Explore

Long reads

Photo of bench in the Barbican Estate

Sometimes a story needs a bit more telling. Sit back, settle in – it’s time for a long read.

Browse some of our longform articles on a range of topics from science fiction literature and contemporary dance to American minimalism and unlikely Norwegian radicals

Browse

Censored Sounds

From Shostakovich to Frank Zappa, Elvis Presley and The Beatles, writer Ariane Todes investigates what has caused aural offence and how artists have boldly defied the censors through music.

Start reading

Vanessa Winship: she dances on Jackson

In an extract from Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds exhibition catalogue, photography historian David Chandler reflects on Winship’s Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation award-winning body of work: she dances on Jackson.

Start reading

Dorothea Lange: A Life in Pictures

We look back through the life and work of pioneering documentary photographer and visual activist, Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) to coincide with the first UK retrospective of her work, Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing.

Start reading

Japanese Innovators: Pioneers in Experimental Sounds

Tokyo-based journalist Ian F Martin looks back through the decades to see who was responsible for the genre-defining music emerging from the Japanese underground scenes over the past 40 years.

Start reading

#ShePersisted: Malalai Joya

Inspired by documentary Enemies of Happiness – about Afghan MP and activist Malalai JoyaOOMK chair a discussion on how to create space for Muslim, female empowerment in 2018

Start reading

#ShePersisted: Georgina Beyer

Inspired by documentary Georgie Girl – about the world's first trans MP, Georgina Beyer – screening as part of our Nevertheless She Persisted film season, Cause & Effect zine chair a discussion in response: talking trans visibility, the treachery of 'firsts' and how to bring outsider politics to the mainstream. 

Start reading

John Cale: A Futurespective

Across six decades, John Cale has connected the realms of cutting-edge experimentalism and pop immediacy, creating tirelessly, and releasing a vast catalogue that spans ambient innovations to intoxicating rock, orchestral symphonies, electronica, and movie scores. Ahead of John Cale (2018-1964): A Futurespective, music journalist Arwa Haider looks back through Cale’s career to date.

Start reading

The Modern Silent

Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson looks back at the origins of silent cinema and contemplates the striking similarities to what we’re watching now on our phones and on the big screen…

Start reading

Opera as Politics

Professor Sarah Hibberd explores the history of opera as a vehicle for reflecting, responding to and even effecting political change.

Start reading

Told by an Idiot

How can we tackle the lack of diversity on stage? We spoke to theatre company, Told by an Idiot, for their advice.

Start reading

From Page to Stage: Pluto

We speak to Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui about the process of translating manga for the theatre, the impact of manga on the creative process and get an insight into rehearsals with the Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon.

Start reading

Too Young For What?

We examine the past, present and future of Jean-Michel Basquiat's legacy after a day of events, installations and special performances celebrating Basquiat's creativity

Start reading

Stockhausen: The Father of Electronic Music

For the tenth anniversary of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s death, Robert Worby looks back at the composer's defining masterpieces - music that demands to be heard - and felt - live.

Start reading

Basquiat and Downtown

Tim Lawrence remembers the cultural renaissance that was downtown New York's music scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From SoHo warehouses to Mudd Clubb, we look at how Basquiat's passion for New York's music scene influenced his artistic style. 

Start reading

The Grime and the Glamour

Christina Newland looks back the scuzzy and blisteringly creative streets of late 1970s and 80s New York City, as seen on the big screen. 

Start reading

On Trajal Harrell

Discover more about Harrell’s work and inspirations from MoMA associate curator, Ana Javenski

Start reading

Brave New Words

We look at how writers from the 19th century to today have been inspired by what we do not yet know or understand

Start reading

What London Watches: The Ten Films

We asked Londoners – ‘what film shook your world and why?’ The films you chose formed our first crowd-sourced film season. From Casablanca to Sholay, here are the stories behind the films London watches. 

Start reading

The Sounds That Changed America

We investigate how the world of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams transformed the American musical landscape

Start reading

How do you build an orchestra for London?

We follow the journey of creating an orchestra that would sound, look and feel like London with Sir Simon Rattle

Start reading

Ibsen: an unlikely radical

Forbiddingly complex and even more forbiddingly beared, Andrew Dickson explore the life of Ibsen, our contemporary

Start reading

35 Years of Firsts

Celebrating the Barbican’s 35th anniversary, we look back at some of the ‘firsts’ that have took place within our walls and beyond.

Start reading