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Discover South Kensington London’s home of science and arts
 
  Summer treats from South Kensington  
 

We're so excited that some of South Kensington's galleries, museums and cultural venues are getting ready to reopen. Japan House London opened today and the Royal Society of Sculptors opens next week.  We'll be bringing you the dates and details for other venues shortly.  Meanwhile, here are our latest tips and guide to South Kensington's online treasures to enjoy wherever you are.

 
   
 
 
 
 
Japan House London has Re-opened!
 
Japan House London
 
Japan House London has re-opened on its ground floor. To help protect your safety, they will be limiting visitor numbers by operating a timed-entry ticketing system. Booking is open for visits from 9 - 31 July.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Kensington Palace Re-Opens on 30th July
 
Kensington Palace
 
Kensington Palace is thrilled to be re-opening on 30th July. There will be some changes to ensure visitors are safe, but they are confident everyone will have a great time!
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Summer in the Royal Parks
 
The Royal Parks
 
The Royal Parks are pleased to announce that almost all cafes and catering kiosks are open in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and for their youngest visitors, the playgrounds are due to open imminently.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Serpentine Galleries re-open 4 August with Cao Fei: Blueprints
 
Serpentine Galleries
 
The Serpentine's phased re-opening begins on 4th August with Cao Fei's immersive Blueprints, exploring her ability to create virtual worlds, navigate physical and virtual spaces, and considers the changing landscapes of cities in China and beyond. The exhibition is free but booking in advance is essential. Tickets available later this month.
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The Great Exhibition at Home Deadline 31 July 2020
 
Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851
 
In the spirit of Prince Albert’s original Great Exhibition, which showcased the most exciting Victorian technology and inventions from 1851, students across the country will take part in engineering challenges and create their own Great Exhibitions at home! For this year’s challenge, participants will submit a 1 minute video presenting their Great Exhibition at Home, which tackles the question:
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Bastille Day
 
Institut français
14th July 2020
 
On the occasion of Bastille Day (14 July), the Institut français invites you to explore the motto of the French Republic: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité! and mostly ‘fraternité’, the bond that brings people together with a series of concerts, book recommendations and interviews, and invites you to contribute to a collective playlist with DJ Bob Sinclar!
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Lets Make Wednesdays - Redesign Everyday Objects!
 
V&A
Online
 
Every Wednesday, the V&A team challenges you to use design to think cretively abour your world. What can you fix, improve and iterate? Don’t forget to share your design remixes with them. Let’s make Wednesdays more creative!
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Make it Public "Think outside the box"
 
Design Museum Kensington
Sat 11th July 11am-5pm
 
Make it Public Festival goes digital as 49 postgraduate students from the Royal College of Art MRes course, when asked to "think outside the box", came up with creative ways whilst confined to the box of their homes. Take part in workshops, Q&As and particpatory artworks, as well as exploring boundary-pushing design projects.
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Goethe on Demand Free!
 
Goethe-Institut
Online
 
Another great film from Goethe on Demand. A quiet countryside and some less quiet family quarrels - but the real issues are yet to come... Holiday season has started in this drama by Thomas Arslan. Goethe on Demand is free until 31 July.
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Echo Peel Face Masks
 
The Royal Society of Sculptors
 
The response to Caroline Achaintre's Echo Peel sculptor has been so popular that The Royal Society of Sculptors has launched 'make-your-own' wearable art masks featuring the vibrant colours.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Coronavirus: Rise of mini-organs
 
Science Museum
 
Science Director Roger Highfield explores how growing human tissue into mini-organs, or ‘organoids’, will help the fight against COVID-19, from explaining puzzling complications to creating novel treatments.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Bruno Dumont: Joan of Arc
 
Institut français
Until 31 July 2020
 
In the 15th century, both France and England stake a blood claim for the French throne. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan leads the army of the King of France. Bruno Dumont’s new film Joan of Arc, winner of the Prix Louis-Delluc, features an original score from the late artist Christophe and celebrates freedom in reimagining the story of the French heroine.
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Negative emissions: removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Thursday 30th July 7pm-8:30pm
 
Join a free live streaming to hear Professor Rachel James talking about technologies to capture carbon including Enhanced Rock Weathering, and send in your questions for the discussion.
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Spiders in your Home!
 
Natural History Museum
 
What kind of spiders are living in your garden or home? We might not have exciting mammals like lions or bears living in the UK but who needs them when you have spiders! Join volunteer Leah (and some special eight-legged guests) to learn more about the amazing spiders that live in the UK.
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Pandemic Objects: Mourning Jewellery
 
V&A
 
'The perniciousness of Covid-19 is that it forces physical separation, even in death' writes Catrin Jones, Chief Curator at the V&A, in her blog about the pandemic's effect on mourning. Even in our digital age, virtual goodbyes cannot compensate for the touch of a hand, which has become a public marker of personal rites of passage. An absorbing read.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
#OEKOROPA Competition
 
Goethe-Institut
Rapid Developer Response Friday 31 July 2020 Final Proposals Deadline 1 Oct 2020
 
Imagine a world where you can travel without impacting the environment. #Oekoropa is a competition for teachers and pupils who are invited to create innovative proposals for a climate-neutral journey across Europe. Got some ideas? Send them to the Goethe-Institut and get your trip funded!
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The Spectacled Bear
 
Natural History Museum
Tuesday 21 July 12:00-12:45
 
The Andes are inhabited by the only surviving native species of bear in South America, the spectacled bear - and it is sadly under threat, mainly due to habitat loss. Join researcher Juan Camilo Chacón-Duque and find out about the efforts our scientists are putting into protecting this animal and its home in Colombia
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Science Museum Collection Quiz
 
Science Museum
 
With the outbreak of coronavirus, many of us are spending more time at home. With quizzes being particularly popular here's a ready-made quiz round of 15 questions featuring facts from the Science Museum Group Collection.
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Artists in Conversation
 
Leighton House Museum
Tuesdays 14 July & 21 July 6pm-7pm
 
The Artists in Conversation series, co-hosted by Leighton House and the Yunus Emre Institute, explores the traditional arts and crafts of Turkey, a country that Leighton visited frequently and drew inspiration from to embellish his magnificent house. Join them on Tuesdays 14 to listen to creamist Laurelie Rae and on 21 July to listen to manuscript illuminator & fine artist Ayesha Gamiet.
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Royal Albert Home: Nashville Meets London
 
Royal Albert Hall
Saturday 18th July 7:30pm
 
A selection of some of the most exciting names in country music will deliver exclusive home sets as part of a Nashville Meets London takeover of the Royal Albert Home series. Including The Cadillac Three, American country music singer Michael Ray, Canadian singer-songwriter Tenille Townes, and Yorkshire-native, Twinnie.
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On the Road
 
Leighton House Museum
 
As part of Leighton House’s Learning from Home programme, they have just launched On the Road, a collection of films and travelogues featuring beautiful performances by exceptional musicians, to celebrate Leighton’s love of travel and music. Be inspired by the artworks Leighton collected and the sketches and paintings he made whilst abroad to get creative at home.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Soil science: exciting and needed!
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Wed 29 July 6:30pm-7:30pm
 
Soil is our vital resource yet we tend to overlook it. Most people have contact with soil daily even if only walking over it, but will rarely consider its value. Perhaps if we think of soil as ‘brown gold’ we will value it more. In this presentation, Jenny explorers just how exciting and necessary this "forgotten science" really is.
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Nature Live Online: Mission to Mars
 
Natural History Museum
14th July 2020 12:00-12:45
 
In 2022, the European Space Agency will be launching a new ExoMars mission to the red planet, trying to discover more about the planet's past, present and future. Join Sara Motaghian, a Museum planetary scientist working on the mission, and find out more about the challenges and rewards of working on such an ambitious and exciting project.
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  Discover more  
 
 
 
Could Plastic Become a Thing of the Past?
 
Imperial College London
 
The Shellworks, founded by Imperial College London graduates Insiya Jafferjee, Amir Afshar and Edward Jones, won the Venture Catalyst Challenge 2020 for their invention which turns waste crustacean shells into biodegradable, composable products that can be used as an alternative to plastic. 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste has been created on earth to date but might now become a thing of the past.
read more
 
 
 
 
 
Why Tummy Bugs are so Good at Swimming
 
Imperial College London
 
Researchers have solved the mystery of why a species of bacteria that causes food poisoning can swim faster in stickier liquids, such as within guts. The findings could potentially help scientists halt the bacteria in its tracks,
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  And from our friends  
 
 
 
Breath is Invisible - Khadija Saye
 
236 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH
7 July – 9 October 2020
 
Breath is Invisible is a new public art project exhibiting the work of four artists to celebrate, reflect, question and heal. A project born out of urgency to address issues of social injustice, the first installation is the work of Khadija Saye, the young Gambian-British artist who tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Khadija was the youngest artist to be exhibited at the Diaspora Pavillion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Later this summer artists Martyn Ware, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Joy Gregory will present site-specific commissions created in partnership with the local community. [image courtesy of the Estate of Khadija Saye, Photo Jeff Moore]
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Westminster Libraries: The Other Boleyn Girl
 
Westminster Libraries
 
Book of the Week is The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory. Sister of the infamous Anne Boleyn, Mary is brought up in the treacherous world of the French royal court. On hearing that King Henry VIII is growing tired of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, the Boleyn parents hatch a plot to install Mary as his mistress and thus enter Henry’s inner circle. But Tudor high society is a changeable and volatile system...
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Westminster Libraries: I Want My Hat Back
 
Westminster Libraries
 
Lots of fun things to keep your children entertained this week at RBKC Libraries online! Book of the Week is Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back. Craft of the Week is Silly Frog. There's Rhyme Time, Lego Hats and on Friday I Don't Want to Wash My Hands.
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RBKC Libraries Book of the Week The Butchers
 
RBKC libraries
 
Ruth Gilligan’s The Butchers, is this week's book of the week. A novel looking back to the time of The Troubles in 20th Century Ireland via a very different perspective; the world of meat and dairy farming. The central plot is the BSE crisis 'Mad Cow disease', which reached Ireland in 1989 - and a corpse found hanging from rusty hooks driven into his feet.
read more
 
 
 
 
Discover South Kensington is an initiative of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, a partnership of the cultural and educational organisations in and around Exhibition Road, South Kensington.

Our partners include:
 
The Design Museum
Goethe-Institut
Imperial College London
Institut franҫais
The Ismaili Centre
Kensington Palace
Natural History Museum
Royal Albert Hall
South Kensington Estates
Royal College of Art
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal College of Music
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
The Royal Parks
Serpentine Galleries
The Science Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Royal Society of Sculptors
Japan House
 
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