festival

Alchemy

19 May - 29 May

Alchemy returns to Southbank Centre, showcasing the dynamic creativity and cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. Over eleven days, our spaces are enlivened with contemporary dance, performance, music and literature from international and British artists.

The festival is a space for the innovative and curious, where artists and audiences can exchange ideas. You're invited to explore a programme packed with artistic collaborations, workshops, talks, food and drink, along with a range of free events for those looking to try something new.

Now in its eighth year, Alchemy has grown to become the largest festival inspired by South Asian culture outside of the subcontinent.

This year we continue to work with national partners Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Black Country Touring, and Cast, Doncaster. Each partner curates their own bespoke Alchemy programme, featuring local and regional artists, running alongside the festival in London. This tour is generously supported by Arts Council England.

Support our year-round festival programme

Help us to be a place where everyone can experience world-class art and culture that can stimulate, educate and inspire.

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Thu, 04/18/2013 - 18:29
Tue, 02/07/2012 - 11:57
Opening the festival are Mercury-nominated Asian Dub Foundation

20 May 2017

Free

10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Stop by to see a short film about this much-cooked and much-loved dish
Installation by Faiza Butt

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
See London-based artist Faiza Butt's large-scale light wall installations

Free

Art
10:00 am, 18 May 2017 - 18 Jun 2017
Discover the performance world of sitar master Ravi Shankar and his long history with Southbank Centre at this free exhibition

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Gain an insight into life in the UK and across the Indian subcontinent through screenings of short films

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Join in a global artistic movement of love, unity and activism
Tent with Installation

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Delve into a man’s search for meaning and identity within ever-changing India and Pakistan

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Explore notions of migration and heritage with a project between artists, Sayed Hasan and Karl Ohiri

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
The future of migration meets the digital world of gaming in this interactive event
All India Backhod

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Get ready to laugh with this film from the hugely popular Indian satirical comedy group
Installation with Screens and Sculptures

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Admire this handmade textile installation created specifically for The Clore Ballroom
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
10:00 am, 20 May 2017
Take a seat as travelling storytellers stop by to share enchanting tales of adventure.
Literature
Talks & Topics
11:00 am, 20 May 2017
Start your day with Mohammed Hanif as he gives insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes and dilemmas
Tray of Food

Free

Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
12:00 pm, 18 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Explore Alchemy with a belly full of spice as street food pioneers KERB return
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Hear from directors, filmmakers, documentarians and designers on the Pakistani Renaissance
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Discuss the legislations around transgender people and women in Pakistan
Literature
Talks & Topics
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Explore characters and fictions inspired by exile and displacement with Kamila Shamsie and others
Performance
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Bring the little ones along for a day of songs and stories in partnership with Karachi Literature Festival
Trapezium image

Free

Art
6:30 pm, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Play a narrative game that introduces the everyday lives of people living in Kashmir

Free

Art
6:30 pm, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Play the Walk of Life board game, based on the ancient Indian game Ganjifa

Free

Talks & Topics
6:00 pm, 19 May 2017 - 20 May 2017
Join us in the Archive Studio to get hands-on with our collection on sitar master Ravi Shankar
Talks & Topics
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Debate the dangers of poor provision in a talk with educations, entrepreneurs and experts
Literature
Talks & Topics
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Speakers weigh up the challenge of portraying Pakistan’s gender and class divide in fiction
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Hear a gathering of poets recite their latest offerings in this open mic opportunity
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
2:00 pm, 20 May 2017
Tez Ilyas, comedian and star of TEZ Talks, hosts a debate on diversity in the arts

Free

Gigs
Folk & World
2:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Join us for a full afternoon celebrating the legendary artist Ravi Shankar

alchemy stories

video
Celebrated Indian film composer A R Rahman talks about his work
story
Journalist Arwa Haider introduces the hip-hop artists involved in our Beats Without Boundaries event

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