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Island Nation: the end of the Sri Lankan civil war on stage

Sri Lanka, 2009: 'There are European tourists sipping cocktails on the beaches in the south, who have no idea what’s happening in the north.’
from ice&fire on Aug 26, 2016.

Um Bongo, Um Bongo, it starts in the Congo

They Drink It In The Congo is high drama, knockabout farce, thwarted romcom, poetic symbolism: it’s about race politics, migrant life, NGO do-goodism, international power. It’s an extraordinary mix – like the Congo.
from Daniel Nelson on Aug 25, 2016.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor



The British Museum, the Royal Opera House, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Shakespeare Company have all signed up to new five-year sponsorship deals with BP. So the Art Not Oil coalition is stepping up its campaign: "We cannot — and will not — allow BP’s logo to hang in our galleries, museums and theatres unchallenged. Wherever it appears, we will be there to expose the reality of the destructive drilling, human rights abuses, oil spills, corruption, political lobbying and climate change that lurk behind that innocuous green sunburst... We will continue to use art, performance, and creativity to place all of these logos in their rightful context, and to undermine [oil] companies’ efforts to use public arts venues as their promotional playgrounds. We will give a platform to those communities directly affected by oil company operations, bringing their voices into these spaces to drown out the corporates’ PR blurb."

It appeals for action on several fronts, including 

1) Share the Art Not Oil statement about the deals, to show that this movement is stronger than ever.

2) Join BP or not BP? for its underwater-themed flashmob, or "Splashmob", at the British Museum's Sunken Cities exhibition on 25 September.

3) Join museum and library workers, users and unions outside the British Library on 5 November to demonstrate against funding cuts and privatisation: "If we allow the Government to slash the budgets of museums and galleries, they're more likely to turn to corporate sponsors - including BP and Shell - to try to plug their funding gaps."



Have you had the experience of coming to live in London from another part of the UK or Europe, or another part of the world? Or do you have a story to tell about a friend or family member who came to live in London - whether recently or in the distant past - and how that has had an impact on your life? 

Battersea Arts centre is  looking for people from all backgrounds and of all ages to participate in a project on the theme of migration to London. It will culminate in a festival on 4-26 November in which members of the public will tell their personal stories to small audiences in different rooms. No experience of performance is necessary: the opportunity is open to everyone. Whether you've moved to London for work, to study, or seek refuge from war - if you have a story to tell, the Arts Centre want to hear it. 

The deadline for applications is 5 September. Click here for an application pack.



* Lion is getting big billing for the London Film Festival in October (5th-16th): it "tells the true story of how a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home; he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, haunted by memories of his childhood, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family." Public booking for the festival doesn't open until 15 September.



London is currently full of photography exhibitions that focus on the intricacies and tensions of black life, culture and identity - but why is this happening now? TimeOut attempts an explanation.



* Currently on the film front, Embrace of the Serpent draws on the historical accounts of two European explorers in the Amazon to create a fascinating and highly distinctive tale of adventure, colonialism and the clash of civilisations. The Confession is a long interview with Moazzam Begg in which he tells the story of his rendition by US intelligence, detention in Kandahar, Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, and his release back to Britain. Later this month comes an extraordinarily visceral documentary, Ambulance, in which Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City, joins an ambulance crew as war approaches: not so much fly-on-the-wall as blood-on-the-floor.




* Image, below: Nelson Mandela is brought to the stage in an epic operatic tribute, The Mandela Trilogy at the Southbank Centre. It follows Mandela from tribal initiation rites on the banks of the Mbashe river and heady and rebellious jazz-fuelled days in Sophiatown, to incarceration and reflection on Robben Island and finally freedom and liberation. Presented in three parts by a cast of over 60 performers including three different incarnations of Mandela, the contrasting phases of his journey are recreated through strikingly divergent styles of music.


Mandela Trilogy

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson













Friday 26 August

*   Phulbari Day of Action: demoagainst plans for a UK backed mine in Bangladesh and asking for GCM plc, the UK company that plan to build the mine, to be delisted, 11am, London Stock Exchange; nearest tube station: St Paul’s. Info: Facebook


Wednesday 31 August

* African History Reflection Day: An Xtra History & Reasoning Session, led by Kwaku, 6.30-8.30pm, Harrow Mencap, Harrow On The Hill. Info:

* How to Fix Nigeria: Dismantling Patriarchy, Fatimah Kelleher, Dorcas Erskine, Elnathan John, 6.30pm, Clore Ballroom, Southbank centre, SE1. Info: Event


Wednesday 31 August-Sunday 4 September

* Africa Utopia, talks, workshops, music and performance, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: Africa Utopia 


from Thursday 1 September

* Musafat, festival that aims to foster artistic and professional exchange between independent artists and professionals across the Middle East, North Africa and the UK; talks include 2 Sep, Hip Hop in Palestine and the Arab World, how this genre has flourished in the region; 3 Sep, Re-imagining the Urban in Arabic Film, examination of cinematic representations of cities such as Beirut and Cairo; 4 Sep, workshop,  Alternative Infrastructures: Music and Arts in Cairo and the Middle East, looks at the opportunities and barriers to an alternative arts and music scene in the Middle East, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 4 September. Info: See also Film

Friday 2 September

* Improving care of people with NCDs in humanitarian settings, conference, 9am-7pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:


Monday 5 September

* The Economic Impact of Indefinite National Service in Eritrea, Charlotte King, Gaim Kibreab, 1pm, Committee room 2A, Houses of Parliament, SW1. Info:


Tuesday 6 September

* Mogadisu, Memory, Politics and Return, Andrew Harding, Adam Matan, Idli Osman, 7-8.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Reservations














The Calais Jungle, exhibition that tries to capture the needs, culture and hopes of its residents, 10am-11pm, free, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, until 2 October. Info: 7960 4200


* The Blue House by Alpha Diagne, the artist on her home in the Calais Camp, along with her paintings and sculptures, 10am-10pm, Royal Festival House, Southbank Centre, SE1, until 28 September. Info: 7960 4200


* Dinh Q Le: The Colony, video installation that uses the guano fertiliser industry on Peru's Chincha islands as backdrop, free, 133 Rye Lane, SE15, until 9 October. Info:


Miss Black and Beautiful, photographs by the late Raphael Albert, cultural promoter and photographer of black beauty pageants in west London from the late 1960s to the 1980s, Rivington Place, EC2, until 24 September. Info:  7729 9200/ 

* Unsterile Clinic (illustration, below), Aida Silvestri’s sculptural photo-works that feature beads stitched onto layers of vintage leather to resemble her subjects’ skin colours, as a way of focussing on female genital mutilation, free,Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2, until 27 August. Info: 7729 9200/

+ 10 September, artist and curator's tour of exhibitions, 3-4.30pm, free

+ Catwalk and cutting: beauty and the beast in a London gallery  Picture: Unsterile Clinic: Aida SilvestriUnsterile Clinic


Black Chronicles: Photographic Portraits 1862-1948, photos of life in Britain, free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 11 December. Info: 7306 0055


* Made You Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity, £3/£2.50, free before noon, Photographers Gallery, Ramillies Street W1, until 25 September. Info: 7087 9300


* Now You See Me, fictional bronze and aluminium heads by Thomas J Price ithat "invite viewers to question the ways in which black men have been represented in art and contemporary culture", free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 5 September. Info: 7306 0055/


* Edmund Clark: War of Terrorsound, moving images and large multi-media installations as well as photographs and documents to invoke a sensory engagement with the experiences of observation, detention and disorientation induced by systems of control, free, Imperial War Museum, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000


P'eng's Journey to the Southern Darkness, Taiwanese artist Tong-Tong Chang's work concerns the ecological relationship between humans and nature through the mediation of machines,  Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1, until 2 September. Info: 7307 5454/

31 AugustMechanical Marvels, Clockwork Dreams, film screening, 6.45-8pm


* Brazil: A Powerhouse of Plants,  artists and works inspired by Brazilian flora,  £13.90/£11.90, children free, Kew Gardens, until 29 August. Info: 8332 5655


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


* Rapid Response Collecting, small but fascinating display of recent acquisitions showing aspects of contemporary life, from a 3D printed gun to Indonesian-made eyelashes and tWestyern designers' realisation that the pink colour "nude" did not apply to all the world's population, free, V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, until 15 December

+ Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes


* Courting to contract: Love and marriage in Iran, small display celebrating the traditions associated with Persian marriage ceremonies in Iran and neighbouring regions, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1, until 20 November. Info: 7323 8299/


from Thursday 1 September

* Birds Crossing Borders, visual art and photography exhibition that showcases work created by people in the UK and the Calais Jungle, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1, until 9 September. Info: 7613 7498/ /




* Photo: Ambulance - " A raw, first-person account of the last war in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City, joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a country under siege, where at times there seems to be no foreseeable future."Mohamed Jabaly











Embrace of the Serpent, adventure set in the Colombian Amazon that centres on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists - separated by half a century - who build a friendship with him, Prince Charles, ICA, 

The deadly genocidal colonialism of Christanity and rubber

+ Embracing another world

+ Last of the tribe


* The Confession, documentary that is essentially an interview with Moazzam Begg recounting his rendition by US intelligence, detention in Kandahar, Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, and his release back to the UK, Lexi, Brixton Ritzy; Tuesday 6 September, Clapham Picturehouse, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse, Picturehouse Central, Ritzy, Stratford Picturehouse; Friday 9 September, Regent Street Cinema

+ In the end was the Word, and the Word was with Beg


* Behemoth, visually striking documentary that acts as a modern-day Dante’s Divine Comedy exploring Inner Mongolia’s environmental destruction, £11/ £9/ £7, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 25 August. Info: 7930 3647

+ China: industrial purgatory and ghost cities


Friday 26 August

* Ambulance, powerful documentary by a young filmmaker from Gaza City who joins an ambulance crew as war approaches + Skype Q&A with director Mohamed Jabaly, 6.30pm, £9/£7, Curzon Bloomsbury

+ Ambulance-eye-view of war in Gaza


Wednesday 31 August

* Neon Bull, explicit film about vaquejada, a countryside Brazilian sport in which cowboys on horseback pursue a bull and attempt to knock it over, 6.30pm, Brazil Embassy, Cockspur Street. Info:


Thursday 1-Sunday 4 September

* Masafat, festival that includes several screenings, 2 Sep, Slingshot Hip Hop, documentary exploring how the music has inspired a generation of Palestinians to cross the borders imposed on them; 3 Sep, Out on the Street, life as a worker in one of Cairo's working-class neighbourhoods, plus Artists' Film Club showcasing works by experimental French-Iranian filmmaker Arash Nassiri. See also: Talks and meetings


Friday 2-Saturday 3 September

* Cecilia, the struggle for justice of Cecilia Hasda, from West Bengal, India, whose daughter is trafficked and found dead in New Delhi. In a country where thousands of tribal children get trafficked every year to cities and never found, Hasda fights back with the help of her employers, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, WC1. Info: 


Sunday 4 September

* Afripedia, part-documentary, part-e-zine, this screening covers music, performance art and other taste-makers from Africa + discussion with Eliza Anyangwe, Johny Pitts and Gabrielle Smith, 4pm, BFI, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road. Info: Southbank Centre











* They Drink It In The Congoanarchic play that unpacks the problems of doing something good about something bad - the conflict  in D R Congo, Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, N1, until 1 October. Info: 7359 4404/

+ Um Bongo Um Bongo, it starts in the Congo


* Screens, a struggling Turkish-Cypriot family, £15/£12/ pay what you can Sundays, Theatre 503, Latchmere pub, corner Latchmere Road and Battersea Park Road, until 3 September . Info: 7978 7040


* The Reluctant Fundamentalist, first stage production of Mohsin Hamid’s novel and Hollywood film looks at the ironies of prejudice and representation in a post 9/11 New York and Pakistan: it follows Pakistani native Changez’s disenchantment with the West and his journey back to Lahore, Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, SW10, until 27 August. Info: 7244 7439/


from Tuesday 30 August

* London’s Burning, various events marking the Great Fire of London and brings home the danger of global warming. Works include Holoscene, in which US company Early Morning Opera carry out tasks in the 13ft-tall tank including tuning a guitar and reading a paper as the waters rise, Broadgate, until 4 September.

from Wednesday 31 August

* Mandela Trilogy, a celebration of his life through music and song, £15-£60, Capte Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera Chorus, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 3 September. Info: 029 2063 6464

+ 1 September, Mandela trilogy pre-concert talk, 6.15-6.45pm

* Africa Utopia, theatre, talks, dance, workshops, fashion, food, including a penal discussion on How To Fix Nigeria: Dismantling PatriarchyThe Mandela Trilogy with Cape Town Opera and Chorus; Expensive Sh*t theatre; and Chineke, Europe’s first professional black orchestra, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, until 4 September.

* Burning Doors, Belarus Free Theatre links with Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina to share stsories of persecuted artists, living under dictatorship, who will not be silenced, Soho Theatre, Dean Street, W1, until 24 September

+ 3 September, post-matinee discussion with Natalia Caplan, Heather McGill and others 


from Thursday 1 September

* Expensive Sh*t, watch the world’s social power dynamics come together in this play about a Nigerian nightclub toilet attendant, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 4 September. Part of Africa Utopia festival. Info: 7960 4200

* Masafat Festival, four days of performance, installations, talks and workshops, with Deena Abdelwahed, Karen Gwyer and Lafawndah, Nada El Shazly, Ramallah Collective, ZULI and Herein Lies, Oren Ambarchi, Sam Shalabi, Mark Fell, Will GuthrieMumdance, Logos and Shapednoise, aim to foster exchange between artists across the Middle East, North Africa and the UK, £12 per day, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 4 September. Info:


Friday 2 September

* Residents of Laughrica, Daliso Chaponda, Dana Alexander, Ola The Comedian and Athena Kugblenu, 9pm, £8, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road. Info: 7960 4200

* Lost and Found, what do you lose, what do you find, when you leave everything and flee for your life?: a musical journey created with clients from Freedom from Torture's Write to Life group (which will subsequently be available as an audio download), 7pm, Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, NW1. Info: 0300 6789 222


Monday 5-Wednesday 7, Saturday 10 September

* Acts of Defiance, six female writers explore female dissidence and defiance from Orlando to Pakistan, Theatre 503, at the Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, SW11. Info: 7978 7040










Thursday 25 August

* Natural World, midnight50, BBC4

* Crossing Continents, 11am, R4

* Book at Bedtime: Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, 10.45pm, R4


Friday 26 August

* Summer: Earth’s Seasonal Secrets, wildlife roundup, 8.30pm, BBC1

* Great Lives: Dag Hammarskjold, 11.30pm, R4

* Book at Bedtime: Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, 10.45pm, R4