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Free Arabic film festival

The BBC Arabic Festival screens short films and documentaries about the social and political changes taking place in the Arab world.
from BBC Arabic Festival on Apr 13, 2018.

Having a laugh on the frontline

Two Palestinians walk into the Jenin refugee camp’s only theatre, the founder of which was assassinated in front of the building, and say, "We want to be comedians."
from Daniel Nelson on Apr 12, 2018.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




* The Migration Museum has extended its No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain exhibition until 9 September and also says it plans to stage a series of events during Refugee Week, 18–24 June.


* The diverse East End Film Festival is on this week - and though it does indeed feature films about London its output is international, with films about South Korea, Palestine, Iran, Indonesia, Brazil and Tanzania, Iraq and India, among other countries. Also on this week is Nevertheless, She Persisted: Suffrage, cinema and beyond, a season of features and documentaries looking at women’s efforts to gain equality, with Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab world among areas covered; and Frames of Representation at the ICA, which "discusses paths to ecologically sustainable and socially equitable communities". From 20 April it's the free BBC Arabic Film Festival.

* This week: campaigning comedian Mark Thomas' (below, right) account of trying to set up a comedy club in a refugee camp in the Palestinian city of Jenin, Showtime from the Frontline. Alongside him at the Theatre Royal Stratford East are Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Alaa Shehada, actors and now aspiring comics from the Jenin club. The three of them replay the story of how they dodged  cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion to put on a show for two nights - only to find that it is not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom.

Mark Thomas


* Good news: The Jungle, a play about events in the Calais migrants' camp, is returning to the West End, at the Playhouse Theatre in June. It was staged at the old Vic in December and January and I said then: "The Jungle is an exciting, vibrant portrayal of life in the Calais encampment set up by refugees and migrants as a staging post for their hoped-for journey to Britain." The authors are Joe Robertson and Jo Murphy, who set up the Good Chance Theatre in the Calais camp.




Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson










Sunday 22 April

* Earth Day, free activities, artist installations and talks on sustainability, culpability and the human cost of climate change + Michael Pinsky's Pollution Pods, five interconnected geodesic domes that recreate the pollution levels of five major world cities, from midday, free, Somerset House, Strand, WC2. Info: 7845 4600/


Monday 23 April

* Delhi Waters from Mughal to British Rule, Matt Birkinshaw, 5.30-7pm, free, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info: (0)1937 546546/


Tuesday 24 April

* Regional and Grassroots Justice in Africa: Hissène Habré and beyond, Celeste Hicks, Thierry Cruvellier and Gaëtan Mootoo on the trial of Habré, the role of grassroots activists, and the future of the fight against impunity in Africa, 7.15–8.45pm, followed by reception, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Booking

* Human Rights in Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab Spring, Maha Azzam, Ian Pattel, Melek Saral, 6-8pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, EC1. Info:

* The Struggle for the Arab World, Fawaz Gerges, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686

* The Sustainable Development Goals: ambition or fantasy?, Linden Edgell, 7-8.15pm. The Clothworkers' Hall, Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, EC3. Info: 7591 3000

* New approaches to drugs consumption policies in Latin America, John Collins, Winnifred Agnew-Pauley, Caitlin Hughes, 2-4pm, Palace of Westminster, SW1. Info: 7811 5600/

* An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World, Jennifer Palmieri, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/


Wednesday 25 April

* Air Pollution: Its Impact on Health and possible Solutions, 6pm, Chris Whitty, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2. Info: 7831 0575/ 

* Paraguay Elections Analysis, Gunther Baumgarten and Andrew Nickson, 6-7:30pm, £15/£7.50, Canning House, 126 Wigmore Street. W1. Info: 7811 5600/

* Pan-Arabism Revisited, panel discussion, 7pm, free, The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5. Info: 7370 9990

* Nii Obadal, the photographer talks about his work on climate change, globalisation and migration, 6.30pm, £4/£5, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2. Info: 7729 9200


Thursday 26 April

* The more things change? Labour protection and labour migration under trade agreements in a post-Brexit and Trump era, 12.30-1.30pm, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7862 5800

* How Sustainable is the Chinese Model?, panel discussion, 6-8.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4823

* Lost Libraries, Abigail Reynolds looks at the sites of 15 libraries lost in conflict and natural catastrophe across two millennia, in China, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Italy, 7.15-8.30pm, £8/£5, British Library, Euston Road, NW1. Info: (0)1937 546546/

* Redefining Economic Value, Mariana Mazzucato, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* Launch of Iraq Solidarity Month, Denis Halliday, Ayca Cubucku, Dirk Adriaensens, Lindsey German,  Hamza Hamouchene, Mike Phipps, Victoria Brittan, Haifa Zangana, Nazli Tarzi, Ehsan Al Emam,  Lowkey, 7-10pm, Senate House North Block, School of Oriental and African Studies, 10 Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 07852 123919     


Thursday 26-Friday 27 April

* Sight-Unseen Drama Conference, explore the plays of writers from Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, South Korea and the British East Asian community, £25/£15 for entire event, £15 for 1 day; £5 for reading of The Prodigal Daughter of Korea, Goldsmiths University, New Cross, SE14 (day one) and Tara Theatre, Earlsfield, W18 (day two). Info: Tara Arts

Saturday 28 April

* Windrush generation, for those with concerns about their documentation about rights to remain and safeguarding, public meeting will be followed by a series of legal clinics, Black Cultural Archives, 2-5pm, 1 Windrush Square, SW2. Info: 3757 8500/ 07841 912 137

* An Evening with Raymond Ijabla – Atheist in Boko Haram Islamic Terrorist Zone, 6.30-9pm, £10, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 7405 1818/ Connway Hall









* Maqdala 1868, on 13 April 1868 the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II at Maqdala was besieged by British troops. 150 years later this display presents a selection of Ethiopian objects, Victoria and Albert Museum, until 30 June.


* Water Matters, large-scale photos of water taken by Edward Burtynsky around the world, Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, W1, until 8 June. Info: 7636 1531/


* The Adamah Papers exhibition that follows a British-Ghanaian family’s journey in which they rediscover their rich heritage and connection to royalty, and which gives insight into Ghana’s history, British occupation,  resistance to colonialism and many generations of family history, free, Black Archives, Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2. Info:


* Agadir, Yto Barrada's installation includes a mural, a film, several sculptures, and live and recorded performances, to consider how a city and its people might address the process of reinvention following disaster, like the 1967 earthquake, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, until 20 May. Info: 0845 120 7511/


* Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK, collection accumulated by documentary-maker Nicholas Bonner, House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, N1, until 13 May. Info: 3696 2020/


Deutsche Bose Photography Foundation Prize, the work of one of the four finalists, Mathieu Asselin, is "an investigation into the long history of the global biotechnology corporation Monsanto [which] brings together hundreds of documents and photographs depicting the devastating human, ecological and economical impact of the company’s long and reckless story of growth, and their cynical efforts to change their negative public image", Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, W1, until 3 June. Info: 9300


Retracing A Disappearing Landscape, interdisciplinary art exhibition and events relating to modern-day Libya, Najat Abeed, Mohammed Abumies, Huda Abuzeid, Mohamed Al Kharrubi, Takwa Barnosa, Mohamed Ben Khalifa, Najwa Benshatwan, Alla Budabbus, Malak Elghwel, Elham Ferjani, Yousef Fetis, Hadia Gana, Ghazi Gheblawi, Reem Gibriel, Jihan Kikhia, Marcella Mameli-Badi, Guy Martin, Arwa Massaoudi, Khaled Mattawa, Tawfik Naas, Laila Sharif, Najla Shawket Fitouri, Barbara Spadaro and Adam Styp-Rekowski, 21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, NW1, until 15 May. Info: Exhibition


* Repetition is Truth - Via Dolorosa, Rachell Howard's abstraction based on the torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners, free, Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, SE11, until 27 May. Info: 3141 9320


*  Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, exhibition showcasing over 40 contemporary artists’ responses to war and conflict since the terrorist attacks, from artists including Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Holzer, Mona Hatoum, Alfredo Jaar, Coco Fusco and Jake & Dinos Chapman, £15/ £10.50/child £7.50/ National Art Pass £7.50, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 May. Info: 7416 5000

+ Art in an age of terror


John Akomfrah: Purple, immersive six-channel video installation addressing climate change, human communities and the wilderness, free, Barbican, Silk Street, until 7 June. Info: 7638 8891/ Purple


* No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain, art, photography and personal stories,  Migration Museum, 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1, until 9 September. Info:

+ Migration moments to remember

+ 22 April, Left Luggage: Reading Sam Selvon in Waterloo Station, meet at left luggage office, Waterloo station, between platforms 11 and 12, 2.30-4.30pm, free. Info: Eventbrite

+ 29 April, Rock Against Racism Victoria Park Carnival special event, exhibition tour,s films, speakers, discussions, 11am-4pm, free, at the museum. Info:  Reservation


* Wildlife Photographer of the Year, £13.50/ £12.50/ £8/ £7, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7, until 28 May. Info: 7942 5000


* Theatre of the Natural WorldUS artist Mark Dion uses specimens – natural and manmade – from his travels through rainforests and rubbish dumps to reveal the wonder and fragility of life on earth, £12.95/£9.50, Whitechapel Gallery,  77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1, until 13 May. Info: 7522 7888/


* African Scribes: Manuscript Culture of Ethiopia, free, British Library, Euston Road, NW1, until 29 April. Info: 0843 208 1144


* Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins, 20  photographers on life on the margins, including the Delhi eunuch, the hyenea men of Lagos and transexual Mexican sex-workers, £13.50/ £911/£9, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2, until 28 May. Info: 7638 8891/


* Carlos Garaicoa, solo show on the city by the Cuban multi-disciplinary artist who works across painting, photography and architecture, Parasol Unit Gallery, 14 Wharf Road, N1, until 3 June. Info: Parasol


No Man's Land, recent works by Iranian-American artist darvish "references the unoccupied, highly dangerous space between enemy lines during conflict", Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1, until 27 April. Info:


A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture, small display of objects associated with Louverture and Haiti from the 18th century to the present day, that looks at the ripples caused by the revolution that spread across the world, free, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1, until 27 April.


Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-2018free, Design Museum, W8, until 12 August. Info; 3862 5900


* In Search of Frankenstein, Switzerland’s 1816 ‘year without a summer’, which provided the backdrop for the conception of Frankenstein, was part of a three-year period of bad weather. Chloe Dewe Mathews' photographs explore current environmental and social issues through the themes of Mary Shelley’s novel, free, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1, until 1 July. Info: (0)1937 546546/ 24 Aprilphotographer's talk, 6.15pm


* Adapt to Survive: Notes from the Future, seven artists imagine how our world might look and feel in the future, including Julian Charrière’s exploration minerals extracted for use in consumer goods; Rainer Ganahl’s film about a world in which China is the dominant political and economic power, most countries are communist and everyone speaks Chinese; and Youmna Chlala’s evocation of a city in a world of rising sea-levels, where seasons have ceased to exist and the remaining inhabitants have forged new ways to live; free, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 11 June. Info: Hayward


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhibit 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/


Saturday 28 April

* Walks in Tripoli, photos by Adam Styp-Rekowski, 2.30-4pm,  £1 online/ £5 door, P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, NW1. Info: 7121 6190

What happens when the news cameras turn off? Another News Story, at the East End Film Festival on 22 April, reveals the action behind the cameras of news teams tasked with reporting the refugee crisis and turning it into breaking news. Another News Story






* Even When I Fall, the incredible story of Saraswoti and Sheetal, who were child slaves in Indian circuses and when freed formed Nepal's first circusCurzon Bloomsbury until 26 AprilKensal Rise Lexi, 25 April


The Islands and the Whales, as wildlife declines and mercury levels rise, Faroe islanders must reconsider their tradition of eating whalemeat and seabirds, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 26 AprilPicturehouse Central


* East End Film Festival, programme includes 22 Apr, One or The Other, essay probing the relationship between homeland and creation of a nation state that asks if the Western diaspora's long-distance nationalism has had more influence than responsibility over Israel and Palestine; Another News Story, refugees in Europe - and the media that follows them; Balekempa, subtle Indian family drama; Excavator, ex-paratrooper Kim sets out on his mechanical digger to find why he was sent to suppress a demonstration in Gwangju; 26 Apr, Brasilia - Life After Design, individual stories amidst the architecture; 28 Apr, London Unplugged,  11 short female-led films by emerging London filmmakers in conjunction with community groups such as the Migrant Resource Centre. Info:


* London Kurdish Film Festival, various venues, until 22 April. Info:


* Nevertheless, She Persisted: Suffrage, cinema and beyond, a season of features and documentaries looking at women’s drive for equality, until 24 April, Barbican Centre, Silk Street. Programme incudes 23 Apr, Enemies of Happiness, portrait of Afghan activist and former politician Malalai Joya. Info: 7638 8891/


* Frames of Representation: Landscape, films include 24 Apr, Dragonfly Eyes, fictional narrative about a young woman who leaves a Buddhist monastery, which raises issues about surveillance; 27 Apr, Orione, insight into Argentina, in which people have their own truths and often live on the boundary of the law; 28 Apr, Cocote, Dominican Republic through a family feud + Q&A; all films followed by Q&As; ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 28 April. Info: 7930 3647/


* Safarifollows German and Austrian tourists on their big game hunting holidays in Africa: a vacation movie about killing, a movie about human nature, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 26 April.


* BBC Arabic Film Festival, Arabic features, shorts and documentaries, free, BBC Radio Theatre, Portland Place, W1, until 25 April. Programme includes 22 Apr, 300 Miles; 23 Apr, Hebrone Exposed; A Weapon for Life, the training of a team of teenage activists; BBC Arabic: 10 Years of Television; Sedition on the Banks of the Tigris; Those Who Remain, doc on one man's struggle to maintain coexistence; 24 Apr, digital journalism discussions; 25 Apr, Is this a golden age for Arab film?. Info: Festival


Monday 23 April

* Machines, with rare access to the guarded world of sweatshops, Rahul Jain brings us into one of the thousands of textile mills in heavily industrialised Sachin, India + Q&A, 7pm, £10/£8, part of Unorthdox. Info: Somerset House, The Strand.

+ 'God gave us hands to work so we have to work'

* The Last Animals, photographer Kate Brooks turns her lens to a new kind of genocide - against wild animals + Q&A with Brooks 7.30pm, Regent Street Cinema

* Manila: In the Claws of Light, a young man from the country arrives in Manila in search of work and his missing girlfriend in this raw slice of life during the Ferdinand Marcos era, 8.10pm, BFI Southbank

* Fear Eats the Soul, moving tale of the doomed love affair between an aging German cleaner and a young Moroccan immigrant, 6.30pm, Gate Picturehouse


Wednesday 25 April

* The Wound, a bold exploration of sexuality, masculinity and cultural values in modern-day South Africa + Q&A, 8.40pm, BFI Southbank

+ Wounds too deep to heal


Thursday 26 April

* White Badge, a South Korean soldier's experience of the Vetnam war + Q&A with Ahn Junghyo, author of the book of the same name, 7pm, Korean Cutural Centre, 1-3 Strand, WC2.








* Gauhar Jaan - The Datia Incident, play fusing music and dance, inspired by the story of  India’s first recording artist, £15/£12, Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, SW4, until 29 April. Info: 7498 4699 + exhibition in Omnibus Theatre’s café space, free


* Coconut, a British Pakistani woman spends more time enjoying wine and bacon than attending mosque,  until she meets a white guy who decides to convert, £15/£10/£9, Ovalhouse, 52-54 Kennington Oval, SE11, until 28 April. Info: 7582 7680


* The Encounter, Simon McBurney’s solo performance of the true story of photographer Loren McIntyre who, lost in a remote area of Brazil in 1969, has a life-changing encounter, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, until 5 May. Info: 7638 8891/


* Faceless, a suburban Chicago teenager lives her life on the internet but she meets someone online who convinces her to convert from Christianity to Islam and leave home for Syria and she is arrested for conspiring to commit terrorist acts, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4, until 12 May. Info: 7870 6876 +  free post-show talks with speakers including playwright Selina Fillinger, John Cameron of the NSPCC, barrister Tunde Okewale and journalist James Fergusson. Info: Park theatre


Sunday 22 April 

* Left Luggage: Reading Sam Selvon in Waterloo Station, meet at left luggage office, Waterloo station, between platforms 11 and 12, 2.30-4.30pm, free. Info: Tickets


from 24 April

* Bismillah! An ISIS Tragi-Comedy, 2hilarious, heart-breaking and compassionate contribution to the vital discussion around the experiences of disenfranchised young people in modern Britain", Pleasance Theatre, Carapenter's Mews, North Road, N7, until 13 May. Info: 7609 1800/


Thursday 26 April

* Golden Tongue, new open mic night focused on amplifying the voices of South Asian women, Shagufta K, Amani Z Saeed, Shareefa Energy and Afshan D’Souza Lodhi, 7pm, £8, 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E16. Info:






Saturday 21 April

* Imagine, documentary about Havana, 9pm, BBC2


Sunday 22 April

* Natural World, Cuban wildlife, 8.10pm, BBC4


Monday 23 April

* Chinese Characters, China's history through 20 profiles, 1.45pm, R4

* Imperial Echo, 8pm, R4

* Crossing Continents, 8.30pm, R4

* The One Who Wrote Destiny, Nikesh Shukla's novel about three generations of a Kenya Asian family who move to Britain, 10.45pm, R4


Tuesday 24 April

* Nature's Great Invaders, 9.30am, R4

* Chinese Characters, China's history through 20 profiles, 1.45pm, R4

* Costing the Earth, 3.30pm, R4

* Too Young To Veil?, 8pm, R4

* The One Who Wrote Destiny, Nikesh Shukla's novel about three generations of a Kenya Asian family that moves to Britain, 10.45pm, R4


Wednesday 25 April

* The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart, 8pm, BBC4

* Terror on Everest: Surviving the Nepal Earthquake, 11.05pm, More4

* Imperial Echo, 11am, R4

* Chinese Characters, China's history as seen through 20 profiles, 1.45pm, R4

* Costing the Earth, 9pm, R4

* The One Who Wrote Destiny, Nikesh Shukla's novel about three generations of a Kenya Asian family that moves to Britain, 10.45pm, R4


Thursday 26 April

* Crossing Continents, 11am, R4

* Chinese Characters, China's historythrough 20 profiles, 1.45pm, R4

* The One Who Wrote Destiny, Nikesh Shukla's novel about three generations of a Kenya Asian family that moves to Britain, 10.45pm, R4


Friday 27 April

* Unreported World, Mongolian air pollution, 7.30pm, C4

* Chinese Characters, China's history through 20 profiles, 1.45pm, R4

* Book at Bedtime: The One Who Wrote Destiny, Nikesh Shukla's novel about three generations of a Kenya Asian family that moves to Britain, 10.45pm, R4