One of the most distinctive artists of the 20th century, Jean Genet’s life and work is celebrated through a discussion with Genet’s biographer, cultural critic Stephen Barber, and screenings.
Marking 30 years since his death, this evening considers the singular genius of one of the great, unclassifiable writers of the twentieth century. From his outlaw beginnings to his ‘canonisation’ by Sartre and his commitment to the concerns of the Black Panthers and the Palestinians, Genet’s life and work seamlessly interwove to challenge, provoke and always to energise and inspire. Across fiction, essay, theatre and film, his remarkable prose explored complex desire, political engagement and a startling celebration of the marginalised.
Stephen Barber explores this unique man and his equally distinctive oeuvre, in an evening of discussion and extracts from his work and those he influenced. Followed by a rare 16mm screening of his only work as director, Un Chant d’Amour, as well as clips from the BBC Arena documentary made in 1985.
Many thanks to Rod Rhule, Jacky Maglia, Roland Dumas, Lorraine Salter, Adam Roberts, Emma Matthews. Isobel Goodrich and Rosy Rickett.
Stephen Barber is a Professor at Kingston University and a writer on urban culture, experiment in film and Japanese culture. Barber has been a Professor at Kingston University since 2002. He is the author of Jean Genet in the Critical Lives series published by Reaktion Books.
Barber has been writing since 1990 and has published twenty books (sixteen non-fiction books and four novels), many of them translated into other languages. He has published a number of books with Creation Books. He has received many awards and prizes for his books, and is currently engaged in a research project on the scrapbooks of the moving-image pioneer Eadweard Muybridge.