Shopping cart0

Open House 2023: Walking the Visionary London of Emanuel Swedenborg (screening and Q&A)

EVENT: Open House 2023: Walking the Visionary London of Emanuel Swedenborg (screening and Q&A)

DATE: 7th September 2023 - 7th September 2023

TIME: 6.30 - 9.00 pm

VENUE: Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

SPEAKER/S: John Rogers, Stephen McNeilly and Iain Sinclair

FILM MAKER/S: John Rogers

compère James Wilson

Film Screening followed by Q&A /Discussion with the film’s director, John Rogers, and the film’s protagonists Iain Sinclair and Stephen McNeilly

As part of the Swedenborg Society’s programme for the Open House Festival 2023, we are pleased to present a special screening of John Rogers’s film Walking the Visionary London of Emanuel Swedenborg (2023).

The film documents a walk with writer Iain Sinclair and Stephen McNeilly (of the Swedenborg Society), following the footsteps of eighteenth-century Swedish scientist, philosopher and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. The walk (and film) start in Warner Street, Clerkenwell, where Swedenborg had his most famous vision in a chop house, before taking the course of the River Fleet to Baker’s Yard / Cold Bath Square, where Swedenborg died in 1772. From here the walk goes along Saffron Hill and Hatton Garden to Fetter Lane, the site of the Moravian Chapel that Swedenborg attended, then along Fleet Street and up Ludgate Hill to Paternoster Square, linking together a series of locations associated with Swedenborg’s publishing and writing career. The journey continues on to East London, passing along Leman Street, Cable Street, past Wilton’s Music Hall to Swedenborg Gardens, where Swedenborg was buried in the Swedish Church.

After the screening there will be a Q&A / discussion with the film’s director, John Rogers, and its protagonists, Stephen McNeilly and Iain Sinclair. The discussion will be introduced/moderated by the Swedenborg Society’s James Wilson.



About John Rogers

John is the author of This Other London – Adventures in the Overlooked City (2018), and director of the documentaries London Overground (with Iain Sinclair), The London Perambulator (2009),  Make Your Own Damn Art – the World of Bob and Roberta Smith (2012), and In the Shadow of the Shard (2018). John is co-presenter and producer of the radio show and podcast Ventures and Adventures in Topography with Nick Papadimitriou on Resonance FM. He was psychogeographer-in-residence for Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture 2019, and was commissioned to create a project for Brent Biennial in Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture, Kensal Rise Has A Story. He produces a regular series of London walks on YouTube with over 68,000 subscribers.

‘John is Elizabethan, a film-poet, writer/walker from a better time. He has a history of  alternative stand-up, alliances with Russell Brand and the deep-topographer Nick Papadimitriou. A history of persistent engagement in the politics of protest, being there, bearing witness. Keeping the record. And posting it. He was good company on a second circuit of London Overground; a series of excursions fitted in between school-delivery and school-collection. It seems that John did most of his own work, writing or editing, at night. He was self-funding, self-starting, a guerilla documentarist in the great tradition: green anorak, ruined left knee, camera in pocket’. – Iain Sinclair, from The Last London

For more information, visit:

About Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair has lived in and written about London since 1969 and is rightly considered one of the city’s greatest chroniclers. A renowned essayist and writer of fiction, Iain’s early work consisted mostly of poetry which he published on his own small press, Albion Village Press. His novels include Downriver (winner of the James Tait Black Prize and the Encore Prize), Radon DaughtersLandor’s Tower and Dining on Stones (shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize). Non-fiction books, exploring the myth and matter of London, include Lights Out for the TerritoryLondon Orbital, Hackney, that Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project. His recent book, The Gold Machine (Oneworld, 2021) is now in paperback. For the Swedenborg Society he has written Blake’s London: The Topographic Sublime (2011); Swimming to Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London (2013); and (with Brian Catling) Several Clouds Colliding (2012). Iain is co-curating a new exhibition for Swedenborg House to open in October 2023.

About Stephen McNeilly

Stephen McNeilly is the Society’s Museum Director and Executive Director. He has curated numerous exhibitions and events, the most recent being Concerning an Idea about Place which included a selection of previously unseen works from the Swedenborg Collection and The Story of Swedenborg in 27 Objects, for which he wrote an exhibition catalogue. He is also the series editor of the Swedenborg Review, The Swedenborg Archive Series, the Collected Works of Emanuel Swedenborg and the Journal of the Swedenborg Society, the latter being described by Annalisa Volpone as a ‘mapping of the impact of Swedenborg’s thought on the western literary imaginaire from romanticism to contemporary times’. Forthcoming books include Swedenborg’s Lusthus (Spring, 2024) and Philosophy Literature Mysticism: An Anthology of Essays on the Thought and Influence of Emanuel Swedenborg (2024).

About Open House

Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to 800+ buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September each year. Swedenborg House has regularly taken part in Open House for the past 20 years, opening its doors to allow the general public to explore its meeting rooms, library spaces and special displays.

For more information, visit: