2016

10 Days, by Gillian Slovo

It’s 4 a.m. and Cathy Mason is watching dawn break over the Lovelace estate. By the end of the day, her community will be a crime scene. By the end of the week, her city will be on fire.

In this gripping thriller by Orange Prize-shortlisted author Gillian Slovo, ten unpredictable days of violence erupt from a stifling heatwave. And, as Westminster careers are being made or ruined, lives are at stake. Ten Days is about what happens when politics, policing and the hard realities of living in London collide.

Digital Installation at Foyles

Gallery at Foyles

Enter the world of Ten Days by Gillian Slovo

“Stories from the Streets” was the central digital storytelling strand of Cityread London 2016 that launched on 1 April 2016. 

This unique installation saw the creation of a ‘police control centre’ within Foyles bookshop’s central London gallery space, where visitors could interact with extracts taken from the first 72 hours of the Ten Days audiobook. Content was ‘triggered’ by placing evidence relating to each scene onto a control desk panel, promoting audio and visual cues. A second area of the installation, modelled in part on the wooden hoardings that covered up broken shop windows in the 2011 London riots, encouraged messages from visitors to the gallery to contribute their own responses to the book and its themes, in what became a positive talking point about the value of fostering dialogue between communities.

Contributions from visitors were also fed into a ‘digital community hub’ on the Cityread website. User-generated content via social media was merged with messages from supporters of the campaign to create an interactive ‘storyboard’ that was the centre point of conversations around Cityread London. Audiences were drawn into the scenarios faced by the book’s main characters, and asked how they would respond as the increasingly fraught events of the story unfold.

Portable versions of the installation dubbed ‘evidence booths’ – complete with audio content triggered by ‘evidence’ from the book – toured around London libraries throughout the duration of the campaign, with week-long residencies planned in twelve locations.

The installation was produced in partnership with Bristol-based Stand + Stare and creative director Jon Slack. Stand + Stare is the artistic collaboration of brother and sister Barney Heywood and Lucy Telling. From their Bristol studio, they create interactive exhibitions, installations and apps for a range of settings. They often incorporate tangible, real things, such as objects you can handle or books you flick through, which are enhanced through the use of digital technology. Clients include Carnegie Hall, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Museum of Science & Industry and Random House.

“A page turner intent on keeping you avidly on edge into the small hours” Metro

“Slovo takes the London riots of 2011 as her blueprint, but she moves beyond that… Rather brilliantly, she increases the tension” The Spectator

“A very readable, perhaps even rabble-rousing tale about a roused rabble and the water-cannon-firing ‘forces of law and order’”Literary Review

“Cracking … an acute indictment of the power play between politicians and police … Slovo’s subject matter could not be more prescient” Louise Doughty, The Guardian

“Ten Days tackles the dangers we all face when politics and policing collide. The result: an unputdownable Slovo read.” Shami Chakrabarti

An extraordinary novel – a page-turner thick with greed, ambition, love and secrets, and simultaneously an incisive portrayal of power and powerlessness in today’s Britain” Kamila Shamsie

“Ten days of tension, trouble and tough truths . . . a cracker” Val McDermid

“Sweeping in ambition and with a fine command of political and policing detail, this makes salutary, and alarming, reading.” Daily Mail

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About Gillian Slovo

Gillian Slovo is a playwright and the author of thirteen books, including five crime novels, the courtroom drama Red Dust, which was made into a feature film starring Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the Orange Prize-shortlisted Ice Road. She co-authored the play Guantanamo – Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, which was staged internationally. Her research for her play The Riots inspired Ten Days. Gillian Slovo was President of English PEN from 2010 to 2013 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was born in South Africa and lives in London.

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