Some see the 1951 Festival of Britain as an assertion of traditional patriotic values, but Alan Powers will argue that it attempted a difficult task of looking to the past and future, and showing British people a better version of themselves in line with post-war hopes. It was a reward to the senses after years of austerity. The lecture will match the motivations of the leading creators of the Festival to their achievements, especially in the centrepiece, the South Bank exhibition, in healing a war-scarred nation looking for a new role in the world.
Alan Powers teaches at the University of Kent and the London School of Architecture. He was co-editor with Elain Harwood of a book on the Festival published by the Twentieth Century Society in 2001, and met many of those involved in creating the exhibition.
This event is part of Waterloo Festival, more details will be announced by the festival team via their website in due course.