This week there are events to exercise your faculties, from the intellectual to aesthetic to the highly physical. Whether you lie at the A.J. Ayer or the Mike Tyson end of that spectrum (or span it like a superhuman!) there should be something to tickle your fancy in one of our boroughs. Don’t forget to check out the Regent’s Canal opera, which we reported on a couple of weeks ago, when it swings by Mile End on Sunday.
Saturday 21 – Saturday 23
London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery
7-82 Whitechapel High Street Whitechapel, London E1 7QX
In this time of smartphones, Kindles, and, er, online journalism, it’s easy to think of words as just content we download. But London’s fourth annual Art Book Fair is sure to be stuffed to the gills with beautiful tomes, volumes, coffee-table behemonths and razor-slim zines. Browse the best art, architecture and design books at the Arts Book Prize, whose shortlist will be announced on the opening night, or pick up the latest issue of the London Bookshop Map.
Prices vary; see programme for details
Saturday 22 – Sunday 23
London Triathlon, ExCel Centre
ExCeL, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL
Competitors in the Virgin Active London Triathlon will race, swim and cycle its way around the Victoria and Royal Albert Docks this weekend. The sprint distance competitions will take place from 11am on Saturday 22, and olympic distance competitions from 6:30 am on Sunday. It’s too late to enter, but if you go down to spectate you can enjoy the race as well as the Triathlon Expo.
West Croydon Carnival of Cultures
London Road, Croydon
Russian dancers! Bollywood routines! African drummers! Lidl car-park…? The Carnival of Cultures, created by the West Croydon Community Forum as a way to bring people together on London Road after the devastation of last year’s riots, has been gathering steam all week and is kicking off this Sunday. They’re still looking for volunteers and if you get in touch quickly you might just be able to get a stall.
NO MANICHINO, Enclave Gallery
Enclave, Resolution Way, London SE8 4NT
Francis Thorburn is a local artist whose ouvre is fairly, well, unique. Crowds of muscled, sweaty men, half-naked like rejects from an audition for Frank Miller’s 300, collectively powering giant junk machines in what the Enclave Gallery calls “anarchist statements of resistance and action…organised without permission.” Here, Thorburn presents a series of sculptures and films elaborating on his playful fusion of “pub banter” and laddish aggression with self-depreciating silliness and communal solidarity.