Insiders/Outsiders, a year-long nationwide arts festival taking place from March 2019 to March 2020, celebrates refugees from Nazi Europe and their impact on British culture. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, Insiders/Outsiders brings together a vibrant and all-encompassing programme of exhibitions, concerts, dance and theatre performances, film screenings, walks, lectures and literary events all over the UK. An accompanying anthology focusing on the visual arts will be published by Lund Humphries in early March.
Initiated by art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen, Insiders/Outsiders highlights the indelible contribution of the artists, photographers, writers, architects, designers, actors, film-makers, dancers and musicians as well as publishers, art historians, dealers and collectors who, in fleeing Nazi-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, greatly enriched this country’s culture. Insiders/Outsiders highlights these émigrés’ contemporary relevance and ongoing influence on Britain’s cultural landscape. It will also feature work by descendants of these refugees which explores the legacy of their families’ experiences.
Art: exhibitions across the country including Refuge: The Art of Belonging: Kurt Schwitters to Lucian Freud, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria (until 29 June); Emigré Poster Designers, London Transport Museum (29 March to 27 June); Walter Nessler, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (8 June to 6 October); The Bauhaus in Britain, Tate Britain (17 June to 17 November); Brave New Visions, honouring the émigré art dealers and publishers who transformed Britain’s art world, Sotheby’s (17 July to 9 August).
Music: concerts and events including a centenary tribute to Hans Keller (March) and a display at Glyndebourne documenting the early history of this iconic opera festival (summer 2019).
Dance: performances and workshops at Trinity Laban and elsewhere celebrating pioneering choreographers such as Rudolf Laban, Kurt Jooss, Sigurd Leeder and Hilde Holger, and showing how they transformed modern British dance.
Architecture: a series of events focusing on the contribution of émigré architects – from Walter Gropius to Ernst Freud – in association with RIBA, the Twentieth Century Society and Isokon Gallery Trust.
Literature: a celebration of the immense contribution of émigrés to all aspects of writing and book publishing, presented with partners such as Jewish Book Week (2 to 10 March) and Exiled Writers Ink.
Film: screenings throughout the year with partners including London’s JW3 and Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and with Jewish History Month, focusing on the role of émigrés in British film in the 1930s, 40s, 50s and beyond.
Theatre: productions of new plays such as Ballad of the Cosmo Café, directed by Pamela Howard and with Carl Davis as music consultant, and revivals of works such as Matthew Zajac’s The Tailor of Inverness and Frank Marcus’ The Window.
March 2019 – March 2020