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The world at the London Film Festival

Films from and about Africa, Asia and Latin America at the London Film Festival on 5-16 October.
from Daniel Nelson on Sep 24, 2016.

No-one gets off the hook in Parks' play about slavery

'Father Comes Home From The Wars' arrives at the Royal Court Theatre with great reviews in the US – and they are spot on.
from Daniel Nelson on Sep 24, 2016.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




* The Raindance Film Festival ( until 2 October) claims to be the largest independent film festival in Europe. From  6,250 submissions from 98 countries it has selected 90 feature films and 85 shorts. Documentaries get a look in, including A Plastic Oceanwhich looks at the devastating impact of plastic pollution on the global marine ecosystem, The Power to Change: The Energy Rebellion, and docs from or India, Mali, the Central African Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Uganda, South Africa, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 


* Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary Before the Flood has been added to the almost 245 features and documentaries to be screened at the forthcoming London Film Festival. The film claims to be "a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet."  The Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and UN Messenger of Peace DiCaprio is joint director with Fisher Stevens, who made The Cove, which is an activists- and conservationist'-eye-view of Japan's mass dolphin kills.

* 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.".



* Image, below right: Queen of Katwe is a "chess drama":  the official blurb describes it as "the colourful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion." It's part of the London Film Festival.

Queen of Katwe

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson












Wednesday 28 September

* Jose Ramos-Horta, in conversation with Valerie Amos 6.15pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4892/3

* Globalisation and Equality, Elhanan Helpman, free, British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7969 5200/


Thursday 29 September

* Voting For Peace: The Colombian peace deal and the impending referendum, Juan David Gutierrez, and Vanessa Buschschluter, 6pm, £5/£10, Canning House, 14-15 Belgrave Square, SW1. Info: 7811 5623/

* Imperial Fringe: Water Water Everywhere, but when is it ok to drink? Does it exist on other planets? And how do we prevent floods? 5-8pm, free, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, SW7. Info:

* Century and Challenges of African Migration, Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate, 6-8pm, £16.22, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, WC1. Info:


Thursday 29 September-2 October

Conflict Cafe, Sri Lanka meal and discussion, £35, Arches, £35, 228-232 Station Approach, SE1. Part of Talking Peace Festival


Monday 3 October

* Conflict, Climate and Migration in Syria – did the media get it right?, Andrew Norton, Alex Randall, Megan Rowling, 3.30–5.15pm, IIED, 80–86 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1. Info:  

* Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Modern Child Slavery, one-day conference, £10, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, W1. Info: Conference

* Migration, Employment, and Remittances, Jackline Wahba, Philip L. Martin,  Ibrahim Sirkeci, 4pm, free, Regent's University, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, NW1. Info: Tickets

* What Happened to the "Arab Spring"?, Gilbert Achcar, 5.45pm, School or Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4330/4490


Tuesday 4 October 

* Colombia’s Peace Deal: The End to the Americas’ Longest War?, discussion, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8954

* The Decline of the West in the New Asian Century?, Jonathan Fenby, Yu Jie, Gideon Rachman, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Britain & Latin America in the 20th Century: An overview of the political relationship, Laurence Whitehead, 6-7.30pm, £10/£5, Institute of Latin American Studies, Malet Street, WC1. Info: 7811 5600/


Wednesday 5 October

* Chasing dreams: The common man in China today,  Alec Ash and Rob Schmitz, 7pm, £5, Asia House 63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/

* Adiposity, diabetes & premature death among 150,000 Mexicans, Louisa Gnatiuc, 12:45-2pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info: 7636 8636/


Thursday 6 October

* Building a Culture of Peace in a World of Conflicts, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, 6.30-8.30pm, Hilton London Euston, 17-18 Upper Woburn Place, WC1. Info: 7791 1717/

* The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla, Himesh Patel, Chimene Suleyman and Kieran Yates, £8, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info:  7960 4200

* Cultural institutions in the face of creative uncertainty, Kaneka Subberwal, Omar Al Qattan, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, 6.45pm, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/











* Floating Dreams, constructed from 500 drawings and illuminated from within, Ik-Joong Kang's three-storey lantern structure acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the 1950-53 Korean War and a symbol of hope for Korean reunification, free, Thames by Millennium Bridge, until 30 September, part of Totally Thames festival. Info:  Dreams


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


Create Syria, multimedia installation exploring how arts can help build a better future in the wake of crisis, + Q&A, 6.30pm, House of Vans, 228-232 Station Approach Road, SE1, until 2 October


William Kentridge: Thick Time, the South African artist's latest intelligent look at history and time, £11.95/ £9.50, Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel Street, E1, until 15 January. Info: 7522 7888


* Ghanaian photographer James Barnor and Daniele Tamagni, free, October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Road, WC1, until 1 October. Info: 7242 7367

+ This is the best time to be an African photographer


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


* Imperfect Chronology: Mapping the Contemporary 11, over 13 artists focus on the theme of mapping geographies, examining the notion of statehood and exploring how artists engage with the rapidly expanding cities of the Arab region, Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1, until 8 January. Info: 7522 7888/


Mitologia de la Tierra, six Colombian artists picked for their understanding of contemporary Colombian identity, The Koppel Project, 93 Baker Street, W1, until 5 November. Info:


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:


Salt Pans/ Essential Elements, Edward Burtynsky's photographs of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India, of China, and of "manufactured landscapes" such as quarries, free, Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, E2, until 29 October. Info:

+ Photos of wonder and bewilderment


From Myth to Earth, multi-sensory exhibition of works created by Bailey Barker and Gabriella Sonabend as a result of a research period in Colombia, The Koppel Project Hive, 26 Holborn Viaduct, EC1, until 29 October. Info:  Myth to Earth


What Language Do You Speak, Stranger?French-Algerian artist Katia Kameli questions ideas of historical authenticity and national identity, Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 cromwell Road, SW5, until 3 December. Info: 7370 9990


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/ information@britishmuseum.


Deep Water Web, free, installation that connecting London and Sydney to understand human impacts on the environment and the wider consequences for people living in both locations, Furtherfield Gallery, Mackenzie Pavilion, N4, until 16 October. Info: 495 1500


Olivia Plender, exploration of national identity, global finance and protest movements, free, Maureen Paley, 21 Herald Street, E2, until 1 October. Info: 7729 4112


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhbit that ranges from cheap Indonesian-made eyelashes 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 Meseum, Cromwell Road, until 15 December

+ Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes


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



Monday 3 October

* Projects for Change - Outside the Lines, works and initiatives demonstrating the creatve potential of creative communities engaging with social issues, 6.30-8pm, minimum £2 door donation, University of the Arts, 272 High Holborn, wC1. Info: Tickets


from Wednesday 5 October 

* Emotive Memories, paintings by Egyptian artist Mohamed Negm, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 until 15 October. Info: 7613 7498/ 


Friday 7 October

* Monsanto On Trial, photo exhibition with speakers showcasing the impact of seed giant Monsanto on farmers and communities in Bangladesh and India, Farida Akhtar, free, from 6.30pm, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E15. Info: 7613 7498/ 


* Photo: The documentary A Brilliant Genocide at the Sundance Film Festival controversially claims to expose "how [Uganda President] Museveni ordered his army to evict two million Acholis from their homes and confine them in concentration camps where women and girls were victims of sexual assault by Museveni’s soldiers and roughly 1,000 people died each week, mostly from starvation and disease, according to a 2005 World Health Organization report. This went on for 20 years, during which time more than one million people may have perished."

A Brilliant Genocide








Behemoth, visually striking documentary exploring Inner Mongolia’s environmental destruction, ICA, The Mall, until 5 October

China: industrial purgatory and ghost cities


* Under the Sunturns a North Korean propaganda effort into a deep-cover documentary, exposing life beneath the facade of one of the world's most repressive nations, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 28 September


* Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, the murky world of international arms trade, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 6 October


* Raindance Film Festival, until 2 October. Programme includes Problemmski Hotel, in which cross-frontier migrant Bipul doesn’t want to admit it, but the arrival of Lidia, a Russian girl, makes a difference, 6pm, Picturehouse Central. Festival docs include Guru, A Hijra Family; A Plastic Ocean, an environmental inquiry; Mali Blues; the story of two children in war-hit  CAR, Nascent; The Man Who Saw Too Much, the world seen through Mexican photographers' eyes; an exposure of child labour in the cocoa industry, The Chocolate Case; A Brilliant Genocide, on little-known events in Uanda; Five Days on Lesvos; Noma: Forgiving Apartheid; Death By A Thousand Cuts, on the tension between Haiti and the Dominican republic; and The Power to Change: The Energy Rebellion


The Lovers and the Despot, the incredible story of how an actress and her film director ex-husband were kidnapped by North Koprea leader Kim Jong-Il and held captive for years,  Picturehouse central, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 4 October


Wednesday 28 September

* Bugs, documentary that follows a team from a Copenhagen Nordic Food lab, as it travels the world to learn what some of the two billion people who already eat insects have to say + discussion with Charlie Phillips, Rachael Cooke and Josh Evans, Curzon Bloomsbury


Wednesday 28-Friday 30 September, Sunday 2 October

* Fire At Sea, portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the surround sea, Whirled Cinema, 259-260 Hardess Street, Loughborough Junction, SE24 . Info: 7737 6153


Thursday 29 September

* China: Between Clouds and Dreams, five-part series that aims to capture China’s relationship with nature and the environment as the country grapples with the reality of global warming and ecological collapse in its pursuit of an ambitious future + Q&A with director Phil Agland, 6-8pm, free, EBRD, One Exchange Square, London, EC2. Info: Registration


from Wednesday 5 October

* London International Film Festival, 245 features, documentaries and shorts, until Sunday 16 October. Info: 7928 3232

The world at the London Film Festival


Friday 7 October

* Driving With Selvi, quiet, moving documentary about a female South Indian taxi driver, + Q&A with Lily  Caprani of Unicef UK and drinks reception, Curzon Bloomsbury

+ Driving on a rough Indian road


Friday 7-Sunday 16 October

* Native Spirit Film Festival, "the only Independent Festival in the UK to host and promote Indigenous films, speakers, performers, musicians and artists from acround the globe", door donation £7-12, SOAS Bloomsbury, The Hive Hackney and The BookClub Old Street. Info:











* 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


* Labyrinth, the 1980s Latin American debt crisis through the eyes through the eyes of  a credit analyst caught up in the shenanigans, Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, NW3, until 8 October. Info: 7722 9301


* Father Comes Home From the Wars, parts 1, 2 and 3, tackles the legacy of slavery in the US and its influence on the African-American experience, Royal Court, Sloane Square, until Saturday 22 October.

+ post-show discussions, £5 or free with a ticket; 30 September, What Does Black Mean?, 6.15pm; 1 October, What Does British Mean?, 6.15pm; 14 October, What Does Freedom Mean?, a conversation on the nature of freedom across history and the world, 6.15pm

+ No-one gets off the hook in Parks' play about slavery

+ Suzan-Lori Parks: 'People are often encouraged not to think'


* Glasgow Girls, musical based on the true story of seven teenagers whose lives change forever when their school riend and her asylum-seeking family are forcibly taken from their home to be deported, Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15, until 1 October. Info: 8534 0310 


* Pigeon English, adaptation of dramatic novel about an 11-year-old Ghanaian living on a though London estate, Ambassadors Theatre, WC2, until 22 October. Info: 7395 5405


* This Place We Know, with domestic policy on radicalisation raging and teachers recruited to the counter-terrorism cause, the play pits two young Muslims’ moral obligations to country, family and faith against a desire to stand up and be counted for the greater good, Nubian Life Resource Centre, 50 Ellerslie Road, W12, until 1 October. Info: 8749 8017


* Kindertransport, based on personal accounts of children who got out of Nazi Germany in 1939, Chickenshed, Chaseside, N14, until  22 October. Info: 8292 9222


Tuesday 4 October

* We Love Immigration: A Comedy Evening for Migrant Rights Network, Grainne Maguire, Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar, Bec Hill, London Hughes, Andrew Neill and Bobby Mair, 8pm, £21/£15, 6 Leicester Place, WC2. Info:


Friday 7 October

* Arabs Are Not Funny, Marouen Mraihi, Zahra Barri and Hashem El Garhy, 8pm, £15, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E15. Info: 7613 7498/ 


from Friday 7 October

* Oil, the lives of one woman and her family in a hurtling crash of empire, history and family, £10-£38, Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, N1, until 26 October. Info: 7359 3535









Tuesday 27 September

* Natural World Special: Attenborough's Ark, the Great Man selects the 10 animals he'd most like to save from extinction, 8pm, BBC4

* Legends of the Deep, deep-sea sharks, 9pm, BBC4

* Natural Histories: Elephant, 11am, R4

* Costing the Earth: The Growing Season, 3.30pm, R4


Wednesday 28 September

Sunni-Shia: Islamic Sectarianism Today, 11am, R4

* Reporting Terror: A Dangerous Game, 8.30pm, R4

Costing the Earth: The Growing Season, 9pm, R4


Thursday 29 September

Panorama: Aleppo - Life Under Siege, midnight4, BBC2


Friday 30 September

* Unreported World, IT'S BACK, with a report from Yemen, 7.30pm, C4