By Elliot Goat
“This is not a phone conversation…”
– Soviet saying
Introducing his new book The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries at an event at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 29 September, co-author and founder of Agentura.Ru Andrei Soldatov began by saying that to understand modern Russia you must first understand the mentality and historical relationship between citizen, state and surveillance.
By Francis Churchill
The plight of Syrians has returned to the headlines following the recent release of a tragic image of young Aylan Kurdi lying dead in the sand. It is easy to forget that the current situation in Syria, and the millions of refugees who have been forced to flee the country, has its roots in the Syrian Revolution of 2011 and the brutal response of the Assad regime.
In his latest film, A Syrian Love Story, Sean McAllister follows the story of one family torn apart by the political imprisonment of a mother, as they experience the civil war and finally find refuge in Paris.
On Wednesday 23 September, McAllister, alongside the film’s protagonist Amer Daoud and journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, joined an audience at the Frontline Club for a Q&A following the screening.
By Helena Kardova
L to R: Richard Cockett, Hkanhpa Sadan, Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, Robert Cooper, Paul French
Meanwhile certain regions of Burma are about to learn how to cast a ballot on November 8, ethnic minorities in rural areas are fleeing their homes that are being burnt by the military forces.
On Tuesday September 22, a panel of experts and activists discussed the uncertain future of the country that has been suffering the longest ongoing civil war.
Shortly after Paul French, commentator on Asia chairing the panel, invited the speakers to make their pitch about the current situation, it became clear that opinions about the value of recent reforms value immensely.
Meanwhile general secretary of the Kachin National Council Hkanhpa Sadan and campaigns officer at Burma Campaign UK Wai Hnin Pwint Thon said they can be hardly excited about the election, The Economist correspondent Richard Cockett and adviser to EU representatives Robert Cooper sustained that the progress has been palpable.
“What western community did was they gave us furniture so far and television, but we still don’t have a roof to live under. They gave us the furniture, because they want the garden,” Mr Sadan outlined the perspective of the Burmese.
Ms Pwint Thon criticised the constitution introduced in 2008, which in her view gives a fake illusion of a legal state. “The aim of the constitutions is to create an appearance of change while still holding on to military power and while giving the military the power to decide on economy and politics of the country,” she said.
Mr Cockett underlined that the reforms should be considered in a relevant context. “You should judge Burma against the standards of the region, not against standards of western democracy or British parliamentary democracy,” he said numbering increasingly oppressive countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
According to him, the idea of restoring order in the country is inaccurate. “This country has never experienced order. It’s never experienced peace. Indeed, it’s never experienced an existence as a coherent country at all,” Mr Cockett said referring to the conflict ongoing since 1948.
Mr Cooper reckoned that the upcoming election might become the fairest that the country will have witnessed. “It’s been contested by a large number of parties. It’s got a large number of observers, very large number of local monitors and a large number of international observers there. And it’s not happened before,” he said.
Nevertheless, all the speakers concluded that the way towards genuine democracy, peace with ethnic minorities and complete freedom of expression will be long and bumpy.
Ms Pwint Thon criticised the western “wait and see” approach and Mr Cockett admitted that the economic withdrawal from Myanmar didn’t help the situation either. “It meant that the best practices left the country and they were left with Chinese companies who didn’t care or ever thought about human rights,” he said.
The panel also agreed that the anticipated election might not be that key in the transition. One of the root causes of the conflict is oppression of the country’s minorities.
Mr Sadan underlined that Myanmar has introduced one of the most discriminative religious laws in the world. Ms Pwint Thon added it is not only Muslims, but also women who are not treated equally.
Mr Cockett spoke about a “very poisonous sectarian atmosphere” that he considers one of the real dangers of the election. “It could be a real flashpoint that they exploit all this in the run-up to the election and even after the election. It’ll be extremely explosive in Rakhine state itself where the Rohingya have been entirely disenfrenchised and the buddhist Rakhine nationalists will use this to rally opinion and if the attack Muslims,” he said.
By Francis Churchill
It is estimated that over 500,000 people were slaughtered in Indonesia between October 1965 and the early months of 1966.
Paramilitary militias and vigilante groups, coordinated by the Indonesian army and aided by British and American intelligence agencies, were responsible for mass killings in the country’s anti-communist purge. Nearly 50 years later and the perpetrators still hold power and are heralded as national heroes.
In his groundbreaking 2012 film, The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer exposed the impunity with which the perpetrators live. On 18 September The Fontline Club screened Oppenheimer’s follow up piece, The Look of Silence.
After the screening Oppenheimer joined the Frontline Club over Skype.
We are looking for part-time and full time staff for our restaurant as well as helping in our events room and members bar until Christmas and possibly beyond; preferably with barista experience and drinks knowledge. You will have an impeccable customer-service background, an adaptable skill-set and the ability to multi task with diligence.
The role will require you to work on the restaurant floor, in the members bar and the event room autonomously, all the while having the customers’ experience and convenience at the forefront of your mind. You will also need well spoken English. A friendly laid back demeanour blended with the ability to work fast and to a high level under pressure would be ideal.
Availability Monday to Friday, lunches and evenings, and Saturday evenings.
Apply to Ian Tesh at email@example.com
Looking for a more low key place to watch the Rugby World Cup games without having to pay to book a standing spot in a pub and fork out £8 for a pint of schlock in a plastic cup that’s sponsored by your mobile supplier? We have salvation for Club Members.
We’ll be playing certain games in the Club Bar, (volume setting dependent on interest….) over the coming month with it all starting tomorrow night with England versus Fiji at 8pm
By Antonia Roupell
The screening on Monday 14 September at the Frontline Club lived up to its bold name. How to Change The World, directed by Jerry Rothwell, journeys to the beginnings of the environmental movement and organisation, Greenpeace. As heartwarming as it is harrowing, the film is an homage to non-violent activism. From the bomb tests of Amchitka to whale and seal poaching in Alaska, How To Change The World chronicles the journey of a small group of friends in Vancouver who attempted to do just that. The film’s executive producer Stewart Le Marechal joined the Frontline Club audience for a discussion following the screening.
The Green Caravan Film Festival (GCFF) is a travelling festival of environmental and socially conscious films. It has toured Kuwait and Dubai for four years and now makes its London debut with screenings at the Frontline Club in west London and Rich Mix in east London. The Frontline Club will be hosting three days of screenings showcasing the best of the festival, taking place in the evenings on 29-31 October.
The festival hopes to bring together a variety of audiences, filmmakers, NGOs and supporters that can discover, share and cooperate on the vital issues presented by the films in an atmosphere of inspired camaraderie and passion.
This year the festival has invited short films from the MENA region to enter an audience judged competition for the first time. The feature length films that make up 80% of the festival are carefully curated by GCFF to ensure that the stories being told and issues brought forward are done in an inspiring and well crafted way. The festival believes that the powerful medium of film can be a catalyst for positive change and we hope that it will entertain and challenge all those involved.
By Olivia Acland
On Tuesday 8 September, the Frontline Club opened its doors to some of Britain’s most esteemed journalists for a celebration of sixty years of BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent. A panel, chaired by Owen Bennet-Jones, discussed the changing landscape of international news reporting, and reflected on the highlights of FOOC since its beginnings in 1955.
By Ratha Lehall
On Friday 4 September, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of Cartel Land, a fearless and revealing documentary that portrays the violent influence of Mexican drug cartels and the vigilante groups fighting to end their reign of terror. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Matthew Heineman.
By Dimple Vijaykumar
On Wednesday 2 September 2015, the Frontline Club hosted a debate on what the recent Iran nuclear agreement could mean for the country, the region and relations with the West. Just a few hours before the event, it was announced that President Obama had secured enough support in the Senate to ensure that the deal will go into effect, after Democrat Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the 34th senator to deem it the “best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.” The agreement itself means a trade-off between Western powers, who will suspend economic sanctions on Iran providing that the regime limits the country’s nuclear programme.
Position: Assistant Club Receptionist
Hours: Part Time, according to weekly shift rota, evening work will be necessary. Will need to comply with a fairly strict rota.
We are looking for an enthusiastic and sociable individual to join the Frontline Club team. The candidate will primarily work on the reception desk, welcoming members (and checking the status of their membership) as well as assisting with restaurant & club bookings, and co-ordinating with the Membership Secretary.
– Well spoken English and an excellent customer service manner is a most
– A firm but polite manner; the Club is members only, with specific exceptions during events, so the door must be well policed.
– Good writing and communication skills
– Ability to work on own initiative with minimal supervision
– Strong administrative and computer skills
– Ability to multi-task and prioritise is a must
An interest in current affairs and journalism is a bonus
– Handling incoming enquiries and bookings for the restaurant, club and bedrooms.
– Managing maintenance of the building and bedrooms, liaising with guests concerning arrival instructions
– Organizing the bedroom bookings and cleaning schedule
– Assisting with private event organisation
– Handling building’s post, arranging deliveries/couriers/taxis as needed.
– Controlling access to the club/liaising with customers and members
– Co-ordinating with Hospitality Manager and Programme Editor on club activities and inquiries.
– Assisting members in the club room with queries and refreshments
– Administrative support for Hospitality Manager as and when needed
– Maintaining company health and safety compliancy
– Reporting to Hospitality Manager
Contact Ian Tesh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 14.03.14
For those interested in video editing, we have a special series of workshops for you this autumn, covering editing, storytelling and compression.
This autumn, we’re bringing you a series of workshops especially aimed at video editors. Our excellent trainer, Simon Ruben, has been running editing workshops at the Frontline Club since 2007, and this series comprises his most successful and popular workshops.
We’ll be covering storytelling from an editor’s perspective, video compression and an intense two-day workshop covering video editing with Final Cut Pro X, looking at and practicing using the programme from start to finish. Those wanting to come to all three can save money by booking for them all in one go.
Workshop: Storytelling for the Edit
Saturday 17 October 2015, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
This one-day workshop will inspire participants to think about storytelling from an editor’s perspective. It is designed to help you confidently make decisions in order to create a concise and powerful digital narrative. We will look at theoretical approaches and how to apply practical tips and tricks.
Workshop: Video Compression
Saturday 24 October 2015, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
This workshop will teach you how to compress video, organise workflows and perform batch-encodes. It will also teach you to create podcasts, mobile and web video, email movies, DVD files and more.
Two-Day Workshop: Introduction to Editing with Final Cut Pro X
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 November 2015, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Final Cut Pro X has redefined the post-production process for journalists and video professionals, and is now the software of choice for BBC news. This two-day workshop will take you through this revolutionary new way of editing video from start to finish.
We offer freelance rates on all our workshops, but we’re also offering a further discount for those who want to come to these three workshops. You can come to all three for £400 (that’s a further £100 off the combined freelance rate). To book for all three, click here.
By Helena Kardova
Dorothea Lange introduced a tenderness to documentary photography, which has since elevated her images to an iconic status and pushed US citizens to come to terms with darker aspects of their collective history.
On Monday 20 July 2015, the Frontline Club hosted a preview screening of the PBS documentary Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning. The film looks back at the photographer’s life through the spectrum of preparations for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1966 – the first retrospective that the museum had dedicated to a woman photographer. Dyanna Taylor, director and Dorothea Lange’s granddaughter, joined the Frontline Club audience for a discussion via Skype following the screening.
By Francis Churchill
The garment manufacturing industry has garnered a reputation for being an exploitative industry. Nonetheless, the Indian government is planning to train 500 million of the country’s rural poor to fill factory jobs in the country’s ever increasing manufacturing sector. Most of this work has been contracted out to private companies who profit from training factory staff.
Filmmaker Chloe Ruthven’s latest film, Jungle Sisters, follows her own sister, Orlanda, as she attempts to improve the working conditions of young rural factory-workers from within the system. The documentary was screened at the Frontline Club on Friday 17 July 2015, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.