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In the Evening There is Feeling: Reading Ursula K. Le Guin

19 May 2020

In The Evening There is Feeling: Reading Ursula K. Le Guin
Thu 4 June, 18:00

Led by DCA's Head of Exhibitions Eoin Dara, In the Evening There is Feeling focuses in an informal and welcoming way on feminist and queer texts from the world of art and literature. Over the past few weeks, we have been looking back at some key writers we have studied in our recent programme, and would like to revisit some of these thinkers in our present ungraspable moment. The texts we have selected for these online conversations in the coming weeks generously think through concepts of love, care, kinship and the imagination — vital ideas we all need to be focusing on in the unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

Following on from our bell hooks and Johanna Hedva sessions in April and May, our third online meeting on Thu 4 June will centre on some writing by Ursula K. Le Guin. 

Le Guin was the inspiration for our entire winter programme in the galleries, where we worked with Kim McAleese to stage a major group project stepping off from Le Guin’s 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness

One of the great storytellers of the 20th century, Le Guin’s work employs speculative thought and radical imagining to craft alternative spaces and worlds that hint at ways in which we all might better live, love and care for one another. For this session, we will be introducing and discussing some of the ideas contained in her non-fiction work. We’ll specifically focus on selected texts from two recent collections: The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination and Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books. Contained within this selection will be her seminal essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, which champions a feminist form of story gathering and telling built on community, empathy and togetherness. 

We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable - but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art.”

In this moment it is imperative that we work towards a better future together, and that we actively resist together the structures around us that seek to further endanger the lives of the most vulnerable in society. As Le Guin herself said so eloquently in 2014: “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable - but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art.”

To join the conversation, simply email meg.greenhorn@dca.org.uk before 15:00 on Thu 4 June. We will then send you a soft copy of the texts and details of the Zoom meeting. We also have an audio recording of Eoin reading some excerpts of the writing for those of you who may find it easier or more enjoyable to listen - see here. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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