2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the first publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s a book that is as relevant today as when first published, covering as it does totalitarianism; fake news; the suppression of dissent and freedom; two-minute hate (the equivalent of online mobs and ‘lock her up’ chants); Big Brother and surveillance; doublethink; social media spying; strong men in power where tyrannies rule. The growth of populism, nationalism and fears for the future of democracy are often seen as Orwellian. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a book that has lost none of its power and remains full of ideas about the way we live, work, learn and protest today. It’s a guide for troubled times.
To debate Orwell, the meaning and importance of Nineteen Eighty-Four today – and how we can reject the 1984 nightmare – artist Jake Chapman joins Dorian Lynskey (author of The Ministry of Truth: a Biography of George Orwell’s 1984); Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Foundation); and Ece Temulkuran (novelist, commentator and author most recently of How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship). Chaired by writer, broadcaster and commentator Sarah Ditum.
This event is part of a citywide reading project on Nineteen Eighty-Four. We’re giving away 1,000 copies of the book in Festival of the Future City. Register on the Nineteen Eighty-Four Reading Project page to be the first to find out about collection points.
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.
Concessions apply to Full Time Students, Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit claimants, over 60s and disabled people. Visitors who require an assistant may bring a companion free of charge. To book a free companion ticket please mention this at time of booking. Staff and students at the following organisations can purchase tickets at the Partner Rate: Arts Council England, Bristol City Council, Business West, University of Bristol and UWE. Please note that no refunds/exchanges are possible for tickets already purchased at the higher price.
Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit latecomers.
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.
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