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Exploring the lives of refugees

'Horizons' is "the Young Vic’s response to the world as it is now ... a powerful means for audiences to connect with the political, social and human realities refugees face."
from Young Vic on May 19, 2016.

Big bucks and small potatoes in a political thriller in Pakistan

At the start of 'The Invisible Hand', with a handcuffed US bank trader and his Pakistani guard on stage, it looks as though the play will be about Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism.
from Daniel Nelson on May 22, 2016.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor



* 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. Its forthcoming productions include Now We Are Here, which tells the true stories of four LGBTI people, all asylum seekers and refugees living in the UK; young refugees using music and dance to talk about the things they love about their lives, performed as part of Refugee Week on 24 and 25 June;  Queens of Syria, a multimedia production featuring an all-female cast of Syrian refugees performing a new version of The Trojan Women, to the background of the award-winning documentary of their story; and 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.


* The next major production by ice&fire, the charity that explores human rights stories through performance, is The Island Nation, which is about the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. It is also planning a piece about the global arms trade and is collaborating with Sarah Fine at Kings College London and playwright Ben Musgrave on a theatrical response to Fine’s research on the ethics of immigration controls.


* The Arcola Theatre is on an incredible roll. Following The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie, a two-and-a-half drama that covers 66 years of Chinese history through the eyes of the villagers of Rotten Peach Village, and Scenes From 68* Years, made up of a series of vignettes of Palestinian life, comes After Independence, British-Zambian playwright May Sumbwanyambe's looks at the struggle over white-owned land. In July, comes Cargopartly inspired by playwright Tess Berry-Hart’s experiences as a founding member of Calais Action, a grassroots collective run by ordinary people to help tackle the current refugee crisis: "Cargo builds on these 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."


* Photo, right, the documentary Are You Listening? was filmed in the coastal Bangladesh village of Sutarkhali, which was left underwater by a tidal surge after a cyclone. Rakhi, her husband Soumen and their six-year-old son are forced to live on a dyke with 100 other families. The government is slow to help the families to reclaim their land, and continuing delays cause mounting friction


Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson










Monday 23-Friday 27 May

* Festival of Culture, five days of free events showcasing global research led by staff and students, including The ethics of fighting ISIS and Why do we post?, University College London. Info:


Friday 27 May 

Working with undocumented young people, free, Coram Community Campus, 41 Brunswick Square, WC1. Info: Migrants Rights

* One-Child: The story of China’s most radical experiment, Mei Fong, 2pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC2. Info: sci[at] 7898 4823

* Kamel Daoud in Conversation with Patrick McGuinness, the author of The Meursault Investigation, "perhaps the most important novel to emerge out of the Middle East in recent memeory", 6.30pm, Waterstones Tottenham Court Road. Info: Waterstones events


Saturday 28 May
* Migrant Women Conference, Mirela Sula, Nazek Ramadan, Zimka Bralo, Adelina Badivuku, Anita Goyal, Bernardo Moya, Camilita Nuttall,Ermira Danaj, Fardous Bahbouh, Helen Tse, Jenny Garret, Jo Davison, Joe St Clair, Laura Timm, Mandeep Rai, Nyasha Gwatidzo, Rafael Dos Santos, Rebeca Riofrio, Remzije Sherifi, Samira Yousef, Sara Alexander, Tasleem Mulhall, £25, Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington. Info:

from Sunday 29 May
* Power to Power, Vince Cable, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Svetlana Alexievich, A.L. Kennedy, Philippe Sands, Margo Jefferson, Marina Warner, Paul Mason, Katherine Boo, Sunil Khilnani, Ayesha Hazarika, Maajid Nawaz, Hsiao-Hung Pai, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, until 9 October. Info: Power to Power

Tuesday 31 May
* One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment, Mei Fong, 6.45-8.30pm, £10/£8/£6, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/ enquiries[
* Safe House: Exploring Creative Non-Fiction from Africa, Mark Gevisser, Hawa Golakai and Kevin Eze, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info:

* What Ails Muslims Today?, Pervez Amir Ali Hoodbhoy, 6:30-8pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 78405 1818

* Medecins Sans Frontieres and the protection of medical space, Vickie Hawkins, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043


Wednesday 1 June

* One Child: A Portrait of Modern China, Jeffrey Wasserstrom,  Mei Fong, Isabel Hilton, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place, W2. Info:  7479 8945

* Climate Action 2016, Tim Flannery, 6-8.30pm, King's College, Strand. Info: Friends of Australian Wildlife

* Connectivity Is Destiny, Parag Khanna, 1pm, free, Royal Society, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 793 5115/

* Precarious Citizenship: Young People Who are Undocumented, Separated and Settled in the UK, 9am-5pm, free, Birkbeck, University of London, Torrington Square, WC1. Info: Registration

* Industrial Development - China and Africa, Chang Tai-Hsieh, John Sutton, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Iranian Communities in Britain: A Research Report, Annabelle Sreberny and Reza Gholami, 6-8.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info:


Thursday 2 June

* UN - to be fit for purpose, Igor Luksio, 2pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Queering the African City: Johannesburg & Nairobi, Mark Gevisser, Andrew van der Vlies, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

*  Growth Challenge in Fragile States, Sir Paul Collier, Torsten Persson, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043










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


Desi Pubs, installation about the Asian transformation of Black Country pubs through Punjabi food and Bhangra music, Central Bar, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, until 30 May. Info: Desi Pubs


Burka Avenger, multi-media installation featuring Pakistani TV animation series, free, Southbank Centre, SE1 until 30 May


Kalpana's Warriors, Bangladeshi photographer and activist Shahidul Alam breaks the silence surrounding the abduction and disappearance of Kalpana Chakma at the hands of a military officer 20 years ago over her campaigns on behalf of the people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, free, Autograph ABP,  Rivington Place, EC2, until 18 June. Info: 7749 1240/

+ Warriors on the wall


* Keepsakes, objects donated to the Migration Museum, The Gallery@Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, E1, until 29 May. Info:


Bazaar Avatars, a collection of original 20th century 'caldeendar art' from India, Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, WC1, until 28 May. Info: 7379 9464 


* Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize, the four winners include Laura El-Tantawy's pictures of rising tensions in Cairo in 2005-14, Tobias Zielony on African refugee activists in Europe,  and Trevor Paglen on  surveillance and data, £3/£2.50, free before midday, Photographer's Gallery, Ramillies Street, W1, until 26 June. Info: 7087 9300  

+ Up for a prize: refugees, Egypt and surveillance


Black Georgians: The Shock of the Familiar, the everyday lives of Black people during the Georgian period, 1714-1830, offer historical evidence and archival materials, 1 Windrush Square, SW2, until 4 June. Info: 3757 8500

+ Making their mark: Britain's 18th century Black Georgians


An Unbreakable Rope, diverse sexual orientations within Islamic cultures and how to promote tolerance and cultural-co-existence in increasingly diverse European society, weekdays 9am-9pm, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1, until 8 June. Info: 7324 2570/


* Social Fabric: African Textiles Today, free, William Morris Gallery, E17, until 29 May. Info: 8496 4390


* 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


* Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist, major retrospective of the political artist's work demonstrates how he has confronted issues in world politics and British government policy at home and abroad, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 until 30 May. Info: 7416 5000/


* 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


 On Their Own: Britain's Child Migrants, photographs and memorabilia of the estimated 100,000 British children who were sent to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries between 1869 and 1970, free, Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2, until 12 June. Info: 8983 5200 



from Thursday 2 June

* Call me by my name: stories from Calais and beyond, miday-8pm daily, free, Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2, until 22 June. Info:

+ 6 June, Poetry of Migration, Michael Rosen, Jackie Kay and Ruth Padel, 5:30–8:30pm


Thursday 2-Saturday 4 June

Artists with Liberty: Save Our Human Rights Act, prints on the importance of the Human Rights Act by David Birkin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Ruth Ewan, Rachel Howard, Harland Miller, Bob and Roberta Smith, Mark Titchner, Mark Wallinger and Sue Webster, Paul Stolper Gallery, 31 Museum Street, WC1. Info: 7580 7001/



* Photo: Dear Home Office tells the true stories of a group of young male unaccompanied minors who have fled the troubles of Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea. It's part of this year's Alchemyan annual festival at the Southbank Centre that celebrates the cultural relationship between the UK and the Indian subcontinent,"and explores the creative influences generated by our shared history".

Dear Home Office










* Dheepan, oustanding film that explores the experiences and tensions of two Tamil adults who team up with a youngster to get asylum in Europe - until the final section in which the ex-Tiger goes on a Clint Eastwood style rampage against drug dealers, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 26 May;  Finchley Road JW3, until 26 May

+ Former child soldier stars in fake-family drama with a violent twist


Women Spread the Word, doc about a memoir project for Afghan women, free, 10am-11pm, level 2 foyer, Royal Festival Hall, until 30 May. Info: Festival Hall


Friday 27 May

* Rough Aunties, Kim Longinotto documentary about a group of women who protect and care for abused, neglected and forgotten children in Durban, South Africa + Q&A with the director, 7pm, £5/£3, South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, SE5. Info: 7703 6120/

* Are You Listening!, documentary about  the alarming effects of climate change on a family in Bangladesh who lose everything when a tidal surge floods their village

 + Q&A, 8.30pm, Curzon Bloomsbury

* Taxi Tehran, delightful view of an odd assortment of people as seen through the eyes of a taxi driver, with an anti-censorship dig at the end, 7pm, £15/£10, Dulwich Constitutional Club, 33 East Dulwich Grove, SE22


Saturday 28 May

* Peak, documentary about the effects of climate change in the Alps. 8pm, Curzon Bloomsbury


Monday 30 May

White Material, the feature is set against a backdrop of political and violent unrest in Africa, and focuses on Maria, a fierce and fearless white woman who refuses to leave her coffee plantation and to acknowledge the danger to which she is exposing her family, 4.10pm, £8/£6, Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7. Info: 7871 3515


Tuesday 31 May

* 3rd Person Singular Number, free-spirited Ruba must confront rigid social confines in Bangladesh, and her own past, in a story about love and freedom, 6pm, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1. Info: 7613 7498/


Wednesday 1 June

* Sembene, documentary about “the father of African cinema” + Q&A with Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman,  4pm, £5, Curzon Bloomsbury.  Info:

+ Moving portriat of the father of African film

* Race, the oratory of Jesse Owens, the black athlete who competed in the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany, 8.30pm, BFI, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info:  7255 1444










* Les Blancs, 1970 play by Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun, that looks at an African country on the edge of civil war, £15-£35, National Theatre, Southbank, SE1, until 2 June. Info: 7452 3000/

+ Young, gifted and black - and writing about colonialism


* After Independence  a clash over land ownership in ZimbabweArcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8 until 28 May. Info: 7503 1646/

+ The price of independence

+ Sumbwanyambe takes politis from the family to the stage


The Invisible Hand, US banker Nick Bright knows that his freedom comes at a price. Confined to a cell within the depths of rural Pakistan, every second counts. Who will decide his fate? His captors, or the whims of the market?, Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6, until 2 July. Info: 7328 1000/ 7372 6611/

+ Big bucks and small potatoes on a political thriller in Pakistan


Alchemy“the largest festival of South Asian culture outside the subcontinent” includes Tahmima Anam on her new book The Bones of Grace29 May; Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, until 30 May. Info: Alchemy


* Cuttin’ It, FGM in Britain, through the lives of two young girls, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, SE1, until 11 June. Info: 7922 2922/; 23 June-13 July, Royal Court; 26-30 July, Yard Theatre


A Nation's Theatre Festival, more than 75 plays, until 28 May. Programme includes until 30 JuneCuttin It, tackling FGM in Britain. Info: Theatre Festival


*  Lawrence after Arabia, by Howard, Brenton, Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, NW3, until 4 June. Info:  7722 9301/


Giving, asks whether giving to charity can ever truly be altruistic and who actually gains the most - the recipient, the donor or the broker?, Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, NW3, until 11 June. Info: 7722 9301


* Blue/Orange, return of brilliant three-hander involving two white psychiatrists and a black British patient, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, SE1. Info: 7922 2922

+ Psychiatric blues/oranges


* The Black Pearl:  The City to the River, Nikhil Copra, live performance art, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, until 30 May, then exhibition until 1 September. Info: Black Pearl 


Saturday 28 May

Hounslow Girl, Ambreen Raza highlights the challenges of being brought up as a young woman from a traditional Muslim family alongside the temptations and influences growing up in London, Hounslow Arts Centre, The Treaty Centre, High Street, TW3, Info: 02037 432 329


Saturday 28-Sunday 29 May
* Hamlet in Nepali, 8pm, £12, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. Belvedere Road, SE1.  Info: Southbank Centre

Sunday 29 May
* The Winter's Tale, in Urdu, midday, £12, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1. Info: Southbank 


Monday 30 May

* UK Summer Somali Festival, comedy, music, film, literature with Ladan Takow, Aadan M Haybe, Autumn Sharif, Mo Ali, Nadifa Mohamed, Prince Abdi, Firdos, Aar Maanta, from 2.30pm, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1. Info: 7613 7498/


from 31 May

 * Love Bombs and Apples, Palestine, Pakistan, Bradford, New York - Hassan Abdulrazzak’s play about four men from different parts of the globe who experience a moment of revelation, Arcola Theatre, Ashwin Street, until 25 June. Info: 7503 1646/

+ 31 May, post-show Q&A with the cast and writer 


Thursday 2 June

* Asylum Monologues, personal accounts of the UK asylum system through the words of asylum-0seekers + Q&A, 6pm, Bakehouse, e5 Millhouse, Arch 396, Mentmore Terrace, E8. Info: ice&fire

* Dear Home Office, tells the true stories of a group of young male unaccompanied minors who have fled the troubles of Afghanistan, Eritrea, Albania and Somalia, 8-10pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info:







Thursday 26 May

* From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4


Friday 27 May

* Drama: Brotherhood, thriller which asks when dissent tips into support for terrorism, 2.15pm, R4