Saved events

Can We Talk About Power?

Online conversations exploring the power of power

Can We Talk About Power? Illustration by Alva Skog

Cultural thinker Suzanne Alleyne curates a series of online events delving into the nature of power with a surprising group of artists, poets, writers, and scientists.

What is power? Where does it come from, and how does it affect every part of your life? Join us for this series of five online conversations inviting you to think about how power shapes the way you work, play and live. With people including writer Margaret Atwood, poet Roger Robinson, and neuroscientist Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, we’ll explore what's happening in our brains and bodies when we gain or lose power, and why it matters.

Developed as a collaboration between cultural thinker and researcher Suzanne Alleyne, the Barbican’s public programming team, and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada.

We take the cultural and creative industries as our starting point, but this is a conversation for everyone. Plus, sign up to receive an exclusive Power Notebook in the post containing additional activities and new writing (UK only).

Tagged with: Talks & events

All events are hosted online. Captioning will be provided for all events. Age guidance: 16+

Book your Talks + notebook ticket before Sun 19 Sept, 11.59pm to get your notebook delivered during the week of the events.

Can we talk about Power? is a partnership between cultural thinker and researcher Suzanne Alleyne, the Barbican and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada.

Artwork: Alva Skog

The Programme

Mon 27 Sep (streaming now)

Roger Robinson and Suzanne Alleyne in conversation
8pm - 9.15pm BST (1pm - 2.15 pm MDT*)

Two friends, TS Eliot prize-winning poet Roger Robinson and cultural thinker and researcher Suzanne Alleyne ask: why do we need to talk about power? Touching on themes of empathy, influence and race, this intimate conversation unpacks Alleyne’s research into the subject, and establishes the threads of conversations we’ll explore together over the next few days. 


Tue 28 Sep (streaming now)

Inside Out: Your brain and power
4pm - 5.15pm BST (9am - 10.15am MDT*) 

Speakers: Suzanne Alleyne and Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett 

If we want to think about power, then we have to think about how our brains make sense of the world. In this conversation with Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett -- among the top one percent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience -- we navigate the links between our brain and the daily interactions which shape our lives. 


Margaret Atwood and Suzanne Alleyne in conversation 
8pm - 8.45 pm BST (1 pm - 1:45 pm MDT*)

Writer Margaret Atwood joins Suzanne Alleyne to talk about the power of power. Join us for this intimate and wide-ranging conversation with the Canadian writer. Please note that this event is pre-recorded so there will be no Q&A.


Wed 29 Sep (streaming now)

Flipping the lens on power
4pm - 5.30pm BST (9am - 10.30am MDT*)

Chair: Suzanne Alleyne

Panel: Dr Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Howard Jang and Ry Moran

What can we learn about power from an indigenous perspective? And what might this show us about our daily lives, whether at home, work or play? Built on indigenous land in Alberta, Canada, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity facilitates creative spaces inclusive of indigenous knowledge and wisdom. From their team and network, Dr Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Howard Jang and Ry Moran join Suzanne to talk truth and power. 


Thu 30 Sep (streaming now)

Let’s talk about Wellbeing and Power 
4pm - 5.30pm BST (9am - 10:30am MDT*)

Chair: Suzanne Alleyne 

Panel: Dr Tim Rittman, Dr Joy Jones, and Dr Jerome Lubbe

The conversation about power comes down to who we are and we, both individually and collectively, feel on a daily basis. In this final session, Suzanne continues a dialogue with physician Dr Joy Jones, functional neurologist Dr Jerome Lubbe, and neuroscientist Dr Tim Rittman, to explore the deep impact of power on our wellbeing at home, at work, and beyond. 


*Timings are also in MDT for consideration of our Banff partners in Canada and international audiences. Bookers can continue to watch all content back until Thu 14 Oct, 11.59pm.

How to watch

Log in to the festival hub to access all content.

If you don't have an account you need to create one using this reset password link below. Be sure to use the same email address that you used to purchase your streaming ticket.



Nothing Concrete

Listen: We Talk About Power with Mia Bays + Michael Holding

As 'Can We Talk About Power?' begins, cultural thinker Suzanne Alleyne takes over Nothing Concrete this week for a special episode and another fascinating conversation about the power of power with Mia Bays and Michael Holding

Watch: Interview with Suzanne Alleyne

Ahead of our 'Can We Talk About Power' events series, Swarzy Macaly meets cultural thinker Suzanne Alleyne to discuss what power means, our different experiences of power and how power permeates every second of our lives.

Can We Talk About Power?

Listen: Power Playlist

Amplified DJ collective member Ahmed Akasha has curated this special playlist of songs which act as a provocation on power. This playlist will have you considering the wide ranging ways in which power and life are intertwined.


Illustration of an open booklet with pink and blue colours on the pages and an illustration of two people standing

Can We Talk About Power: Notebook

For £15, get access to all the online conversations, plus a notebook featuring an interview between Suzanne Alleyne and leading neuroscientist Professor Sukhvinder Obhi, contributions from poet Roger Robinson and lots more.

Ticket options

Supported by

Arts Council England logo
Banff logo in black and white
Alleyne and logo in black writing and white background