By Will Worley
On Wednesday 22 April 2015, the Frontline Club welcomed investigative journalist and director of policy and investigations at UK charity Action on Armed Violence, Iain Overton for a discussion on his latest book, Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun. The event was chaired by ANC former politician and author Andrew Feinstein, who has written extensively on the global arms trade.
By Stefano Pozzebon
On Tuesday 21 April, the Frontline Club hosted a panel to discuss the water crisis in Brazil and the world’s largest green area, the Amazonian rainforest. Chaired by Andrew Mitchell, chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society, the event was the second in a series entitled ‘Exploration of the Frontline,’ a collaboration between the Scientific Exploration Society and the Frontline Club that aims at bringing together journalists, explorers and academics for an evening of informed debate.
By Alex Glynn
An eclectic mix of friends and colleagues joined together at the Frontline Club on Monday 20th April, in celebration of two photographers that not only captured the realities of war, but also explored the frontiers of artistic imagery.
On Friday 10 April, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of We Were Rebels, which was followed by a Q&A with director Florian Schewe. The film focuses on the struggles of South Sudan, the word’s youngest country, following its independence and through the eyes of Agel, a former child soldier during the civil war. Agel was able to flee Sudan and become a professional basketball player in Australia. On his return to South Sudan following independence, he joined his national team as captain and, after injury forced him into early retirement, focused on helping to build the country through his new development NGO.
By Francis Churchill
It has been almost 20 years since Guatemala emerged from a civil war that saw 200,000 native Mayans systematically murdered by Government troops. Today the country is still rife with crime and corruption. Nearly 6,000 people are murdered in the country each year, and very few cases result in prosecution.
Burden of Peace, screened at the Frontline Club on 16 April, tells the story of Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s Attorney General between 2010 and 2014 and the first woman to hold the position. Director Joey Boink followed her during her time in office as she attempted to clamp down on corruption, end the widespread impunity and bring former dictator, Efrain Rios Montt, to justice on charges of genocide.
By Graham Lanktree
Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, drones, or as the military prefers to call them “unmanned aerial vehicles,” have winged from an obscure surveillance tool to a central weapon in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.
To explain why, investigative journalist and Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize-winner Chris Woods spoke about his new book Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone War at the Frontline Club on Wednesday 15 April with Mark Urban, diplomatic and defence editor for BBC Two’s Newsnight.
Woods, whose work has followed the development of drone warfare since 2011, described speaking with spies, soldiers, victims, and advocates to understand how these remote weapons have affected not only civilians and conventional battlefields, but the legality of secret assassination.
By Amy McConaghy
“She was propelled by this extraordinary curiosity to find out about the country and the people. She really was an anthropologist in many ways.”
Speaking at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 14 April, journalist and author Janine di Giovanni reflected on the life of photographer Eve Arnold and her in-depth, immersive approach to her work. “My own mad conscientiousness,” as Arnold herself referred to it.
By Francis Churchill
Drone warfare has become the defining policy of Obama’s war on terror. Unmanned aerial vehicles provide a unique solution to the unpopular politics of war, granting the United States the ability to take out targets in the remotest parts of the world without any risk to American life.
Drone, directed by Tonje Hessen Schei and four years in the making, was screened at the Frontline Club on Monday 13 April 2015. The documentary explores the true cost of drone strikes, from civilian casualties to the mental health of drone pilots and the implications for international law.
By Elliott Goat
“Creativity always wins out over power.”
- Srdja Popovic
To mark the release of his new book, Blueprint for Revolution: How to use rice pudding, Lego men, and other non-violent techniques to galvanise communities, overthrow dictators, or simply change the world, the Frontline Club hosted a conversation with Serbian author and activist Srdja Popovic chaired by Steve Crawshaw from Amnesty International.
By Amy McConaghy
On Monday 30 March the Frontline Club hosted a screening of A Quiet Inquisition, followed by an insightful discussion with director Alessandra Zeka. Recently previewed at the London edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, A Quiet Inquisition has been described by the Huffington Post as a film that “every human rights advocate should see.”
By Sara Monetta
On Friday 27 March, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of AIDependence, a documentary exploring the relationship between Haiti and international aid directed by filmmaker and photographer Alice Smeets.
By Josie Leblond
What are journalists worth in an age where anyone can tell their own story online? Has their diminishing value led to the growing violence against journalists across the world? This is the argument that executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Joel Simon, put forward at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 17 March. Following the release of his latest book, A New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom, Simon joined an engaged audience to discuss the reasons behind this ongoing diminishing of press freedom on a global scale. The discussion spanned from the current global spike in the murder, kidnapping and intimidation of journalists, to the futility of media blackouts, to the ways in which the internet has permanently changed the face of the news industry.
By Helena Kardova
On Monday 16 March, the Frontline Club hosted a preview screening of Masterspy of Moscow – George Blake, directed by George Carey. The film, which will be broadcast on Monday 23 March by BBC 4 Storyville, traces the life story of the legendary George Blake, a British diplomat who became a longterm double agent for the Soviet Union. Masterspy of Moscow clarifies the many myths surrounding Blake that persist, and culminates with an interview with the protagonist himself, from his cabin in the woods outside of Moscow.
By Josie Le Blond
Who shot down MH17? For international TV channel Russia Today (RT), whose tag line is “Question More,” the truth has many faces. But is the Kremlin-backed channel’s post-modernist approach to news threatening to undermine empirical journalism? That was the subject of a panel Q&A following the UK premiere of Misja Pekel‘s film The World According to Russia Today on Friday 13 March at the Frontline Club. RT declined to participate in the discussion, though Frontline noted that the event was organised with the expectation of having an RT representative present to offer their own perspective of the film and its claims.
Whether they spoke out against torture or mass surveillance, government officials who blew the whistle on the deplorable changes made to U.S. legislation after the 9/11 attacks have been left bankrupted, broke and broken.
The documentary Silenced, directed by James Spione and screened at the Frontline Club on Monday 9 March, follows the cases of three prominent whistleblowers who confronted and made public the unlawful practices of U.S. authorities.