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May 2021

Dear friends and colleagues,

The results of our return to work survey are now live and available to download. Last month, we asked you to tell us how your working habits had changed because of the pandemic, how permanent these changes were likely to be, and how often you envisaged commuting into the Knowledge Quarter. The results are illuminating, and give us a glimpse of what the near future of the area will look like. Here are some headlines:

  • Over 7% of survey respondents had already moved permanently due to the pandemic. For those who had not yet moved, 16% were considering a move in the future with 75% opting to move outside of London. Those aged 25-35 were more likely to have moved.
  • Respondents want remote working to continue. The preference is for either 1-2 days a week (40%) or 3-4 days a week (39%). However, age plays an important factor. Younger people are more likely to want to spend more time working remotely or from home.
  • A hybrid approach was favoured for all events. It is clear, while there are preferences for some events to be mostly virtual, the majority of respondents want to retain some flexibility in how they attend events. 

Newsletter readers will be able to put this hybrid approach to cultural tourism into action this month, in what promises to be an exciting few weeks of reopening activity. We've highlighted a handful of the varied ways you can spend your time enjoying the sights and sounds of King's Cross. This newsletter is but a taste; landing in your inbox next week will be our What's On special edition, covering the spectrum of reopening wonders, from the British Museum to the Wellcome Collection

Until then, we bring you a Virtual Private View, which is sure to give you itchy feet. This week, in the company of Aga Khan Foundation UK, we travel along the Silk Road, thanks to a stunning photographic exhibition currently installed on the King's Cross estate. Join us as we journey across 17 countries.  

We look forward to waving an emoji at you soon. 

With best wishes,

Knowledge Quarter Team


News around the KQ


Visit our KQ COVID-19 page for the latest developments and resources relating to COVID-19 from Knowledge Quarter partners, including information on local business support and the latest scientific and humanities research in the area. We will try to update it weekly.


View the results of our return to work survey. If you work for a cultural venue or a business in the area, this data can help you anticipate likely footfall. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the survey. 


Several KQ Partners will reopen w/c 17 May. Follow the links to plan your visit to the British Library, British Museum, Brunei Gallery, Charles Dickens Museum, Foundling Museum, and Wellcome Collection


KQ events


KQ Virtual Private View: The Silk Road, A Living History

Aga Khan Foundation UK

Thursday 13 May 2021, 14:00-15:00

The Aga Khan Foundation UK presents an an exclusive virtual private view of their open-air photographic exhibition about the people, places and cultures encountered across 17 countries between the UK and China along the ancient Silk Road, currently installed on the King's Cross estate. Photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer will talk us through highlights of his 160 photographs from the exhibition, taking us on a fascinating journey from London to Beijing.

Sign up via eventbrite to receive a link to Zoom.


Opening and reopening

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Suspect Objects Suspect Subjects

Brunei Gallery, SOAS

Artist Faisal Hussain's work responds to the victimising of Muslim communities in the UK and around the world. Addressing themes of government policy and monitoring, controlled identities and the cause and effect on individuals and subsequent impact on mental health.

From 18 May


Jazz and Contemporary Gigs

Kings Place

Head to Kings Place for your fill of live music this summer, with Roger Eno, Jacqui Dankworth & Brodsky Quartet, GBSR Duo, Manchester Collective - Steve Reich: Double Sextet, Bruno Heinen Trio, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, and more.

From 27 May

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Wish You Were Here: 151 Years of the British Postcard

The Postal Museum

‘Wish You Were Here’ celebrates the iconic role the postcard has played in connecting people for more than a century and a half. Explore the history of the postcard and reflect on its future with themes from the great British seaside and First World War correspondence to contemporary art and secret romances.

Opens 20 May


Death Marches: Evidence and Memory

Wiener Holocaust Library

Towards the end of the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of concentration camps were forcibly marched by the Nazis. Known as the death marches, this new exhibition looks closely at how forensic and other evidence has been gathered since the end of the Holocaust to bring the atrocities to light. 

Opens 18 May 

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What's On Lockdown


Visit our Virtual What's On site for a selection of the digital resources, streamed performances and webinars taking place in the Knowledge Quarter.

Find out what's on.


Online performances and events


Birkbeck School of Arts: Arts Week 2021
Enjoy from home Birkbeck's annual Arts Week festival of talks, readings, films and performances, showcasing the varied activities of Birkbeck’s renowned academics.
3-21 May – Birkbeck

Online Course: Pleasures of Illustration
Award-winning illustrator and educator Merlin Evans will be providing a fun and gentle introduction to illustration for beginners.
10-31 May, 18:00-19:00 – House of Illustration

The London Blitz
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the London Blitz, one of the defining periods in London’s history. The London Metropolitan Archives through their records will be telling the story of the Blitz through the eyes of the people who lived through them.
Tuesday 11 May, 14:00-15:00 – London Metropolitan Archives

Lioness: The Story of Amy Winehouse with China Moses
Singer songwriter China Moses will be joining music journalist and DJ Tina Edwards for a discussion of Amy Winehouse’s groundbreaking music, her spiritual home of Camden and her enduring musical legacy.
Tuesday 11 May, 19:30 – Kings Place

Premiere of Alesandra Seutin’s ‘Inside Head’
Join this screening and conversation about Alesandra Seutin’s new dance film ‘Inside Head’. Wellcome Collection and The Place present this short interactive film, which explores the inner thoughts of a young black man as he reflects on the outside world’s perception of what he represents and the systemic pressures he endures on a daily basis. A Q&A with dancer Akeim Toussaint Buck, who plays the lead role, will follow the screening.
Thursday 13 May, 18:00-19:00 – Wellcome Collection & The Place

Disability History: Knowledge, Practice and Collaboration
This year’s conference is divided into three strands knowledge, practice and collaboration. In knowledge, hear from archivists, librarians and historians about their work and collections. In practice, hear from institutions, self-advocacy groups and artists. In collaboration, there will be a chance for all those active in the space of disability history to come together.
Friday 14 May, 13:00-17:00 – London Metropolitan Archives

Interrupted and Restricted: Digital Humanities and Ethics in a Time of Crisis
Covid-19 has meant that more people than ever are turning to digital resources. This panel event will explore the politics of the digital humanities in light of accessibility and digital colonialism and consider the ethical roles that cultural organisations should play when disseminating digital resources.
Friday 14 May, 16:30-18:30 – Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

Songlines Encounters Festival
The festival brings rising stars, premiere performances and exciting new collaborations from around the world to play in the superb acoustics of Kings Place.
Performances from 20 May – Kings Place

Re-interpreting the Becket Miracle Windows from Canterbury Cathedral
Join Rachel M Koopmans and Leonie Seliger for a fascinating conversation about the Becket Miracle Windows. Made in the 1200s, the stained glass windows tell the stories of the 'miracles' experienced by some visitors to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
Thursday 20 May, 17:30-18:30 – British Museum

Impact Hub Open Day
A unique chance for you or your team to test Impact Hub’s coworking space, hear from members, network with social entrepreneurs, and sample some of the benefits of a collaborative community.
Thursday 27 May, all day event – Impact Hub

Sunday Concerts: Oculi Ensemble
The Oculi Ensemble provide a wonderful season finale at Conway Hall, with a programme of Mozart, Brahms and Webern. Online and now live at Conway Hall!
Sunday 30 May, 18:30 – Conway Hall


At home with great content


A drop of hope: poetry from a vaccination centre

Inspired by the words of those who have been vaccinated and the reflections of the volunteers working at the vaccination centre, twelve virtual poets in residence are creating an historic anthology of poetry at the Francis Crick Institute throughout May and June. Follow their progress online, or visit the installation on the plaza outside the Crick.

Placing a drop of hope
Into this bitter ocean of fear and pain
It is your single drop
That will turn it sweetly salt again.

- Nazneen Ahmed, read the full poem online here.


Enjoy the latest experiment in setting modern music videos to Enlightenment tunes from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Here's a remake of Gotye's hit music video 'Somebody that I used to know', with Purcell’s ‘What Power Art Thou’ from King Arthur.


Jobs and opportunities

Digitise your archive with the British Library
If you’re embarking on a digitisation project, the British Library Digitisation Team has revamped its web guides to help you get started and take advantage of the service.

University of the Arts London Short Courses
KQ Newsletter readers recieve an exclusive 10% discount on a range of professional and creative UAL Short Courses by entering this discount code: PUALKQP010

Non-exec Board Members – Charles Dickens Museum
The Museum is seeking three people to join its non-executive Board in spring 2021.
Closing: 14 May

Marketing and Events Manager – The Reading Agency
Salary: £32k | Closing: 17 May

Creative Learning Assistant Manager (Maternity Cover) – The Place
Salary: £27.6k | Closing: 24 May

Marketing and Content Coordinator – British Library
Salary: £26k | Closing: 26 May

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  For more information please contact Jodie Eastwood
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