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How war fractures childhood

“There’s no-one in the streets but us. You run that way and I’ll run this way. Whoever gets back to the front door first without getting shot, wins.”
from Royal Court on Jan 31, 2015.

Mughal history play meets courtroom drama

'Dara' is a British Asian mix of courtroom drama and Shakespearean history play performed with curved swords and fortune-telling fakirs..
from Daniel Nelson on Jan 28, 2015.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor


* Art collective Liberate Tate has today thrown £240,000 of specially designed BP/Tate money from the Members Room inside Tate Britain, down into the main entrance of the galleries branded The BP Walk Through British Art. The performance, titled 'The Reveal', was carried out days after Tate has been forced by the British courts to reveal that the amount of sponsorship money it received from BP was an average of £240,000 a year between 1990 and 2006.


Shortly after 10am, eight people inside the Tate Britain Members Room, clothed entirely in black encircled the upper rotunda in the centre of the room. After donning black veils, the performers began to slowly throw bank notes into the central space, for them to flutter down into the main entrance hall. After all £240,000 had been thrown, the performers silently left the building. The bank notes featured the head of Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota on one side, and the former BP CEO and Chair of Tate Trustees John Browne on the other. The 'Bank of Tate' notes each state: 'Tate promises to preserve the social licence to operate of oil company BP'.


Jane Shellac, who was one of the performers, said: “Tate has fought so hard to keep the amount of money it’s getting from BP secret because everyone thought it was going to be much larger. Our performance today is another way to imagine what BP money looks like inside the gallery. Newly revealed minutes show Tate acknowledges a growing and significant reputational risk of it being associated with one of the most environmentally damaging companies in the world. We now know that it's entirely possible for Tate to drop BP and thrive without this comparatively small, but hugely tainted source of income.”


The performance took place on the fifth anniversary of Liberate Tate’s existence. The art collective was formed at a workshop on Disobedience in Tate Modern on 30 January 2010. Tate staff attempted to censor the contents of the workshop to exclude actions around sponsors, and Liberate Tate was born out of discussion and action at the workshop.



* Only a few days left to see Disobedient Objects, fascinating exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum that looks at objects that have been made for use in movements for social change.


* Plays in the first part of the year include Liberian Girl, which tells one teenage girl’s story of survival in the Liberian civil war; Upper Cut at the Southwark Playhouse -  Seventy percent of my constituents are white, Karen. I have to be a politician, who ‘happens’ to be black. Not a black man who ‘happens’ to be a politician”; while Dara spans the lives of two 17th century Moghul Indian princes from cradle to grave: "An intense domestic drama of global consequence – for India then and for our world now."


February sees The Singing Stones (Arcola), which gives voice to the women who snitched on Gaddafi, marched on Tahrir Square and defended the bloody borders of Kurdistan. Multitudes at The Tricycle is set on the eve of a Conservative Party conference when the country is in turmoil and waiting for a visit from the Prime Minister. Kash, a liberal British Muslim, prepares his address to politicians about the state of the nation. His girlfriend Natalie, a recent convert to Islam, cooks for anti-war protesters gathered at the town hall. Lyn, her mother, moans to everyone about the decline of her cherished England.  It’s all too much for Kash’s daughter Khadira, who begins to plan a radical intervention. Dalia Taha's play, Fireworks (Al'Ab Nariya), at the Royal Court gives a new way of seeing how war fractures childhood, and True Brits is by young British Asian playwright Vinay Patel that sweeps between the paranoid London of 2005 and the euphoric city of the 2012 Olympics. It's about being British of Asian descent, coming of age, falling in love, and finding a place in a society that distrusts you simply for the way you look.


The Arcola returns in March with Shrapnel: 34 Fragments of a Massacre. It looks at one of the most controversial episodes in the ‘war on terror’: Pentagon officials saw a huddle of people – unarmed smugglers, with mules – treading their familiar path across the Turkish-Iraqi border. Days later, the Turkish military dropped bombs on the group, killing 34 civilians.


And at The Albany in March, Black goes to the heart of racial tensions in the UK  - and includes a live DJ set from MC Chunky: “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.”


*  Behind the Beautiful Foreversbased on Katherine Boo's book about a group of residents in a Mumbai shantytown, continues at the National Theatre. Elsewhere,. The Scottsboro Boys, is 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: The Singing Stones takes in Tahrir Square, the torture of a young puppeteer in Syria, movements across the Syrian-Turkish border, Tunisia on the eve of a seismic political change, Colonel Gadaafi at the end of a drainpipe in Libya, Kurdish fighters, and Camberwell, where a group of women are making a play about women and the Arab revolution.


The Singing Stones

Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson







Saturday 31 January

* On Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, £8/£5, 2.30pm, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 07599 566 14 


Monday 2 February
* Digital Media and Political Activism, Joss Hands, 6.45pm, 6.45pm, £3/£2, The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:
* Hezbollah, Islamist Politics and International Society, Filippo Dionigi, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6198


Tuesday 3 February

* Burma rights demo, help deliver more than 2,000 rose-tinted glasses, petitions and campaign postcards as part of campaign to persuade the British government to stop looking at Burma through rose-tinted glasses, and return to putting human rights as their top priority there, 11.30am, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, SW1. Info:

* Asylum and Exile: The Hidden Voices of London, Bidisha, 6:45pm, £5/£3, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1. Info: 7324 2570/

* The Shape of Things to Come: How our changing demographic structure will shape future society and health, Chris Whitty, 6pm, free, Museum of London, London Wall, EC2. Info: 7831 0575/

* Experiences of working with Save the Children on Ebola, Louisa Baxter, 12:45-1:45pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medecine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, WC1. Info:

* Tibetan Democracy in Exile and the Future of Sino-Tibetan Relations, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, 6.30-8.30pm 309 Regent Street, W1. Info: 7911 5000

* "Not in Our Name": contesting the (mis) use of psychological arguments in the immigration debate, Steve Reicher, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6043.

* The Butterfly Defect, Ian Goldin, 6.30-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6198

* Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads, Caroline Knowles, 5pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info:


Wednesday 4 February

* Financing for sustainable development, Jeffrey Sachs, Romilly Greenhill, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, 12.30pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300/

*  Africa’s Islamic State?, discussion Aklex Perry, Mike Smith and others on what is being done to combat Boko Haram and why these efforts repeatedly seem to be failing, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/

* Climate change and the Refugee Convention, Alex Randall, Jennifer Drew6.30pm, free, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1. Info:  Booking

* Confronting Injustice, Bryan Stevenson, 7-8:30pm, Photographers Gallery, 16-18 Ramilies Street, W1. Info: 7087 9300  

* Making green transformations a reality in 2015, Ashish Chaturvedi, Hutchinson, Joan Walley MP, 4-6pm, Committee Room 15, 4-6pm, House of Commons, Westminster. Info: 01273 915640

* Palestine is Still the Issue, Angie Bray, Rupa Huq, Jon Ball, Tom Sharman, 7-9pm, The Polygon, St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, W5.

* Human Shield, Judith Butler, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7955 6198

* Yemen: The Fight for Stability and Hope, Sir Alan Duncan, 6pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info:


Thursday 5 February

* Meeting: Biomass and Coal - Burning the Future, 6.30-8.30pm, free, Friends of the Earth, 139 Clapham Road, SW9. Booking

* Unmanned, Join Julian Stallabrass,Chris Woods, Elspeth Van Veeren and David Rodin explore ethical and philosophical concerns of drone use in armed conflicts and in civilian surveillance closer to home, 7pm, free,The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5. Info: 7370 9990/

* 'To count for nothing': Poverty beyond the statistics, Ruth Lister, 6-7.15pm, free, British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. Info: 7969 5200/


Friday 6 February

* Risking everything: vulnerabilities and opportunities in migration, Anita Ghimire, Jagannath Adhikari and Priya Deshingkar, Ron Skeldon, Fiona Samuels, 1-2pm, free, Overseas Development Institute, 203 Blackfriars Road, SE1. Info: 7922 0300/

* The new world disorder, Tariq Ali, 6.30–7.30pm, £10/£8, British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1. Info: 7323 8181/

* Professionally 'Green': Environmental Challenges and UK Professional Bodies, Carolyn Roberts, 6pm, free, Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, WC1. Info: 7831 0575/

* Ebola: The 21st century plague?, Peter Piot, Brian McCloskey, Roger Alcock, 8:30am-5pm, Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, W1. Info:


Friday 6-Saturday 7 February

* Corruption, Spying, Racism and Accountability: UK Policing in the 21st Century, Rosa Curling, Rebekah Delsol, Rob Evans, Jules Holroyd, Gus John,  Rebecca Roberts, Mike Shiner,  Helen Steel, Mark Thomas, Patrick Williams, Janet Alder, Raju Bhatt, Ben Bowling, Richard Garside, -Courtenay Griffiths QC, Suresh Grover, Imran Khan, Doreen Lawrence, Lee Lawrence, Paul O’Connor, Sukdev Reel, David Rose, Stafford Scott, 9-5pm, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1. Info:


Saturday 7 February

* London International Development Conference, "the largest student-run conference in London focusing on the global aid agenda, and the role of science and engineering in international development", Maurice Wren,  Rob Mather, Stephen Wordsworth on the Middle Eastern refugee crisis, the ebola epidemic and malaria, agricultural sustainability and educational inequality, 10am-7.30pm, £5/£8/£10/£15, Imperial College, South Kensington Campus

* Meet VSO, 2-4:30pm, free, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, NW1. Info: Registratiion







*Abbas Kowsari, photographs of contemporary Iran, Ely House, 37 Dover Street, W1, until  27 February. Info: 7981 9851


* Syria: Third Space, exhibition highlighting Syrian art that demonstrates the roles artists play in supporting recovery and resilience, 9am-6pm, free, British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1, until 18 February


* Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou: photographs from Benin, free, Jack Bell Gallery, W1, until 14 February.


In Black and White: Prints and Posters From Africa and the Diaspora, free, V&A, South Kensington, until 6 July. Info: 7942 2000


* 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 30 June. Info: 3757 8500/


* 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?


* 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


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


* Francis Bedford: Cairo  to Constantinople - Early Photographs of the Middle East, pictures takien during a royal tour in 1862, £9.50/£8.50, The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, SW1, until  22 February. Info: 7766 7301


* Mouths At The Invisible Event, David Birkin's mixed media works and installations centred around issues of censorship, spectatorship and the legal and linguistic frameworks underpinning war, free, Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm, The Mosaic Rooms, A.M Qattan Foundation, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5, until 28 February. Info:


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 3 February

* 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:


Thursday 5 February

* Democracia real ya!, exhibition of street art by Rosario Martínez Llaguno and Roberto Vega Jiménez of the Mexican art collective Lapiztola Stencil, free, Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1, until 28 February. Info:



Image: Liberian Girl at the Royal Court follows a youngster trying to survive in the west African country's civil war by passing herself off as a boy soldier

Liberian Gir



* Trash, trash-picking boys from Rio's slums find a wallet in their local dump and try to evade the police and uncover the secrets it contains,Curzon Victoria,Barbican, Silk Street, Cineworld Chelsea, Cineworld Haymarket, Eklectric, ampstead Everyman, Maid Vale Everyman

* Pelo Malo, a unique examination of racism and homophobia, the film tells the story of a young boy in a poor neighbourhood in Caracas who hates his thick curly hair and decides to find a way to make it straight. Curzon Victoria, Cineworld Haymarket, ICA

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

Saturday 31 January
* Valley of Sighs, documentary about the deportation of 25,000 Romani people in 1943-45, only half of whom survived, 7.30pm, £6, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1


Monday 2 February
* The Storm Makers, documentary that follows a Cambodian girl returning home after two years' exploitation overseas, and two ‘recruiters' who make money by enlisting young people to work abroad + Q&A  with director Guillaume Suon, 7pm, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8940/ 7479 8950/


Tuesday 3 February

* Cartoonists - Foot Soldiers of Democracy, documentary that tells the story of 12 caricaturists from all over the world, 8.30pm, Institut Francais, Info: 7871 3515/

+ 10 February, The Spectrum of Radicalism in France – Fact and Fiction, talk


Wednesday 4 February

* The Awra Amba Experience, interactive documentary about an Ethiopian village that is trying to implement a new societal model+ discussion, 5.30-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info:


Thursday 5 February

* Miners Shot Down, documentary about events in August 2012, when South African platinum mineworkers began a strike for better wages against their employer, British company Lonmin: six days later, police suppressed the strike and shot dead 34 miners, 7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4370

+ New media have changed the game for documentary makers

* Democrats, documentary that follows the two politicians charged with writing a new constitution for Zimbabwe, 6.10pm, £6/£9, Curzon Victoria. Info: Tickets

* A Tale of Two Syrias, documentary by Yasmin Fedda that offers a unique personal perspective on events in Syria + music by Raast Collective, 7:30pm-1am, £5, Passing Clouds, 1 Richmond Road, E8. Info: 07951 98989707951 989897/


Sunday 8 February

* Palestine films: The Great Book Robbery/ Nowhere Left To Go: The Jahalin Bedouin/ Me and My Homeland: An Endless Sad Story + discussion led by Benny Brunner, Ben Jamal and Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, 10.30am-1pm, £10/£8/£6/£4, Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way. Info:




Behind the Beautiful Forevers, David Hare's adaptation of Katherine Boo's book about life in 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


* The Scottsboro Boys, infamous story of injustice against nine African-Americans  performed as a minstrel show – itself a hated symbol of racial stereotyping, Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2, to 21 February. Info: 0844 412 466

+ The black and black minstrel show


* Liberian Girl, the Civil War in Liberia saw over 200,000 people killed, a million others displaced in refugee camps, and over 15,000 children recruited into ‘Small Boys Units’: Diana Nneka Atuona‘s play tells one teenage girl’s story of survival, £20 (£10 Mondays), Royal Court, Sloane Square, SW1, until 31 January. Info: 7565 5000 (The play will transfer to the CLF Art Café at the Bussey Building in Peckham on 3-7 February and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, on 10-14 February)

+ Girls and boys come out to play ... soldiers


* Upper Cut, Karen ls a rising political star but on the eve of an election she risks her career in a contentious fight over whether to allow shortlists for black parliamentary candidates, £18/£16/£10, Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1, until 7 February. Info: 7407 0234

+ 3 February, Join Director Lotte Wakeham and Writer Juliet Gilkes Romero for a discussion about the creative process.

+ A good Upper Cut but no knock-out


* Dara, adapted from Shahid Nadeem’s play originally performed by Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan, spans the 1659 struggle between two heirs to the Mughal Indian 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


* Walking the Tightrope: The tension between art and politics, premiere of political short plays by writers including Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute and Caryl Churchill + discussion, £12/£15, Theatre Delicatessen, 119 Farringdon Road, EC1, until 31 January. Info: 7278 7694/


4-22 February, True Brits, by Vinay Patel, when a violent encounter leads to a whirlwind romance, young Rahul is more than willing to be caught up. But in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings, his world changes and he struggles to remain part of a British society that now distrusts him on sight, £13, Studio; part of Vault Festival, Info: Vault Programme


from 4 February

* The Singing Stones, a triad of short plays, each offering a poetic, fearless and sometimes funny exploration of women and the Arab revolutions, Arcola, 24 Ashwin Street, E8, until 28 February. Info: Arcola Theatre Info: 7503 1646

+ Mancunian-eye-view of women and the Arab Spring


5-7 February

* Manuelita, about the South American revolutionary, £10/£12, Rosemary Branch theatre, N1. Info: 7704 6665





Sunday 1 February

* Shoah: Second Era, part two of documentary on the Holocaust, 7pm, BBC4

Monday 2 February

* David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities, 9pm, Watch

* A Modern Magna Carta, Helena Kennedy QC, 9pm, R4

Tuesday 3 February

* The Price of Inequality, the rising income gap in Britain, 9am, 9.30pm, R4

Wednesday 4 February

* The Crossing, play set in 2020 Britain which has left the European Union and sealed its borders, 2.15pm, r4

Friday 6 February

* The Social Network, 9pm, More4

* Tata: India's Global Giant, 11am, R4


* Picture Power, Nick Danzaiger returns to Uganda to find thgree orphaned sisters he photographed in 2005, 1.45pm, R4