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Utopia is here

Africa Utopia returns - talks, workshops, music, performances, fashion and food.
from Southbank Centre on Jul 10, 2017.

The crazy bravery of the Syrian phone fighters

'City of Ghosts' is an immensely powerful and disturbing documentary about the Syrian citizen journalists who came together in the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently.
from Daniel Nelson on Jul 20, 2017.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




* Playwrights from Argentina, Chile and Syria are among those featured in a forthcoming season of new work at the Royal Court in Sloane Square. They include Lola Arias' extraordinary Minefieldin which six Falklands/Malvinas war veterans who once faced each other across a battlefield face each other across a stage, sharing memories, films, songs and photos as they recall their collective war and embody the political figures that led them into it.


Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Llwaa Yazji's Goats is set In a small Syrian town where soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda. As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred. The New Yorker magazine described Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón’ as "an authentic genius of the theatre", and his play, B, is part of the season: "Alejandra and Marcela are planting bombs in the middle of the night.They don’t want violence. They just want to be heard. Prison’s not much of a threat when most of your friends are inside. But José Miguel is from another generation, and he’s committed to change by any means possible."


* A political thriller about  the peace negotiations that led to the 1993 agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel is coming to the National Theatre in September, followed by a run at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Oslo has been a hit on Broadway, and focuses on the roles of a Norwegian diplomat, who is now the ambassador to the UK, and her husband.


The BBC’s first period drama with an entirely non-white cast will begin filming later this year. Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy, set in post-partition India, will be adapted into an eight-part series by screenwriter Andrew Davies. Davies has previously penned several major literary adaptations for the BBC, including Bleak House in 2005 and 2016’s War and Peace. Full story in The Stage.


An "adventurous programme of exhibitions, events and education workshops telling stories of movement to and from Britain" is promised by the Migration Museum, in a space just off Albert Embankment. It has started with three exhibitions: Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond, 100 Images of Migration and Keepsakesa display of personal items that keep memories of migration and identity alive. 



Photo, below right:  In her first solo exhibition at Autograph ABP, Rivngton Place, EC2, South African visual activist Zanele Muholi presents her ongoing self-portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness. The exhibition features a new artist commission that highlights the contribution of South African women in the Apartheid struggle for freedom and equality.

  Zanele Muholi P1040625

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson













Friday 21 July

* Imagining Africa’s Future: Language, Culture, Governance, Development, Muhammad Sanusi II, Nanjala Nyabola, Jean Bryce, Jan Goossens, Amidu Sunni, Onyekachi Wambu, £25/£5/£!0, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Programme includes 21 July, Alternative forms of Protest in Africa, James Wan, Nanjala Nyabola, Stephen Chan, 12.30-1.30pm. Info:


Saturday 22-Sunday 23 July

* Freedom of conscience and expression in the 21st century, weekend of discussions and debates on freedom of conscience and expression in the 21st century, from £65. Info: Index conference

+ 24 July, activist strategy meeting followed by body-painting in support of ex-Muslims, open to the public.


Thursday 27 July

* Naguib Mahfouz: Between Fiction and History, Samia Mehrez, launch of Essays of the Sadat Era: 1976-81, 6:30pm, free, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. 


Friday 28 July

* Vigil for Raif Badawi, Waleed Abulkhair and Ashraf Fayadh, join English PEN for its monthly vigils in support of imprisoned writers in Saudi Arabia, 9-10am, meet at the Curzon Street entrance to the Embassy (embassy postal address is 30-32 Charles Street, Mayfair). Inf:










Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness, South African visual activist photographer Zanele Muholi presents her self-portrait series of more than 60 photographs in which she uses her body as a canvas to confront the politics of race and representation in the visual archive, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2, until 28 October

+ 'I'm Scared. But tthis work needs to be shown': Zaneli Muholi's 365 protest photographs 


Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria, more than 60 photographs on life in Government-controlled areas in 2013-2014. and on the plight of people seeking refuge in Europe in 2015-2016, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 3 September. Info: 7416 5000. 

Museum takes on Syria and the war sparked by graffiti


The Lost Men of Syria, photos by Edward Jonkler, free, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, SW3, until 9 August. Info: 7811 3070 


Syria: Story of a Conflict, intimate display exploring the origins, escalations and impact of the Syria conflict through objects and video, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 3 September. Info: 7416 5000


* Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond, multimedia exhibition  + Images of Migration,+ Keepsakes (all until 20 August), Migration Museum at the Workshop,  26 Lambeth High Street, SE1. Info:

+ Mud on our feet: exhibitions fit for a migrant nation


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

+ Wildlife photography judges bark up the right tree


Sephardi Voices: Jews from North Africa, the Middle East and Iran, exhibition that looks at their lives in Britain, Jewish Museum, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, NW, until 7 September. Info: 7284 7384


* 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


* 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


* Comics and Cartoon Art From the Arab World, free, British Library, Euston Road, NW1, until 29 October.  Info: 0843 208 1144


* The Place Is Here, race, gender and sexual politics in the 1980s by 25 Black artists and collectives, South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, SE5, until 10 September. Info: 7703 6120


Double Take, Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari presents portraits from the studio of Hashem el Madani in which two people of the same sex kiss or embrace, exploring their specific cultural and political histories, free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 3 September. Info: 7306 0055


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhbit of new acquisitions that ranges from a Ghanaian "power bank phone" 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


* People Power: Fighting for Peace, exploration of how peace movements have influenced perceptions of war and conflict from the First World War to the present day, £10/£5/£7, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 28 August. Info: 7416 5000/

+ Britons and the fight for peace 

+ People Power


* I Am, peacebuilding exhibition promoting the work of 31 contemporary women artists from the Middle East, free, St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Aquare, until 30 August. Info:


* The City Is Ours, global challenges, local innovations, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2, until 2 January. Info: Exhibition

+ The could have been a slicker city





Photo: A group of young women from the outskirts of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, meet at the feminist education centre to study to become car mechanics. Ouaga Girls is a poetic coming-of-age story of sisterhood, life choices, and the strife of finding your own path, and it closres the forthcoming London Feminist Film Festival.Ouaga Girls









* City of Ghosts, powerful documentary thatr follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” — a handful of activists who banded together after their city was taken over by ISIS in 2014, 20 July, Curzon Soho; from 21 July, Barbican, Curzon Bloomsbury (until 26 July), ICA, Curzon Soho; from 4 August, Regent Street Cinema

+ The breathtaking bravery of the Syrian phone fighters


* India on Film, NFT. Programme incudes  23 July, Astu, about a family coping with an aging father;  24 JulyGulabi Gang, doc about the woman who pionered resistance to violence, abuse and injustice aganst women in Uttar Oradesh; NFT, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232


Wednesday 26 July 
* Goodbye Aleppo, BBC Arabic documentary about four citizen journalists who film themselves and each other as the battle for Aleppo rages around them in December 2016 + Q&A with the makers of the film, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 14 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7269 9030
Tuesday 27 July
* Women Now, six shorts illustrate how the experiences of women in Korea have changed since the 1930s, 7pm, free, Korean Cultural Centre, 1-3 Strand, WC2. Info: Cultural Centre



Monday 31 July

* Sea of Pictures, documentary that focuses on the image of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi, who was found drowned on a beach in Turkey while trying to reach Europe with this family + Q&A with Zahera Harb is a distinguished journalist who has worked for more than 11 years as a journalist in Lebanon working, Misja Pekel and Anastasia Taylor-Lindr, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 14 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7269 9030









* The Kite Runner, adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel set in Afghanistan, Playhouse Theatre, WC2 until 26 August. Info: 0844 871 7627 


* The View From Nowhere, a biochemist's experiments show a leading herbicide is carcinogenic. He fights against entrenched interests but is hindered by his dreadlocks and the chip on his shoulder, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4, until 22 July. Info: 7870 6876 


* The Scar Test, exploration, based on verbatim interviews, of life inside Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, by Palestinian-Irish writer Hannah Khalil, £10/£12, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1, until 22 July. Info:  7478 0100/ Soho Theatre +  22 July, post-show discussions

+ Yarl's Wood women - the time of their lives

* Bodies, purchased from Russia. Developed in India. Delivered to the UK. A global transaction over nine months that offers ‘a lifetime of happiness’ for all involved. “What do you think will happen to a baby girl in India that nobody wants?", Royal Court, Sloane Square, SW1, until 12 August. Info: 7565 5000/

+ From birth to death, poor countries' gift to Europe


* Face The Camera And Smile, play about consent and ending conflict responsibly told through the actions a soldier who wants to forget, his wife who wants her sacrifices honoured, a photojournalist who wants the truth, and the director who wants their story, Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, N1, until 22 July. Info: 7226 8561/


Friday 21 July

* Deadly Dialogues, a dystopian shopping channel touts the Caliphate, with the cheeriness of a tangle-free garden hose. A young man battles his inner djinns. Two girls exchange destinies from Daesh to Dartford and Dartford to Daesh, while the Muslim Banksy sprays outrage across the night, Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, N1. Info: 7226 8561/


* White,  Join Koko Brown as she considers mixed race privelege, tries to connect clashng cultures, and explores what it means to be mixed in contemporary Britain, £5/£8 on the door, Ovalhouse Upstairs, 52-54 Kennington Oval, SE11, until 22 July. Info: 7582 7680


* An Arrangement of Shoes, solo show set in an Indian railway colony during the Gulf War, a journey through memories, about globalisation and identity in the Age of Faith, 7.30pm, £12.50/£16, Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18, until 22 July. Info: 8333 4457


Saturday 22 July

* Momma Golda, 92-year-old Thelma Ruby is back in a rehearsed reading of a play about Israel’s only female prime minister and the ‘grandmother of the Jewish people’, Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, N1. Info: 7226 8561/


from Tuesday 25 July

* NassimThePlayIranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour offers an audacious experiment that explores the power of language to unite us in  uncertain times. No rehearsals. No preparation. Just a sealed envelope and an actor reading a script for the first time. Plus some tomatoes, from £17.50, Bush Studios, 151 Shepheds Bush, W12, until 29 July. Info: 8740 1740


Wednesday 26 July 

* Don't Panic, I'm Islamic: Extreme Comedy Now, event marking launch of Don’t Panic I’m Islamic: Words and Pictures on How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Alien Next Door, 7:30-10:30pm, £8.50, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchens, 2-4 Hoxton Square, N1. Info: 7613 0709/ Don't Panic

* Mother Tongue,  poets Theresa Lola, Tania Nwachukwu, Belinda Zhawi, and Victoria Adukwei Bulley, with translations by their mothers into Yoruba, Igbo, Shona and Ga, respectively + Q&A with the director, participants and writer Irenosen Okojie, 7-8.30pm, £3, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2

* Poets At Tara, Imtiaz Dharkar, John Agard, Grace Nichols, Daljit Nagra, 7.30pm, £15, Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18. Info: 8333 4457


Thursday 27 July

* Ali and Dahliaharrowing Palestinian-Israeli love story set against the backdrop of the construction of the West Bank wall, 6.30pm, Arcola Theatre, Ashwin Street. Info: 7503 1646; part of PlayWROUGHT#5 -14 writers. 14 plays. 14 new ways to see the world.


Friday 28 July

* Datong - The Chinese Utopia, new chamber opera by Chan Hing-yan that tells the story of utopian philosopher and constitutional reformer, Kang Youwei, through the viewpoint of his daughter Kang Tongbi, a pioneering Chinese feminist, Richmond Theatre 

* The Minmum Requirement, Abiola Okonkwo is on the way to becoming a solicitor until shge learns she is below the minimum pay requirement, with three months to leave the UK, 6.30pm, Arcola Theatre, Ashwin Street. Info: 7503 1646


from 30 July

* Camden Fringe, 10 shows. 60 performances, until 26 August. Programme includes, 7-12 August, Sari: The Whole Five Yards, £10/8;   8-12 August, Borders in the Bedroom, an evening in the lives of a British Hindu-US Muslim couple, £10/£8







Thursday 20 July

* The Great Butterfly Adventure: Africa to Britain with the Painted Lady, 10.30pm, BBC4

* From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4 


Friday 21 July

* Joanna Lumley's India, 10.40pm, ITV