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Developing countries at the London Film Festival

I have a feeling that Africa, Asia and Latin America are a diminishing presence in the annual London Film Festival. Here’s a first glance at what’s on offer.
from Daniel Nelson on Sep 16, 2014.

Macbeth lives and dies in the Congo

Shakespeare’s Macbeth meets Italian composer Giuseppi Verdi meets South African director Brett Bailey: the result is sensational.
from Daniel Nelson on Sep 18, 2014.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* This was always going to cause a row: the Barbican is facing criticism over a planned installation (23-27 September) by the white South African playwright Brett Bailey, which features live models including a black man in a cage and a semi-naked black woman with a slave shackle around her neck. Now the Islamic Human Rights Commission has added its voice to the protesters: "While the stated purpose of the exhibition, according to its creator Brett Bailey, is to force western audiences to confront the atrocities of their forefathers, IHRC believes that it objectifies the black models taking part in the same way as the slaves they are said to represent. The exhibition has already been seen in various European capitals amid reports that some visitors have racially abused the actors.


"IHRC believes that the experiences of slavery and racism can be better represented without reproducing the same racism it purports to challenge."


The commission's chairman, Massoud Shadjareh, says: "The Barbican should listen to the voices of those people of colour who are still suffering the indirect consequences of colonialism which are saying that more than highlighting the horrors of slavery this type of re-enaction abuses those actors taking part and simply reproduces the racism of the original human zoos."


*  The V&A museum has three interesting shows about protest: Disobedient Objects, featuring objects from around the world created by grassroots movements as tools of social change; the small but innovative Rapid Response Collecting, in which objects such as Indonesian-made false eyelashes and a pair of Bangladesh-made trousers tell us something about our world today; and  A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution, from the votes for women campaigns of the early 20th century to the Occupy movements,

The Rubbish Collection at the nearby Science Museum is now in its second phase.Having captured every item thrown out by museum staff and visitors over the previous month, artist Joshua Sofaer showcases the value and beauty that can be found in the mountain of waste.


*  Two fascinating theatre productions are promised at the National Theatre for later this year. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by David Hare is based on Katherine Boo's book about a group of Indians 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.

The other is Here Lies Love, a musical that traces the astonishing journey of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace. The theatre "will be 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.


* Below, right: 'Here Lies Love', coming up at the National Theatre, traces the journey of Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace. 

Here Lies Love traces the astonishing journey of Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, from her meteoric rise to power to descent into infamy and disgrace.

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson






11-27 September

Conflict Kitchen, culinary experience combining food from Burma, Jordan and Peru with an opportunity to learn about prospects for peace, Monikers Restaurant, 16 Hoxton Square, N1. Info:


Saturday 20 September

* Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group annual conference, Kjersti Bartos, Fernando Losado, Philip Pearson, launch of third edition of the '1 Million Climate Jobs' booklet plus workshop on 'Students, Environment and Climate Jobs', Skype links with representatives of the Climate Jobs movement in South Africa and US and British trade unionists who will be on the New York "People's Climate March" on 21 September, speaker from the Paris coalition preparing mass action at the UN climate talks in December 2015, midday-5pm, London Metropolitan University Tower Building, Holloway Road. Info:


Saturday 20–Sunday 21 September

* Peace Weekend, fold an origami paper crane to commemorate World Peace Day and join a drop-in discussion for young people, 11.30am-12.30pm and 2.30-3.30pm, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1. Info: 7416 5000/


Sunday 21 September

* Climate rally, starting at Temple Place, Victoria Embankment, WC2 at 12.30pm and finishing outside the Houses of Parliament, with a group photo; from 2.30pm, guest speakers and an interactive video installation, ahead of the UN climate change conference in New York. Info: Clinate Coalition


Monday 22 September

* Democracy: Even The Best ideas Can Fail, Francis Fukuyama, David Runciman, 7pm, £30, Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, W1S


Monday 22-Tuesday 23 September

* Arctic sea ice reduction: the evidence, models, and global impacts, The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7451 2500


Tuesday 23 September

* Conflict and Disaster Reporting: Does the Public Still Care?, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 

* South Africa's Democracy — Mandela's "Cherished Ideal", Moeletsi Mbeki, 6.30-8.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2 (in association with the exhibition of the same name, see Exhibitions)

* Financing Africa's Future: infrastructure, investment and opportunity, Donald Kaberuka, Sir Paul Collier, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2

* Inside Alcatel Lucent, Douglas Coupland, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/


Wednesday 24 September

* Finding the agriculture policy to keep feeding Africa, Anna Locke, Blessings Chinsinga, Hannington Odame, Hussein Mahmoud, Ian Scoones, Jeremy Lind, Jim Sumberg, John Thompson,Naomi Oates, Roger Calow, Ruth Hall, Seth Cook, Steve Wiggins, 9.30am-5pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300

* Political Order and Political Decay, Francis Fukuyama, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* From Al Qaeda to ISIS: Terrorists Tactics, Peter Neumann, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Patrick Cockburn, Alia Brahimi, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940

* Ten Facts about Energy and Growth, Michael Greenstone,  6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2


Thursday 25 September

* Cultural Activism/Cultural Diplomacy, San Zaw Htway and Karl Ingar Røys on the role of artistic activism in transitional societies, 6.30pm, free, John Jones Project Space, The Arts Building, Morris Place, N4. Info: Booking 

* Inequality and the 1%, Danny Dorling, 1pm, free, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* Peace Talks – The New Face of Conflict, discussion, 6pm, Hoxton Gallery, 9 Kingsland Road, E2

* Growth, Policy and Institutions: lessons from the Indian experience, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Tim Besley, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2


Friday 26 September

* 'Nowhere People': A World Literature Series event, Paulo Scott, 7pm, London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, WC1. Info: 7269 9030/

* Formality Bias: the habits holding Africa back, Dayo Olopade, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2


Sunday 28 September

* No Pressure to be Funny, satirical panel with Dan Smith and James O’Brien, The Phoenix,  37 Cavendish Square, W1. Info: 7493 8003


Monday 29 September

* Former hackers in conversation, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Jake Davis, 5.30pm, livestreamed on the Royal Court website and on, 5.30pm, £10, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square. Info: 7565 5000/ 

* The Yellow Peril by Christopher Frayling, 6:20-7:20pm, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1. Info:

Wanton Sacrifice - the Shocking price of the Afghan warFrank Ledwidge, 6.45pm, £3/£2, Friends of Le Monde, The Gallery, 70/77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:  





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 


The Amahoro Generation: The youth of Rwanda talk peace, exhibition by Carol Allen-Storey that documents stories of young Rwandans born amid the horrors of the genocide, and their hopes for ‘amahoro’ (peace), free, The Slice, Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walkway, by Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, SE1, until 28 September.


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

+ 1 October, In Conversation, Abad talks about his work, 7pm


Watermark, Edward Burtynsky photographs, which coincides with the release of the film Watermark, Flowers, 21 Cork Street, W2, until 4 October. Info: 7439 7766/


* People in London: One photographer. Five years. The life of a city, exhibition of over 400 photographs and video shorts on the ethnic, social and religious diversity in London by Richard Slater, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7, until 17 October.


Karokoa, Verdon-Roe's photographs of life in Kiribati, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, until 28 September. Info: 7613 7498


South Africa's Democracy — Mandela's "Cherished Ideal", photographs, documents and artefacts, 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2, until 26 September. Info: 7849 4909


Whose Gaze Is It Anyway?, exhibition that looks at the history of Arab pop culture through printed matter – posters, notebooks, diaries and book covers, as well as film and video, free, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 5 October. Info: 


Wetiko, Cowboys And Indigenes, Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam'd exploration of the media manipulation of news, free, Rose ISSA Projects, W1, until 3 October. Info: 7602 7700


* 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/ 


Bewitched, Bedazzled, Bewildered, Rebecca Campbell's paintings of Indian life, free, Jonathan Cooper, SW10, until 27 September. Info: 7313 6000


* Dust, Nadev Kander's photographs of radioactive cities on the Kazakh-Russian border, free, Flowers Kingsland Road, E2, until 11 October. Info: 7920 7777


Burmese Days, Karl Ingar Roys' video installation on cultural production in Yangon, free, Thursdays and Fridays, John Jones Project Space, N4, until 27 September. Info: 7281 5439


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


Omar Ba: State of Emergency, solo exhibition by Senegalese artist, Hales Gallery, E1, until 4 October. Info: 7033 1938

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/ 0870 444 38510870 444


* Mark Veville's Afghanistan photographs, slow motion films and large photographic portraits of young Afghan children and British soldiers, free, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1 until 25 September. Info: 7416 5000/ 


* Empire, Faith and Wire: The Sikhs and World War One, Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC2, until 28 September. Info: 7898 4259/ 


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 25 September

* Constructing Worlds, 20th and 21st century architecture through the eyes of 18 photographers, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2, until 11 January. Info: 0845 120 7511



Image: Indian farmers' sign designed to stop officials from barging into their homes: part of the Disobedient Objects exhibition at the V&A Museum that looks innovative ways of protesting devised by movements for social change.  

Indian farmers sign




* Night Will Fall, documentary about the Allies' plans to make a film about the Nazi death camps, which never got shown, BFI Southbank, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Hackney Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse, Hampstead Everyman, Clapham Picturehouse, Brixton Ritzy, Gate Notting Hill, Curzon Soho

* Finding Fela, documentary about the Nigerian star, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 21 September, Ritzy Brixton, Finchley Road JW3 

Search for the singer with death in his pouch


* Safar: The Festival of Popular Arab Cinema, including UK premieres and Arab classics,  Q&As and a day-long forum with significant figures in Arab cinema, until 25 September. Info: Festival

+ 20 September, Chaos, Disorder, captures the spirit of an evolving Egypt + director Q&A

+ The Saturday Forum, brings together significant figures in Arab cinema 

+ 21 September, Kit Kat, Egyptian comedy  voted one of the 10 best Arab films of all time

+ 23 September, Salvation Army, semi-autobiographical tale of a graduate navigating the sexual, racial and political intrigue surrounding his arrival in Geneva

+ 24 September, West Beirut, set during the 1975 civil war it is a heart-warming story of two young boys whose world is fuelled by political violence


Saturday 20 September

* B for Boy, superb feature set in contemporary Nigeria about a pregnant, 40 year-old-wife and mother who desperately wants a son, 2pm (plus conversation with Nadia Denton about her new book on Nigerian film-making, 11am), National Film Theatre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232

+ It's a boy - or is it?


Sunday 21 September

* Nigeria Through a Lens, selection of documentaries about extraordinary Nigerian artists, including George Osodi: Kings of Nigeria (following acclaimed photographer's pictures of oil spills and traditional monarchs), Emeka Okereke: Invisible Borders (about the founder of a trans-African initiative that unites 10 Nigerian artists on a cross-country road trip), and JD ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Master Photographer, 3.10pm, £6.50, BFI, Belvedere Road, SE1.  Info: 7928 3232

* Mother of George, fascinating feature about a young Nigerian wife living in New York who is driven to despair as she tries for a baby, BFI, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232

+  It's a boy - or is it?

*  Grass:  A Nation's Battle for Life, 1925 silent documentary that follows a branch of the Bakhtiari tribe of Persia as they and their herds make their seasonal journey to better pastures, plus live music by the Turbans, 7.30pm, £10, Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, E8. Info:


Tuesday 23 September

*   I am Chut Wutty, exposure of the fierce battle against illegal logging in Cambodia + Q&A with director Fran Lambrick,  £10/£8, The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 74798940/


Thursday 25 September

* Red Lines, the story of Razan and Mouaz, two Syrian activists from vastly different walks of life, thrown together by the circumstances of war, followed by a Skype Q&A with Razan, 8pm, £7/£5, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498


25 September-8 October

* City Visions, a season of films, talks and debates, including 26 September, Ecopolis China; 27 September, La Haine, explosive 24 hours in the life of three young men from a Paris banlieue; 28 September, Footsteps in Jerusalem, personal stories of how the city has changed + talk with Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi and Yael Friedman;  29 September, Manila in The Claws of Light, a provincial newcomer is sucked into the city's lower depths; Lagos Wide and Close - An Interactive Journey Into An Exploding City; 30 September, People's Park, single-shot journey through a park in Chengu; 1 October, Cairo Drive, street-level portrait of a city + discussion with Sherief Elkatsha and Alisa Lebow; 2 October, Calle Lopez, a day in one of Mexico City's busiest street; Megacities - Twelve Stories of Survival; 3 October, Spike Lee's classic feature about race, Do The Right Thing; 5 October, Sao Paulo, A Metropolitan Symphony, an 85-year-old silent; Neighbouring Sounds, the hiring of a security firm to police a Recife street triggers an exploration into residents' lives; 6 October, Amit Chaudhuri introduces Satyajit Ray's portrait of 1950s Calcutta, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2. Info: 0845 120 7511


Friday 26, Saturday 27 September

* The One Man Village, humorous,  poignant, documentary about the only inhabitant of Ain al-Halazoun in the Lebanese mountains whose other inhabitants have fled the civil war, 6pm/8.40pm, BFI, Belvedere Road, SE1. Info: 7928 3232


Friday 26-Sunday 28 September

* Dogwoof Weekender, ICA, The Mall, SW1. Info: Six documentaries distributed by Dogwoof include:

Concerning Violence, based on Frantz Fanon’s book 'The Wretched of The Earth', examines the African struggle for independence from colonial rule; and Manakamana, a dreamy art-doc in which an unmoving camera captures Nepalese pilgrims on their cable car to worship at the Manakamana temple

+  Elevent journeys in a Nepalese cable-car





* Eye of A Needle, the ads describe it as a "provocative, topical and savagely funny ... [that] gets under the skin of a system branded by both Left and Right as ‘not fit for purpose’, £16/£18, previews £10, Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1, until 20 September. Info: 7407 0234

+ What goes on in the eye of the immigration needle


* Albion, new play set in an East End boozer that examines the turbulent 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


* Third World Bunfight: Macbeth after Verdi, multifaceted, radical work that puts a spotlight on post-colonial Africa, with a reconstructed score sung by a South African ensemble, 7.45pm, The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1, until 20 September. Info: Barbican

+ Macbeth lives and dies in Congo


* The Greene Card: The Unbelievable, Yet Completely True, Story of a Brown Boy in a White World, Sevan Kaloustian takes on racism, £10/£13, The Space, E14, until 20 September. Info: 7515 7799

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

+ Saturday 4 October, Cryptoparty, sharing the art of encryption, 11am, free, Royal Court bar & kitchen

+ Hacking democracy: Tim Price on his new play


Saturday 20 September

* Enig-mas, inspired by Kazi Nazrul Islam's novel, Kuhelika, and his music and poetry, playwright Raminder Kaur sets this piece in 1930s India and 2000s Britain with a series of incidents inextricably linked through intrigue, sorrow, humour and happiness, 7.30pm, £10/£8, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7498

* The Rehearsal Room Presents, salon-style night of theatre curated and hosted by Yasmeen Khan, featuring rehearsed readings of new plays, live music, interviews and performances: line up includes an extract from Shoreditch Bitch. Punjabi Boy, by Amman Paul Singh Brar, that takes in the journey of a British Asian man from private school to middle age, looking at how his reactions to prejudice and love will shape his life, 7.45pm, £8/£6, Rich Mix, 35-747 Bethnal Green Road. Info: 7613 7408 


Sunday 21 September

* World Jamboree, Silk Road, Abdelkader Saadoun, Nikki Slade, Yan Yates, Toni Green, Ashley Knight, Sebastian Blake, Namvula, in support of Health Poverty Action’s women’s health programmes in Africa and Myanmar, 6.30pm, £17.50/£14.50/ children £5, including vegetarian buffet, Jewish Museum, Raymond Burton House, Albert Street, NW1. Info: 7840 3760


Monday 22 September 

* Are You Taking the Peace?, Rich Hall, Stewart Francis, Holly Walsh, Matt Rees, Daniel Simonsen, Nick Revell, Alistair Barrie, part of International Alert's Talking Peace Festival, 8pm, £15/£10, The Comedy Store, Haymarket House, 1A Oxendon Street, SW1. Info: 0844 871 7699


Tuesday 23 September

* A four day week – Is it possible?, Anna Coote, part of the theatre's Economic Burlesque series, £10/£7, Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street, NW8. Info: 7258 2925


23-27 September

* Third World Bunfight, Exhibit B, replicates the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays that showed Africans as objects of scientific curiosity through the 19th and early 20th centuries, translated here into 12 tableaux, each featuring motionless performers placed in settings drawn from real life: "Collectively they confront colonial atrocities committed in Africa, European notions of racial supremacy and the plight of immigrants today", The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1. Info:  Barbican

+  Exhibit B – facing the appalling reality of Europe's colonial past





Monday 22 September

* Storyville: The Himalayan Boy and the TV Set, docmentary about the effect of the arrival of TV in a remote village, 10pm, BBC4

* Nature's Indestructible Creatures, 11.10pm, BBC4

* Crossing Continents: Ivory Coast's School for Husbands, 8.30pm, R4

* Shared Planet: Ground Nesting Birds, 9pm, R4 


Tuesday 23 September

* The Wonder of Aninmals, great ape brains, 8.30pm, BBC4

* Hotel India, documentary series, 11.20pm, BBC2

* Shared Planet: Are We Getting Used to less Wildlife?, 11am, R4


Wednesday 24 September

* Costing the Earth: Power to the People, 9pm, R4


Thursday 25 September

* Wadjda, delightful film about a 12-year-old Saudi girl who commits a revolutionary act - she saves up and buys a bike,11am Film4

A delightful film - from a land with no cinemas


Friday 26 September

* Unreported World, new series for the modest but invaluable current affairs series of unadorned on-the-spot reports, ebola in west Africa, 7.30pm, C4