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Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Ten of the 1§4 films at the London Human Rights Watch Film Festival are directed or co-directed by women.
from Human Rights Watch on Feb 15, 2020.

A British-Nigerian marriage - made in heaven or hell?

The first characters in 'The High Table' are Yoruba Ancestors on the North Star, On the edge of the Present.
from Daniel Nelson on Feb 17, 2020.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor




 South Korean film Parasite, which became the first non-English language movie to win the Best Picture award at the Oscars, highlights the widening divide and lack of affordable housing in the capital Seoul, according to social analysts and academics.

The film is a satirical take on the deepening divide between the rich and poor. The gap is starkly portrayed in the living quarters of the two families in the movie: the small, dingy semi-basement space of one, and the sprawling, luxurious home of the other.

"The lack of affordable housing in Seoul is a serious problem," said Andrew Eungi Kim, a professor of sociology at the Korea University in Seoul.

"The movie illustrates the kind of living environment for the "house poor" or "rent poor" in Korea," he said, adding that it takes someone with a national-average income up to 13 years to buy a median-price house. Full story


About 1,500 people staged the largest protest in the British Museum's 260-year history at the weekend. The action involved simultaneous talks and performances. Hundreds of people packed galleries to hear speakers from communities affected by BP, youth strikers, arts workers, decolonial speakers, and repatriation campaigns. Other activities including singing, poetry, banner drops from balconies, and the "relabelling" of museum objects.

The entire crowd gathered in the Great Court of the museum. First, youth climate strikers led the crowd in a chant of "climate justice", before Indigenous West Papuan campaigner Raki Ap was greeted with a mass chant of "Papua Merdeka", the freedom cry of the West Papuan independence movement. Members of 'BP or not BP?'  led the crowd in a chant of "Decolonise, decolonise, decolonise this place" .

After several rounds of the song, the 1500-strong crowd held aloft BP logos and simultaneously ripped them apart in time with the singing. A huge BP logo at the front of the crowd was also ripped apart by youth strikers.

A team of about 60 performers set up a "casting workshop" and began making plaster casts of the arms, legs and shoulders of participants - starting with some of the guest speakers from the day. They planned to stay all night.

Mamadou Mane, from the Senegalese civil society group Aar Li Nu Bokk who took part in thremass action, said: Just last year, the BBC's Panorama programme exposed BP's links to a major corruption scandal, where the company had agreed to pay huge royalty payments of $10 billion to get its hands on new oil and gas drilling licen es, but an agreement that would ultimately deprive the people of Senegal of major revenues. With the British Museum still holding artefacts that were once looted from the African continent, it is perhaps no surprise to see it celebrating and defending an oil company that shows the same colonial attitude today."


* The way some African members of the audience respond vociferously to scenes in Inua Ellams Nigerianised re-working of Chekhov's Three Sisters at the National Theatre was commented on by The Times critic, who described the audience as being almost another character. What's wrong with that, asks theatre commentatior Lyn Gardner: "Suddenly the audience starts to reflect the demographic of the city in which the National Theatre is situated."


* For some people, the Imperial War Museum retains its old reputation as a place to look at tanks and planes, but it's long been far more imaginative than that, with an interesting art collection and peace as well as conflictwithin its remit. So next year's exhibtion on Refugees: Forced to Flee (from 2 April) should not surprise: it will explore how and why conflict has forced people to leave their homes and seek to build new lives elsewhere.  It will present "contemporary material, cutting-edge research and newly commissioned artworks to reveal the personal stories of refugees and displaced people from the First World War to the present day."


At the same time a new display, History of Bombs, by artist Ai Weiwei (right) will explore international migration, conflict as a root cause of human flow, and the relationship between the individual, society and the state. 


* The Migration Museum has reopened in Lewisham shopping centre in mid-February. The first exhibitions are Room to Breathe, inviting visitors to discover stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain, and Humanæ, in which artist Angélica Dass documents every human skin tone through portrait photographs. 



Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson








Monday 17 February

* The Army and Politics in Zimbabwe: Solomon Mujuru, the Liberation Fighter and Kingmaker, Miles Tench, 5pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Tickets.

* China’s Century?: Implications for us all, Lord Green, 5-6.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4823

* The Tunisian revolution: narrating ourselves, taking part, Dora Latiri, 6.30pm, N4 Library, 26 Blackstock Road, N4.


Tuesday 18 February

* Environmental Change and Public Health 2020,  Baroness Brown, Isaebel Oilver, Paul Wilkinson, Alan Dangour, 9.30am-4.30pm, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1. Info: 7636 8636

* Immigration Detention, Mary Bosworth, Matthew Gibney, 6.30-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC1. Info: 7955 6043.


Wednesday 19 February

* Going Dark, Julia Ebner on her terrifying undercover exploration of terrorist networks, 7pm, £10, London Review Bookshop, Bury Street, WC1. Info: 7269 9030/

* Writers Rebel, Chloe Aridjis, A. L. Kennedy, Daljit Nagra and Ganga Shreedhar on writers, literature and climate change, 6.30-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC1. Info:

* Another World Is Possible, Keir Starmer on why the UK needs an internationalist foreign policy based on human rights, the prevention of armed conflict and the promotion of justice, 9.30am, RSA, 8 John Adasm Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/ 


Thursday 20 February

* Security and Violence in Cities, Elkin Velásquez Monsalve, Lucia Lopez Esquivelzeta, Jenny Pearce, 6-8pm, Canning House, 20 Cavendish Square, W1. Info: 7811 5600/

*  UCL Humanitarian Institute Masterclass: Earth Observation and Natural Hazards,10am-4pm, UCL Bloomsbury Campus, DMS Watson Library G15 Public Cluster, Gower Street, WC1. Info:

* How Extremism Spreads, Julia Ebner, 1pm, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7930 5115/


Sunday 23 February

* Among the Women of ISIS, Azadeh Moaveni, 3-4.30pm, £8/£5, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1. Info: 7405 1818/


Monday 24 February

Religious Claims and Nationbalism in 'Secular' Zionism: Oscuring Settler Colonialis, Nadim Rouhana, 5.39-7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info:










Migration Museum, two exhibtions: Room to Breathe presents stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain, and Humanæ documents every human skin tone through Angélica Dass' photographs, Wednesdays–Sundays 11am–5pm,  Unit 11, Lewisham Shopping Centre, Molesworth Street, SE13. Info: 

Museum reopens.


3 & 4 Will. IV. c 73, Cameron Rowlands riffs on the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, £5 (free over-65s and under-18s), Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, SW1, until 12 April. Info: 7930 3647

+ 27 FebruaryOn the Separation of Interests: Legal Form and the Materialities of PropertyBrenna Bhandar considers the racial materialities of property laws forged through slavery and colonisation, 7.30pm


 * Wildlife Photographer of the Year,  £8.25-£13.95, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7, until 31 May. Info: 7942 5000

Wildlife in the viewfinder.

+ Chinese photographer wins major prize.


* Eco-Visionaries, responses to eco-crises by artists, architects and designers, £10, Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1, until 23 February. Info: 7300 8000/


* Hyundai Commission: Kara Walker, "explores the interconnected histories of Africa, America and Europe. She uses water as a key theme, referring to the transatlantic slave trade and the ambitions, fates and tragedies of people from these three continents", free, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, until 5 April. Info: 7887 8888/


London’s Theatre of the Eastnew work by four Arab British artists and writers that uses Samuel Johnson's 1749 Ottoman play, Irene, as a springboard for exploration into the historical connections between the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and London, and covers themes including the printing of the first Qu'ran in England, and the influence of the Silk Road on Elizabethan trends, £7 (some concessions), Dr Johnson’s House, Gough Square, EC4, until 14 February. Info: Arab British Centre.


* W E B Do Bois: Charting Black Lives,  63 graphics shown at the Paris Exposition in 1900, £8-£4, House of Illustration, N1, until 1 March. Info: 3696 2020


Photography exhibition exploring young people's relationships with Chinese culture, shortlisted and winning entries to a Young Photographers Competition, University College London, North Cloisters, UCL Wilkins Building, Gower Street, WC1, until 24 February. Info:


Homeland Under My Nails, prints by Mohammad Omar Khalil who trained in Sudan and Italy and has lived in the US and Morocco since the early '70s, free, Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5, until 26 April. Info: 7370 9990/


Being Human, new permanent gallery on environmental breakdown, minds and bodies, infection and genetics, including Yinka Shonibare commission, 'Refugee Astronaut'; the Zimbabwe Friendship Bench; and anti-climate change posters, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1. Info: 7611 2222   

+ Humanity, from Artworks to Zebrafish.


* World Gallery, human creativity, imagination and adaptability in over 3,000 objects from the museum's internationally important anthropology collection + Turn It Up: On ParadoxesJide Odukoya’s photographic series shows Nigeria abuzz through the lens of traditional Nigerian weddings, Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, SE23, until 21 June. Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, SE23. Info: 8699 1872/ Horniman


* Cairo Streets, 19th century life in Cairo through the V&A's collection, free, Victoria and Albert Museum, until 25 April. Info: Exhibition


* Journeys, multi-disciplinary project exploring migration and belonging through art, sharing fresh perspectives on works from the gallery’s collection which question the nature of migration from the 17th century to today, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, SE21, until 24 June. Info: 8693 5254


Atlantic Worlds, transatlantic slave trade gallery, National Maritime Museum, Park Row, SE1. Info: 8858 4422


atmosphere: exploring climate science, free, Science Museum, South Kensington. Info: Museum



+ "Slavery may have been abolished in 1833, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries over 2 million Indian migrant labourers were indentured to work in plantations around the world. The workers boarded ships that would take them thousands of miles from home in search of ‘a better life’, while the abolitionists, and Indian nationalists, called this a ‘new system of slavery’ and the ‘international shame of the Indian’. The roots of our Mauritian, Asian-Caribbean, Malaysian & African-Asian communities are all buried in this history, known as The Great Experiment." As  theatre-makers Border Crossings create their new play about these indentured migrations, the company of actors from the Mauritius and the UK begin to feel the weight of history in their own lives and their responsibility to the past. Join them as together they question who has the right to tell a story and who has the right to be heard.

Border CrossingsRegister of Chinese Labourers, Sāmoa 1913-1932








* Talking About Treesfour life-long friends form the Sudan Film Group with a mission to revitalise the country's film culture starting with an ambitious plan in a crumbling open air cinema - about the value of cultural history, freedom of expression and the joy of cinema, ICA and Curzon Bloomsbury, until 19 February; 19 Feb, Cine Lumiere, 6.20pm; Crouch End Arthouse


* Mali Blues, how music shapes Malian identity, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 20 February.


* For Sama, terrific documentary about a family, including a baby daughter Sama, in the midst of cataclysmic conflict in Aleppo [winner of Best Documentary at the BAFTAs], Curzon Bloomsbury, until 20 February, Cine Lumiere, Hampstead Everyman.The film is available free on Channel 4's online platform


* Parasite, South Korea's exciting film industry finally makes it to the Oscars with this black comedy about the class divide in Seoul, at cinemas all over the place

+ With Oscar glory, Parasite shines light on Seoul's housing crisis.


* When Lions Become Lambs, in northern Kenya a daily battle takes place over the area's most notorious commodity: elephant tusks. Director John Kasbe spent three years embedded in the community and the result is an exploration of the issues underlying the conservation divide, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 20 February.

+ 'Out here, we are all poachers'.


Tuesday 17–Wednesday 19, Sunday 23 February

* Farming, the story of Adewale  Akinnuoye-Agbaje, one of thousands of Nigerian children who were “farmed” out to white working class families in the UK in the 1960s and ‘80s, Whirled Cinema, 259 Hardess Street, SE24.


Tuesday 18 February

* Midnight Family,  the Ochoa family runs a for-profit ambulance in Mexico City, competing for patients and struggling to keep their financial needs from jeopardising their patients, raising questions around healthcare, the failings of government and the complexity of personal responsibility + Q&A with director Luke Lorentzen, 7.25pm, ICA

* The Accused: Damned or Devoted, follows the rise of powerful Pakistani cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who is on a mission to preserve the country’s blasphemy laws, against a backdrop of Pakistan’s elections + Q&A with the filmmakers, 7pm, £12.50, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 895/


Wednesday 19 February

New Moon, Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann embarks on a journey to Kenya’s Lamu island intending to make a documentary about the island's transformation from an obscure stone town to a port city, but it proves more complicated +  Q&A with director Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann, 7pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: Screening.


Thursday 20 February

* Jeronimo: An untold tale of a Korean Cuban revolutionary, documentary exploring Korean identity in Cuba through the eyes of Jerónimo Lim Kim. Born to Korean immigrant parents freed from indentured servitude in early 20h century Mexico, Kim joined the Cuban Revolution and became a government official - until he rediscovered his ethnic roots and dedicated his later life to reconstructing Korean Cuban identity + director Q&A, 7pm, free, Korean Cultural Centre, 1 - 3 Strand, WC2. Info: 7004 2600/









* Three Sisters, "new play by Inua Williams (Barber Shop Chronicles), after Checkhov - Love and longing in 1960s Nigeria": Owerri, 1967, on the brink of the Biafran Civil War. Lolo, Nne Chukwu and Udo are grieving the loss of their father. Months before, two military coups plunged the country into chaos. The conflict encroaches on their provincial village, and the sisters long to return to their former home in Lagos, National Theatre, until 19 February. Info: National Theatre.

+ 'To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done'.

+ Diverse theatre means diverse audiences - so expect change.


* Kunene and the King, John Kani (who wrote the play) and Anthony Sher star in post-apartheid piece about an ailing actor and his carer, Ambassadors, WC2, until 28 March. Info: 7395 5405


Vault Festival, includes Toyen Do's Lòng Mẹ (Mother’s Soul), a love letter to mothers' love, sacrifice, wit and steel, 3-8 March; Border Coltroldrama that examines what our immigration system means for relationships, 10-13 March. The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1, until 28 March. Info: 7401 9603/


* Autoreverse, from Argentina to Chile, the true story of one family’s determination to find a place to call home, starring Florencia Cordeu, of Argentinian descent, directed by Omar Elerian, an Italian of Palestinian descent based in London, £10/£17.50, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11, until 20 February. Info:

+ A moving play on words.


* The High Table, the dresses are chosen, the venue’s booked, the RSVPs are flooding in. But Tara’s perfect Nigerian wedding in London to her girlfriend Leah is suddenly derailed when her parents refuse to attend: Temi Wilkey’s comedy, Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12, until 21 March.

+ 25 Feb, post-show Q&A.

+ 7 MarchTalk Back: Queer in the Diaspora, open discussion for queer people of colour, 5pm

+ A British Nigerian marriage: made in heaven or hell?


* The Great Experiment, new play about indentured migrations: in the 19th and early 20th centuries over 2 million Indian migrant labourers were indentured to work in plantations around the world, while the abolitionists, and Indian nationalists, called this a ‘new system of slavery’ and the ‘international shame of the Indian’. The roots of our Mauritian, Asian-Caribbean, Malaysian & African-Asian communities are all buried in this history”, 18-19 Feb, The Playground Theatre, Kensington; 21-22 Feb, Cutty Sark Greenwich; 23 Feb, Museum of London; 29 Feb, National Maritime Museum Greenwich. Info: 8333 4457/

+ Making ghosts accessible.


* Imagine Children’s Festival, plenty of Green talks and activities on the programme, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1, until 23 February. Info: Festival


* Pass Over, Antoinette Nwandu’s "fierce and politically-charged new play exposes the experiences of young black men in a world that refuses to see them”,  Kiln, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6, until 21 March.  Info: 7328 1000

+ 27 Feb, post-show discussion; 3 March, post-show supper; 19 March, Gala performance;







Monday 17 February

Great Asian Railway Journeys, 6.30pm, BBC2

* Storyville: Fishing for Love - How to catch a Thai Bride, a Danish community where hundreds of men are married to Thais, 10pm, BBC24

Girls of Riyadh, dramatisation of an (inevitably banned) Arabic hit novel about four young women in Saudi Arabia, 7.45am, R4


Tuesday 18 February

Great Asian Railway Journeys, 6.30pm, BBC2

* Hong Kong: Love In A Divided City, 11am, R4

* Girls of Riyadh, dramatisation of an (inevitably banned) Arabic hit novel about four young women in Saudi Arabia, 7.45am, R4       


Wednesday 19 February

Great Asian Railway Journeys, 6.30pm, BBC2

World's Busiest Railway 2015, Mumbai, 8pm, BBC4

A Very British History, Britain's Chinese community, 9pm, BBC4

Girls of Riyadh, dramatisation of an (inevitably banned) Arabic hit novel about four young women in Saudi Arabia, 7.45am, R4

 Ken Cheng, Chinese comedian, 11pm, R4


Thursday 20 February

Great Asian Railway Journeys, 6.30pm, BBC2

From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4

Girls of Riyadh, dramatisation of an (inevitably banned) Arabic hit novel about four young women in Saudi Arabia, 7.45am, R4


Friday 21 February

Great Asian Railway Journeys, 6.30pm, BBC2

Girls of Riyadh, dramatisation of an (inevitably banned) Arabic hit novel about four young women in Saudi Arabia, 7.45am, R4