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Love in a time of ecological war

'The Lamellar Project' is both a love story and an eco-thriller, says author Grant Watson.
from Daniel Nelson on Jul 28, 2016.

Now we are here - but what a time we've had

Have you heard the one about three gay men – a Pakistani, a Jamaican and a Burundian – who walk into a theatre?
from Daniel Nelson on Jul 25, 2016.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




* In response to news that BP is renewing sponsorship deals with a number of cultural institutions in London, Yasmin De Silva, a performer with art collective Liberate Tate said: "The news ... comes after 14 consecutive months of record global temperatures. While it’s widely acknowledged that we can only consume a fraction of known fossil fuel reserves if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, BP’s business model depends on finding and burning more.  

"By providing BP with a veneer of cultural respectability, institutions like the British Museum and the Royal Opera House are actively aligning themselves with those who seek to trash the climate. They can expect a renewed wave of creative intervention from the many groups who are pushing back against the destructive power and influence that oil companies are exerting in our society."  

Over the last six months Liberate Tate has carried out performance-interventions in a variety of Tate spaces in protest over its BP sponsorship.


* We've had an extraordinarily varied and powerful run of plays set in or about Africa, Asia and Latin America since April, including Love, Bombs & Applies, Palestine and also Scenes From 68* Years; MinefieldThe Falklands/Malvinas; Cuttin' It, Somalia/ Britain;The Invisible HandPakistan; After Independence, Zimbabwe; Stowaway, migration and also Labels; The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie, China; Les Blancs, AfricaQueens of Syria featuring an all-female cast of Syrian refugees; and Workshop NegativeZimbabwe. Now we have the 14-minute  Pigs and Dogsan anti-anti-gay polemic about sexual intolerance in Africa; Cargo, a thriller about unaccompanied children trying to get into Britain that "builds on real-life experiences and explores the conflicted loyalties that arise when people are forced to flee their homes, to trust in strangers and confront the possibility of betrayal by those closest to them"; and Shangri-La, Tibet. What a feast.



* The Young Vic has won a Theatre of Sanctuary Award from City of Sanctuary in recognition of its efforts to raise awareness of refugee communities and include them in its activities. On stage nos is Now We Are Here, which tells the true stories of four LGBTI people, all asylum-seekers and refugees living in the UK; it will bne followed by A Man of Good Hope, co-produced with South Africa’s Isango Ensemble and the Royal Opera, which brings to life Jonny Steinberg’s book about one refugee’s journey from Mogadishu to Cape Town. 



* On the film front, Fire At Sea examines life on the island of Lampedusa and 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. 



* Image, below: Unsterile Clinic at the Rivington gallery marks the second anniversary of the Girl Summit, organised in 2014 by the UK government in collaboration with DFID, UNICEF and the Home Office to mobilise domestic and international forces to end FGM globally within one generation.

AIDA SILVESTRI: Unsterile Clinic, Rivington Gallery

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson













Friday 29 July

* Voices of War, Heidi Kingstone, Frank Ledwiidge, Max Arthur, 3pm, The So and So Arts Club, Frederick’s Place. Info:


Sunday 31 July

* A Night of Hope: Art In An Humanitarian Crisis, Joe Murphy, Joe Robertson, Mojisola Adebayo and Wissam Boustany, followed by music from the Palestinian Youth Orchestra, 6.30-9.30pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


Tuesday 2 August

* Changing Attitudes to Refugees and Asylum Seekers, with Christine Bacon and Tim Finch, followed by music from Bashir Al-Gamar, 6.30-9.30pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


Thursday 4 August

* Why Women Refugees Are Often Unheard and Unseen, Marchu Girma, Rahela Hashim Sidiqi, and Jade Amoli-Jackson, 6.30-9.30pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


Saturday 6 August

* The Refugee Crisis: What is Our Role?, speakers include George Gabriel and Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, followed by music from Mosi Conde,  6.30pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200












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


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, 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/

+ Catwalk and cutting: beauty and the beast in a London gallery


Arabella Dorman, the war artist’s work from Iraq, Afghanistan and Lesbos

* Keymea Yazdanian, photographs of women in private spaces in Iran

Alison Baskerville, photographs from areas of conflict

All three exhibitions are on show at The So and So Art Club, EC2, until 31 July. Info:


Metatextile, contemporary textile and fabric work that challenges social hierarchies, free, Edel Assanti, 74a Newman Street, W1, until 12 August. Info: 7636 8537


In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, Larissa Sansour’s film and installation that examine the contemporary politics of present day Israel/Palestine, Tues-Sat, 11am–6pm, free, The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5, until 20 August. Info: 7370 9990/


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


* Edmund Clark: War on Terror, photographs on the themes of hidden experiences of state control, free, Imperial War Museum, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000


* 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


Thursday 28 July

Utopian Voices Here and Now, free, until 9pm, Somerset House, until 29 August. Displays and performances include Refashioning Nature, environmental activist Glacier Girl's interactive installation that challenges you to consider your role within climate change; and British fashion stylist IB Kamara, originally from Sierra Leone, and South African photographer Kristin Lee-Moolman imagine what menswear might look like in 10 years, through tabrics rescued from rubbish skips and thrift shops in Johannesburg and customised into contemporary garments. 


from Saturday 30 July

* An Exhibition of Art by Residents of the Calais Refugee Campa space of welcome and expression housing a daily programme of events to reinvigorate the dialogue on displacement and asylum, free, Southbank Centre, until 7 August. Info: 7960 4200


* Photo: An Exhibition of Art by Residents of the Calais Refugee Camp - work that resulted from artist Sue Partridge’s art sessions at Calais. She says of the experience: "People want to see beauty. It is what they draw the most. Nature, flowers, birds. I showed them how to use colour freely. To enjoy colour for colour’s own sake. It became an explosion of creativity. Total immersion in the excitement of what paint can do, an exploration into the very nature of paint. There were butterfly paintings everywhere. But it’s not a ‘swarm’ of butterflies, it’s a kaleidoscope." From 30 July

Calais refugee camp artists










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, Curzon Bloomsbury, ICA, Picturehouse Central, Prince Charles Cinema  

The deadly genocidal colonialism of Christanity and rubber

+ Embracing another world

+ Last of the tribe


* Fire At Sea, documentary that looks at traditional life on the island of Lampedusa and at the new migrants, ICA

+ Masterly and moving account of the migrant crisi


* Abbas Kiorastami Focus, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 31 July. 30 July, Ten, plus panel discussion; 31 July, ABC Africa; £11/£9/£7


Monday 1 August

* Queens of Syria, tells the story of 50 exiled Syrian women in Jordan who came together in 2013 to create and perform their own version of Euripides' tragedy The Trojan Women + Q&A with Reem Alsayyah, 6.30pm, Free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE12. Info: 7960 4200


Sunday 7 August

* Punk in Africa, documentary with fantastic soundtrack and remarkable archive footage that explores the rise of punk in South Africa, 6.10pm, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1


* 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. Thursday 11 August, Picturehouse Central + Q&A with Begg and director Ashish Ghadiali; from Friday 12 August, BFI Southbank, Curzon Bloomsbury, Crouch End Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse, Picturehouse Central, Ritzy Picturehouse; Saturday 13 August, Hackney Picturehouse and Ritzy Picturehouse; from Friday 19 August, Lexi

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












* Cargo thriller that reveals how much people are willing to risk in search of a better life, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 6 August. Info: 7503 1646/

+ Damaged in transit

Immersive theatre - in a container


* Shangri-La, the contradictions and private pain of cultural tourism, Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, SW10, until 6 August. Info: 7244 7439/

+ When Shangri-La is not all it seems

+ Tensions in Shangri-La


Women and War Festival, 16 shows documenting, exploring and giving voice to the experiences of women from across the centuries and the world before during and after war, The So and So Art Club, 13 Pearson Street, EC2, until 31 July. Info:


The Marvellous Adventures of Mary Seacole, the story of the Jamaican/Scottish woman who braved the Crimean War to tend to wounded soldiers, The So and So Art Club, 13 Pearson Street, EC2, until 31 July. Info:


Face The Camera and Smile, four characters united by conflict -  a woman photojournalist, the soldier she’s embedded with, an actress reconstructing the story and the soldier’s wife, The So and So Art Club, 13 Pearson Street, EC2, until 31 July. Info:


* By My Strength, Kat wanted to belong so she joined the army – after all, it’s the ultimate test of what you stand for. But in Afghanistan it’s not always that simple, So & So Arts Club, 13 Pearson Street, EC2, until 31 July. Info:


* Pigs and Dogs, in 2014 Uganda passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act. This startling 10-minutes, looks at what lies behind it, before performances of Unreachable, until 30 July, £5, Royal Court, Sloane Square, SW1.

Africa's open secret: boy wives and female husbands

* Now We Are Here, four refugee stories from Michael, Mir, Desmond and Tamara, Young Vic, The Cut, Young Vic, The Cut, SE1 until 30 July. Info: 7922 2922/

Now we are here - but what a time we've had


Cuttin' It, FGM in Britain, through the lives of two young girls, Yard Theatre, Unit 21, Queens Yard, E9, until 30 July. Info: 7100 1975

Cut-price operation


Friday 29 July

* Mule, how does a seemingly innocent adventure spiral out of control and end in a Peruvian prison, £10/£8, Omnibus, 1 Clapham Common Northside, SW4. Info: 7498 4699/


Monday 1 August

* Palestine Youth Orchestra, first UK tour, 7:30pm, £15/ £35, part of Festival of Love, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200

* September 11th, play by Kuhel Khalid, an Iraqi refugee living in the UK, that follows the path of a man who grows up in an environment formed of malice, fear, perversion and constant conflict, 1.30-2.30pm, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


Wednesday 3 August

* Asylum Monologues, first-hand stories from the refugees behind the headlines, 1.30-3pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


Friday 5 August

* The Unknown, an imagined alternative response to the refugee crisis of May May when 700 people died crossing the Mediterranean, 1.30-2.30pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200

* Poetry From Exiled Writers Ink, Nineb Lamassu, Shirin Razavian, Suhrab Sirat, Shie Raouf, Hussam Eddin Mohammad, 6-7pm, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7960 4200


from Tuesday 9 August

* The Lamellar Project, science fiction meets eco-activism in a gripping story of love and betrayal that explores crucial contemporary issues including climate change and genetic modification, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 13 August.  Info: 7503 1646/

+ 11 August, post-show discussion with Crispin Tickell, Jae Mather, Alistair Gould

+ Love in a time of ecological war










Wednesday 27 July

* Wild Animal Reunions, 8pm, ITV

* David Baddiel Tries to Understand: The IMF, 8.45pm, R4

* The Five Photographs That (You Didn't Know) Changed Everything, 10.45pm, R3


Thursday 28 July

* The Refugee Camp: Our Desert Home, second part of documentary on a vast refugee camp in Jordan housing 80,000 Syrians, 9pm, BBC2

* Hugh's War on Waste: the Battle Continues, packaging and polystyrene cups, 9pm, BBC1

* Exodus:Our Journey to Africa, midnight45, BBC2

* The Global Philosopher: Climate Change, 9am, R4

* Crossing Continents: Syria's Secret Library, 11am, R4

* The Five Photographs That (You Didn't Know) Changed Everything, 10.45pm, R3