The Book of Travels exhibition lesson plan

The Ottomans are coming to London! Discover the relationship between the Ottomans and Europe through coffee, music, architecture and the dreams of rebels and radical thinkers all those centuries ago.

‘The Book of Travels,’ a Maslaha exhibition exploring the sharing of radical ideas will be on display at Rich Mix in Shoreditch throughout December 2015. We are pleased to invite schools across London to take part in a unique exploration of cultural exchange over time, and examine how we can apply this kind of radical thinking to our lives today.

Available for schools:

  • Click here to download a KS3-4 lesson plan (ZIP 5MB) for teachers and schools, entitled: 'Rebels! Rethinking what it means to be radical.' It can be used as a standalone lesson(s) or combined with a visit to the exhibition
  • Explore the exhibition virtually with pupils at
  • Visit the exhibition for free at Rich Mix between 3 Dec 2015 - 3 Jan 2016. We particularly recommend 15–17 December for school group visits. No booking necessary but please let Rich Mix know you plan to visit: 0207 613 7498. Recommended for Year 9 and upwards. 
  • Join our free event 'Rebels! Lessons in dissent' on Wednesday 9th December with music, puppetry, storytelling and debate exploring radical ideas and freedom of expression at Rich Mix. More info here. Numbers are limited so please RSVP for booking:
  • Book a workshop for your school. The diverse and talented Maslaha team is able to run a variety of workshops for KS3-4 linked to the exhibition content and beyond. Workshops are always very interactive and have an emphasis on creative and visual arts, using examples fromaround the world. We tailor content to school needs, and the cost per 1-hour workshop with 30 pupils is £200. For larger groups or longer workshops, please email us to discuss. Email us at for more info. 

What subjects is the exhibition suitable for?

  • PSHE
  • Enrichment/off-timetable days
  • History
  • Human geography

About The Book of Travels exhibition

  • In the 17th Century an Ottoman traveller – Evliya Celebi – was inspired by a dream to embark on a journey across the Ottoman Empire.  He travelled far and wide across Europe and North Africa and wrote extensively about his adventures in Seyahatname – “Book of Travels.”
  • Explore the power of storytelling, through music, film, and artwork from the 16th century; discover journeys – of both people and ideas across time and space – through the eyes of Evliya, and other European adventurers who, equipped with a thirst for adventure, mischievous imagination and a feel for inspiration, sought out new encounters and narratives.
  • Originally commissioned in 2010 by the British Council as part of their programme, 'Our Shared Europe.'

Did you know:

  • Lady Mary Montagu first brought the idea for inoculating against smallpox to London from Ottoman Istanbul
  • Coffeehouses were frowned upon as disreputable centres for subversive debate in Istanbul and in London – while visitors such as 18th century poet Alexander Pope dressed in Ottoman costumes to enjoy their cup of coffee
  • Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were both invited to design bridges to cross the Golden Horn in Istanbul
  • These are stories that are driven by rebellion, and the desire to change how society thinks and how it is run. As a world traveller, a storyteller, a man of letters, a Muslim, a musician and a global citizen, Evliya Celebi and his journeys have just as much resonance and revolutionary energy today as they did during his lifetime in the 17th century.

Visit the exhibition website at: 

Listing Information
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School lesson plan and workshops for the Book of Travels exhibition