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'There’s an army of people shunning our lifestyle’

As the nation debates immigration and Middle East military adventures, a family faces its own conflict of faith, belonging, and who gets to call themselves British.
from Tricycle on Jan 25, 2015.

A good Upper Cut but no knock-out

Election year promises some rich pickings for minorities on stage.
from Daniel Nelson on Jan 21, 2015.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* Only a few days left to see Disobedient Objects, fascinating exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum that looks at objects that have been made for use in movements for social change.


*Plays in the first part of the year include Liberian Girl, which tells one teenage girl’s story of survival in the Liberian civil war; Upper Cut at the Southwark Playhouse -  Seventy percent of my constituents are white, Karen. I have to be a politician, who ‘happens’ to be black. Not a black man who ‘happens’ to be a politician”; while Dara spans the lives of two 17th century Moghul Indian princes from cradle to grave: "An intense domestic drama of global consequence – for India then and for our world now."


February sees The Singing Stones (Arcola), which gives voice to the women who snitched on Gaddafi, marched on Tahrir Square and defended the bloody borders of Kurdistan. Multitudes at The Tricycle is set on the eve of a Conservative Party conference when the country is in turmoil and waiting for a visit from the Prime Minister. Kash, a liberal British Muslim, prepares his address to politicians about the state of the nation. His girlfriend Natalie, a recent convert to Islam, cooks for anti-war protesters gathered at the town hall. Lyn, her mother, moans to everyone about the decline of her cherished England.  It’s all too much for Kash’s daughter Khadira, who begins to plan a radical intervention. Dalia Taha's play, Fireworks (Al'Ab Nariya), at the Royal Court gives a new way of seeing how war fractures childhood, and True Brits is by young British Asian playwright Vinay Patel that sweeps between the paranoid London of 2005 and the euphoric city of the 2012 Olympics. It's about being British of Asian descent, coming of age, falling in love, and finding a place in a society that distrusts you simply for the way you look.


The Arcola returns in March with Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre. It looks at one of the most controversial episodes in the ‘war on terror’: Pentagon officials saw a huddle of people – unarmed smugglers, with mules – treading their familiar path across the Turkish-Iraqi border. Days later, the Turkish military dropped bombs on the group, killing 34 civilians.


And at The Albany in March, Black goes to the heart of racial tensions in the UK  - and includes a live DJ set from MC Chunky: “Nikki doesn't think that her Dad is a racist…. He just cares deeply about his community… But when a Zimbabwean family move in over the road, the dog won’t stop barking…the local kids start lobbing stones… and her Dad starts laying down the law.”


*  Behind the Beautiful Foreversbased on Katherine Boo's book about a group of residents in a Mumbai shantytown, continues at the National Theatre. Elsewhere,. The Scottsboro Boys, is the all-singing, all-dancing version of an infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans, performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping.


* Below, right: Breaking through stigma and stereotypes, Sex Workers’ Opera is a multimedia production written and performed by sex workers and their allies: "With music spanning opera to hip-hopera, and incorporating sound art, projections and poetry, it offers an unflinchingly honest, upliftingly human insight into the lives of sex workers around the world."

Sex Workers Opera

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson










Monday 26 January

* Writing Climate Change,  Sarah Butler, Nick Hunt, Stevie Ronnie, Dan Simpson, Sai Murray, Selina Nwulu, Zena Edwards, Oisin McGann,6:45pm, free, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1. Info: 7324 2570/*

Life in a Jar: childhood experience of the Holocaust, Lili Pohlmann and Erich Reich, 6.30pm, £5-£8, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info: 7412 7332/

* How does acidification affect our oceans?, 6.30-8pm, free, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7451 2500

* What have humanitarians learned from their response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Haiti Earthquake?webinar, 2.30pm, Overseas Development Institute.


Tuesday 27 January
* The Hidden Voices of London Literature, Bidisha and Maurice Wren discuss the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, 6.30pm, £8/£6/£5, Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/
* Achieving security progress in post-conflict contexts, 2.30-5.15, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300
* Kidnap, Ransom and Blackouts, discussion with Anthony Loyd, Joel Simon, Carl Newns, Diane Foley, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8950/


Tuesday 27-Wednesday 28 January

* How can mobile technology improve health in low and middle income countries, conference, free, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, WC1. Info: 7905 2383/


Wednesday 28 January
* Afghanistan: The Lessons of War, Jack Fairweather, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8950/ 7479 8940
* How to Fix Nigeria: The 2015 Elections & Beyond, Zeinab Usman, Paul Adams, Michael Ehioze-Ediae, 6:30-8:30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Registration

* Field Evaluation - How to do it well and make it count, live stories from GlobalGiving UK's 2014 Field Evaluation Programme, 6-8pm, Room LG04, UCL, 26 Bedford Way. Info:

* How useful is social media for keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive?, 6-7pm, Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7636 7247/
* Asia’s Digital Transformation, conference with Dominic Barton and Parminder Singh, 9am-1pm, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1G. Info: 7307 5454/
* The Great Depression in Latin America, book launch with Paulo Drinot and Alan Knight, 5.30—7.30pm, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, WC1. Info: 3108 9721/
* Extradition and the Erosion of Human Rights, Gareth Peirce, Saskia Sassen and Jeanne Theoharis, 6.30pm, what happens to UK citizens in US courts and prisons when they are extradited on untested charges?, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2


Thursday 29 January 

* Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, Daniel Levitin, 1pm, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* How to prevent another crisis in Somalia, Daniel Maxwell, Nisar Majid, Laura Hammond,  Khalif A Abdirahman, Guhad Aden, 11am-12:30pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* The Rights of Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology, TJ Demos, 6.30pm, £10/£8/£7, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:


Saturday 31 January

* On Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, £8/£5, 2.30pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 07599 566 14 


Monday 2 February
* Digital Media and Political Activism, Joss Hands, 6.45pm, 6.45pm, £3/£2, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:
* Hezbollah, Islamist Politics and International Society, Filippo Dionigi, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6198







*Abbas Kowsari, photographs of contemporary Iran, Ely House, 37 Dover Street, W1, until  27 February. Info: 7981 9851


* Syria: Third Space, exhibition highlighting Syrian art that demonstrates the roles artists play in supporting recovery and resilience, 9am-6pm, free, British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1, until 18 February


* Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou: photographs from Benin, free, Jack Bell Gallery, W1, until 14 February.


* Tangled Yarnsexplores the politics and morality of the textile industry and the cotton trade, beginning with  the violent campaign by English weavers against imported Indian cotton in the early 18th century, when gangs attacked women wearing patterned cotton gowns or petticoats, to the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building, which killed 1,138 Bangladeshi garment workers, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10am-5pm, free, William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, E17, until 25 January. Info: 8496 4390

+ Spinning a historic yarn


* Torn Justice, work by 16-22-year-olds looking at conditions in he global textile industry, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10am-5pm, free, William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, E17, until 25 January. Info: 8496 4390


* Chinese Whispers, Rob and Nick Carter  play with ideas of the East as the centre of the global marketplacefree, The Fine Art Society, W1, until 26 January. Info: 7629 5116


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


* 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 30 June. Info: 3757 8500/


* 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/


Conflict, Time, Photography, photographers who have looked back at moments of conflict, from seconds after a bomb is detonated to 100 years after a war has ended, £14.50/ £12.50, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, until 15 March. Info: 7887 8888

+ Photographers at war: 'Max Max collides with the Canterury Tales'

War photography: what happens after the conflict?


* Disobedient Objects, exhibition that looks at the role of objects in movements for social change, including banners, changing designs for barricades, political video games, experimental activist bicycles and textiles bearing witness to political murders,  V&A Museum, South Kensington, until 1 February

Objects that help change the world


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


* Francis Bedford: Cairo  to Constantinople - Early Photographs of the Middle East, pictures takien during a royal tour in 1862, £9.50/£8.50, The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, SW1, until  22 February. Info: 7766 7301


* Mouths At The Invisible Event, David Birkin's mixed media works and installations centred around issues of censorship, spectatorship and the legal and linguistic frameworks underpinning war, free, Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm, The Mosaic Rooms, A.M Qattan Foundation, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5, until 28 February. Info:


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/



Image: How can mobile technology improve health in low and middle income countries? is the theme of a two-day conference at the Institute of Child Health on 27-28 January

Visit to villages outside of Dodoma, Tanzania





Sunday 25 January

* Selma, biopic of Martin Luther King's campaign for equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965,+ Q&A, 5pm, Tricycle


Monday 26 January 

*  Days of Hope, intimate portrayal of life after emigration explores the lives of three African immigrants who have embarked on a perilous journey to reach a common destination + Q&A with director, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8950/ 7479 8940/

* One Rogue Reporter, exposé of the unscrupulous world of tabloid journalism, filmed in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, through interviews with Steve Coogan, Hugh Grant, John Prescott and others he examines the nebulous boundaries of privacy, public interest and freedom of expression in this country, 7pm, £12/£11, Somerset House, Strand,  WC2. Info: 7845 4600/

* Selma, the story of the struggle to secure voting rights for African-Americans + Helena Kennedy QC, Herman Ouseley and Chi Onwurah MP, 7pm, £30 in aid of Journey to Justice, Charlotte Street Hotel, 15-17 Charlotte Street,  W1. Info: Tickets


Tuesday 27 January

* Night Will Fall, the story of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, plus Q&A with Andre Singer, 3.30pm, JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3. Info: 7433 8988


Wednesday 28 January

* Drone, documentary about the CIA drone war, that follows people on both sides of the drone technology, 7:30pm, £5, The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5. Info: 7370 9990/


Friday 30 January
* Casablanca Calling, in Morocco, the world’s first female Muslim leaders are setting out to change their country: empowering women through the teachings of Islam and challenging the attitudes which breed extremism, followed by Q&A with director Rosa Rogers and producer Hilary Durman, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8950/ 7479 8940

from Friday 30 January
* Trash, three teenage foragers on a Latin American rubbish tip find an obbject that may transform their lives


Saturday 31 January
* Valley of Sighs, documentary about the deportation of 25,000 Romani people in 1943-45, only half of whom survived, 7.30pm, £6, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1


Monday 2 February
* The Storm Makers, documentary that follows a Cambodian girl returning home after two years' exploitation overseas, and two ‘recruiters' who make money by enlisting young people to work abroad + Q&A  with director Guillaume Suon, 7pm, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/






Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare's adaptation of Katherine Boo's book about life in 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

+ 25 February, student conference, up to 15 students (aged 16+) and two members of staff, 10am-4pm, £12 per head. Info:


* The Scottsboro Boys, infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans  performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping, Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2, to 21 February. Info: 0844 412 466

+ The black and black minstrel show


* Liberian Girl, the Civil War in Liberia saw over 200,000 people killed, a million others displaced in refugee camps, and over 15,000 children recruited into ‘Small Boys Units’: Diana Nneka Atuona‘s play tells one teenage girl’s story of survival, £20 (£10 Mondays), Royal Court, Sloane Square, SW1, until 31 January. Info: 7565 5000 (The play will transfer to the CLF Art Café at the Bussey Building in Peckham on 3-7 February and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, on 10-14 February)

+ Girls and boys come out to play ... soldiers

+ 27 Jan, Matthew Dunster and Anna Fleischle in conversation with Niall Black


* Upper Cut, Karen ls a rising political star but on the eve of an election she risks her career in a contentious fight over whether to allow shortlists for black parliamentary candidates, £18/£16/£10, Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1, until 7 February. Info: 7407 0234

+ 27 January, discussion with Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote and Juliet Gilkes Romero

+ 3 February, Join Director Lotte Wakeham and Writer Juliet Gilkes Romero for a discussion about the creative process.

+ A good Upper Cut but no knock-out


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

+ 26 Jan, Shahid Nadeem and Anwar Akhtar, 6pm

+ 18 March, Nadia Fall and Tanya Ronder, 6pm


Monday 26-Thursday 30 January 

* Sex Workers' Opera, a multimedia production written and performed by sex workers and their allies around the world, £15/£10, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8. Info: 7503 1646


Monday 26-Saturday 31 January

* Walking the Tightrope: The tension between art and politics, premiere of political short plays by writers including Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute and Caryl Churchill + discussion, £12/£15, Theatre Delicatessen, 119 Farringdon Road, EC1. Info: 7278 7694/


28 January-8 March
* Vault Festival, Info: Programme includes
4-22 February, True Brits, by Vinay Patel, when a violent encounter leads to a whirlwind romance, young Rahul is more than willing to be caught up. But in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings, his world changes and he struggles to remain part of a British society that now distrusts him on sight, £13, Studio





Sunday 25 January
* Shoah: First Era, brilliant documentary about the Holocaust, 7pm, BBC4
* Walking the Nile,  final part of series - Egypt, 9pm, C4

Monday 26 January
* Dispatches: The Great Car Con, why motorists were encouraged to choose diesel over petrol, 8pm, C4
* Panorama: Rescued From A Forced Marriage, 8.30pm, BBC1
* The Arabian Motorcycle Adentures, documentary about the journey by a US biker, 10pm, BBC4
* A History of Ideas, the effect of technology on humans, 12.04, R4
* Shared Planet, 9pm, R4

Tuesday 27 January
* Touched by Auschwitz, interviews wuth six survivors, 9pm, BBC2
* On Assignment, including Rageh Omaar in East Africa, 10.40pm, ITV
* From Auschwitz With Love, a personal experience, 11.45pm, BBC1
* Can Democracy Work?, is it fit for purpose in Britain, 9am, 9.30pm, R4
* One to One: a woman of Hindu and Sikh heritage and her marriage to an Afro-Caribbean man, 9.30am, R4
* A History of Ideas, the effect of technology on the mind, 12.04, R4

Thursday 29 January
* Attenborough's Paradise Birds, 8pm, BBC2