down on’, felt ‘the book reviewer is better off than the film critic’ since the latter ‘is expected to sell his honour for a glass of inferior sherry’.

Nevertheless, his works have been adapted for screen (big and small), radio and stage, as blockbusters, monologues, dramas, documentaries, musicals and operas. We’ll be asking some of those involved in adapting Orwell about the challenges, the opportunities, the pressures and the pleasures of adapting some of the best-known works in the English language.

  • Dominic Cavendish: Coming Up for Air revisited – Orwell, England, and the idea of escape
  • Oxford 2010: George Orwell – A Life in Pictures (Q&A with Chris Durlacher)
  • Orwell Prize Launch 2010 (including An Incident in Rangoon read by Alan Cox)

Orwell – A Celebration: Coming Up for Air, Unemployment and Uncertainty

  • Andy Beckett (Guardian journalist, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Books 2010)
  • Lisa Harker (co-director of ippr)
  • Paul Mason (BBC Newsnight economics editor, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Blogs 2009, cited in Newsnight’s Special Prize 2007 win)
  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

The first of four panel discussions celebrating the 60th anniversary of 1984 and 70th anniversary of Coming Up for Air in conjunction with Orwell: A Celebration.

Does anyone who isn’t dead from the neck up doubt that there’s a bad time coming? We don’t even know what it’ll be, and yet we know it’s coming. Perhaps a war, perhaps a slump—no knowing, except that it’ll be something bad. Wherever we’re going, we’re going downwards. Into the grave, into the cesspool—no knowing.

Orwell’s underrated novel Coming Up for Air, published 70 years ago in 1939, was written at a time of great uncertainty: war was looming, industrialisation and capitalism were changing the face of the country, and Britain was still recovering from the Great Depression. With Britain today facing the effects of the global economic crisis, and with unemployment over 2 million and rising, we explore the effect of unemployment and how to tackle it, and the lessons of the past.

Video

Awards Ceremony 2009

  • Andrew Brown wins Book Prize for Fishing in Utopia
  • Patrick Cockburn wins Journalism Prize for London Review of Books and The Independent
  • Jack Night wins Special Prize for Blogs for NightJack – An English Detective
  • Judges award additional Special Prize to Tony Judt

The winners of the Orwell Prize 2009 were announced on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 from 7pm at a ceremony at the Foreign Press Association, London. Click here for the full press release and more reaction.

Video

Oxford 2009: Losing Russia?

  • Mark Leonard (Executive Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, author of Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century and What Does China Think?)
  • Edward Lucas (The Economist, author of The New Cold War)
  • Owen Matthews (journalist, author of Orwell Prize-shortlisted Stalin’s Children)
  • Dr Alex Pravda (University of Oxford)
  • Chaired by John Lloyd (Financial Times, University of Oxford Reuters Institute)

The ninth and last of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2009.

British relations with Russia are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War. Alexander Litvinenko and polonium, the British Ambassador and ‘Putin Youth’, espionage, Georgia, and gas supply have all been recent sources of tension. (At the same time, Russian oligarchs are becoming more visible in British life, from football to Fleet Street.) But to what extent is this deterioration the fault of the West? Is there a new Cold War brewing? And is Russia a threat – or is it threatened?

Video