Director Tobias Lindner brought his fascinating documentary Orania to a packed Frontline Club on Monday 20 May.
Described as “a remote village in the barren centre of South Africa – an ‘intentional community’ where only white Afrikaans people live”, Orania is relatively unknown globally. But Lindner, a German who has spent long enough in the country to be fluent in Afrikaans, explained that “in South Africa, it is inevitable that you will hear about the place.”
“Dear God, I don’t know if you exist. My parents say you don’t, but Grandma says you do.”
So began a prayer by a nine year-old boy who wanted a way to avoid going to school, afraid of his mark in art class. The Bosnian War begins the very next day. School is cancelled, but the boy is left wondering if it was not his request that started the war. Drljača uses home video footage to craft a powerful, personal story of youthful innocence, fear and confusion within the cataclysmic effects of conflict.
Bangkok-based photographer Nic Dunlop, in conversation with BBC foreign correspondent Fergal Keane, previewed his new book Brave New Burma at the Frontline Club on Wednesday 15th May. Twenty years in the making, Brave New Burma explores the country from the ongoing civil war to its deceptively tranquil cities, using both photographs and words by Dunlop.
Fergal Keane (L) and Nic Dunlop. Photo credit: Sally Ashley-Cound
Cold war politics have never seemed more relevant in the 21st century. Relations between the US and Russia are reaching new lows over geopolitical hot spots while the White House dodges questions about the detainment in Moscow of an alleged CIA recruiting agent.
These might seem like old stories, but a decidedly hi-tech twist is emerging as Russia’s surveillance state comes into the spotlight. On 14 May, panelists at the Frontline Club discussed the advancement of internet censorship, monitoring technologies and potential impacts on individual freedoms in Russia.
L-R: Misha Glenny, Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan and Edward Lucas. Photo credit: Millicent Teasdale
In 2010 U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning committed the largest security breach in US history, handing the classified Afghan War Diary, Iraq War Logs, and 250,000 State Department cables to Wikileaks. Imagery like that of an American helicopter team gunning down citizens and journalists on a Baghdad street in 2007 has been lodged in the global consciousness.
With Manning standing trial before a military court in June, the Frontline Club engaged an expert panel on Monday 15 May to ask what lies ahead for the whistleblower, along with what his experience might mean to governments and the media.
(L-R): Naomi Colvin, Chase Madar, Richard Gizbert and David Leigh. Photo credit: Jim Treadway
One World Echoes in London is a series of human rights film screenings supported by by the Czech Centre London. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of One World, Europe´s largest human rights film festival established in Prague in 1998 by the Czech NGO People in Need. This series offers a selection of extraordinary documentary films exploring societies and individual lives from a human rights perspective. Representing various countries where People in Need, the biggest NGO in Eastern Europe, runs its human rights, relief and development projects.
Mobile networks in even the most benign democracies are required by law to build monitoring systems into their infrastructure. The powers that be can then use this data in a number of ways, ranging from disclosure, where historical records are released under a government request, to real time interception of location, numbers called and when you called them.
The risk of being tracked through your mobile phone usage is clearly heightened in less stable states. There are a number of practical solutions which can be used to minimise your footprint on a network.
1. Don’t turn on a phone until you are away from an airport or point of entry. Border control is where your phone and number can be most easily attributed to you and flagged for interception. Some border posts may also use an IMSI-Catcher which forces all mobile phones passing through to authenticate to a false network, which then attaches the mobile number in use to your identity.
By Jasper Wenban-Smith, International Editor, Foresight News
A round up of world news in the week ahead from journalist resource ForesightNews.
Monday 6 May
The high-profile trial in Germany of Beate Zschäpe, an alleged member of a group called the National Socialist Underground (NSU), is due to open on Monday in Munich. Zschäpe and four others face charges in connection with the deaths of ten people, eight of whom were Turkish.
Also Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu will begin a week-long visit to China, the first by an Israeli Prime Minister in years. Netanyahu’s visit will overlap that of Mahmoud Abbas, with the Palestinian leader due to have arrived a day earlier on a three-day trip.
The panelists on the evening were journalist and authorIrfan Husain, Pir Zubair Shah of the Council on Foreign Relations, Umber Khairi, a producer and radio broadcaster with BBC Urdu at the BBC World Service and the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.
L-R: Irfan Husain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Umber Khairi, Pir Zubair Shah Photo credit: Adil Shahzeb
Chaired by Paddy O’Connell of BBC Radio 4′s Broadcasting House, the debate aimed to give an overview of the main political parties contesting in the election – to be held on 11 May – marking their distinctions along religious and political lines. They also discussed their electioneering pledges as well as the ensuing threats and violence at rallies. Read more →
On Monday 29 April, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of The Village at the End of the World, followed by a Q&A with director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane, 2007). “They say in Greenland that they’re holding their breath about their future,” she explained as she introduced the film, which explores the challenges faced by the small community of Niaqornat.
Situated in Northern Greenland, in one of the remotest spots on earth and with less than 60 residents, the village of Niaqornat is literally teetering on the brink of extinction. Read more →
Analysts and experts treated the audience to rare accounts and informed insight into the North Korean regime’s mindset on Tuesday 15th April at the Frontline Club.
BBC East Asia Editor Charles Scanlon hosted the discussion on the hot topic of North Korea’s threat – is it imminent, or is it overstated? – with former British Ambassador to North Korea John Everard, Cambridge lecturer Dr.John Swenson-Wright and Andrea Berger, a Research Fellow in Nuclear Analysisat the Royal United Services Institute.
(L-R) John Swenson-Wright, Charles Scanlon, Andrea Berger and John Everard. Photo: Alex Glynn
On 24th April 2013, the Frontline Club hosted a discussion on Iran’s political system in the lead up to the country’s elections in June. Azadeh Moaveni, former Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, hosted the panel of Iranian experts.
The Frontline Club is the London hub for a diverse group of people united by their passion for the best quality journalism. With its elegant restaurant serving the best of British cuisine and its atmospheric members' bar, the Frontline Club is a unique place to discuss, debate and be inspired. Our events, screenings, workshops and restaurant are open to the public.