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A Perspective on Surgery and Beauty with Travis Alabanza

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • 14+
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text
An audience are seated in rows in a room watching something on a screen which is out of view.

What you’ll do

Join writer and performer Travis Alabanza for a discussion about the politicisation of surgery in the UK, inspired by ‘The Cult of Beauty’ exhibition.

Including readings from their own work, Travis will ask what happens when the state becomes involved in your search for your true self. They will talk about gender procedures, transitioning and politicising Queer people’s bodies, as well as exploring bodily autonomy more broadly.

There will be a chance to ask questions during a Q&A after Travis’s talk.

You’re invited to explore ‘The Cult of Beauty’ in your own time. The exhibition is at its quietest on weekdays and weekend mornings. It is particularly busy on Saturdays.

When you arrive, tell a member of staff that you are a ticket holder for this event. You will be offered a wristband that gives you free timed entry to the exhibition, before or after Travis’s talk.

This event is aimed at people aged 14 and over.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Forum. To get there, take the lift or stairs up to level 1 and then follow the signs through the ‘Being Human’ gallery.

Place not guaranteed

Booking a ticket for a free event does not guarantee you a place. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to claim your place. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given to someone on the waiting list.

Waiting list

If this event is fully booked, you may still be able to attend. We will operate a waiting list, which opens 30 minutes before this event starts. Arrive early, and we’ll give you a numbered ticket. If there are any unfilled places just before the start time, we will invite you to enter in order of ticket number.

British Sign Language

This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.


This event will be live-transcribed, with text displayed on a large screen.

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

Our event terms and conditions

About your speaker

Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer and theatre maker from Bristol. Their debut show, ‘Burgerz’, won the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and their play ‘Overflow’ was shortlisted for the George Devine Award. Travis’s first book, ’None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary’, was published in 2022. It won the Jhalak Literary Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and was listed as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 books of 2023. Travis’s work has also earned them a place on Forbes’ ’30 Under 30’ list 2021 and the Dazed100 list, and they were named one of the Evening Standard’s future stars of stage and screen in 2023.