Three book covers

Images courtesy Vintage,  Penguin and Penguin Modern Classics

Artist Motunrayo Akinola’s exhibition at the South London Gallery, Knees Kiss Ground, (8 March – 9 June 2024) premieres new work that Akinola made as part of his six-month residency at the South London Gallery. The show explores faith, belonging and public attitudes towards migration. To expand on themes in his new work, Akinola has shared what he has been reading and listening to while making it.


The daily lives of ordinary people are full of objects, common things used in commonplace settings. These objects are our constant companions in life. As such, writes Soetsu Yanagi, they should be made with care and built to last, treated with respect and even affection. They should be natural and simple, sturdy and safe. They should be things of beauty. In an age of feeble and ugly machine-made things, the essays in this book call for us to deepen and transform our relationship with the objects that surround us.

Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) is a classic, semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. Baldwin tells the story of John Grimes, an intelligent teenager living in 1930s Harlem, exploring his relationship with his family and his church.
Travelling for nearly two years and across four continents, Caroline Moorehead takes readers on a journey to understand why millions of people are forced to abandon their homes, possessions, and families in order to find a place where they may, quite literally, be allowed to live. Human Cargo changes our understanding of what it means to have and lose a place in the world.

Read More


Black, African and British – Jumoke Fashola – BBC Sounds

British Nigerian broadcaster, Jumok√© Fashola, explores how Britain’s black African communities are shaping British politics, faith, business and culture today.

Crossing Continents – BBC Sounds

BBC Radio 4’s award winning programme focusing on foreign affairs issues. It takes listeners right to the heart of story through its on-location reporting and and offers a deep understanding of the context in which events take place no matter where they are in the world.

Read More


Democratic freedoms can vanish in a gunshot, warns the Nigerian writer, Lola Shoneyin, in a powerful film featuring poetry, dance, and an original score from Made Kuti, the grandson of Fela Kuti. This the second of four films by the Financial Times examining the state of democracy, government, rights and freedoms around the world.

Read More

Motunrayo Akinola will present a new performance work, developed during his residency at the South London Gallery on 31 May 2024. Book tickets online now.

Visit the South London Gallery Bookshop Tues-Sun, or online, to browse our book range inspired by the exhibition. Our store is committed to highlighting underrepresented authors, independent publishers and championing reading across all ages.

Want to know what other artists are reading? Take a look at what artist John Costi recommended.

Motunrayo Akinola: Knees Kiss Ground is at the South London Gallery from 8 March – 9 June 2024.

Read More