Modal Edit



Our shared experience

Refugee Week is approaching fast: check out the latest updates from around the country.
from Counterpoint Arts on May 15, 2017.

'God gave us hands to work so we have to work'

"My only satisfaction is that everyone dies. Even when the rich go, they leave the world with nothing", says a worker in the vast Indian textile factory that is the subject of 'Machines'.
from Daniel Nelson on May 17, 2017.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




Asian theatremakers have warned that a “severe lack of representation” on stage is resulting in Asian audiences abandoning the arts. The warning follows the release of a Department for Culture, Media, and Sport report that found Asian audience engagement to be lower than that for both black and white communities, and that it had decreased by seven percentage points over the past 10 years. Full story in The Stage


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.This month sees Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond and 100 Images of Migration. They will be followed by Keepsakes, a display of personal items that keep memories of migration and identity alive.


* Assata Taught Me's sell-out run at The Gate has been extended until 2 June.



Photo, below right:  Alchemy, the South Asian festival, is back at the Southbank Centre - 11 days of discussion, dance, performance, music, literature (and, yes, gift-shopping) from international and British artists. Now in its eighth year, it's billed as "the largest festival inspired by South Asian culture outside of the subcontinent."

Vintage Indian Matchbox Print: Steamship  

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson











* Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival. Programme includes 24 May, Sin Cities: Undercover in Pyongyang, Suki Kim, 6.45pm, £10/£8/£5. 25 May, The Girl Who Beat ISIS, Andrea C. Hoffmann and Diana Darke discuss the political climate in the Middle East, 6.45pm, £10/£8/£5. 26 May, Beauty and Pain in Pakistan, Nadeem Aslam in conversation with Maya Jaggi, 6.45pm, £15/10/£7.50. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/


Monday 22 May

* Bodies, places and spaces, readings exploring body, borders and place from Kayo Chingonyi's Kumukanda, Xiaolu Guo’s Once Upon a Time in the East, Eli Goldstone’s Strange Heart Beating, and Sophie Mackintosh, Jenna Clake and Susannah Dickey, 7—9:30pm, £8, The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2. Info: PEN

* Convergence and Divergence in the long-run development of China and India, Peter Nolan, 6.45pm, £3/£2, Friends of Le Monde,  70/77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:

* Islamism, Tarek Osman, 6:30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686


Tuesday 23 May

* Ghana 60 Years On: Mobilising for Ghana's Futurescreening of From Gold Coast to Ghana, a Glorious History of Self Determination, plus discussion, dance and drumming, with Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Baroness Valerie Amos, Richard Dowden, Paul Adom-Otchere, 5.45pm, £8 (free for students), School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Tickets

* Mining Conflicts in Chile - the British Connection, Lucio Cuenca Berger, 7pm, free, Room 243, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1. Info: Registration/

* Life Along the Mosquito Coast, photographer Guillaume Bonn discusses his new book on Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and Somalia, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, Shashi Tharoor, 6.30pm, Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, W1. Info: 7491 3567

* Banipal Book Club, discussion of The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi, 6.30pm, free, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, EC4. Info:

* Does Trump Threaten The World? Caroline Criado-Perez, Helen Lewis, Gary O'Donoghue, Larry Sanders, 7pm,  £16/£12, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1.


Wednesday 24 May

* UK general election: priorities for international development, Andrew Mitchell, Patrick Grady, Baroness Sheehan, Lord Collins, 5.30pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300/

* Post-land reform and the future of agriculture in Zimbabwe, Na Ncube, Ian Scoones, 7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1

* Extraction, Yara Sharif, Muna Dajani and others look at the current issues and examples of the effect of colonial practices on the environment, with a special focus on Israel and Palestine, 7pm, free, The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5. Info: 7370 9990

* Art and Activism, Onjali Raúf, Pranika Koyu, Vasuki Jeyasankar – Kamala Vasuki, 8.15pm, £10, Southbank Centre. Info:

* Carmignac Photojournalism Award: Documenting Libya, Mexican photographer Narciso Contreras discusses his recent work on the reality of human trafficking in Libya, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Madeleine Thien, author of The Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, 6-7pm, Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, WC2. Info: Foyles

* Global health inequalities as human rights violations, Gorik Ooms, 5:15pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:


Thursday 25 May

* Trump’s First 100 Days: No more NAFTA?, Rodrigo Aguilera and Jeronimo Mohar, 6-7.30pm, £10/£5, Canning House, 14/15 Belgrave Square, SW1. Info:  7811 5600/

* An evening with Samanta Schweblin and Mariana Enriquez, Argentinian literature, 6:30—8pm, £5, Waterstones Islington. Info:

* Primitivist Tourism and Anthropological Research: awkward relations, Rupert Stasch, 6pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686


Thursday 25-Sunday 28 May

* The Litro Literary Weekender: Ghana and Nigeria – A Literary High life, Clarke Peters, Patrice Lawrence, Nana Ocran, Theresa Lola, Victoria Anne-Bulley, Ato Quayson, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Zoe Adjonyoh, Margaret Busby, Yinka Shonibare, Ekow Eshu, Caleb Femi, Theresa Lola, Victoria Anne-Bulley, Charles Obiri-Yeboah, Dzifa Benson, Inua Ellams, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Irenosen Okojie, Waterstones London Piccadilly, 203–206 Piccadilly, St. James’s, W1. Info: Tickets


Friday 26 May

* The Sorrows of Mexico: Lydia Cacho and Anabel Hernandez in Conversation, 7pm, £5, Frontline Club, Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940


Tuesday 30 May

* Press Freedom, Activism and Writing in Eritrea: An Evening to Celebrate Dawit Isaak, readings and panel discussion, 7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1









Carmignac Photojournalism Award: Narcisco Contreras, the thoughts and observations of the photojournalist as he travelled through  post-Gaddafi Libya from February to June 2016, photographing the brutal reality of human trafficking, free, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King;s Road, SW3, until 16 June.


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


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 Beyondmultimedia exhibition + Images of Migration, Migration Museum at the Workshop,  26 Lambeth High Street, SE1, until 30 July. Info:

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


A Perilous Journey: Stories of Migration, following two men and two women on their journeys fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria and Iraq, free, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1, until 24 June. Info:  7898 4046/


Prix Pictet, the work of 12 shortlisted photographers for this year's annual environment-oriented photography prize, theme: 'Space', free, V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7, until 28 May


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


* 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


* Threads of Light,  group art exhibition showcasing work with heritage or interest in the Middle East, free, @P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, NW1, until 31 May. Info: 7121 6190


* Refugees: German Contribution to 20th Century British Art, free, Ben Uri Gallery, 108A Boundary Road, NW8, until 4 June. Info:


Selected Works by Eva Frankfurther (1930–1959), ‘West Indian, Irish, Cypriot and Pakistani immigrants, English whom the Welfare State had passed by, these were the people amongst whom I lived and made some of my best friends”, free, Ben Uri Gallery, 108A Boundary Road, NW8, until 18 June. Info:


* 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/

+ 10 June, Peace History Conference, Protest, Peace and Change, 9.30am-5pm, £20/students £5. Info: Booking

+ Britons and the fight for peace 

+ People Power


* 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


* Mahtab Hussain: You Get Me?, photographs exploring identity among young working-class British Asian men, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, EC2, until 1 July. Info:



from Tuesday 23 May

* British or Chinese? Stories of Migration, Family and Identity, 11am-4pm, China Exchange, 32A Gerrard Street, W1, until 27 May. Info: 7898 4832 + 23 May, The Chinese Labour Corps: Forgotten Faces of the Great War, 5-6pm, PENG Wenlan, The Chinese Labour Corps: Forgotten Faces of the Great War + 24 May, Education and the Social Mobility of Chinese Families in Scotland, 5-6pm, Eona Bell + 25 May, Identities Making among Ethnically Chinese Londoners, 5-6pm, Roman Kierst and LIU Jieyu


from Wednesday 24 May

* Life in Transit, photos  about life in the Calais Jungle and Dunkir refugee camps, free, Gallery 101, 101 Queen Victoria Street, EC4. Info:


Photo: Mohini Kent, author of Black Taj, a tale of the cruelties that took place during the 1947 partition of India, and Radhika Swarup, author of Where the River Parts, discuss the Partition of India this week as part of the Asia House Literature Festival.

Black Taj








Machines, atmospheric documentary filmed inside a huge Indian textile plant, Barbican, Crouch End Picturehouse, Picturehouse Hackney, ICA, Ritzy Brixton, Tricycle Kilburn

'God gave us hands to work so we have to work' 


* Letters From Baghdad, the story of British spy, explorer and political powerhouse Gertrude Bell who travelled in Arabia before being recruited by British military intelligence during WWI to help draw the borders of Iraq, 22 May, Kilburn Tricycle 23 May, Barnes Olympic Studios, Finchley Road, JW3 

* The War Show, devastatingly personal film in which radio host Obaidah Zytoon documents the reality of life in Syria following the 2011 Arab Spring, 6.30pm, £9/£7, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 25 May.


* Lost in Lebanon, follows four Syrians as they attempt to rebuild their lives in Lebanon, £9/£7, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 25 May  


Black Code, examines the complex global impact that the internet has had on matters of free speech, privacy and activism, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 25 May


* The Last Laugh, Mel Brooks, Larry Charles, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sarah Silverman, Ricky Gervais, Etgar Keret, Joan Rivers and other comedians star in film about the boundaries between humour and taboo subjects such as the Holocaust and antisemitism, Reel Borehamwood, until 25 May.


Monday 22 May

* Bombay, musical set against the Hindu-Muslim riots, with music by A R Rahman, 8.20pm, National Film Theatre

* The Power of the Weak, inspirational story of a young revolutionary activist who suffers from cerebral palsy, 7.30pm, Calthorpe Arms upstairs, 252 Grays Inn Road, WC1. Info: Club 60


from Wednesday 24 May

* Mixed Rootsfilms set in South Africa, the UK, Japan, Vietnam and Benin, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 7 June. Programme includes 24 May, Umbilical Cords, 31 May, Hafu, 7 June, Indochina: Traces Of A Mother


Thursday 25 May

* Cities of Sleep, documentary on the huge social and political pressure that sleep exerts on the homeless in Delhi, where securing a safe sleeping spot can br a question of life and death + Q&A, 6.20pm, £12.50/£10, Curzon Bloomsbury

* Gone Too Far, comedy drama playing on differences between people of Afrcian and Caribbean descent set on a London housing estate + panel discussion with writer Bola Agbaje and journalist Ismail Einashe + poetry, prizes and supper, £17.50/£25 (free for refugees and asylum seekers), Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, 25 New Inn Yard, EC2. Info:


from Friday 26 May

* Joshua: Teenager vs Superpower, when the Chinese Communist Party backtracks on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong, Joshua Wong decides to save his city by rallying thousands of kids to occupy the streets, Curzon Bloomsbury

* Machines, atmospheric documentary filmed inside a huge Indian textile plant, Curzon Bloomsbury, Picturehouse Central

'God gave us hands to work so we have to work' 

* The Other Side of Hope, Khaled, a Syrian refugee meets Wikström, a travelling salesman who leaves everything behind to run a restaurant in a remote part of Helsinki, Institut francais, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7, until 8 June. Info: 7871 3515/


Saturday 27 May

* Bombay, romantic musical set against the Hindu-Muslim riots, with music by A R Rahman, 5.45pm, National Film Theatre


from Sunday 28 May

* The Last Laugh, Mel Brooks, Larry Charles, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sarah Silverman, Ricky Gervais, Etgar Keret, Joan Rivers and other comedians star in film about the boundaries between humour and taboo subjects such as the Holocaust and antisemitism, Reel Borehamwoo, JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3, until 7 June. Info: 7433 8988


Monday 29 May

* Fear Eats the Soul, lovely, sad feature about a German cleaner who walks into a bar in an immigrant area and starts a relationship with a younger Moroccan mechanic, 8.30pm, Regent Street Cinema. Info: 7911 5050










Assata Taught Me, Kalungi Ssebandeke play exploring the black struggle across generations and genders, Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, W11, now extended until 2 June. Info: 7229 0706 

When US Black Power meets Cuban Blackie


* Occupational Hazards, based on the memoir by Rory Stewart about the time when, as a 30-year-old former British diplomat, he is posted to serve as governor in a province of post-invasion Iraq, Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, NW3, until 3 June. Info: 7722 9301/


* The Pulverised, drama about globalisation and its effects on our lives, Arcola, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 27 May. Info: 7503 1646/

+ The pulverising power of global industry


* Alchemy, dance, performance, music and literature showcasing cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. Programme includes until 29 May, My Grandad's Car, exploring notions of migration and heritage with a project between artists Sayed Hasan and Karl Ohiri; 23 May, #BritishIndian - a Work in Progress, coming-of-age story on the duality of being British and Indian in modern society; 23-24 May, The Diary of A Hounslow Girl, a coming of age story; 24 May, Performers, the lives of Bangladeshi garment workers; 29 May, Made in Britain, the follow up to Tez Ilyas’ hit stand-up show TEZ Talks; Southbank Centre. Belvedere Road


Tuesday 23 May

* The LUKAS Awards Ceremony, 7.45-8.30pm followed by Gente de Zona gig, £35/ £50, The Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, E1. Info: 0844 249 1000/


from Thursday 25 May

The Last Word Festival, live performances with a story to tell, including 28 May, The Things I Would Tell You, in which women writers of British Muslim heritage talk identity; and 7 JuneThe Good Immigrant Presents, with Musa Okwonga, Salena Godden and Vera Chok; 8 June, Coat, Yomi Sode on the line between Nigerian and British cultures; Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, NW1. Info:


from Tuesday 30 May

* Combustion, Asif Khan's comic take on the combustion surrounding young British Muslim lives in the north of England today, £12/ £17, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 24 June. Info: 7503 1646/

+ 15 June, post-show discussion with Asif Khan and company members










Monday 22 May

* War Crimes: Dead Reckoning, new series, 9pm, PBS America

* Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure, 11.15pm, BBC2

* Our Man in the Middle East, 1.45pm, R4

* After Independence, play by May Sumbwanyambe, 2/15pm, R4

* Crossing Continents: Banishing the Bad Hombres, 8.30pm, R4


Tuesday 23 May

* Our Man in the Middle East, 1.45pm, R4

* Costing the Earth: Future Forests, 3.30pm, R4


Wednesday 24 May

* Our Man in the Middle East, 1.45pm, R4

* Costing the Earth, 9pm, R4


Thursday 25 May

* The Truth About HIV, 9pm, BBC1

* Jago: A Life Underwater, an extraordinary Indonesian swimming hunter, 9pm, BBC4

* Our Man in the Middle East, 1.45pm, R4


Friday 26 May

* The Imperial Inversion of Cricket, 11am, R4

* Our Man in the Middle East, 1.45pm, R4