July 19, 2021
In these days of constantly CCTV-surveilled, property over-developed London patrolled by health and safety wonks and paranoid private security forces, the wild world of the inner city squat party seems an impossibility.
DJ, veteran of a thousand festivals and squat party promoter WILL WILES comes to the Bureau to tell tales of acid house daring do, breaking into a variety of buildings (including Newcastle's 19th century Tyne Bridge), rigging up electricity and lights and installing sound systems for DJs to thrill and delight a community of underground ravers dusk 'til dawn before vanishing again on Monday morning.
We hear of cooking up ketamine in the kitchen, police raids, psychic dance floor camaraderie and the exploits of tech-savvy wily, piratical, psychedelic pioneers carrying on their subversive activities right under the noses of the authorities and bemused neighbours - motivated by music, madness and a deep belief in the counter-cultural spirit.
July 6, 2021
Forbidden! Taboo! Shouldn’t be allowed!
Do you ever find yourself censoring yourself? Not saying quite what you think, feel or believe in case it is disapproved of?
Human rights lawyer ERIC BERKOWITZ comes to the Bureau to talk about his epic new book 'Dangerous Ideas: A History of Censorship from Ancient Times to Fake News.
It's a thrilling read, full of sometimes comical, often alarming and always thought-provoking human stories - from that of the ancient Chinese emperor who destroyed any works implying there had ever been a better era than his own, to the current Chinese leader's attempts to have Winnie the Pooh banned (after his and the bear's resemblance was pointed out). The UK and the US don’t fare too well either.
Why have books, films, images words and ideas always been censored by those in power? Are there times when they should be? Does censorship ever work?
Eric digs deep into the touchiness of tyrants, into our current issues around blame, shame and cancel culture and why he thinks that almost nothing should be censored. We explore why countercultural ideas are so necessary for the culture and why they are only really dangerous when denied expression.
For more on Eric and the book