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Arab pop culture: Whose Gaze Is It Anyway?

A history of Arab pop culture through printed matter – posters, notebooks, diaries and book covers, as well as through film and video.
from ICA on Jul 13, 2014.

Comedy of terrors

It’s embarrassing to admit that for a journalist, a “good” story is almost always a bad event. Death? Destruction? Strife? The worse the event, the better the story.
by Daniel on Jul 22, 2014.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* Another chance tonight to catch a superb, moving documentary, Clothes To Die For, about the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka. Maybe there could have been more focus on the guileless, clueless Western girls in the opening sequence, whose desire for an endless stream of cheap and cheerful clothes is driving the garment manufacturing boom, but otherwise it's a searing, heartbreaking, hopeful analysis of what happened, and of a country many of whose people are as heroic as their governments are hopeless.

*  Two fascinating theatre productions are promised at the National Theatre for later this year. Beyond the Beautiful Forevers by David Hare is based on Katherine Boo's book about a group of Indians in a shantytown. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, 12 and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate. But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.

The other is Here Lies Love, a musical that traces the astonishing journey of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace. The theatre "will be transformed into a pulsating club for an immersive theatrical event which combines heart-pounding beats with adrenaline-fuelled choreography and 360-degree staging." Audiences are advised to dress comfortably and those in the pit performance area will stand and dance with the actors. 


* The film that kicked off the recent fifth London Indian Film Festival, SOLD, a feature about a 13-year-old Nepali girl’s struggle for survival after being sold into prostitution in Kolkata, has been voted winner of the festival's audience award.  

The two screenings of the film have been used by Childreach International to launch its  #TaughtNotTrafficked campaign, which aims  to prevent child trafficking in Nepal, where it says the number of children sold into slavery and sex work are rising. 

The runner up for the audience award was Samruddhi Porey’s Hemalkasa, the festival’s closing night film. The film is a touching biopic about a doctor couple whio dedicated their lives towards improving the lot of tribal people in Western India with little or no help from the government. 


* Meanwhile, two of the strongest films on view at the moment are The Golden Dream, a true-to-life adventure story about migrants trying to reach the US, and Who Is Dayani Cristal?, an outstanding documentary about immigration from Larin America to the US. Fascinatingly, many of the situations and incidents covered in the documentary have their dramatised equivalents in Golden Dream.


* Below, right: The ' Liberator' gun made on a 3D printer: part of a small exhibit of new acqusitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum. For details, see Events Covered by OneWorld

The Liberator 3D-printed gun, 2013


Daniel Nelson







Tuesday 22 July

*  Girl Summit, aimed at mobilising efforts to end female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage within a generation. UNICEF will co-host the event, co-0rganised by Department for International Development and Unicef. Info: Registration


Wednesday 23 July

* Emerging Africa: how the global economy's 'last frontier' can prosper and matter, Kingsley Moghalu, 6:30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043/

* Don’t Deport Isabella Acevedo protest, outside Mark Harper MP’s apartment – where Acevedo cleaned his and other MPs' apartments for seven years, 6.30pm, 126 Westminster Bridge Road. Info: Right to Remain/  Petition


Thursday 24 July

* How policy and research communities can ensure science has an impact on development outcomes, Chris Whitty, 6pm, Millennium & Battersea Suite Park, Plaza County Hall, 1 Addington Street, SE1

* Don’t Deport Isabella Acevedo protest, 7pm, Heathrow Terminal 5. Info: Right to Remain Petitio

* Iraq, Now and in the Future, Richard Norton-Taylor,  Clare Short, Jonathan Steele, Houzan Mahmoud, Alistair Burt MP. See PerformanceThe Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes


Friday 25 July

* Show 'n'Tell: Okavango,  Luca Marazzi, 1-2pm, free, Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1. Info: 3108 2052/ 


Tuesday 29 July 

* Tiananmen Revisited, Louisa Lim, James Miles, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place, W2. Info: Info: 7479 8950   


Wednesday 30 July

* Are we getting things done? Rethinking operational leadership, Steve Goudswaard, David Kaatrud, Paul Knox Clarke, 2-3.30pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 030./


Thursday 7 August

* Man's Inhumanity to Man: Famine and Starvation in Warfare, seminar with Andrew Prentice, 5:45-6:45pm, London School of Hygiene and Triopical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:  Event details


Saturday 9 August

* Demonstration outside Harmondsworth detention centre, John McDonnell MP, 1pm, Colnbrook By-Pass, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 0HB. Info: Surround Harmondsworth


Wednesday 13 August

* A Return to Pre-Modernity, film programme and lecture that seeks to investigate the engagement between post-colonial globalisation and the current worldwide ecological crisis. The programme features work by Yto Barrada, Rodrigo Braga and Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, followed by a response by Wallace Hei 6:30pm, £7/£11, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:


Thursday 14 August

* Climate-KIC UK Venture Competition, eight innovative start-up companies aiming to tackle climate change give five-minute presentations for a chance to win €20,000, 3.30-7pm, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road. Info:  Booking


Tuesday 19 August 

* Violence against aid workers on the frontline, launch of 'Aid in Danger: The Perils and Promise of Humanitarianism' by Larissa Fast, 2-3.30pm, Overseas Decvelopment Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300/ Registration


Tuesday 26-Friday 29 August

* Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, RGS, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7 and Imperial College London,  Exhibition Road, SW7. Info:  7591 3000





* Hell On Earth, Leang Seckon's paintings, collages and videos about his experiences and memories from the Khmer Rouge period and the subsequent civil war, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1, until 25 July. Info: 7307 5459/

+ To hell and, fortunately, back


My Sister Who Travels, contemporary women photographers - Corinne Silva’s Moroccan-within-Spanish wastelands, Paola Yacoub’s invisible remnants of the Lebanese Civil War, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s photographs of Syria, Esther Van Deman’s photos of bricks, walls and aqueducts in Tunisia, Algeria and Italy,  stills from Jananne Al Ani’s aerial film 'Shadow Sites II' and video works by Noor Abed and Halida Boughriet, The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5, until 30 August. Info: 7370 9990


* Ben Okri on Ayuba Suleiman Diallo: A Dialogue Across Time, an 18th-century portrait, the earliest known British portrait of a freed slave, and a new poem, National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar square, until 27 July. Info:


* The Rubbish Collection, waste generated by visitors and staff is scrutinised by artist Joshua Sofaer - with the help of visitors - before it's recycled  or converted to electricity; after 15 July some of the waste will be brought back and you will be able to see hos it's being processed; part of the museum's climate change programme, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, SW7, until 14 September. Info: Museum

+ This exhibition is rubbish

+ What does one month of rubbish look like?


* Unearthed, work by Syrian-born, UK-based artist Issam Kourbaj, inspired by three years of the Syrian conflict, Tuesday- Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 12-4pm, Wednesdays til 8pm, P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, NW1, until 16 August. Info: 7121 6190/ 


* Travel Photographer of the Year, from landscapes and cityscapes to the minutiae of an ant colony and close-up detail of lions on the hunt, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7, until 17 August. Info: 7591 3000

+ judge Chris Coe talks through some of the images, 6-9pm, plus glass of wine, £6: Friday 1 August; Wednesday 6 August; Wednesday 13 August. Info:


* Omer Fast, using carefully edited video footage, Fast examines the conventions of media reportage, storytelling and historical representation, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, until 30 November. Info: 7887 8888/ 


Batoul S'Himi: World Under Pressure, sculptures inspired by a world under increasing presssure, free, Rose ISSA Projects, W1, until 15 August. Info: 7602 7700


A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolutiona century of posters agitating for political change drawn from the V&A collection, including acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest, free, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, until 2 November. Info: 7942 2000


* Rapid Response Collecting, small, stimulating display of 11 contemporary objects collected in response to major moments in historythat touch the worlds of design and manufacturing, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, until 15 January.

+ Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes

London, Sugar & Slavery , permanent gallery at the Museum in Docklands, with new display that gives a snapshot of those who received compensation when slavery was abolished in the 1830s, No 1 Warehouse, E14. Info: 0870 444 3852/ 0870 444 3851/


* Mark Veville's Afghanistan photographs, slow motion films and large photographic portraits of young Afghan children and British soldiers, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 until 25 September. Info: 7416 5000/ 


* atmosphere: exploring climate science, free, Science Museum, South Kensington. Info: Museum


Atlantic Worlds, transatlantic slave trade gallery, National Maritime Museum, Park Row, SE1. Info: 8858 4422/ 8312 656


Eco Zone Gallery, small gallery devoted to sustainable building products and materials, The Building Centre, Store Street, WC1. Info: 7692 4000/


from 26 July

* Disobedient Objects, exhibition that looks at the role of objects in movements for social change, including banners, changing designs for barricades, political video games, experimental activist bicycles and textiles bearing witness to political murders,  V&A Museum, South Kensington, until 1 February



Image: In the documentary, Who Is Dayani Cristal?, Garcia Bernal traces the identity of a body found in the desert on the US side of the Mexico border and uncovers the human cost of the US war on immigration. Next screenings: 22 and 24 JulyWho Is Dayani Cristal?





Around town

The Golden Dream, action-packed feature about Guatemalan youngsters trying to get to the US, ICA, Brixton Ritzy, Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square

Migrants' fears - and nightmares


Tuesday 22 July

* Who Is Dayani Cristal?, superb documentary about a migrant whose unidentified body is found in the Arizona desert plus Q&A with director Marc Silver, 6.30pm, Curzon Soho, Shaftesbury Avenue

+ When migrants hit the road, the road hits back


Thursday 24 July

* Who Is Dayani Cristal?, superb documentary about a migrant whose unidentified body is found in the Arizona desert plus Q&A with director Marc Silver, 8pm, £7, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1. Info: 7613 7490/

+ When migrants hit the road, the road hits back


Sunday 27 July

* Bastards, documentary about how an illiterate young woman took on tradition, her own family, and Moroccan law, for the sake of her illegitimate child + Q&A with director Deborah Perkin and assistant producer Nora Fakim, 3.45pm, £7/£11, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:


Tuesday 5 August 

* Araya, remastered 1959 film that captured the life of an isolated community in north-eastern Venezuela who have worked the salt marshes since the 1500s, 6.45pm, £3/£6, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:


Tursday 5, Wednesday 6 August

* Boat People, brutal and beautiful film about a Japanese photojournalist returning to Vietnam, 6.10/ 8.30pm, BFI, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1. Info: 7928 3232


Tuesday 5, Sunday 10 August

* Caramel, romantic film about the lives of five Lebanese women in a beauty salon, 8:40pm/ 4.10pm, BFI, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1. Info: 7928 3232





* Holy Warriors, Jerusalem and 2,000 years or religious strife, Shakespeare's Globe, 21 New Bank Walk, Bankside, SE21, until 24 August. Info; 7401 9919


* Perseverance Drive, an epic family story that stretches from the sunny shores of Barbados to the grey skies of Leytonstone, Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 until 16 August. Info: 8743 5050


* Whistleblower - the story of Edward Snowden, £17/£15/ £12/ pay-what-you-can night 10 July, Waterloo East Theatre, Brad Street, SE1, until 3 August. Info:  7928 0060


* Women of Hope, verbatim theatre piece inspired by the testimonies of women who have transcended domestic violence, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1, until 23 July. Info: 7613 7498/


* An Audience with Pieter-Dirk Uys, the South African comedian is back, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1, until 27 July. Info:


from 23 July

* The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes, Salim, an Iraqi refugee, takes on a new identity In London after fleeing persecution in Baghdad. He is picked up, and marries a wealthy older woman, who enthusiastically coaches him in the bedroom for his forthcoming citizenship test. But Carlos Fuentes finds that knowing the names of all six of Henry VIII’s wives can neither satisfy his new wife nor turn him into a “Britishman”, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 16 August. Info: 7503 1646/

+ Comedy of terrors

+ Post-show talks:

24 July, Iraq Now and in the Future, with Alistair Burt MP, Houzan Mahmoud, Clare Short, Richard Norton-Taylor, Jonathan Steele, 9pm

31 July, Immigrants, detention centres and forcible deportation, Celia Clarke and Theresa Schleicher 

7 August, Attitudes towards refugees and deportation, Lisa Doyle and Deborah Coles 

14 August, New writing fron the Middle East and further east,  Rashid Razaq


Thursday 24 July

* 'Blowin in the Wind' - Imaging the Counterculture. The rise of Eco-Protest, Liz Johnston Drew, 6:30pm, Kensington Central Library. Info:

* Launch of Black Cultural Archives, Doudou Diene, Hakim Adi, Gus John, Jonzi D, Rowdy, Mechanikool, Akala, Floetic Lara, El Crisis, Linton Kwesi-Johnson, Alexander D Great, Lascelles James, 6-9pm, free, Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2


Sunday 27 July

* Gaia Theory, symphony composed by Jonathan Dove "inspired by James Lovelock", 7.30–10:05pm, £7.50-£38, Royal Albert Hall.  Info: Booking 





Monday 21 July

* Clothes to Die For, in the wake of the Dhaka  Rana Plaza factory collapse, 9pm, BBC2

* Plants: From Roots to Riches, 1.45pm, R4

* Shared Planet: Urban Wildlife, 9pm, R4

Tuesday 22 July

* Hive Alive, second part of programme about bees and humans, 8pm, BBC2

* Slum Survivors, three British plumbers try to play their trade in Mumbai, 8pm, BBC3

* Commonwealh on Film, 8.30pm, BBC4

* Clothes To Die For, superb documentary about the collapse of the Rana Plaza building  in Dhaka, 11.20pm, BBC2

* Lost Land of the Tiger, snow leopards in Bhutan, 11pm, BBC4

* Shared Planet: Zoos in the wild, 11am, R4

* Plants: From Roots to Riches, 1.45pm, R4

* Kurdistan: A State of Uncertainty, 8pm, r4

Wednesday 23 July

* Indian Hill Railways, 8pm, BBC4

* Our Planet From the Air: Home, Earth from above, 9pm, BBC4

* Plants: From Roots to Riches, 1.45pm, R4

Thursday 24 July

* Natural World: Penguin Post Office, Antarctica doc, 8pm, BBC2

* Our Planet From the Air: Home, Earth from above, midnight, BBC4

* Plants: From Roots to Riches, 1.45pm, R4

Friday 25 July

* Plants: From Roots to Riches, 1.45pm, R4