Art and Identity Politics

featuring Rosie Kay, Alastair Donald and Bronisław Wildstein

Alastair Donald

writer, researcher, and editor, Associate Director of the Academy of Ideas and co-convenor for the Battle of Ideas Festival. He is also secretary of the boi charity and convenor of Living Freedom, its annual residential school for young people. He has been the Associate Director of Future Cities Project where he convened the Future Cities Salon and co-convened the Critical Subjects Architecture and Design Summer School. From 2012 to 2016 at the British Council, Alastair was architecture programme manager and project director for large scale architecture and design exhibitions including the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Times columnist Matt Ridley described his co-edited collection Lure of the City as a clear-eyed vision of cities. His co-edited The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated (Pluto Press 2008), was said to be a wake-up call for [those] engaged in the delivery of sustainable communities. He has written for Blueprint, Architectural Review, Culture Wars, The Guardian, and The Independent. He co-authored mantownhuman's Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture which featured in Penguin Classics 100 Artists’ Manifestos.


Rosie Kay

dancer and choreographer. Born in Scotland, she danced from a very early age. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, graduating in 1998, before launching a career as a dancer in Poland, France, Germany, and the US. Kay returned to the UK in 2003, founded Rosie Kay Dance Company 20042021 and is now setting up a new venture for her future works. Kay’s works up to date include a contemporary set adaptation of Romeo + Juliet (2021), and returned to performing on stage with the Absolute Solo II tour in 2021 with three personal solos danced by Kay, with Adult Female Dancer celebrated as the ‘Top 5 Dance Works of 2021’ by The Observer. Kay is well known for the multi- award-winning work 5 Soldiers based on intense research with the British Army and large-scale development of this work, 10 Soldiers. Kay’s works tour to Sadlers Wells, Birmingham REP, Norwich Theatre Royal, Salisbury Playhouse and regularly tour Europe and the USA. Rosie Kay’s Fantasia, a pure-dance work about beauty was included in The Guardian’s ‘Top 10 Dance of 2019’. MK Ulyra was created in 2017 a work about conspiracy theory and pop made with BBC film-maker Adam Curtis. Other works include Motel (2016), a collaboration with visual artists Huntley Muir; Sluts of Possession (2013) created with rare archive material from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; There is Hope (2012) exploring religion; Double Points: K (2008) a collaboration with Emio Greco| PC, and Asylum (2005) based on research with asylum seekers. Kay choreographed the live Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony (2018), watched by over 1 billion people worldwide and has worked in film as the choreographer on Sunshine on Leith (2013). Kay was the first choreographer appointed Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford (2013). Awards for her work include Best Independent Company (2015), nomination for Best Choreography for 5 Soldiers (2015), National Dance Awards and nomination for Best Independent Company 2012 and 2017, a Royal Society for Public Health Award for support to military communities, and the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award.

Kay resigned from the company she founded, Rosie Kay Dance Company, citing constructive dismissal and discrimination, following stating her beliefs at a private dinner party. This was subsequently - in two botched attempts - investigated by the board. Kay lost complete trust in her management and board and resigned, and was later interviewed by Janice Turner in The Times and published an account of her side of the story on UnHerd.


Bronisław Wildstein

writer, journalist, columnist for the weekly Sieci. He is hosting weekly program in public television (TVP). Wildstein published 19 books and received a number of prestigious Polish prizes and awards for his work. He also publishes articles and essays in a number of widely read Polish journals and magazines. He has had several television shows, and has also frequently appeared as a guest on various TV and Radio shows. He has been director of TV Republika; director of TVP (polish public television), deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Życie, managing editor of the newspaper Życie Warszawy, editor in chief of Radio Kraków, correspondent of Radio Free Europe in Paris and editor in chief of a Polish monthly in Paris, Kontakt. He was a prominent member of the opposition movement in Poland in the 1970s and an activist in Solidarność.


Manick Govinda

independent writer, artists mentor, lecturer, curator and arts consultant. He has written for The Critic, Index on Censorship, Arts Professional, Open Democracy and Spiked. He is the co-curator, alongside Agnieszka Kolek, of Culture Tensions, a new series of public discussions and conversations at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. Manick describes himself as an Eclecticist, open to different ideas and thoughts, open to unresolved contradictions. He was cancelled in 2019 by many English arts institutions for his gender critical comments and humour on social media and for his vocal criticism against the European Union.


Agnieszka Kolek

artist, curator and co-founder of the Passion for Freedom Art Festival in London. Through supporting artists forbidden to exhibit their art, she exposes the silence of many and challenges the comfortable position of those who inhibit safe spaces. Agnieszka survived the terror attack in Copenhagen in 2015. She continued the meeting on art and blasphemy after the attack by saying: They not only want to kill us. They want us to stop talking, so we should continue.

  • Cover photo
    • Tasleem Mulhall, The Silence, 2014


  • About the debate
    • Admission is free.
    • English-speaking guests may join the debate live on → YouTube
Event connected with:
Culture Tensions
Discussion financed by
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