Five things for February

Issue section: 
(344)

Van Gogh - Slaves - Afro Modern - Birdwatchers - Enron


The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters
Royal Academy of Arts, London, until 13 April

This wonderful exhibition brings to London paintings never or rarely seen here alongside Van Gogh's more familiar images and a series of sketches and drawings. Alongside the works of art are 35 letters which give insights into Van Gogh's ideas and methods, his choice of colours and why, for example, he wanted to bend a peasant to the contours of the field he was working.


Slaves
Theatre 503, London, until 20 February

This new play by Rex Obano is set in London's Wandsworth Prison and looks very promising. The system is exposed on both sides of the bars when a career prison officer is confronted by an inmate who challenges him.


Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic
Tate Liverpool, until 25 April

This major new exhibition is inspired by Paul Gilroy's book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. It aims to look at how black artists and intellectuals played a central role in the formation of Modernism from the early 20th century to today. There will be a full review in next month's issue of Socialist Review.


Birdwatchers
DVD, out now

The struggle of indigenous peoples in Brazil for human rights and their ancestral lands is dramatised in this powerful film. One of the community leaders is played by a real activist who himself has led struggles to challenge imperialism and take land back from multinationals.


Enron
Noël Coward Theatre, London

Lucy Prebble's critically lauded play finally makes it to the West End. Full of bonkers bankers, musical numbers, garish costumes and biting insights into the financial crisis, this is one to get to if you missed it the first time round.