By Alex Glynn
Investigative journalist Nick Davies treated the Frontline Club to a detailed insight into his new book, and into the saga that dominated seven years of his life – uncovering the hacking scandal at News of the World.
One thing that he makes clear in the book, Hack Attack, is that the investigation uncovered far more than just illegal activity at one of Britain’s top newspapers – it also shed light on the power a media mogul had accumulated. As the subtitle of the book asked: Has the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch?
David Nice, musicologist, Radio 3 broadcaster and author of the first volume of a Prokofiev biography for Yale University Press, launches a new series of lectures on selected operas at the Frontline Club. He begins with ten classes on Prokofiev’s War and Peace, a selective operatic treatment of Tolstoy’s great novel much affected by bureaucratic intervention in the 1940s. The spring term is devoted to Wagner’s comedy Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, being staged by the opera world’s only director of genius, Richard Jones, at English National Opera. For the summer term the theme is Rossini’s last and most comprehensive opera on Swiss saviour William Tell.
Mondays 2.30-4.30 PM from 6 October to July 2015, three terms of ten weeks each, £180 per term. Contact David Nice for further information.
By Elliott Goat
Following the screening of The Internet’s Own Boy – The Story of Aaron Swartz at the Frontline Club, director Brian Knappenberger, speaking via Skype, began by charting the genesis of the film. Engaging with hackers and hactivism through his previous project, We Are Legion, which screened at the Frontline Club in 2012, Knappenberger described how he was exposed to the outpouring and frustration that came from the death of Aaron Swartz who committed suicide following a two-year investigation by the US government.
“I was on a panel the week after Aaron died, everyone there knew him… had a personal story about him, and it was right at the very beginning of this tsunami of grief and anger and frustration that was coming out of the internet.”
While Swartz foresaw the revelations of the NSA’s surveillance programme, for Knappenberger, “one of the great tragedies is that we don’t have [Aaron] for this debate … on the topic of both government surveillance and big corporations… but I think
he would have been a big part of that discussion and the debate going on right now in Europe over the right to be forgotten.”
Looking for a private party space for the weekend for birthdays, reunions, or any other form of shindig? Look no further than the Frontline Club Bar, available for private hire on Saturdays.
A unique atmosphere in central London, with a full bar and a kitchen serving 3 course dinners, buffets or canapés, it’s the perfect venue for a multitude of events.
In need of something during the week, or a larger space? The screening and talk room above is also available complete with access to projectors and screens.
By Lizzie Kendal
As part of this year’s Summer Season exploring walls, barriers and borders today, the Frontline Club hosted a preview screening of The Architecture of Violence on Wednesday 13 August. It was followed by a Q&A with director Ana Naomi de Sousa and protagonist, architect and activist Eyal Weizman, moderated by filmmaker Olly Lambert. The film is part of Rebel Architecture, a six-part Al Jazeera English documentary series profiling architects who are using design as a form of activism and resistance to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises.
By Lisa Dupuy
Rabbit a La Berlin, a film by Bartek Konopka and Piotr Rosołowski which will be screened on Wednesday 20 August, examines the plights of a colony of rabbits which lived between the two barriers of the Berlin Wall. Enclosed in this space, the animals lived undisturbed lives – until the Wall was taken down. Then the rabbits had to readjust, and learn to live in a new environment (much like the people, of course, who had to unify what was once West and East). The rabbits who inhabited the “death strip” between the West and the East are not the only example of nature caught in human conflict.
The idea is to have a thoroughly good time, encourage reading and discussion of reading, and to end the night happier and wiser than when it began. The notion is further to harvest and focus some of the best ways in which the club has developed over its decade of existence, but also to recapture some of the atmosphere of the ‘old days’ of its outset – a sense of ‘hard core’; dare one admit it, a guilty elitism. All we’d miss are the Romeo Y Julieta, sadly.
There would be no format as such – apart from the fact that there will be a limited-menu prix-fixed dinner of three courses (costing about 25 quid per head), with alcohol paid for separately on top. Numbers would start at five, and go to about 25 – first-come, first-served for a popular night. The number needs to be small enough for discussion to be introduced, presented or very informally ‘chaired’ at the outset – ergo, there should usually be only one conversation going on, not a fragmentation of satellite discourse, as happens at ‘dinner parties’, which these are decisively not.
By Alex Glynn
Although they took place 25 years ago, the horrific events that occurred in Tiananmen Square still remain a contentious subject in China and a point of obsession around the world. On Tuesday 29 July, a panel of experts at the Frontline Club revisited one of China’s most contested historical events, and considered questions of legacy, impact and amnesia.
By Ratha Lehall
On Monday 28 July, the Frontline Club hosted the preview screening of One Rogue Reporter, which was followed by a Q&A with director Rich Peppiatt, chaired by professor of television journalism at City University, Stewart Purvis.
Peppiatt was a tabloid journalist with the Daily Star, who publicly resigned in 2011. His resignation letter was printed in The Guardian, and honestly, and hilariously, outlined the list of reasons for his resignation, providing an insider’s account of life a tabloid newspaper. Since then, Peppiatt has continued to lay bare the truth about the ethically questionable methods of journalism used by the tabloids, and has used comedy to spread his stories. The film uses the Leveson Enquiry as a back drop to Peppiatt‘s various attempts to turn the tables on the UK’s most powerful newspaper bosses. One Rogue Reporter began as a comedy stage show, and gradually developed into a film. The film was completely self-funded by Peppiatt and his partner Tom Jefferson.
Turkey’s prime minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan will win next month’s presidential elections and become the country’s first directly elected president, according to a panel of experts assembled at the Frontline Club on 22 July 2014.
The Frontline Club event was chaired by Murat Nisancioglu, the head of Turkish Service at BBC Global News and brought together Alexander Christie-Miller, an Istanbul-based freelance journalist and Turkey correspondent for Newsweek, The Times and Christian Science Monitor; Fadi Hakura, associate fellow at Chatham House; Sir David Reddaway, British ambassador to Turkey between 2009 and January 2014; and Karabekir Akkoyunlu, who recently completed a PhD about political change in Iran and Turkey at LSE.
The consensus of the panel was that Erdogan would win a convincing victory at the coming polls.
By Ratha Lehall
On Monday 14 July, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of Seeds of Hope, a documentary which focuses on the effect of rape in Eastern Congo, where it has become a widely used weapon of war. The film centres around one woman, Masika, who is herself a victim of rape, and her determination to provide a centre for recovery and sanctuary for other women who have been raped, as well as taking in many children who have either been orphaned or rejected due to their violent origins.
“Where can I go to have a decent life?”
On Friday 11 June, Shorts at the Frontline Club took viewers on a cinematic journey that showcased the different ways used to document the world we live in.
The theme: migration and the phases of migration.
Two at the Border by Tuna Kaptan and Felicitas Sonvilla shone a light onto the lives Ali and Nasser. The two friends attempt to make ends meet by helping refugees to the Turkish-Greek border. Ali is Palestinian, traumatised by the violence he has witnessed. “Problems, problems everywhere,” he repeats with bloodshot eyes.
“Where can I go to have a decent live?” Ali asks the universe.
As if replying to Ali, Europe’s response to the rising number of refugees has been increased militarisation of the Greece–Turkey border. The film is dedicated to Naser, who attempted to smuggle himself into Greece. The boat he was on allegedly capsized in the Aegean Sea, and he has been missing ever since.
“The Journey towards you Lord, is life. To set off is to die a little.” (The Migrants’ Prayer)
On Monday 7 July 2014, the Frontline Club screened Who is Dayani Cristal? The film follows actor Gael García Bernal as he retraced the footsteps of a Honduran man found dead in the Arizonan desert – one of the thousands of lives snuffed out by the lure of the American Dream.
Director and cinematographer Marc Silver joined us for the Q&A.
By Lisa Dupuy
Where there are borders, attempts will likely be made to cross them in the hope of reaching greener pastures. But the individuals who try are not necessarily welcomed by those who live on the other side. Fences, walls and legislation are thrown up to at least regulate the influx of migrants. And in some cases, borders are made dangerous.