Looking at Cities and Cityscapes, Art and Cinema

Mark Cousins and Andrew McMillan

Description Details

Looking can be an act of empathy or aggression. It can provoke desire or express it. And from the blurry, edgeless world we inhabit as infants to the landscape of screens we grow into, looking can define us. Filmmaker and writer Mark Cousins – author of The Story of Looking – takes us on a lightning-bright tour through how our looking selves develop over the course of a lifetime and the ways that looking has changed through the centuries. From great works of art to tourist photographs, from cityscapes to cinema, through science and protest, propaganda and refusals to look, he illuminates how we construct as well as receive the things we see.

Andrew McMillan, one of our Festival of the Future City poets, reads a new poem as part of the event.

Linked: Films About Looking
Mark Cousins programmes a season of films at Watershed throughout October that stand out for their particular emphasis on looking and the visual – including British director Jonathan Glazer’s critically overlooked Birth and influential filmmaker Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The full programme can be found here.

In association with


Book online or in person at Watershed Box Office or on Tel: 0117 927 5100 Mon – Fri from 09:00 and Sat & Sun from 10:00.

Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Please allow enough time to collect your ticket/s from the box office and make sure to arrive before the advertised start time to take your seat/s. Refunds are only available if an event is cancelled.

We endeavour to hold events in venues that are accessible to all. Watershed’s cinemas and event spaces are all located on the first floor which is accessible via the lift located in the main entrance foyer at Box Office. Once on the first floor there is level access to all areas. The venue has a hearing loop system. If you have specific access concerns it is advisable to contact the venue direct. Wheelchair users and visitors who require an assistant may bring a companion free of charge. Please contact Watershed Box Office (details above) to arrange this.

We sometimes film and photograph events. Please let us know if you do not wish to be filmed or photographed.

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