Now in its seventh year, the Stoke Newington Literary Festival hosts a series of talks this weekend by novelists, journalists, musicians and historians across venues in N16 – here are five particularly worth catching:
Exiled Turkish journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran has been named ‘Turkey’s most-read political columnist’ and is a passionate advocate for human rights. Her 2016 book Turkey: The Insane and The Melancholy, explores the paradox of this astonishing country and her latest novel Women Who Blow On Knots ponders social questions of politics, religion and feminism in the Middle East.
(The Old Church, Sunday 4pm) £5
Green and Pleasant Land
Travis Elborough (A Walk in the Park) and John Grindrod, whose first book Concretopia was a brilliant celebration of post-war architecture, has now written Outskirts, a nature memoir that relates the story of Britain’s Green Belt. With Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, the charity founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association, they consider all things verdant in the city and beyond.
Angela Saini: Inferior
Using contemporary scientific research, Angela Saini challenges existing attitudes towards women in their perceived role as mother and their fundamental biological differences to men. As a science journalist, broadcaster and academic, Angela is a regular contributor to New Scientist, The Guardian and publishes her new book Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting The Story this year.
£6. Time – 13.00, Saturday. Venue – Unitarian Chapel
Back in Five Minutes.
Amir Dotan (@HistoryofStokey) recently completed a gazetteer of every shop or trade premises on Stoke Newington Church Street since 1847 (along with a photographic slide-show). From a time when oil shops, boot-makers, drapers, tailors & pawnbrokers dominated Church Street, to today’s wine merchants, cafes and boutiques, this unique project charts the changing social and cultural composition of Stoke Newington over the past 170 years. Amir talks to writer Ken Worpole on the street’s deep social history, discussing whether terms such as gentrification hide more than they reveal about one of London’s fastest-changing ‘urban villages’.
£4. Time – 11:00 , Sunday. Venue – Library Gallery
We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular: our culture’s image of the perfect self. But people are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy: suicide and depression are on the rise yet brands and social media continue to fuel it. Will Storr (Selfie) talks to Marcus Gilroy-Ware (Filling The Void: Emotion, Capitalism and Social Media) about why it’s so powerful and what can be done to break the spell.
£6. Time – 17:00, Saturday. Venue – The Old Church