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Burmese punks, Jakarta towel girls and Uzbek cowboys

Asia House’s new film festival director, Jasper Sharp, has marked the change at the helm by altering the name of the event from Pan-Asia Film Festival and making ‘New [...]
from Daniel Nelson on Mar 25, 2015.

Oh! What a lively war

How to start a play about Argentina’s Dirty War and the military’s torture and murder of perhaps 30,000 people without putting off the punters? I know - let’s give them a bum and breasts burlesque dancer.
from Daniel Nelson on Mar 21, 2015.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* This month sees three outstanding film fests: the evergreen Human Rights Watch festival, for which tickets are on sale now; the Tongues on Fire festival of South Asian films; and the Asia House Festival.


* On stage Dara and Behind the Beautiful Forevers continue their runs at the National Theatre: the first spans the lives of two 17th century Moghul Indian princes from cradle to grave, the second is based on Katherine Boo's book about a group of residents in a Mumbai shantytown. At the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond is an excellent revival of Mustapha Matura's funny and entertaining play about newly independent Trinidad and Tabogo, Play Mas. Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre, puts one of the most controversial episodes in the ‘war on terror’ under the microscope. And for our next act, the Argentinian junta General might have said, give a warm World Cup welcome to These Trees Are Made of Blood, the story of the Dirty War in the 1970s and '80s in which 30,000 people are alleged to have been disappeared.


Next month, the Gate Theatre follows up its recent play about Zimbabwe with Eclipsed, set in a rebel army base in Liberia where four young women are doing their best to survive the conditions of the war - until they are joined by two newcomers, one who can read, and an old one, who can kill. April also sees Lampedusa, in which writer Anders Lustgarten makes connections between a man pulling bodies out of the Mediterranean and a payday loan collector in Britain.


* Below, right: Plays about drone attacks are proving a rich theme, though so far they have dealt mainly with the unmanned aircraft operator rather than the victim. Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre looks at both.


Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson






until Tuesday 31 March
* Women's History Month in east London. Info: Programme 

Friday 27 March
* Social Good UK, Robyn Scott, Belinda Parmer, Rodney Schwartz, Eliot Higgins, Stacy Martinet, Blathnaid Healy, Matt Petronzio, midday-5pm, £45, 81 Newgate Street. Info:
* Vote 2015: Journalism and Elections, conference with 50 speakers, London School of Economics. Info:


Sunday 29 March
* Building bridges across borders, Roni Keidar, 5pm, suggested contribution £5, Hashomer House, 37a Broadhurst Gdns, NW6. Info:


Monday 30 March
Ebola: An epidemic waiting to happen again, David McCoy, 6.45p[m, £3/£2, Friends of Le Monde, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street. Info:

* Crossing the Line - Debating the limits of Israel criticism, Ruth Deech, Douglas Murray, Adam Ognall, Stephen Pollard, 7.30pm, £5. Info: 8202 0202/
* Journalists, surveillance and the police: How can the secret state learn to live with the fourth estate?, Dominic Ponsford, Andy Trotter, Alan Rusbridger, Michelle Stanistreet, Sir David Omand, 6.30pm, City University, Northampton Square, EC1. Info: 7040 5060


Tuesday 31 March

* Prospects for Zambia 2016, Hakainde Hichilema, 6:30-8:30pm, Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, W1. Info: Register


Thursday 2 April
* Locally 'Green': Does it Make a Difference?, Carolyn Roberts, 6pm, free, Barnard’s Inn Hall,  Holborn, EC1. Info: 7831 0575/
* Transforming Politics in the UK, Zac Goldsmith MP, 1pm, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7930 5115


Tuesday 7 April 
* Srdja Popovic: Blueprint for Revolution, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 74798940/


Wednesday 8 April
* How to Topple a Dictator, Srdja Popovic, 7.30pm, £15/£5, Conway Hall,  5 Red Lion Square, WC1. Info:  7405 1818

Thursday 9 April
* The Environment: Taking Limits to Growth Seriously, Andrew Dobson, 6pm, free, Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, EC1. Info: 7831 0575/







* Hanoi Doclab, video exhibition featuring work by Trân Thanh Hiên, Dãng Dúc Lôc, Dõ Vãn Hoàng, Pham Thu Hãng, Dõ Tuòng Linh, Ngô Thanh, Nhã Thuyên, Nguyên Tiên Dat, Saturdays and Sundays 12-6pm, 50 Resolution Way, SE8, until 18 April.


* Coral Reefs, Secret Cities of the Sea, photographs, Natural History Museum, SW7. IUnfo: 7942 5000
+ Can we build a bright future for our reefs?, discussion, 7.30pm, £10/£4./50. Info:


*  Scarcity-Waste: The Syngenta Photography Award, 42 photographers from 21 countries, free, 10am-6pm daily, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, until 10 April

+ Waste not, want not


* Jamaica Hidden History, Jamaican influence on British culture and economy from the island's capture by Oliver Cromwell in 1655, gallery@oxo, 11am-6pm, free, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1, until 17 April. Info: Exhibition
+ 29 March, Black River Chocolate, Marvia Biorrel, 2pm, free
+ Pages ripped from Jamaican history


* Sara Shamsavari's photographs of young Muslim women in London, Paris and New York  explores expressions of identity as conveyed through their vibrant hijab styles, part of  WOW: Women of the World Festival  at the Southbank Centre; Royal Festival Hall, level 4, until 29 March.  Info: 


Human Rights, Human Wrongs, over 200 original press prints from 1945 to the early 1990s, Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, W1, until 6 April. Info: 7087 9300 

Famine babies and crying war widows: unpicking the cliches of conflict photography 

+ Rights exhibition hits a wrong note


* Outsiders in London. Are you one, too?, 40 individuals who have perceived themselves as ‘out,siders’, St Martin-in-the-Fields, WC2, until 8 May. Info: 7766 1100


* Edmund Clark: The Mountains of Majeed, reflection on the end of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, free, Flowers, Kingsland Road, E2, until 4 April. Info: 7920 7777


* Freedom Week: Defying the Laws of Gravity, exhibition of photography by Abir Abdullah, Taslima Akhter, Shahidul Alam, Sarker Protick, Anisul Hoque, Jannatul Mawa, and Tushikur Rahman from the pioneering media school Pathshala in Dhaka, Bangladesh, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, until 28 March. Info: 7613 7498


In Black and White: Prints and Posters From Africa and the Diaspora, free, V&A, South Kensington, until 6 July. Info: 7942 2000


Dor Guez: The Sick Man of Europe, installation by an artist of Christian Palestinian and Jewish Tunisian descent, living in Jaffa, whose practice questions contemporary art’s role in narrating unwritten histories, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 12 April. Info:


* Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s–1990s,  photographs drawn from the V&A’s collection,  part of the Staying Power project to increase the number of Black British photographers and images of Black people in Britain, Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, SW2, until 24 May. Info: 3757 8500/

+ The black experience: portraits of a community


The William Morris Family Album, a Morris-inspired photographic exhibition by Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare that encourages viewers to reflect on Morris’ political views by connecting his socialist ideals with the history of Empire, 10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday, free, William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park House, 531 Forest Road, E17, until 7 June. Info: 8496 4390


* Arab Women Artists Now, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, until 28 March. Info:


* Poetry and exile, display drawn from recent acquisitions of works by artists of the Middle East and North Africa exploring the effects of exile through the eyes of five artists (Abdallah Benanteur, Ipek Duben, Mireille Kassar, Mona Saudi and Canan Tolon), free, British Museum, Great Ruissell Street, WC1, until 29 March. Info: 7323 8299/


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014, the work of professionals and amateur photographers from around the globe, £6.30-£12.60, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, until 30 August


London, Sugar & Slavery , permanent gallery at the Museum in Docklands, with new display that gives a snapshot of those who received compensation when slavery was abolished in the 1830s, No 1 Warehouse, 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


Eco Zone Gallery, small gallery devoted to sustainable building products and materials, The Building Centre, Store Street, WC1. Info: 7692 4000/


Friday 17 April
* Adopting Britain, 70 Years of Migration, free, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 6 September. Info: 7960 4200



Image:  "If we continue to use resources and generate waste at the current rate, by 2010 we will need the equivalent of two planets": Scacity/Waste is the subject of this year's Syngenta Photography Award

Syngenta Photography Award exhibitiion




Around town


* Catch Me Daddy, violent, visceral blend of modern-day Western and chase-thriller, set against a uniquely British backdrop as a British Pakistani girl runs off with a white boy pursued by her brother and a gang of bounty hunters, Odeon Covent Garden, Prince Charles

+ Caught in the act


* Human Rights Watch Film Festival, 16 documentaries and features, with Q&A after every screening. Films from Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru,  Afghanistan, China’s Uyghur minority, Europe, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Palestine, Sudan and Zimbabwe; until 27 March. Programme includes 26 March, The Dream of Shahrazad, how music and storytelling can serve as an outlet for citizens to process political upheaval; The Wanted 18, the Israeli army's pursuit of 18 cows;  A Quiet Inquisition, abortion in Nicaragua; Burden of Peace, Guatemala's first female attorney general; 27 March, Rosewater, feature about the imprisonment of Canadian-Iranian journalist


* Tongues on Fire Film Festival, "an eclectic mix of films, stimulating interviews, outstanding lectures series, workshops, live performances, visual arts exhibitions, master classes and the annual short film competition", until 29 March. Programme includes  27 March, Zinda Bhaag, three men in Lahore set out to get to the West, and find themselves closer to what they’d always wanted but not in the ways they had imagined


* London LGBT Film Festival, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 29 March. Info:


Thursday 26 March
* Off The Ground, documentary about an island in Bengal, focussing on those battling the loneliness of a disconnected life, followed by Q&A with director Meghna Gupta, 8pm, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498


Friday 27 March
* AIDependence, the controversial relationship between the people of Haiti and international aid organisations, and the negative side-effects of the aid industry, including dependency, corruption, and the corrosion of solidarity and the economy + Q&A with director Alice Smeets, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/


* Asia House Film Festivaluntil Tuesday 31 March. Programme includes In the Absence of the Sun, a tale of Jakarta in the course of a single night; The Last Reel from Cambodia; Passion from Mongolia, a poignant portrait of a man’s struggle to bridge two very different ages; Yangon Calling – Punk in Myanmar, a documentary about Myanmar’s underground punk scene filmed secretly in the former military dictatorship using hidden cameras; Ham Yard Theatre in Soho, Rich Mix in Shoreditch, The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury and The Cinema Museum in Kennington. 

+  Burmese punks, Jakarta towel girls and Uzbek cowboys 

+ 19 April, Mongolian Treasures, 2-9pm, new and old films from Mongolia, Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way London, SE11 

Saturday 28 March

* Show Me The Edgware Road, moving, funny look at five Middle Eastern artists exiled in London: Houda Echouafni, Alia Alzougbi, Rajha Shakiry, Mojisola Adebayo, 7.30pm, £10/£8, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498

* Profession: Documentarist, seven female filmmakers make a film about what it is like to be documentary-maker in Iran today, followed by Q&A with Shirin Barghnavard, 7pm, £7-£11, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:

Burmese punks, Jakarta towel girls and Uzbek cowboys


Monday 30 March
* A Quiet Inquisition, Dr Carla Cerrato must choose between following a Nicaraguan law banning all abortions or taking a risk and providing the care that she knows can save a woman’s life, followed by Q&A with director Alessandra Zeka, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/
* Being Jewish In France, exploration of French-Jewish history, from the Dreyfus Affair to charges of rising antisemitism and the country’s complex attitudes towards Israel, 7.15pm, £6-£12, JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3. Info: 7433 8988






Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare's adaptation of Katherine Boo's book about life in a Mumbai shantytown, National Theatre, Southbank, SE1, until 13 April. Info: 7452 3000/ Production

The slumdogs who aren't millionaires

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: A spotlight on Mumbai's poor


* Dara, adapted from Shahid Nadeem’s play originally performed by Ajoka Theatre in Pakistan, it spans the 1659 struggle between two heirs to the Mughal empire, £15-£50, National Theatre, South Bank, SE1, until 4 April. Info: 7452 3000

+ 26 March, Exploring the history and culture of the Mughal empire, Malini Roy, Susan Stronge

+ Mughal history play meets courtroom drama


* Play Mas, revival of Mustapha Matura's funny and poignant play set in 1950s Port of Spain, when a tailor’s assistant dreams of Trinidad’s independence, Orange Tree Theatre, 1 Clarence Street, Richmond, TW9, until 11 April. Info: 8940 3633

+ post-show talk, 2 April, 7.30pm

+ Tailor-made for theatrical fun


* Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre, looks at a controversial episode in the ‘war on terror’: Pentagon officials saw people treading their familiar path across the Turkish-Iraqi border. Days later, the Turkish military dropped bombs on the group, killing 34 civilians, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 2 April. Info: 7503 1646

+ Thirty-seven links in the chain of command
Staging a massacre


* These Trees are Made of Blood, cabaret acts and an urgent narrative about one of Argentina's “disappeared”, Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1, until 11 April. Info: 7407 0234

+ Oh! What a lively war


Saturday 28 March
* Latin Americans Rise Against Racism and Xenophobia, music, performance, children's workshops, speakers, exhibitions, and voter registration, 2-8pm, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, finale 5-8.30pm, nearby Coronet Theatre


Sunday 29 March

* Of Blood And Fire, Komola Collective brings to life the diary entries of Jahanara Iman, a Bangladeshi writer and political activist, ‘The Mother of Martyrs’, who campaigned for trials for independence war criminals, 3pm & 7.30pm, £8/£6, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498




Thursday 26 March
* India's Frontier Railways, the line to Pakistan, 9pm, BBC4
* Growing Up Wild: Natural World, 8pm, BBC2
* Crossing Continents: Saving Gaza's Grand Piano, 11am, R4

Friday 27 March
* Unreported World, Kurds v Isis in Kobani, 7.35pm, C4