Illuminating India Events Programme at the Science Museum

Talvin Singh
To celebrate the Science Museum’s major Illuminating India season, running from 4 October 2017 to 31 March 2018, we are hosting a series of unique events, from a film screening and Q&A with Oscar winner Danny Boyle to a tea blending workshop with mixologists from the Bluebird Tea Company.Tickets are available from all Science Museum ticket desks or via the Science Museum website.

The Illuminating India events programme is presented in partnership with the Bagri Foundation. The Illuminating India season has additional support from The Helen Hamlyn Trust and The John S Cohen Foundation.

Symposium: India’s Place in Photography’s World
Science Museum
Friday 6 October, 14.00-19.00
Free, ticketed / All ages

Photography arrived in India in 1840 and ever since it has remained rooted in the distinctive aesthetics and cultural iconography of the sub-continent while also serving as a reflection of the political context of the times. The symposium will be chaired by Rahaab Allana, consultant curator of Illuminating India: Photography 1857–2017, curator of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in London.

The Knowledge: Indian Tea Blending Workshop
Science Museum
Saturday 14 October, 08.30–13.00
Tickets £80 / Recommended for ages 16+

This third instalment in The Knowledge series of events celebrates our new Illuminating India season, which runs from October 2017 to March 2018.

We’ve teamed up for it with the fine folks of Brighton’s Bluebird Tea Company, who have given tea mixology classes at events including Glastonbury Festival, the BBC Good Food Show and Secret Garden Party.

After a private, out-of hours tour of Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation with curator Matt Kimberley, you’ll be infused with knowledge at Tea 101: a cultural and historical masterclass in Indian tea, followed by a hands-on tea mixology workshop.

You’ll get to make your own Indian tea blends, which you can take home with you afterwards.

Admission includes refreshments on arrival, lunch, coffee and (obviously) tea.

The Knowledge is a series of events that let you spend a day with the experts at workshops, talks and tours. As well as having fun, you’ll take away in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of the fascinating science behind the subjects in the Museum’s current exhibitions.

Slumdog Millionaire PLUS Q&A with Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 27 October, 19.30–22.30 (Doors open 19.00)
Tickets £20 (premium and concession tickets also available) / Certificate 15

A screening of the 2009 Oscar-winning British/Indian production that made global stars of Dev Patel and Freida Pinto. We’re joined for a Q&A after the film by the director and national treasure Danny Boyle (Trainspotting28 Days LaterSunshine) and the screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full MontySalmon Fishing in the Yemen).

Slumdog Millionaire, dir. Danny Boyle, 2009, 120 mins, cert. 15.

Sadhguru in Conversation with Jo Marchant
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Monday 13 November, 19.30–20.45 (doors open 19.00)
Tickets £10 / All ages

Named as one of India’s 50 most influential people, yogi and New York Times best-selling author Sadhguru will join us for a conversation with acclaimed science journalist and fellow New York Times best-selling author Jo Marchant on the mind body connection and how science and spirituality can co-exist.

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble: Sriyah
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 24 November and Sunday 26 November, 19.30–21.00 (Doors open 19.00)
Tickets £12 / All ages

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble is globally acclaimed as one of India’s premiere dance companies. Nrityagram (which means dance village) is located outside Bangalore. A unique blend of traditional knowledge with contemporary understanding and application makes Nrityagram the only institution of its kind in the world. Experts in the Odissi dance form – a 2000-year-old classical dance style that originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha – Nrityagram’s hypnotically fluid movements, delicate, sensual yet muscular style and ornate garments make for a truly spellbinding performance. They will be performing Sriyah, bringing to life ancient wisdom, sacred rituals and divine transformation.

Moumita Dutta in conversation with Maggie Aderin-Pocock
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Wednesday 29 November, 19.30–20.30 (Doors open 18.45)
Free, ticketed / Ages 18+

Project Manager for the Indian Space Research Organisation’s famed Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission, Moumita Dutta joins us in person for a conversation with Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE to discuss exactly how the ISRO sent a probe to Mars for less than it cost to make the film Gravity, to enlighten us on India’s upcoming lunar mission, and to discuss the importance of enabling more women to study and work in STEM.

Lates: Illuminating India
Science Museum
Wednesday 29 November, 18.45–22.00
Free entry / Ages 18+

An evening delving into the science, technology and photography of India’s past, present and future. There will be Indian music and dance bringing the museum to life, while we explore India’s rich array of scientific ideas and technological innovations. From the first written record of Zero and early efforts in surveying to India’s part in the space sector and advances in medical technology. We’ll also have a chill out zone where you can learn about yoga and meditation. Plus all the regular Lates highlights are waiting for you to enjoy, including live music and the best silent disco in town.

Science Museum Lates are adults–only, after-hours themed nights that take place in the Museum on the last Wednesday of every month.

The Knowledge: India Illuminated
Hans Rausing Lecture Theatre, Science Museum
Saturday 3 February, 08.30–14.00
Tickets £50 / Recommended for ages 16+

Three experts in Indian science, technology and innovation join us for conversations with the Illuminating India curatorial team, before taking to the stage together for a panel discussion about the most important issues in Indian science today. Ticket price includes lunch, welcome refreshments and a private, out of hours guided tour of Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation led by curator Matt Kimberley.

The Man Who Knew Infinity PLUS Panel Discussion, in association with the Royal Society
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 16 February / 19.30–22.00 (Doors open 19.00)
Tickets £5 / Certificate 12A

The Science Museum partners with the Royal Society for a screening The Man Who Knew Infinity, the biopic of Indian mathematical genius and Royal Society Fellow, Srinivasa Ramanujan. Starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones and Stephen Fry. The screening will be accompanied by a talk about Ramanujan and the importance of India’s contribution to our understanding of mathematics.

Illuminating India: An Evening with Talvin Singh and Yorkston, Thorne & Khan
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 23 March / 20.00–22.35 (Doors open 19.30)
Tickets £20 (premium and concession tickets also available) / Open to all ages

Mercury Prize-winning composer, producer and tabla player Talvin Singh OBE headlines this unique event with the world premiere of a brand new live musical response to Illuminating India: Photography 1857–2017, commissioned by the Science Museum. Known for fusing classical Indian music with drum and bass, Singh has collaborated with the likes of Madonna, Björk and Massive Attack. At this unique event, Singh will give a live performance of brand new compositions inspired by the Illuminating India photography exhibition, which is an ambitious and unprecedented survey of the technological and cultural development of the medium in India, examining photography’s changing role in charting the recent history of the country. This performance will be accompanied by specially-produced visuals incorporating still images from the exhibition alongside archive footage.

Singh will be supported on the night by Yorkston, Thorne & Khan. Signed to Domino Records, the trio are comprised of Scottish folk musician James Yorkston, double bassist Jon Thorne and sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan. Bringing together touches of jazz with traditional Indian classicism and British folk, they’re an improbable fusion but one that has been met with great acclaim, with performances at Glastonbury, Green Man, Latitude and BBC Radio 6 Music Festival this summer opening them up to brand new audiences across the UK.

Illuminating India Family Weekends
Science Museum
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November 2017, 11.00-17.00
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January 2018, 11.00-17.00
Free / Open to all

Join us as the museum comes to life to celebrate our Illuminating India season. We’ll have music, dance and film with an Indian influence as well as yoga and meditation. There will be workshops and storytelling which will explore India’s rich array of scientific ideas and technological innovations.





About Illuminating India 
The Science Museum presents an international perspective on the remarkable contributions of the Indian subcontinent to global science and culture over the last 5000 years. Illuminating India is a season of two major exhibitions, specially commissioned artworks and a high-profile events series opening during the British Council’s UK/India 2017 season: a celebration of the long-standing relationship between the UK and India which will see cultural events, exhibitions and activities taking place in both countries. It tells the stories of the Indian innovators and thinkers who have often been overlooked or written out of Western narratives of history. One exhibition, Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation, celebrates India’s central role in the history of science and technology by exploring its influential contributions to subjects as diverse as space exploration, mathematics, communication and engineering. Another exhibition, Illuminating India: Photography 1857 –2017, is an ambitious and unprecedented survey of the technological and cultural development of the medium in India, examining photography’s changing role in charting the recent history of the country.

About the Science Museum
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum and its world-class collection form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at

About The Bagri Foundation
The Bagri Foundation is a UK registered charity working in the fields of education, relief work and culture. Through a multidisciplinary events programme, the Foundation aims to foster understanding of Asian cultures, artistic exchanges and enriching experiences. The Foundation believes in the power of collaboration and works with leading organisations, scholars and artists to encourage critical thinking, disseminate knowledge and offer platforms for creativity to blossom. Find out more at

About UK/India 2017
UK/India 2017 is a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK, which will see a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity take place in cities across both countries. Working with a huge number of partners and institutions, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will connect and inspire people in both countries, and strengthen and celebrate the UK and India’s cultural ties. For more information on UK/India 2017 please visit

About Discover South Kensington
Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.

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