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From Nollywood movies to occult art: our pick of cultural events worth travelling for

The Invictus Games come to Sydney

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for

Our pick of the season’s cultural events worth travelling for

October/November 2018

SYDNEY UNCONQUERABLE SOULS
October 20th–27th
Prince Harry, who flew an Apache helicopter in Afghanistan when he was in the British Army, visited Colorado Springs in 2013 to see the US Defence Department’s Warrior Games. Taken with the concept of a competition for wounded servicefolk, he decided to make it a global affair. This year, sports-mad Sydney hosts the fourth annual Invictus Games, named after a poem by William Ernest Henley, a Victorian poet who wrote a rousing ode to resilience while recovering from a leg amputation. More than 500 injured veterans and active soldiers from 18 countries will cross metaphorical swords in events ranging from archery to swimming.

NEW YORK SEEING THE UNSEEN
October 12th–February 3rd 2019
In 1906 Hilma af Klint, a Swedish artist, started work on a series of boldly abstract large-scale paintings, a few years before Kandinsky and Mondrian abandoned the goal of representing the world as it is seen. She had a penchant for the occult – a “commission” from a spirit at a seance inspired her to create her most striking paintings which she imagined would be installed in a spiral temple. This never happened. But the circling ramps that snake up to the sky inside the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim museum are a good substitute. Don’t miss the chance to see more than 160 of her cosmic artworks in a perfect (albeit temporary) home.

LAGOS AFRO CINEMA
November 11th–17th
Africa’s largest city is confident and chaotic – and Nigeria’s film industry is no different. Nollywood, as it is known, produces more films each year than anywhere other than Bollywood. With as many as 50 films coming out a week, it can be hard to keep up. The African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) slows the reel to showcase the continent’s finest cinema. Among this year’s most anticipated films is “Supa Modo” by Likarion Wainaina, a Kenyan director – a heartfelt piece of magical realism about a terminally ill girl who becomes a superhero. Like the city that hosts it, AFRIFF has global ambitions.

NEW YORK ALTERNATIVE THEATRICALITY
September 20th–January 13th 2019
These are dark days for anyone who cares about factual accuracy and truth-seeking journalism. That makes it the perfect time for a stage adaptation of “The Lifespan of a Fact”. The 2012 book on which it is based chronicled the real, seven-year exchange between a smug “lyric essayist”, John D’Agata, and his tenacious fact checker, Jim Fingal, over an article about a teenage suicide in Las Vegas that was riddled with dubious details (what White House adviser Kellyanne Conway might call “alternative facts”). Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale star in the play’s world premiere at Studio 54 on Broadway.

TOKYO MOVING MOUNTAINS
October 24th–December 3rd
Kaii Higashiyama captivated post-war Japan with his landscapes done in nihonga (traditional Japanese) style; in the 1960s the Yokohama-born painter was Japan’s most celebrated artist. Simple images such as a lone horse amid trees, or a road leading into the distance, often painted solely in hues of blue, oozed serenity in the wake of war. They evoke a spiritual sensation by encouraging the onlooker to pause and contemplate nature’s beauty – little wonder his work adorns the walls of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and Toshodai-ji temple in Nara. Visitors can see what all the fuss is about at the National Art Centre, which is holding a retrospective of his work.