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South Asia's gift of tongues

The London Asian Film Festival is an eclectic mix of films, interviews, lectures, workshops, live performances, master classes and the annual short film competition.
from London Asian Film Festival on Mar 1, 2015.

Fiction becomes truth in Zambabwe

Two men and a woman in a Zimbabwean prison cell. A woman? Well, one of the characters in 'The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco' explains, it makes for a better play.
from Daniel Nelson on Mar 4, 2015.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld



From the editor


* Two interesting TV programmes this week make a serious attempt to address climate change, but the most important - and shocking - programme is on International Women's Day, 8 March: India’s Daughter, a documentary on the rape and killing in Delhi of a young medical student, Jyoti Singh, which uncovers some horrific attitudes to women and asks whether the attack has really spurred a sea-change for gender equality in India.

+ 'I made a film on rape in India. Men's brutal attitudes truly shocked me'


* 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. Dalia Taha's play, Fireworks (A 'Ab Nariya), looks at the impact of war on two children in Gaza, and Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre, puts one of the most controversial episodes in the ‘war on terror’ under the microscope. Zimbabwe is the setting for The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, in which prisoners have to decide whether a new inmate who claims to have spent the first years of independence hiding in a mountain cave is telling the truth. And there's a revival of Mustapha Matura's funny and poignant Carnival-time play about independence in Trinidad and Tabago, Play Mas.


* Domestically, Multitudes, set in Bradford on the eve of a Conservative Party conference when the country is in turmoil and waiting for a visit from the Prime Minister, tackles racism and religion. In Black, “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.”  Britain's past, this time in the Caribbean, features in Honey Man, where a reclusive man trying to save his bees in rural England meets a young heiress and discovers a secret which connects their past and destiny in ways they could never have imagined.


* Many of these productions have occasional post-performance discussions on issues raised by the plays,, so it's worth checking when booking,


* Below, right: "It’s impossible to translate the horror and violence of Gaza into theatre, Palestinian writer Dalia Taha told the audience in one of several post-show Q&As after a performance of Fireworks: “It’s unimaginable.”


Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson






Sunday 1-Sunday 8 March
* WOW: Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Ro9ad. Info :0844 847  99100844 847  9910/ 0844 847 9910

Sunday 1-Tuesday 31 March
* Women's History Month in east London. Info: Programme includes
7-14 March, International Women's Week in Tower Hanmlets, East London Chinese Community Centre, HEBA Women’s Project, Jagonari Women’s Resource Centre, Kollun, Leaders in Community, Limehouse Project, Mohila Ongon Association, Muslim Women’s Collective, Nari Diganta, Poplar HARCA, Praxis, Udichi Shilpi Gosthi and others. Programme:


wednesday 4 March
A New Kind of Capitalism, Muhammad Yunus, 7pm, The Mermaid Theatre, Puddle Dock, Blackfriars, EC4. Info:
* The Bottom Line: Beauty, Body Image and Teenage Girls, Yang-May Ooi, Jee OH, Sally Gloyne, 6.30pm, free, Nehru Centre,  8 South Audley Street, W1. Info: 7491 3567/ 7493 2019
* First Wednesday, current affairs discussion, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/
* Spatial politics of prostitution in London, Delhi and Lima, Paulo Drinot, Julia Laite, Stephen Legg, 5.30-7.30pm, UCL – Institute of the Americas,  51 Gordon Square, WC1. Info: 3018 9721/
* Yes, it is a Curse: politics and the adverse impact of natural-resource riches, Francesco Caselli, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2
* Nationalism in Africa: aspiration, self-improvement and belonging, Heike I. Schmidt, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2

* Feminism, Stella Sandford, 7pm, £3, redeemable against any purchase, Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, N1. Info: 7837 4473/

* Reaching Every Woman and Every Newborn: The Post-2015 Research Agenda, Peter Brocklehurst, Richard Horton, Joy Lawn, Gwyneth Lewis, Matthews Matthai, Bob Pattinson, Lesley Regan, 9am-5pm, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place, NW1. Info:


Thursday 5 March
* The Extreme Present: An evening of self-help for Planet Earth, Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ben Hammersley, Daniel Glaser, Mike Ellis, Sophia Al Maria, 7pm, £15/£30, Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, SW1. Info:
* Tackling the Great Challenges of the 21st Century, Sir Paul Nurse, Nicholas Stern, 6.30-8pm, free, Royal Society, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7969 5200/
Little Emperors and Material Girls, Jemimah Steinfeld, 6.30-8pm, £87/£6/£5, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, W1. Info: 7307 5454/
* A Historical perspective on the maternal health work of WHO, Julianne Weis, 12:45-2pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:
On Civil Disobedience,  Kimberley Brownlee, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2
* Why We Should Talk to Terrorists, Jonathan Powell, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2
* Beyond the Cold War: how summits shaped the new world order, Kristina Spohr, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2

Friday 6 March
* Palestinian Olive Groves, farmer Mohammad Irsheid and Zaytoun’s Palestinian director Taysir Arbasi1, 12.30-1.30pm, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, EC4. Info:
* The Life and Legacy of Claudia Jones, Judy Richards, Mary Davis, Marika Sherwood and Alex Pascall, 6pm, Congress House, Great Russell Street, WC1. Info: 7467 1292/ 7467 1220/

Friday 6-Sunday 8  March
* Family medicine: global impact, Sir Andy Haines, Hernan Montenegro, Santanu Chattopadhyay, Phil Cotton, Royal College of General Practitioners, 30 Euston Square. Info:


Saturday 7 March

* Time to Act, climate Change march, assembly point: Lincoln Inns Fields, 12:30pm. Info:

* Tibet Freedom March & Rally, to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising and calling for action to restore Tibetan human rights and freedom. gather from 11am, march starts 11.30am at Richmond Terrace (opposite Downing Street), Whitehall, march to Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus and finish outside the Chinese Embassy, rally at about 1pm outside the Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, W1. Info:

* The Winning of The Carbon War, Jeremy Leggett, 2pm, £5, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, WC1. Info: London Futurists


Monday 9 March

* Putting employment at the centre of economic transformation, Laura Rodriguez Takeuchi, Anna Rosengren, Moses Ogwal, Rolph van der Hoeven, Claudia Pompa, Glowen Kyei-Mensah, William Smith, 9.30am-1.15pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* Launch of the OECD DAC peer review of UK development cooperation, Erik Solheim, Mark Lowcock, Sir Malcolm Bruce MP, Simon Maxwell, 3-4.30pm, free, Houses of Parliament, SW1. Info: 7922 0300

* Ebola: inside an epidemic, Jeremy Farrar, Melissa Leach, Neil Ferguson, Christopher Whitty, Sally Davies, 6:30—8pm,  free, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7451 2500

* What is the Responsibility to Protect?, Michael Walzer, 6pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2


Tuesday 10 March
* From crisis to sustainable health: lessons from the Ebola outbreak, Margaret Chan, 5:30-6:30pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info:







* 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: 


* The Palestinian Olive Harvest, photographs by Nick Pickard, free, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, EC4, until 6 March. Info: 7832 1310/ Arab British Centre

+ Friday 6 March, Meet farmer Mohammad Irsheid and Zaytoun’s Palestinian director Taysir Arbasi, 1, 12.30-1.30pm. 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 

7 March, curator's tour, 3pm; 19 March, curator's talk, Mark Sealy; 26 March, Useful Images?, 6.30pm

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

+ Rights exhibition hits a wrong note


* 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


* Dwellings, Carlos Reyes-Manzo's photographs from some 25 countries, covering issues linked to the concept of dwellings and boundaries, The Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, WC1 until 20 March. Info:


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


* 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?


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/


from Thursday 5 March

* 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. Info: 7613 7498

+ 5 March, Open House, 6-8pm, followed by exhibition launch event: Defying the Laws of Gravity: From Images to Issues - the journey of Bangladeshi photographers, excerpt from the film Bangladesh: Seen from Within and Q&A with Shahidul Alam


from Friday 6 March
* 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
+ 15 March, Celebrating Jamaican Mothers, discussion, 2pm, free
+ 21 March, Ask the Archivist, Charlie Phillips looks at your artefacts, 2pm, free
+ 19 March, school guided tour and presentation by 12 students
+ 29 March, Black River Chocolate, Marvia Biorrel, 2pm, free
+ Pages ripped from Jamaican history


Image:  What Tomorrow Brings follows a year in the life of the first all-girls school in a remote, conservative Afghan village. It's screening at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in mid-March

What Tomorrow Brings




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

+ Caught in the act

* Selma,  biopic of Martin Luther King's campaign for equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965,


* Citizenfour, documentary about whistleblower Edward Snowden, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:



Wednesday 4 March
* Last Call: The Untold Reasons of the Global Crisis, documentary about the book Limits to Growth and its inmpact, followed by panel discussion with Camilla Born, Catherine Cameron, David Powell, Tim Jackson, 6.45–9.30pm, Committee Room 11, House of Commons, SW1. Info:


Thursday 5 March

* Notes from Lagos, documentary, 7pm, £3, Goethe Institute, 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, SW7. Info: 75964000

* Enemies of Happiness, In 2003 Malalai Joya challenged the power of warlords in Afghanistan's new government: Two years later she ran in the country's first democratic parliamentary election in over 30 years + Q&A with Zillah Bowes, Birkbeck Cinema, 3pm, £5, Birkbeck cinema, 41 Gordon Square,  WC1. Infoi: 7631 6000/


from Thursday 5 March

* Open Bethlehem, when Leila Sansour returned to Bethlehem, the town where she grew up, with a camera and small crew she was shocked and saddened by what she found, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info:


from Friday 6 March
Difret, based on the true story of Hirut, a young girl who escapes abduction in to marriage, and the human rights lawyer who challenges this tradition by representing her case
+ Ethiopian government shoots itself in the foot


Sunday 8 March
* Ghosts, dramatisation of the story of 23 Chinese illegal immigrants who drowned whilst cockle-picking in Morecambe bay in 2004 and how supermarket chains and unscrupulous gangland bosses trade in exploitation and fear, free, Photographers' Gallery, Ramillies Street, W1. Info: 7087 9300






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

+ 11 March, Representing India, Sunil Khilnani, Ian jack, Rachel Dwyer, 2-5pm


* 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

+ 18 March, Nadia Fall and Tanya Ronder discuss the production, 6pm

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

+ Mughal history play meets courtroom drama


* Fireworks, play by Dalia Taha, set in a Palestinian town where two children are playing in their apartment block and as the siege intensifies outside, fear for their safety becomes as crippling as the conflict itself, £10/£20, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, until 14 March. Info: 7565 5000/ Royal Court

+ Light the blue touchpaper and stand clear - if you can

+ 5 March, Palestinian poet Fajir Tamimi talks about conflicts in her homeland with music by Yaz Fentazi, 10pm, £5 or free with ticket
+ 7 March, Women and Children in Gaza, discussion led by Reem Abu Jaber + short film and sharing of new play in progress by Gazan writer Nahil Mohana, 12.30pm, £5 or free with Fireworks ticket


* Multitudes, as the nation questions immigration policies and military support in the Middle East, a family faces a conflict of faith, belonging and who gets to call themselves British, Tricycle, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6, until 21 March. Info: 7328 1000/ 7372 6611/

+ 4 March, post show Q&As:  free with ticket price 

+ 11 March, discussion, Women & Islam, 6.15-7.15pm, £5

+ 18 March, discussion, Our Essential Values – The end of multiculturalism and  the future of diversity in the UK, 6.15-7.15pm, £5

+ A play for our (election) time

+ Natalie's road to Islam in an election battered Britain


* The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco, three prisoners in 1986 Zimbabwe are confronted by an inmate claiming to be a freedom fighter who has spent years hiding: they must discover the truth and confront their own memories of the struggle to ask: what is the true value of liberation?, Gate Theatre, 11 Pembridge Road, W11 until 21 March. Info: 7229 0706

+ Fiction becomes truth in Zimbabwe

* The Indian Queen, reworking of Purcell’s unfinished opera about the initial confrontation between Europeans and the Mayans through a personal account from the female perspective, based on a book by Nicaraguan author Rosario Aguilar, English National Opera, Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, WC2, until 14 March. Info: 7845 9300/


* Chicken Dust, "A hard hitting exploration of the human cost of our enormous appetite for cheap meat," Finborough Theatre, Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, SW10, until 17 March. Info: 7244 7439, 0844 847 165/ 0844 847 1652/


Wednesday 4 March

* The Honey Man is an ageing recluse from the Caribbean, trying to save his dying bees in a derelict cottage on the edge of rural England. Into his world bursts a 16-year-old girl, a fiery, weed-smoking heir to the nearby manor house which in turn leads to the discovery of a secret which connects them in ways they could never have imagined, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8. Info: 8692 4446


Thursday 5-Sunday 8 March

* No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, young Muslim women and boxing, 60-minute play - standing only, £15, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 0844 875 0073/ Southbank presentation







Wednesday 4 March
* Nature's Great Events, elephant migration in Botswana, 8pm, BBC4
* Climate Change: A Horizon Guide, 9pm, BBC4
* Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice, 10pm, BBC4
* Nature's Great Events, midnight, BBC4
* Costing the Earth, buffalo hunting, 9pm, R4

Thursday 5 March
* The Romanians Are Coming, last in series examines the causes of the country's large-scale migration, 11pm, C4
* Climate Change By Numbers, a look at the evidence, 10pm, BBC4
* Writing a New South Africa: Cape Town, 11.30am, R4


Sunday 8 March

* India’s Daughter, documentary on the rape and killing of a young medical student, Jyoti Singh, which asks whether the attack has really spurred a sea-change for gender equality in India, BBC4

+ 'I made a film on rape in India. Men's brutal attitudes truly shocked me'