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Nigeria: 'You have to destroy the old to create something new”

Conservatives rule over Nigeria, the biggest economy on the continent. What if the people wanted something different? What if they got it?
from Arcola Theatre on Jan 15, 2017.

When they won't look at the camera, focus on the ground

What do you do as a photographer when you realise that you are in a place where taking pictures is exploiting people rather than helping them?
from Daniel Nelson on Jan 15, 2017.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor



* For your diary: the Southbank Centre's annual Women of the World Festival in March includes journalist and author Reni Eddo-Lodge on her forthcoming book, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race, about the frustrations, discomfort and social implications of talking about race, and Channel 4 journalist Fatima Manji on Muslim women and the media, and her own experiences of prejudice. 


A new play about the Calais ‘jungle’ refugee camp is in development at the National Theatre. It is working with Good Chance Theatre founders Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson on the project, based on their experiences and those of refugees living in the camp. The Good Chance Theatre was set up in Calais in 2015 as an arts centre and community hub for refugees, but was dismantled in March after the migrant camp was cleared by the French government. Full story from The Stage. In another story, the newspaper reports that a diversity report commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber has slammed the UK theatre industry as “hideously white”. It says black, Asian and minority ethnic performers are regularly overlooked for lead roles and the sector has an “unconscious bias” against them. The report, Centre Stage – The Pipeline of BAME Talent, highlights the dominance of white students at drama schools, the lack of diversity on the UK’s stages, the financial barriers to training and the stereotyping to which BAME talent is subjected.


*  Wyndham's Theatre in Charing Cross Road is staging The Kite Runner, the theatrical version of Khaled Hosseini's best-seller about two Afghan boys from different backgrounds and with different fates. This month the focus is also on the far Right on Britain, via Winter Solstice at the Orange Tree Theatre, and on Africa, with The Convert set in 1896 Rhodesia. February will see New Nigerians, at the Arcola ("A gripping tale of conflict and compromise, setting the scenefor a political revolution in 21st century Nigeria"); Bucket List at the Battersea Arts Centre ("the powerful story of one Mexican woman's fight for justice"); the return of Grounded, a powerful play about a pregnant former fighter pilot who us now a member of the US Chairforce of drone operators; and, at the Finborough, Dubailand, in which the life of a migrant labourer becomes fatefully intertwined with that of Jamie, a British expat with his eye on the big time.



* Image, below right: Bridges Not Walls:  Anti-Trump action in London on inauguration day in Washington will include a series of coordinated banner drops from London bridges over the Thames. Each bridge will deliver a specific themed message, organised by participating organisations, focusing on different groups and issues threatened by the far right.

Millenium Bridge Support 



Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson












Saturday 21 January

* PSC Annual General Meeting, 9.30am-5pm, £8/£6, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 7700 6192 


Monday 23 January

* The Russian intervention in Syria, Jonathan Steele, 6.45pm, £3/£2, Friends of Le Monde, 70/77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:

* Latin American Writers: Transatlantic Experience, Carlos Fonseca Suárez, Chloe Aridjis, 6.30pm, free, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info: (0)1937 546546/ 

* Post-Brexit Trade and Developing Countries, Emily Jones,  David Luke, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra, 10-11.30pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* Food security at home and abroad, James Wharton MP, Minette Batters, Nicolas Mounard, Tim Smith, 3-4.30pm close, King’s Buildings, 16 Smith Square, SW1. Info:


Tuesday 24 January

* Drones: The Next Game-changer for Development Aid?, Tamara Giltsoff, Mathew Taylor, Jonathan Ledgard, Marie Staunton, 6pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/


Wednesday 25 January

* Britain & Latin America in the 20th Century: British Communities in Latin America, David Rock, 6-7.30pm, £10/£5, ILAS, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1. Info: Canning House

* Africa's Most Repressive State? Politics, Rights and Leadership in Eritrea, Martin Plaut, Vanessa Berhe, 7pm, free, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Royal Afrian Society

* Starting Over: Reconstituted Jewish Families After the Holocaust, Beth B Cohen, 6:30-8pm, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7636 7247


Thursday 26 January

* South Sudan at Another Crossroads, Mareike Schomerus, Lydia Stone, Matt Wells, Leben Nelson Moro, 3-4.30pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300


Saturday 28 January

*  Technology and Green Energy, Tessa Blazey, Elliot Treharne and Ian Mudway, 3-4pm, King’s College London Environmental Research Group, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, part of Space To Breathe, a weekend of free events at Somerset House. Info:


Sunday 29 January

*  Advocacy, Progress and Behavious Change, Harriet Edwards, Simon Alcock, Ian Mudway, 3-4pm, King’s College London Environmental Research Group, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, part of Space To Breathe, a weekend of free events at Somerset House. Info:


Monday 30 January

* A People Devoured: The Roma Holocaust, conversation, film and music, 7-8.30pm, £10/£7, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info: (0)1937 546546/

* Palestine Ltd, Toufic Haddad, Atef Alshaer, Maria Holt, Sahar Rad, Lamyaa Hanchaoui, 6-8pm, University of Westminster, Regent Campus, 309 Regent Street, W1. Info:











Dzhangal, Gideon Mendel's installation using objects from the Calais "Jungle", free, Rivington Place, EC2, until 28 January. Info: 7749 1240/

+ When they won't look at the camera, focus on the ground

+ 28 January, Representing the Calais Jungle,  tour and book launch with Mendel, 3-5:30pm, free

+ 2 February, late openingMendel talk and Q&A, free, 6.45pm


* China Quick Fix, exhibition of pictures of everyday improvisation in China, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethanl Green Road, E1,  until 28 January. Info:7613 7498 /

+ 22 January, artist's talk, 2.30pm


* Sparrow Come Back Home, British artists Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris represent calypso singer Mighty Sparrow's records alongside an archive of printed material relating to his music, revealing the depth of calypso culture, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 5 February. Info:


* Malick Sidibe: The Eye of Modern Mali, photographs, free, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, until 26 February. Info:  7845 4500


* Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the best of 50,00 entries from 95 countries, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, until 10 September 2017. Info: 7942 5000/

+ Wildlife photography judges bark up the right tree


* South Africa: the art of a nation, from rock art by the country’s earliest peoples to contemporary works, £12, under-16s free, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1, until 26 February. Info: 


A Bitter Road: Britain and the Refugee Crisis of the 1930s and 1940s, responses to Jewish and other refugees in Britain, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide, 29 Russell Square, WC1, until 17 February. Info: 7636 7247


South Sudan: the political marketplace, infographic comics that explore political, social and economic developments since 2011, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2, until  27 January. Info: 7405 7686


* Mahwish Chishty, the Pakistan-born US-based artist’s work combines silhouettes of military drones with decorative Pakistani folk art patterns to highlight the way in which foreign drones over Pakistan have become a feature of the physical, psychological and cultural environment of the country, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 19 March. Info: 7416 5000

+ Chishty introduces her work

20 MarchCovert War and Cultures Colliding, discussion with Chishty, Lisa Barnard and Clare Carolin on the challenges of creating artworks which represent and comment on covert war, 2pm, free. Info: Booking


* Afghanistan: Reflections on Helmand, examines the British arrival in 2006 and the decisions that shaped the way the conflict escalated, exploring the impact on those who were there and the lessons learned, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 26 November. Info: 7416 5000


* Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line, how maps made the world we live in, British Library, Euston Road, NW1, until 1 March. Info: (0)1937 546546

+ 31 Jan, Power, territory and Borders, Stuart Eldon, Tim Marshall, 7pm, £12/£10/£8

+ 21 Feb, Global Conquest: How Railways Took Over the World, Christian Wolmar, 7pm, £10/£8/£7


* Edmund Clark: War of Terror, the artist-photographer's work on hidden aspects of state control during the "Global War on Terror", free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000


* 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 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/ 8312 656


* Making Nature: How we see animals, free, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1, until 21 May. Info:



from 31 January

* Bangla Is Not My Mother Tongue, Saif Osmani's paintings trace the remnants and resurgence of Sylheti Nagri, Husk Gallery, 649 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E14 , until 27 February. Info:

+ 23 Feb, open evening
+ 25 Feb, workshop, Shantir Boi, noon-3pm



Picture:  The Convert, at the Gate Theatre in January: "It’s 1896 in Rhodesia and Jekesai has just been given her new, Catholic name. Chilford, the only black Roman Catholic teacher in the region, has decided she’ll now be known as Ester, wear European clothing and speak only in English. She’s torn away from everything that she knows by her fellow African who earnestly believes the promises of the White man."

The Convert








* Lion, heartwarming drama about an Indian boy adopted by an Australian couple and how he seeks out his original family as a grown man, Cineworld Fulham Road, Everyman Baker Street, Odeon Covent Garden, Odeon Whiteleys, Picturehouse Central, Whitechapel Genesis, Brixton Ritzy, Greenwich Picturehouse, Hampstead Everyman


* A United Kingdom, the based-on-true love story of the marriage and political struggle of a Bechuanaland prince and the white Londoner that led - via the machinations of apartheid South Africa and spineless British government manoeuvrings - to the emergence of independent Botswana, where the current Prime Minister is their son, Cineworld Leicester Square; 23 Jan: Barnes Olympic Studios

+ Cliches, tears and true love conquer Africa


* The Eagle Huntress, 13-year-old Alsholpan causes a stir in her isolated Kazhak tribe by pursuing her dream despite objections from the elders: to become the first Eagle Huntress in Mongolia against all odds, Curzon Bloomsbury,  Picturehouse Central, Barnes Olympic Studios, Crouch End Picturehouse, Tottenham Bernie Grant Arts Centre

+ 22 January, Q&A with director Otto Bell after the 4pm screening at Curzon Bloomsbury


* Embrace of the Serpent, extraordinary film about an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the journals of two explorers in the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the psychedelic Yakruna plant, ICA, until 25 January; Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7, until 21 January. Info: 7871 3515/

+ The deadly genocidal colonialism of Christianity and rubber


Saturday 21 January 

* My Persian Nights, plucked from an orphanage, separated from her twin sister and abused by her benefactor, Mohey is trapped in a life of underhand dealings and illegal trading, where her intellect and beauty are used as commodities, 8.50pm,  £12/ £10, Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7. Info: Institut francais 


Sunday 22, Thursday 26 January

Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, how the international trade in weapons fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering, Curzon Bloomsbury


Monday 23 January

* Hooligan Sparrowcovertly-filmed documentary that follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan as she seeks justice for six schoolgirls who were sexually abused by their principal + Q&A with Isabel Hilton, 7pm, £120/£8, Somerset House, The Strand. Info: 7845 4600/

* All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone + Q&A with director Fred Peabody and producer Peter Raymont, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940


Thursday 26 January

* The Nights of Zayandeh-rood, Iranian film that follows an emergency room worker and her patients before, during and after the revolution + Q&A with director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 8.15pm, £7-£11, ICA


Tuesday 27-Friday 30 January

* Manila in the Claws of Light, the city’s corrupt underbelly spells doom in Lino Brooke's celluloid milestone, NFT, Belvedere Road. Info: Info: 7928 3232 











* The Kite Runner, Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge of war and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. But neither Hassan or Amir can foresee the terrible incident which will shatter their lives forever: the play of the novel, Wyndham's Theatre, 32 Charing Cross Road, WC2, until 11 March. Info: Tickets/ 0844 482 5138


* BU21, follows six Londoners in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, SW1, until 18 February. Info: 0844 871 7615

+ Playwright Stuart Slade on terrorism, humour and misery porn


* Winter Solstice, comedy that explores the resurgence of the far right, Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2SA, until 11 February. Info:


* Just An Ordinary Lawyer, play about Nigerian Tunji Sowande who quietly broke through multiple barriers to become Britain's first Black judge in 1978, £10/£12, Theatro Technis, 20 Crowndale Road, NW1, until 28 January. Info: 7387 6617


* The Convert, it’s 1896 in Rhodesia and Jekesai has just been given her new, Catholic name. Chilford, the only black Roman Catholic teacher in the region, has decided she’ll now be known as Ester, wear European clothing and speak only in English. She’s torn away from everything that she knows by her fellow African who earnestly believes the promises of the White man, Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, W11, until 11 February. Info: 7229 0706


* Us/Them, an exploration of the individual way children cope with traumatic situations, inspired by the 2004 terrorist attack on a school in Beslan in which hundreds of children were taken hostage, National Theatre, until 18 February. Info: 7452 3000


* In the Depths of Dead Love, Howard Barker play set in ancient China that tells of a poet exiled from the favour of the Emperor, who scrapes a living by renting his peculiar property – a bottomless well – to aspiring suicides, among whom is a married couple who exert an appalling influence over him, Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate, W11, until 11 February. Info: 3642 6606/


Wednesday 25 January

* Borderline: A Satyre of the Jungle With & By Refugees, "followed by Q&A with special guests also doing arts with refugees. Then meet us for a drink and a chat at the bar where there will be great refugee musicians playing live acoustic music", £12/£10, The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, NW8. Info: 7258 2925


from 31 January

* Hashtag Lightie, Ellie is popular and addicted to social media, but when when of her videos goes viral she fiunds herself at the centre of a social media storm + Q&A after each performance, £12/£10, Arcola, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 4 February. Info: 7503 1646/ www.arcolatheatre.comn








What's going on? Or rather, what's not going on air? The trickle of programmes about Africa, Asia and Latin America has now almost entirely dried up.


Tuesday 24 January

* Can Eating Insects Save the World?, 11pm, BBC4 


Thursday 19 January

* Spy in the Wild, hidden wildlife cameras, 8pm, BBC1

* From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4