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Africa on film

Film Africa, London’s biggest celebration of African cinema, returns for its fourth year with a bumper programme of films, premiers and visiting filmmakers.
from African Film Festival on Oct 20, 2014.

The black and black minstrel show

A musical about false allegations of rape, racial hatred, gross miscarriages of justices and the electric chair? Yes, sirree, that’s 'The Scottsboro Boys'.
from Daniel Nelson on Oct 21, 2014.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


*  Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait won best documentary award at the London Film Festival, which finished on Sunday. Jury president Sophie Fiennes said: “The jury were deeply affected by this film. Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav Bedirxan's portrait of Syria is both unflinching and poetic. It is hard to watch, because the fact of war is and should be unbearable. Bedirxan's passionate and courageous quest to be a reliable witness, while trying to comprehend and survive her desperate situation in Homs, is profoundly moving. Ossama Mohammed's exile in Paris, resonates with our own safe distance from this war, but the miracle of the film is how it engages us.”

The only other film from or about a developing country to come close to an award was a commendation in the category of "most original and imaginative first feature"  for Naja Abu Nowar's Theeb,  an Arab Western about orphaned brothers on a treacherous journey across the desert in the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire on the eve of the Arab revolt.

The Best British Newcomer award went to Sameena Jabeen Ahmed for her performance in Catch Me Daddy, an unremittingly dark, intense about a British Pakistani girl on the run from her family after leaving home with her white English boyfriend: “Sameena's performance was very assured, confident and fearless. In the lead role of 'Laila', Sameena's range of emotion was breathtaking; she was the heartbeat of the film.”


* Two of the best films in the festival are also being screened at the London African Film Festival, which opens at the end of the month: Timbuktu and National Diploma. The first is a carefully paced feature that tells the story of an accidental murder in northern Mali, when it was under the control of Islamists; the second is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about a group of students in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both offer insights - of a very different kind - into contemporary Africa.


*  The National Theatre is staging two fascinating theatre productions. Here Lies Love is a musical that traces the journey of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace. The theatre is "transformed into a pulsating club for an immersive theatrical event which combines heart-pounding beats with adrenaline-fuelled choreography and 360-degree staging." Audiences are advised to dress comfortably and those in the pit performance area will stand and dance with the actors.


Next up will be  Behind the Beautiful Forevers by David Hare, based on Katherine Boo's book about a group of residents in a Mumbai shantytown. Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, 12 and stunted, wants to eat until he’s as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government anti-poverty funds to turn herself into a ‘first-class person’, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum’s first female graduate. But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.


* There are two other musicals on unlikely topics : The Infidel - The Musical, a laugh-a-minute romp written by David Baddiel from a book about a British Muslim who discovers he was born to a Jewish family, and the even more unexpected The Scottsboro Boys, 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: Jon Snow is part of a 23 October panel discussion on 'Conflict and Disaster Reporting: Does the Public Still Care?'

Jon Snow

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson






Thursday 23 October

* Conflict and Disaster Reporting: Does the Public Still Care?, Juliana Ruhfus, Marc DuBois, Jon Snow, Eva Svoboda, 8.30pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Understanding and Addressing Information and Communication Needs of Iraqi IDPs,  Jacobo Quintanilla, Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, Madara Hetteriachchi, 9:30am-midday, Action Aid Conference Room, 33-39 Bowling Green Lane, EC1. Info: Reservations

* Global News Media: the next horizon, Andrew Miller, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043 

* Art and Activism: reflections on the anti-apartheid struggle and two decades of South African democracy, Hugh Masekela, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Evo's Bolivia: continuity and change, Linda Farthin, 6-8pm, UCL, Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, WC1. Info: 7898 4370

* Migrant Voice AGM, 6pm, Lighthouse West London, 111-117 Lancaster Road, W1. Info: 7221 6708/

* Do no harm, launch of report on migrants' access to healthcare, Maureen Baker, Leigh Daynes, Max Wind-Cowie, 5.30-7.30pm, RCGP, 30 Euston Square, NW1. Info: 7367 6314 


Saturday 25 October

* Anti-torture London embassy crawl, organised by Amnesty, Embankment station (Riverside entrance), 10:45am. Info: 07810 811 675/ on the day 07810 811 675

* Feminism in London 2014, conference, panels and workshops, artwork, stalls, free creche, £15-£30, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, WC1


Saturday 25-Sunday 26 October

*  Power of People's Tribunals - Empowering Civil Society, free, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: http// 


Monday 27 October

* Modern Day Slavery: How to Tackle Human Trafficking, Annie Kelly and Monique Villa, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info:  7479 8950

* Agricultural Colonialism – the new scramble for Africa, Nick Dearden, 6.4-8.30pm, £5/£3, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:

* Medecins Sans Frontieres: barriers to accessing healthcare in Afghanistan, 10am, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043 

* Leave no-one behind: tackling inequalities through social justice post-2015, launch of the Intersecting Inequalities Report with Naila Kabeer, Ricardo Fuentes-Neva, Leandro Vergara Camus, Layla Saad, Andrew Shepherd, 10am-12.30pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300


Tuesday 28 October

* Green Investment Bank 2nd Birthday protest, marking the bank's wilful not-green investment in biomass and waste for energy, 5pm, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 2 King Edward Street, EC1. Info:

Macroeconomic developments in the world's poorest countries, Sean Nolan, Elizabeth Stuart, 1.30-3pm, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* The Remarque Prize: A Two Minute Salute, national final of arts-in-conflict prize will feature performance poetry judged by Sebastian Faulks and photography judged by Paul Conroy of The Sunday Times; all funds raised go to War Child, to enable young people in the UK to directly help others in conflict zones across the world, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place

* Tackling the great challenges of the 21st Century, Sir Paul Nurse in conversation with Lord Stern, 6:30—8pm, free, The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7451 2500

* Arab Development Denied: Dynamics of Accumulation by Wars of Encroachment, Ali Kadri and John Weeks, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info:

* Media Talks: Jamie Bartlett, director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social, 5pm, free, London School of Economics, New Theatre, Houghton Street, WC2. Info:

* Nominal Democracy? Prospects for Democratic Global Governance, Robert O Keohane, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043  

* The Vietnam Wars Reconsidered, Fredrik Logevall, 7pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043 

* The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law, Sharon Weill, 3pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4330/4490 

* Can corruption reduce conflict? Lessons from Indonesia, Elizabeth Pisani, 5.15pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4893


Wednesday 29 October

* What Sort of Story is Climate Change?, 6:30pm, free, Free Word Lecture Theatre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1. Info: 7324 2570/ 

* The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms Remembered, Lord Indarjit Singh, Schona Jolly, Parvinder Singh, 7-10pm, free, Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info: 7636 7247/ Registration

* Modern Day Slavery: How to Tackle Human Trafficking, panel discussion, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place

* Rethinking a new development agenda for Latin America, Enrique Garcia, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043 

* The dark net: inside the digital underworld, Jamie Bartlett, 5.30-6.30pm, Imperial College,Exhibition Road, SW7. Info: 7589 5111

* Shoreditch Wild Life, book launch with Dougie Wallace, 6:30pm til late, Red Gallery, 3 Rivington Street, EC2. Info:


Thursday 30 October

* Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, Gabriella Coleman, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Air quality for all, Frank kelly, Sarah Collins, James Thornton, 7-8.30pm, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7. Info: 7591 3100/

* Afghanistan: the transition, Renzo Frike, Stuart Gordon, Emma Graham-Harrison, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043

* Male Victims of Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Chris Dolan, 5-6.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4367 





* 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


A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution, a century of posters agitating for political change drawn from the V&A collection, including acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest, free, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, SW5, until 2 November. Info: 7942 2000


Rapid Response Collecting, small, stimulating display of 11 contemporary objects collected in response to major moments in history that touch the worlds of design and manufacturing, Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington, SW5, until 15 January.

Printed guns, nude shoes and Indonesian eyelashes


* Black Chronicles II, exhibition exploring black presences in 19th and early 20th century Britain, through the prism of photography – particularly studio portraiture, Rivington Place, EC2, until 29 November. Info: 7749 1240/  Exhibition/ 

+ Ending the historical absence of the black presence 


Some Are Smarter Than Others, Filipino artist Pio Abad on the cultural legacy of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, free, Gasworks, SE11, until 16 November. Info: 7582 6848


* Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, 18 photographers, 250 photographs from the '30s til now, including the dramatic growth of Chinese urbanisation recorded by Nadav Kander, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, until 11 January; part of of the Constructing Worlds season, which includes film about cities around the world

+ Post-independence in the picture


* Animal Photography Prize Exhibition, free with zoo ticket, London Zoo, Regent's park, until 12 December. Info:  449 6200/


Helmand Return, photos by Robert Wilson, Gallery One and a Half, 1 1/2 Ardleigh Road, N1, until 30 November. Info: 7923 1430


Living Africa: Through the Art of Its Children, work from Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, free,  Islington Museum, until 18 November. Info: 7527 2837 


* Omer Fast, using carefully edited video footage, Fast examines the conventions of media reportage, storytelling and historical representation, free, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, until 30 November. Info: 7887 8888/ 


* Re-Imagine: Black Women in Britain, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm, Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, SW2, free, until 30 November. Info: 3757 8500/

+ 18  November, exhibition tour, 1-1.45pm, £5/£3

+ 24 October, 7, 14, 28 November, lunchtime talks, 1-145pm, £5/£3 


* The Colours of Myanmar, Maxime Bulloch's photographs, free, Upstairs at the Ritzy, SW2, until 3 November. Info: 08717 042 065

Living Africa: Through the art of its children, free, Islington Museum, 245 St. John Street, EC1, until 18 November. Info: 7527 2837/


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: 0870 444 38520870 444 3852/


Peckham Square Studio, black and white portraits of local residents taken by Eileen Perrier on Peckham Square, free, Peckham Square Studio, until 16 November


* 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/


from 24 October

* Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014, the work of professionals and amateur photographers from around the globe, Natural History Museum, South Kensington


from 29 October

* The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms Remembered, photographs and text, Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, WC1. Info:

+ 29 October, discussion with Philip Spencer, Lord Indarjit Singh, Schona Jolly and Parvinder Singh, 7-10pm, 



Image: When atrocities are committed , Human Rights Watch sends in the E-Team - which is the subject of a documentary showing at Rich Mix this week. 





Gone Too Far, amusing but slight feature that follows estranged teenage brothers - one in London, the other visiting from Nigeria - as they struggle to accept each other, Odeon Panton Street,  Brixton Ritzy, Edmonton Lee Valley Odeon, Enfield Cineworld, Greenwich Odeon, Newham Showcase, Peckhamplex, Wood Green Cineworld

Not far enough


Thursday 23 October

* Casablanca Calling, follows three Morchidat – Hannane, Bouchra and Karima – as they set out to change their country from street level, plus Q&A session with director Rosa Rogers, 7pm, £10/£8, Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, W14. Info: 7602 3316/

* E-Team, documentary about the team sent in by Human Rights watch when atrocities are committed, 8pm, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1. Info: 7613 7498

* Finding Fela, documentary on the Nigerian musician and activist, plus Q&A with  Kwaku on the music and politics of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, 7-10pm, Mildmay Community Centre, 21-23 Mildmay Park, N1. Info:


Tuesday 28 October

* Fire In The Blood, "how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996 - causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths -  and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back", 7pm, St Luke's Community Centre, 90 Central Street, EC1


Wednesday 29 October

* Citizenfour, documentary about a series of encounters with Edward Snowden, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8950


Thursday 30 October

* Iranian Cinema: History and Current Practice, Zeydabadi-Nejad, Pejman Danaei, 8pm, £5/£3, Chelsea Theatre, 7 World's End Place, King's Road, SW10. Info: 7352 1967

* Unearthed, inquiry into fracking plans in South Africa + Q&A with director, 6.30pm, £11/£8, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Infor: ICA

* We Are the Giant, documentary featuring inspirational and gripping stories of six individuals who spoke their minds + Q&A, 6.20pm, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232/ 7928 3535


Thursday 30 October-Saturday 1 November

* Native Spirit Film Festival, Bolivian Andes, Guatamala, Australia, Congo frainforests, and a rare documentary on the Ainu of Japan, plus guest speaker Nixiwaka Yawanawá, Rudolph Steiner House, 35 Park Road, NW1 and School of Oriental & African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Programme/ 


Friday 31 October

* Shorts at the Frontline Club, 7pm, £10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940


from Friday 31 October

* Film Africa, the Royal African Society's annual film festival, until Sunday 9 November. Info:

* CitizenFour, documentary about Edward Snowden made by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Victoria, hmv Curzon Wimbledon, ICA





* Here Lies Love, Imelda Marcos' meteoric rise to fame in The Philippines and her fall to infamy and disgrace - "dress comfortably and come ready to dance", National Theatre, South Bank, SE1, until 8 January. Info: National


* The Infidel - The Musical, about a British Muslim who discovers he was born to a Jewish family, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15, until 2 November. Info: 8534 0310

+ Burqas and barmitzvahs: it's a laughing matter


* The Scottsboro Boys, an infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans is performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping, Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2, to 21 February. Info: 0844 412 4662/

+ The black and black minstrel show


The Vertical Hour, revival of 2008 David Hare play that starts with a conversation about Iraq and pits personal philosophies against global politics, £19.50/£15/£16, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4, until 26 October. Info: 7870 6876/ Park

Personal trumps political at the Park

Clash of opinion


* East is East, iconic British comedy about growing up in a mixed-race family in 1970s Salford enjoys a revival, Trafalgar Studios, until 3 January. Info: 0844 871 7632


Albion,  play set in an East End boozer that examines the rise of the new far right in modern-day Britain: when it embraces diversity, just how far can the far right go?, Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12, until 25 October. Info: 8743 5050

A sing-along with the English Protection Army


* How Nigeria Became A Story, And A Spear That Didn't Work, written and directed by Gbolahan Obisesan, £10-£16, Unicorn Theatre, SE1, until 9 November. Info: 7645 0560


* Das Ding, "a globetrotting comedy of globalised connections",  £12.50/£14.50, The New Diorama Theatre, until 1 November. Info: 0844 209 0344


Teh Internet is Serious Business, fictional account of the origins of Anonymous and LulzSec, the swarm who took on powerful capitalist forces from their bedrooms, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1, until 25 October

Hacking democracy: Tim Price on his new play


* Pandora's Box, on holiday with her streetwise son, a British-Nigerian mother is in turmoil: should she leave him in a strict Nigerian boarding school, or return him to the battlefields of inner London?, until 1 November. Thursday 23 October, Broadway Theatre, Catford, SE6. Info: 8690 0002; Friday 24-Saturday 25 October, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green, N15. Info: 8365 5450/; Monday 27-Friday 31, The Bussey Building aka The CLF Art Cafe, 133 Rye Lane, SE15Info: 7732 5275/; 1 November, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8. Info: 7503 1646/


Friday 24 October

* Philis in London, play about amazing Africans in London, past and present, 7.30pm, £8/£6, Rich Mix, 35-47 Shoreditch High Street. Info: 7613 7498/


Saturday 25 October

* Dirty Paki Lingerie, the stories of six Pakistani-American Muslim women in post 9/11 America, from a six-year-old girl to a 65-year-old woman - cross-cultural sparks fly and preconceptions about Muslim women, sex, and politics are hilariously shattered, 7.30pm, £10/£8, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethanl Green Road. Info: 7613 7498




Tuesday 21 October

* Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeve, the Yangtze, 11.20pm, BBC2

* Hidden histories of the Information Age, 1.45pm, R4

* Costing the Earth, 3.30pm, R4

* File on 4: why ebola was not taken more seriously, 8pm, R4

Wednesday 22 October

The Wonder of Animals, snakes, 8.30pm, BBC4

* Soldiers of the Empire: Indian soldiers in World War One, 11am, R4

* Costing the Earth, 9pm, R4

* Hidden histories of the Information Age, 1.45pm, R4

Thursday 23 October

* Life Story, the return of David Attenborough with yet more amazing wildlife photography, 9pm, BBC1

* Panorama: Inside the Taliban, midnight20pm, BBC2

* From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4

* Cuba Offline, Cuba and the Internet, 11.30am, R4

* Hidden histories of the Information Age, 1.45pm, R4

Friday 17 October

* Unreported World, young Russian women trying to break into China's fashion trade, 7.35pm, C4

* Hidden histories of the Information Age, 1.45pm, R4

* Plants: from Roots to Riches, 9pm, R4