Frontline Club bloggers

December 15, 2016

The Girl from Aleppo: Responding to Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis

Talking via Skype, Nujeen remembered her hometown, Aleppo: “quietness … the citadel .. summer nights…everything…”


December 11, 2016

A Revolution in Four Seasons

The film, first released in May this year, follows four years in the parallel political lives of Jawhara Ettis and Emna Ben Jemaa – two women at the centre of Tunisia’s radical turn to democracy during the 2011 Arab Spring.


November 26, 2016

Kleptoscope Two: The Alchemy of Making Money from Sand

The second evening in the Kleptoscope series explored the illicit wealth originating from the Middle East that flows through the capital’s economy.


November 23, 2016

Irregular War: The Future of Global Conflicts

‘If we’re trying to actually resolve conflict… then we have to think, how do we get into the mind of the other?’ Gabrielle Rifkind.


November 17, 2016

Breaking Point: The EU Referendum and its Aftermath

There are some things about Brexit that we simply can’t know. No amount of opinion pieces, panel discussions, or leaked memos will change that. As Iain Macwhirter, a political commentator for the Herald and Sunday Herald, quipped, ‘We all know that Brexit means Brexit, but nobody knows what Brexit means!’ So, what does Brexit mean?


November 14, 2016

A Country in Motion: Films from Burma

“The fact that we can even make these films is representative of the change in this country,” said Lamin Oo, speaking to a full Frontline Club from Burma. Oo is one of his nation’s predominant emerging filmmakers and of the many talents being showcased at the Frontline Club’s ‘A Country in Motion: Films From Burma’ […]


November 10, 2016

Drones: National Bird of USA

National Bird is a documentary about the effects of drone warfare conducted by the US in Afghanistan as part of its war against terrorism. It also incidentally became a documentary on whistleblowing. Drone pilots Lisa, Heather and Daniel reveal how drone warfare, presented as efficacious and selective, is much more liable to error than US officials are […]


November 10, 2016

Groundtruth: 0% of US TV coverage of the election had to do with policy

Just days before the result of the 2016 US Presidential Election, Boston-based foreign news organisation GroundTruth took part in a panel debate on the question of media credibility. In town for a team meeting, Charles Sennott and Gary Knight, founders of GroundTruth, shared their commitment to training up-and-coming talent in global correspondents in an age when […]


October 19, 2016

The blood flow of the global economy

‘These came by ship,’ journalist Rose George remarked in the opening minutes of the film, casting her eyes over her clothes, ‘my shoes probably came by ship, the microphone certainly…’ The device you’re using to read this blog probably did too: 90% of everything we consume arrives in a shipping container.


October 19, 2016

Unconstitutional abortion laws highlighted by documentary

Director Dawn Porter was a lawyer before she was a filmmaker. Her film, Trapped, is about the impact of abortion regulation on clinics in southern US states. It’s rare to have a story where the main plot is legislation, but it works, and it’s heart-breaking.


October 18, 2016

A conversation with Patrick Cockburn

Each conflict is nuanced, its history and its fanatics. We, as consumers of entertainment, are taught to laud our heroes and demonize our villains, forgetting that the real world breeds only people and their overlapping interests.


October 13, 2016

Violent Borders: Border Conflict, Security and the Refugee Crisis

In the absence of legitimate methods of travelling to safer lands, smugglers enjoy a booming trade with a huge supply of refugees willing to pay to escape their home country. Elinor Raikes discussed the irony of a system that refuses entry actually increases risk: “you’re pushing people into these illegal, uncontrolled, unmanaged routes, and actually it’s worse for our security.”


October 12, 2016

Displacement and demography: Colombia

“Not quite the evening we thought we were going to have”, began Ed Vulliamy, journalist for The Guardian and The Observer. A talk that was expected to celebrate the formal end to 52 years of civil war, ended up examinging why a much celebrated peace deal between the Farc and the Colombian government was rejected in a public referendum.


October 2, 2016

The Nauru files: changing the narrative of media coverage on refugee issues

“It is very hard for Muslim girls to live in Burma. For the boys it is not so dangerous. They just get killed,” said the first girl, 13. “I consumed washing detergents… poison… I’m so tired of everything,” said the second girl.


September 15, 2016

Kleptoscope: London’s Dirty Money

“Three quarters of money looted in Russia comes to the UK.” The audience sat in stunned silence. Roman Borisovich continued, “there is an army of UK bankers, accountants, lawyers, trustees, and other professionals assisting Russian corruption.”


September 9, 2016

In the Picture with Paula Bronstein: Afghanistan – Between Hope and Fear

‘Mob rule took over’ she said quietly, ‘and they killed her’. The grief and anger at Farkhunda Malikzada’s funeral is one of many harrowing events Paula Bronstein has documented. But her latest book, Afghanistan – Between Hope and Fear, captures not only the tragedy of a country ravaged by war: it also shows the joy. 


July 19, 2016

The Hard Stop: portraying the people behind the London riots

Words and pictures by Heenali Patel One summer morning in 2011, London’s Metropolitan Police pulled over Mark Duggan– a young, black, British man– and shot him dead. His killing sparked what became known as the Tottenham riots, and set off a chain reaction of arson and looting across the country. Images of burning buildings and […]


June 29, 2016

In Focus: The Divide

The Frontline Club’s Documentary Programmer Julianne Rooney and director Katharine Round analyse a scene in The Divide, her documentary about rising global inequality.


June 17, 2016

City 40: film lifts veil on secretive nuclear town

On Tuesday 14 June, a packed-out Frontline Club hosted a screening of the acclaimed documentary City 40 followed by a Q&A with the film’s director Samira Goetschel and Guardian journalist Luke Harding.


May 24, 2016

Holy Lands: Sectarianism in the Middle East

On Thursday 19 May, the Frontline Club hosted a panel on sectarianism in the Middle East, the formation of secular nation-states and the roots of the conflicts of today.


May 23, 2016

He Named Me Malala: Education and the Refugee Crisis

“We learn so much from Malala, she tells us that we have a voice in the West but we take it for granted”, Guwali Passarlay.


May 17, 2016

“Times are Changing” But Little has Changed for Ordinary Cubans

Whilst institutional changes in Cuban foreign relations make headlines in global media, the daily-lives of ordinary people on the island are yet to see huge improvements.


February 19, 2016

Dispatches from Syria: Insight with Janine di Giovanni

A full house convened at the Frontline Club on Wednesday 17 February for an audience with journalist Janine di Giovanni to mark the launch of her new book, The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria. Di Giovanni, who first travelled to Syria in 2012, was joined by BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur to discuss […]


January 26, 2016

Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr and Camp Gitmo

By Ayman al-Juzi On Friday 22 January 2016, a panel joined a packed audience at the Frontline Club for a lively discussion following the London premiere screening of Michelle Shephard‘s Guantanamo’s Child. With unprecedented access to former fellow prisoners, family members and government officials, the documentary explores the political and ethical implications of the harrowing case of […]


July 7, 2015

Insight with North Korean Defector Hyeonseo Lee

By Olivia Acland On Thursday 2 July, Hyeonseo Lee joined an audience at the Frontline Club for a discussion on her experiences as a North Korean defector. Lee, an international campaigner for North Korean human rights and refugee issues, was joined in conversation by author Paul French. One day after dinner, seventeen-year-old Lee told her parents that she was going to […]


April 28, 2015

Pure Imagination: Saudi Arabia in Peril?

By Elliot Goat   The greatest peril comes not from a lack of analysis but from a lack of imagination.” – Sir William Patey, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2007-10)  


March 16, 2015

Media censorship, broadcast funding, and The World According to Russia Today

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 […]


February 26, 2015

Afghanistan: Lessons Of War

By Isabel Gonzalez-Prendergast On 25 February, a panel of experts convened at the Frontline Club for a discussion on the war in Afghanistan and its ongoing legacy. Chaired by BBC Afghanistan correspondent, David Loyn, the debate spanned the period from 11 September 2001 to the present day.


February 6, 2015

Boko Haram: Africa’s Islamic State?

By Agnes Chambre The Frontline Club was at full capacity on Wednesday 4 February, as a panel of experts discussed the implications of Boko Haram’s presence in West Africa in the lead up to the Nigerian presidential elections on 14 February. The panel included: Bala Mohammed Liman, a doctoral candidate at SOAS specialising in the intersection […]


January 30, 2015

The Great European Disaster Movie

By Francis Churchill “We are in an aeroplane, and we don’t know who is driving the aeroplane. We are in a storm and we don’t know what is happening to us…”. This was the idea that Annalisa Piras wanted to entertain in her new film, The Great European Disaster Movie, which previewed at the Frontline Club […]