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Orientalism and the Occult

  • Free
  • Workshop
Photograph of three people looking at a large framed poster of Alexander the magician, as part of the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition at Wellcome Collection
Smoke and Mirrors exhibition, Steven Pocock. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Take part in a workshop with Shelley Saggar examining representations of the ‘exotic’ by magicians and what this says about who we expect to deceive us and what we characterise as ‘rational.’ You’ll take a closer look at images from Smoke and Mirrors including Derren Brown’s invocation of Alexander and The Indian Rope Trick.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Reading Room on level 2. You can walk up the spiral staircase to the Reading Room door, or take the lift up and then head left from the Library Desk.

Limited spaces available

Spaces are limited and may run out if we are busy so you may wish to arrive early.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

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About your host

Close-up black and white photographic portrait of Shelley Angelie Saggar's face and shoulders.

Shelley Angelie Saggar

Shelley Angelie Saggar is a research practitioner working in material history, museum cultures and decolonial methodologies. Her current work concentrates on the complicated colonial histories of secret, sacred and otherwise culturally sensitive items in the Wellcome historical medical collections housed at the Science Museum.