Ways of Seeing: John Berger and the Art of Observation

Saturday 27 May
Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens
10 - 11am
£8 / £80 weekend ticket

‘Hope is not a form of guarantee; it’s a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark.'

John Berger, the Booker-prize-winning novelist and visionary art critic who defined a generation’s perception of visual art, passed away aged 90 on 2 January 2017.

Writer and curator, Gareth Evans, will be joined by artist John Christie and film-maker Michael Dibb (both long-term collaborators with Berger) for an extended gaze at Berger’s legacy - marking the 45th anniversary of his seminal work Ways of Seeing, and his recent passing. In the great political and social uncertainty of 2017, how can we use Berger’s art of observation to change how we see the world?

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About John Berger

John Berger was an English art critic, novelist, painter, poet and author. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize. His seminal essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, was written as an accompaniment to his 1972 BBC TV series of the same name.

In the words of John Berger

In conversation - How observation, surveillance and protest became dominant themes for the City of Literature programme

The Guardian: John Berger obituary.

About the speakers

John Christie is an artist, film-maker and publisher, with artwork in public and private collections worldwide. He has collaborated with John Berger on a number of projects including 'Another Way of Telling', a series of four films he directed and photographed for BBC TV (1988). He designed and published Pages of the Wound (1994), John Berger's book of poems, drawings and photographs and co-wrote I Send You This Cadmium Red (2000) their book of correspondence on the subject of colour. John Christie lives and works in Suffolk, East Anglia.

'Stimulating, intimate, heartfelt and beautifully designed, this is a book to be treasured' - Geoff Dyer on Lapwing & Fox


Gareth Evans is a writer, curator, presenter and the Film Curator of London’s Whitechapel Gallery. He programmes PLACE, the annual cross-platform festival at Aldeburgh Music in Suffolk and produced the essay film Patience (After Sebald) by Grant Gee as part of his nationwide arts project The Re-Enchantment (2008 - 2011) with Di Robson for Artevents. He has curated numerous film and event seasons (eg Armenia, JG Ballard, Portugal, Romany etc) in London and nationally. He conceived and curated the six-week season John Berger: Here Is Where We Meet across London in 2005 and co-curated and co-ordinated All Power to the Imagination! 1968 and Its Legacies, a two-month cross-media and multi-institutional season in London marking the 40th anniversary of the events of 1968. He was editor of the international moving image magazine Vertigo from 2002 - 2009. www.johnberger.org


Mike Dibb is an award-winning UK independent film-maker who has been producing and directing films for television for many years on a wide range of subjects, from cinema and jazz to art, sport, literature, science and popular culture. He is also the author of Spellwell, a book of humorous rhyming couplets, illustrated by Roddy Maude Roxby and inspired by the phonetic vagaries of English spelling, published by The Muswell Press, with an accompanying graphically animated video on YouTube. Website

‘How we made: John Berger and Michael Dibb on Ways of Seeing’ (Guardian, April 2012)