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India on film

A celebration of the diversity of Indian filmmaking and films about India – from Bollywood to Tollywood (home of Telugu and Bengali cinema).
from BFI on Jun 24, 2017.

There's no argument - he's an Indian who enjoys arguing, quietly

'The Argumentative Indian' is the title of a book by Indian academic Amartya Sen ("No famine has ever taken place in a functioning democracy") but a documentary of that name about Sen is determinedly undisputatious.
from Daniel Nelson on Jun 24, 2017.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




* A couple of chances to see India on film coming up: the London Indian Film Festival runs until 29 June, while India on Film continues at the BFI Southbank.


* A political thriller about  the peace negotiations that led to the 1993 agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel is coming to the National Theatre in September, followed by a run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Oslo has been a hit on Broadway, and focuses on the roles of a Norwegian diplomat, who is now the ambassador to the UK, and her husband.


Asian theatremakers have warned that a “severe lack of representation” on stage is resulting in Asian audiences abandoning the arts. The warning follows the release of a Department for Culture, Media, and Sport report that found Asian audience engagement to be lower than that for both black and white communities, and that it had decreased by seven percentage points over the past 10 years. Full story in The Stage


The BBC’s first period drama with an entirely non-white cast will begin filming later this year. Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy, set in post-partition India, will be adapted into an eight-part series by screenwriter Andrew Davies. Davies has previously penned several major literary adaptations for the BBC, including Bleak House in 2005 and 2016’s War and Peace. Full story in The Stage.


An "adventurous programme of exhibitions, events and education workshops telling stories of movement to and from Britain" is promised by the Migration Museum, in a space just off Albert Embankment.This month sees Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond and 100 Images of Migration. They will be followed by Keepsakes, a display of personal items that keep memories of migration and identity alive.



Photo, below right:  Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou is one of the stars of Africa WritesA weekend of contemporary African literature and thought, at the British Library: book launches, panels, storytelling, poetry and workshops. This festival showcases the best new writing from the continent and the diaspora alongside family activities and an international book fair.

  2016 Puterbaugh Festival Roundtable and Keynote Talk

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson










Thursday 29 June

* Celebrating the literature of El Salvador, Horacio Castellanos Moya, 7pm, £10, 14 Bury Place, WC1. Info: 7269 9030

* Living with HIV in 2017, Sarah Fidler and Alan Winston discuss lifelong treatments for people living with HIV, 6-7.15pm, Imperial College, Huxley Building, 180 Queen's Gate, SW7. Info:


from Friday 30 June

* Africa Writes 2017, the Royal African Society’s annual literature festival, showcasing talent from Africa and its diaspora, including book launches, readings, author appearances, discussions, youth and children’s workshops, British Library, Euston Road, NW1, until 2 July. Programme incudes 1 July, The Chibok Girls by Helon Habila; 2 July, Alain Mabanckou in Conversation; Writing Blackness: Mostly Lit LIVE,  Alex Reads, Reckless Rai and Derek W; No Place To Call Home by JJ Bola & When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola. Info:


Sunday 2 July

* Survival of the Artist, William Wells, Abdullah Alkafri, Selma and Sofiane Ouissi, Shireen Atassi, Anthony Downey, Tamara Chalabi, Larissa Sansour, Maeve Brennan, Khaled Barakeh and Khaled Jarrar on how art is responding and can thrive in situations of conflict and censorship in the Arab world, including two live performances - an audio performance For the Absent Ones, and Zarah Al-Ghamdi’s construction of an installation about the loss of heritage in Saudi Arabia, 10am-5:30pm, £15/£12, The British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1,. Info:


Monday 3 July

* Citizens Of The Archive: Uncovering Race and Poetry, exhibition of collection of poetry by writers of colour, highlighting the Caribbean Arts Movement, radical black publishers from the 1960s onwards, small press poetry, and materials such as pamphlets, posters, and audio recordings + reading and creative writing workshop activities anda panel discussion, Workshop and panel discussion 2–5.30pm; performance: 6.30–8pm, National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: Southbank Centre 


Tuesday 4 July

* No Is Not Enough, Naomi Klein on the surreal political upheavals of recent months, 7:30pm, £15/£35, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 3879 9555

* Global trade governance, Max Mendez-Parra, Jodie Keane, Daria Taglioni, 9:30-11am, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300/


Wednesday 5 July

* The Evolution of Global Inequalities: the impact on politics and the economy, Branko Milanovic, 6:30-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686

* What are the priorities for a sustainable economy in the new Parliament?, Lord Krebs, Baroness Parminter, Baroness McIntosh, 4pm, House of Lords. Info:


Thursday 6 July

* How Algorithms Rule Our Lives, Cathy O’Neil explains how Big Data increases inequality and threatens democracy, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* American Democracy in Focus: The 'Special Relationship' and International Development, Andrew Mitchell MP, pm, £5/£8/£6, British Library, Euston Road, NW1. Info:  (0)1937 546546/

* Breaking the Silence: Gender and Genocide,  Rebecca Jinks, Lisa Pine, Catherine Baker, Amelia Handy, Andrew Johnston, 6:30-8pm, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7636 7247


Friday 7 July

* LGBTI Human Rights 2017, 9:30am-7pm, Bush House, King's College London, Strand Campus. Info:  Programme/









Life in Transit, photos  about life in the Calais Jungle and Dunkir refugee camps, free, Gallery 101, 101 Queen Victoria Street, EC4, until 6 July. Info:


Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria, more than 60 photographs on life in Government-controlled areas in 2013-2014. and on the plight of people seeking refuge in Europe in 2015-2016, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 3 September. Info: 7416 5000. 

Museum takes on Syria and the war sparked by graffiti


Syria: Story of a Conflict, intimate display exploring the origins, escalations and impact of the Syria conflict through objects and video, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 3 September. Info: 7416 5000


* Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond, multimedia exhibition + Images of Migration, Migration Museum at the Workshop,  26 Lambeth High Street, SE1, until 30 July. Info:

+ 28 June, Your Money or Your Life, Gary Younge, 6.30-9.30pm, Migration Museum

+ Mud on our feet: exhibitions fit for a migrant nation


Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the best of 50,00 entries from 95 countries, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, until 10 September. Info: 7942 5000/

+ Wildlife photography judges bark up the right tree


Sephardi Voices: Jews from North Africa, the Middle East and Iran, exhibition that looks at their lives in Britain, Jewish Museum, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, NW, until 7 September. Info: 7284 7384


* Afghanistan: Reflections on Helmand, examines the British arrival in 2006 and the decisions that shaped the way the conflict escalated, exploring the impact on those who were there and the lessons learned, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 26 November. Info: 7416 5000


* Edmund Clark: War of Terror, the artist-photographer's work on hidden aspects of state control during the "Global War on Terror", free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000


Double Take, Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari presents portraits from the studio of Hashem el Madani in which two people of the same sex kiss or embrace, exploring their specific cultural and political histories, free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 3 September. Info: 7306 0055


Mahtab Hussain: You Get Me?, photographs exploring identity among young working-class British Asian men, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2, until 1 July. Info:

+ 28 June, (In) visibility of Muslim Womern: Race, Gender and Representation, South Asian Women's Collective London, 7pm, £3


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhbit of new acquisitions that ranges from a Ghanaian "power bank phone" to shoes that show Western designers' belated realisation that the pink colour 'nude' did not apply to all the world's population, free, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road

+ Burkinis and bullets at the V&A


London, Sugar & Slavery , permanent gallery at the Museum of Docklands, No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14. Info:


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


* People Power: Fighting for Peace, exploration of how peace movements have influenced perceptions of war and conflict from the First World War to the present day, £10/£5/£7, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000/

+ 11 July, Where are we marching: the future of protest, 6.30-8pm, £12/£9

+ Britons and the fight for peace 

+ People Power



from Sunday 2 July

* I Am, peacebuilding exhibition promoting the work of 31 contemporary women artists from the Middle East, free, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Aquare, until 30 August. Info:

+ 4 July, Women, Art and the Middle East, artists panel, 7pm, The Crypt Gallery. Info: Exhibition 

Tuesday 4 July

* Reflections, pop-up exhibition of original work by Syrian artists, "whose work has been influenced by six wretched years of conflict", miday-7 pm, Elena Residence, Kensington. Info:



Photo: Gulabi Gang, a documentary about Sampat Pal, who raised a gang of women to tackle abuse and injustice in rural Uttar Pradesh, is part of India on Film, which runs at the BFI until December, "celebrating the diversity of Indian filmmaking and films about India - from Bollywood to Tollywood (home of Telugu and Bengali cinema) - in cinemas and online.

Gulabi Gang







* The Other Side of Hope, a Syrian refugee meets a travelling salesman who leaves everything to run a restaurant in a remote part of Helsinki, Curzon Bloomsbury, ICA, Curzon Soho, Finchley Road JW3, Regent Street cinema

* East End Film Festival, includes  1 July, City of Ghosts, powerful doc about the citizen journalists who have risked their lives to report on ISIS atrocities; Insyriated, politicised take on the home invasion thriller; Post-Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the WorldJames Ball discusses his new book of that name + Dearborn, about the new political climate in the US.Info: Programme


* London Indian Film Festival, until 29 June. Programme 


* Stranger in Paradise, film essay set in a classroom in Sicily on the mechanisms through which Europe tackles refugees’ desire for happiness, £3-£11, ICA, the Mall, SW1, until 6 July. Info:


* Pavilion & Pavilion V, two shorts by Said Adrus revisit the role of South Asian soldiers during the Great War and the story of the Muslim Burial Ground at Horsell Common, Woking, screened on a continuous loop, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place,  EC2, until 1 July 29 JuneRepresentation and Remembrance, Adrus and Priya Jay, 6:45pm, £2


Thursday 29 June

* By The Time It Gets Dark, experimental Thai film with a 1970s university massacre at its heart, ICA


from Saturday 1 July

* India on Film, NFT. Programme incudes 10, 16 July, daring feature about the 2002 Gujarat massacre; 13, 24 July, Gulabi Gang, doc about the woman who pionered resistance to violence, abuse and injustice aganst women in Uttar Oradesh; 14, 23 July, Astu, about a family coping with an aging father. NFT, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232


Monday 3 July

* Can films change public policy and the law?, Sue Clayton screens and discusses her film  Calais Children: a Case to Answer, 6-8pm, Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street, WC1. Info:  Register

* Farouk, Besieged Like Me gentle, personal documentary in which veteran Syrian documentarian Hala Alabdalla invites us to dinner with writer and editor Farouk Mardam-Bey, for reflections on Syria, culture and identity, 8.30pm, £10/£12, Institut francais, 17 Queensberry Place, SW17. Info: 7871 3515/ 

Tuesday 4 July

* City of Ghosts, immensely powerful documentary that follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” — a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014 + Q&A with director Matthew Heineman, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 14 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7269 9030

* Battle of Algiers, classic 1966 feature that is a dazzling reconstruction of Algerian resistance to French colonialism, 6.15pm, NFT









* The Kite Runner, adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel set in Afghanistan, Playhouse Theatre, WC2 until 26 August. Info: 0844 871 7627 


* Barber Shop Chronicles, for generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world, National Theatre, until 8 July. Info: 7452 3000/ Theatre

+ 'Africans don't go to the pub, they go to the theatre'


* These Trees Are Made Of Blood,  blends cabaret and original live music to tell a story about Argentina’s Dirty War, £12-£22, Arcola, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 15 July. Info: 7503 1646

+ Oh! What A Lively War (review of previous production)


* Hear Her Singing, project by Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai that features perspectives from women refugees in the UK through film portraits of song and storytelling, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 2 July. Info: Hear Her


* The View From Nowhere, a biochemist's experiments show a leading herbicide is carcinogenic. He fights against entrenched interests but is hindered by his dreadlocks and the chip on his shoulder, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4, until 22 July. Info: 7870 6876 


* The Crows Plucked Your Sinews, May 2011 - a Somali woman sits in a Woolwich council house watching the assassination of Osama Bin Laden unfold on TV; upstairs her ailing grandmother is talking to ghosts, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8, until 14 July. Info: 8692 4446/ Albany 


* RADA Festival, over 60 performances, rehearsed readings, films and discussions, tickets from £5, until 8 July, RADA, 62-64 Gower Street, WC1. Info: 7636 7076/ Programme includes an adaptation of Giles Foden's novel The Last King of Scotland; and from Friday 30 June, Untouchable spotlights the struggle of India's Dalits, until 8 July.+ 5 July, post-show Q&A + 6 July, pre-show discussion with Jatinder Verma, 6pm


from Friday 30 June

* Combustion, Asif Khan's comic take on young British Muslim lives in the north of England, £10/£5, RADA, 62-64 Gower Street, WC1, until 8 July. Info: 7636 7076/

+ Asif Khan serves up a slice of northern English life


Saturday 1 July

* Emidy: He Who Dared To Dream, story of a 19th Century African composer who lived in Cornwall and traversed three continents in pursuit of his musical dreams, 7.30pm, Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18. Info: 8333 4457


Sunday 2 July 

* Singing Our Lives, choral song cycle illuminating the stories and experiences of migrants and refugees in the UK, 6pm, Milton Court, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Silk Street, EC2. Info;  Tickets


from Monday 3 July

* Contemporary Latin American Writers Festival, three Latin American plays performed in English: Mona and I,  Brazilian writer Rogerio Correa combines magic realism and radical politics; Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges, adaptation of Venezuelan writer Montague Kobbé’s collection of flash fiction; Turmoil,  Brazilian playwright Jô Bilac's physical tragicomedy set in a South American Jane Austenesque world that features music, Flamenco and a tap dancing goat, one play: £16 / two £24/three £30, Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, Old Union Street Arches, 229 Union Street, SE1, until 9 July. Info: 3633 4406

* And Here I Am, actor Ahmed Tobasi’s personal story, from resistance fighter to artist, from refugee in the West Bank to Norway and back again, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 8 July. Info: 7503 1646/ 






Wednesday 28 June

* Natural World: Sudan - The Last of the Rhinos, 9pm, BBC2

* Fighting for King and Empire: Britain's Caribbean Heroes, midnight30, BBC4

Our Man in The Middle East1.45pm, R4


Thursday 29 June

Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row 11.15pm, BBC2

Our Man in The Middle East1.45pm, R4


Friday 30 June 

Our Man in The Middle East1.45pm, R4