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It's not about the burqa

Writers, poets and activists discuss the contemporary Muslim female experience and intersectional feminism.
from Southbank Centre on Oct 14, 2019.

Middle East waters still run deep

'A History of Water in the Middle East' is the most entertaining lecture on the subject you’ll ever attend.
from Daniel Nelson on Oct 16, 2019.

Recommended event


Covered by OneWorld


From the editor



* Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival is enjoying its 13th year. The 11 days of talks, readings, poetry and performance by, among others, Lemn Sissay, Fatima Bhutto, Jung Chang, Heaux Noire, Bernadine Evaristo, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Kishani Widyartna, Jeffrey Boakye, Nels Abbey, Roula Khalaf, Hind Hassan, Heba Shibani  and Nikesh Shukla. Photo (below): Statue of Literature

Statue of Literature


* Four film festivals coming up in early November:  The London Korean festival; The UK Jewish Film Festival, which includes The Human Factor, a documentary that looks back at a decade that started with the signing of the Oslo Accords and ended with the Second Intifada; Borders and Boundaries, that includes Midnight Traveler in which, after receiving a Taliban death sentence, Afghan filmmaker Hassan Fazili is forced to flee his homeland with his family in the hope of reaching the sanctuary of the European Union; Wall, which examines the ‘separation wall’ that divides Israel from the West Bank; and El Norte, highlighting the plight of Latin American refugees trying to get to the US; and We The Peoples festival (When human beings challenge Nature).


* The National Theatre has declaring a climate emergency and is ending its partnership with oil company Shell. In a statement quoted in The Stage, a trheatre spokesperson said: “Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre, most recently as corporate members – this membership will come to an end in June 2020.”


The move follows a walkout by actors, artists and theatre professionals at the National Theatre on 20 September, in support of the global climate strikes. They called on the National Theatre to step up to its responsibilities on the climate emergency and end its relationship with Shell. And it came just two days after the Royal Shakespeare Company announced the end of its long-running sponsorship deal with BP.


According to the RSC's artistic director, Gregory Doran and executive director Catherine Mallyon, "Amidst the climate emergency, which we recognise, young people are now saying clearly to us that the BP sponsorship is putting a barrier between them and their wish to engage with the RSC. We cannot ignore that message."

The ending of the two sponsorship deals increases the pressure on the shrinking number of UK arts institutions that still have promotional deals with fossil fuel companies  - particularly the British Museum, where a BP-sponsored Troy exhibition is due to open in November. Yesterday, activist theatre group BP or not BP? announced plans for a "mass creative takeover" of the British Museum on the exhibition's opening weekend. 


Speaking in response to the RSC's decision to drop BP, Chris Garrard, co-director of Culture Unstained, which campaigns for an end to fossil fuel funding of culture, said: "The Royal Shakespeare Company’s decision to drop BP as a sponsor years before the partnership was due to end is a clear sign that – in a time of climate emergency – fossil fuel funding is just too toxic. This seismic shift is down to the actors, activists and school strikers who have powerfully shone a spotlight on BP’s destructive business and how, even now, the company is 97% invested in fossil fuels."

Danny Chivers, from the activist theatre group BP or not BP?, said: "With both the RSC and the National Theatre ending their oil company partnerships, the remaining oil-sponsored institutions are looking increasingly isolated. It is simply no longer acceptable for any cultural organisation to be promoting and supporting the fossil fuel industry in the middle of a climate crisis. It’s time the British Museum, Royal Opera House, Science Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Southbank Centre followed the ethical leadership of the National Theatre and the RSC - otherwise they seriously risk losing their legitimacy in the eyes of a public that is only becoming more concerned about the climate emergency."



Daniel Nelson


Tw: @EventsNelson









* London Literature Festival, includes Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman on The Good Immigrant; Brnardine Evaristo and Jennifer Makumbi on migration and its personal consequences; UK-based Somali poets about how they’re using the political climate as a catalyst for art. Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto talks about how mass culture from the East is taking on Hollywood; while Jung Chang’s biography Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister, explores the story of three sisters from Shanghai, who for most of the 20th century were at the centre of power in China; plus Journalists Roula Khalaf, Hind Hassan and Heba Shibani on their Middle East reporting careers. The festival will see the launch of Poems from the Edge of Extinction, including James Byrne and Shehzar Doja who have collected poetry from the Rohingya camps, and Assyrian-Iraqi poet Nineb Lamassu. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, until 27 October.  Info:


* Somali Week Festival: Art and Culture During Political Change, looks at how the Somali Diaspora in the UK, US, mainland Europe and Canada unpack what it means to be Somali, during this globally transformative period. Launch at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1, 7-9.30, £10, Info: Somali Week


Monday 21 October

The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong: Sharp Power and Its Discontents, 5-6.30pm, Andreas Fulda, 5-6.30pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4823/

* Ethnic Politics in North Sumatra, Budi Agustona, 5.15pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4823/


Tuesday 22 October

* State of the Earth, Christiana Figueres, Sir Brian Hoskins, Tom Heap, 7-8.30pm, The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1. InfoL:

* Why Heritage Matters, Irina Bokova, 7.15-8.30pm, £11-£5, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Info: 01937 546546/

* Before Malcolm X – History of Islam in Americas, Mustafa Briggs, 7-8pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686


Wednesday 23 October

* India as a Post-Democratic State: The Dynamics of Citizenship by Certificate, Arjun Appadurai, 6pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1. Info: 7898 4390/


Thursday 24 October

* 1984: India's Guilty Secret, launch of ebook on "how the largest mass crime against humanity in India's modern history was perpetrated by politicians and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and media. The failings of Western governments – who turned a blind eye to the atrocities for fear of losing trade contracts worth billions – are also exposed", with Pav Singh, 6.30pm, Wiener Holocaust Library, 29 Russell Square, W1. Info: 7636 7247/

* System Change, Not Climate Change, Ann Pettifor, Grace Blakeley, 1-2pm, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, WC2. Info: 7451 6868/

* Fighting Bolsonaro, Antonio Lisboa, Danielle Rowley MP, Christine Blower, 5.30pm, Congress House, 28 Great Russell Street, WC1. Info: Eventbrite

*  The 1979 Revolution in Iran: Important or Not?, Ervand Abrahamian, 6.30pm, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC2. Info: 7405 7686


Saturday 26 October

* Liminality, exhibition and symposium exploring the transitional period of migratory life from the perspective of persecution, freedom, and resettlement, 11am-4.30pm, free, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, SE1. Info: 7514 8498/

* Lahore Literary Festival, a day devoted to contemporary Pakistan covering literature, music, art, popular culture, with Fatima Bhutto, Ayesha Jalal, Waqas Khan, Alan Rusbridger, and Sultana Siddiqui, 10am-4pm, £40-£20, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1.  Info: 01937 546546/


Monday 28 October 

* Exile: The Cost of Reporting the Truth, discussion with journalists in exile and Reporters Without Borders, Rebecca Vincent, Zaina Erhaim, Ege Dündar  Rana Rahimpour. Rebecca Vincent, 7-9pm, £6/£5, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1. Info: 7324 2570/

* African Realities, Zeinab Badawi, Nicholas Wescott , 5.30pm, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington,  SW7. Info: Realities.

* Argentine and Uruguay Elections 2019 – will they reinforce or derail Mercosur?, Mark Menzies MP, Jill Hedges, Jon Farmer, 6-8pm, Committee room 10, House of Commons, Westminster, SW1. Info: 7811 5600/

* Iran & the West: A conflict without resolution, Yassamine Mather, 6.45-8.30pm, £3/£2, 70-77 Cowcross Street, EC1. Info:

* Among the Women of ISIS, Azadeh Moaveni and Razia Iqbal, 7pm, £12.50/£10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. Info: 7479 8960/

* Slavery and the City of London, Richard Drayton, 6-7pm, Museum of London, 150 London wall, EC2. Info: 7001 9844/ 









* Race Cards, Selina Thompson's 1,000 awkward questions about race, free, Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street,Tally Ho Corner, N12, until 26 October. Info: 8369 5454


 * 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.


Modern Slavery, large-scale portraits by London-based Syrian artist Sara Shamma, Bush House Arcade, until 22 November. Info: Exhibition.


Memoirs of the Forgotten, work by Péju Alatise who has also been an influential voice in the Child Not Bride campaign in Nigeria and is the founder of the ANAI Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to the development of visual arts in Nigeria, Sulger-Buel Gallery, The Loft, 51 Surrey Row, Unit 2 La Gare, SE1, until 31 October. Info: 3268 2101/


Some Are Born to Endless Night - Dark Matter, Lina Iris Viktor’s first major solo UK exhibition, infused with cultural histories of the African diaspora and preoccupied with notions of blackness, free, Autograph, Rivington Place, EC2, until 25 January. Info: 7729200/ 


I  Came Apart At the Seams, photographs and sculptures by South African artist Mary Sibande, free, Thursdays & Fridays, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2, until  5 January. Info: 7845 4600


Negotiating Borders, Korean artists Dongsei Kim, Heinkuhn Oh, Joung-Ki Min, Jung Heun Kim, Kyungah Ham, Lee Bul, Minouk Lim, Seung H-Sang, Seung Woo Back, Seungman Park, Soyoung Chung, Suntag Noh, Kyong Park and Zoh Kyung Jin / Cho Hye Ryeong, look at the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, Korean Cultural Centre, Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, WC2, until 23 November. Info: 7004 2600/


Road Through Kurdistan, artworks and artefacts relating to Kurdish history, culture and identity, P21 Gallery, 21-27 Chalton Street, NW1, until 26 October. Info:

22 Oct, The First Movie, 6.30-8.30pm,  £5-£10. Info: 24 Oct, panel discussion with Jonathan Watkins, 6.30-8.30pm. Info:


* Ai Weiwei: Rootsmonumental sculptural works in iron, cast from giant tree roots sourced in Brazil,Gallery, 27 Bell Street, NW1, until 2 November. Info: 7724 2739/


* 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. Fantasy, fact and fiction meet at an epic scale", free, Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1, until 5 April.  Info: 7887 8888/


* Rock My Soul, work by female or non-binary artists from the black diaspora that he thinks is comparable to the Harlem Renaissance of the Twenties, Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, N1, until 2 November. Info: 7336 8109/


* The British Library, Yinka Shonibare rebinds British books with print patterns that echo colonial trade, free, Tate Modern, SE1, until November. Info: 78887 8888 


* Indian Nobility in Britain, display celebrating the interlinked history between India and Britain in the early years of the twentieth century. Photographs of celebrated Indian cricketer Prince Ranjitsinghji (1872-1933) feature alongside portraits of Indian nobility, who visited London during the 1910s and 1920s and were photographed in the capital’s fashionable studios, free, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2, until 15 December. Info: 7306 0055


Beast Type Song, Sopia Al-Maria's installation exploring colonialism, free, Tate Britain, SW1, until 26 January. Info: 7887 8888


Culture Under Attack, season of three free exhibitions, live music, performance and talks that explore how war threatens not just people’s lives but also the things that help define us. It shows how some try to erase or exploit culture, while others risk everything to protect, celebrate and rebuild it, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, SE1, until 5 January. Info: 74165000

+ Rebel Sounds: Songhoy Blues.


* Raul Calibano: Chronicles of an Island, selling exhibition of the work of the Cuban photographer, Photographers Gallery, Ramillies Street, W1, until 17 November. Info: 7087 9300/


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, 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, untill 25 April. Info: Exhibition


* Rapid Response Collecting, tiny but fascinating exhibit 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


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


*  The Malian group, Songhoy Blues (below right), are featured in the Rebel Sounds section of the Imperial War Museum's current exhibition, Culture Under Attack.

Songhoy Blues at Rough Trade







* For Sama, filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the Syrian uprising in Aleppo, as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to her daughter, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 23 October.


* The Last Tree, British-Nigerian Shola Amoo's feature about a British-Nigerian boy growing up in rural Lincolnshire, a London estate and Nigeria, Picturehouse Central, Kensal Rise Lexi, Crouch End Picturehouse;  23 Oct: Catford Mews


* Farming, autobiographical drama about a Nigerian child brought up by a white family, Brentford Watermans, Catford Mews Cinema, Dalston Rio, Greenwich Odeon, Streatham Odeon, Surry Quays Odeon 


* Hidden Figures: Euzhan Palcy, films by the Martinique director exploring race and liberation across the world. Screenings include the restoration of her masterpiece Sugar Cane Alley, the Oscar-nominated A Dry White Season and her documentary on author and civil rights activist Aimé Césaire, Barbican Cinema, until 26 October.


* Tehran, City of Love, Ali Jaberansari’s debut feature is a triptych of playfully observed stories about love and yearning in the Iranian capital, ICA, The Mall, SW1, until 22 October


Monday 21 October

* For Sama, the story of filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to her daughter Sama + Q&A with filmmakers Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, and executive producer Nevine Mabro, 7pm, £12.50-£10, Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, W2. 479 8960/


from Thursday 24 October

* London East Asia Film Festival, 60 films from 11 countries, until 3 November. Info:


from Friday 25 October

* UK Iranian Film Festival, includes Rona, Azim's Mother, Weightlessness, Ava, Radio Dreams, 3 Faces, In The Last Days of the City,  Turkish Ice-Cream, Zagros and a panel on What next for Iranian cinema?, Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7. Info: 7871 3515 /

* Permission, Afrooz is about to captain Iran’s national futsal team as they head to the Asian Nations Cup in Malaysia when her estranged husband Yasser exercises his legal right and refuses her permission to leave the country, Regent Street Cinema, until 26 October.

* The Elephant, the story of a matriarch who will do anything to protect her family when they are driven from their waterhole, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Curzon Bloomsbury, until 27 October.


Monday 28 October

* My Name is Kim Bok-Dong, documentary about the Korean human rights activist who died in January aged 93, after a 27-year-battle to get Japan to acknowledge its wartime actions, 6.30pm, £12.50/£10, Curzon Soho

* Rivercide: The Secret Six, documentary about the supporters and opponents of the Pan Korea Grand Waterway, 5-7pm, Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, SE11. Info: Tickets.









* Our Lady of Kibeho, in 1981 at Kibeho College in Rwanda a girl claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary who warned her of the unimaginable - Rwanda becoming hell on earth. She was ignored by her friends and scolded by her school but then another student saw the vision, and another, and the impossible appeared to be true, £10-£35, Theatre Royal Stratford, Gerry Raffles Square, E15, until 2 November. Info: 8534 0310/

+ Post-show talks: 24 October, 7.30pm, free to ticket holders


* The Ice Cream Boys, political thriller set in South Africa that pits former president Jacob Zuma and former ANC intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, W1, until 2 November. Info:


* Dutchman, Amiri Baraka's one-act play revolving around  Lula, a white woman, and Clay, a black man, in an explosive exploration of white privilege, masculinity, power and sexuality, The Actors Centre, 1a Tower Street, WC2, until 26 October. Info: 3841 6600/


* Master Harold ... and the Boys, Athol Fugard play set in Apartheid South Africa, where Sam and Willie practise their steps, in a tea room where they are employees, for the finals of the ballroom dancing championship, when the white owners' son arrives, National Theatre, until 17 December. Info: Master Harold


* A History of Water in the Middle East, British Egyptian Sabrina Mahfouz explores who really holds the power in and over the Middle East and the role of water, £15-£25, Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1, until 16 November. Info: 7565 5000/ History of Water/

+ 22 October, post-show talkSabrina Mahfouz in conversation with Hassan Damluji, head of Middle East Relations at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, free with ticket

+ 30 October, post-show talk, the cast 

+ Middle East waters still run deep









Monday 21 October

* The Story of China, 11.20pm, BBC4

Sweetness and Desire: A Short History of Sugar - Sugar Wars, 12.04, R4


Tuesday 22 October

The British Tribe Next Door, a British family stays with a Namibian family, 9.15pm, C4 

* Black Mother, 12.45am, Filn4

Sweetness and Desire: A Short History of Sugar, 12.04, R4

* Costing the Earth, 3.30pm, R4


Wednesday 23 October

* Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong'o, the actor spends time in Benin investigating historic female fighters, 10pm, C4

* The Americas with Simon Reeve, 1am, BBC2

* Korea: The Never Ending War, documentary, 9pm, BBC4

Sweetness and Desire: A Short History of Sugar, 12.04, R4

* Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere, the Malawian comedian has his own show, 6.30pm, R4

* Costing the Earth, 9pm, R4


Thursday 24 October

* Plastic - The Unseen Truth, 7.30pm, ITV

* Storyville: On The President's Orders, President Duerte's "war on drugs" in The Philippines, 10pm, BBC4

* From Our Own Correspondent, 11am, R4

* Sweetness and Desire: A Short History of Sugar - Sugar Wars, 12.04, R4


Friday 25 October

Sweetness and Desire: A Short History of Sugar, 12.04, R4


Saturday 26 October

* For Samaepic and intimate journey filmed through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. Waad al-Kateab tells the story of how she fell in love, married and gave birth to her daughter Sama, 9pm, C4