Seeds of Hope: Sanctuary and recovery in the DRC

July 15, 2014 | Frontline Bloggers

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.


Director Fiona Lloyd-Davies speaking at the Frontline Club.

Cruel Journeys: Shorts on Migration

July 14, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By George Symonds

“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 GreeceTurkey 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 Heroic Tragedy: Who is Dayani Cristal?

July 8, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By George Symonds

“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.

Director Marc Silver

Tracing Migration

July 8, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

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.

Fifty Years of The New York Review of Books and its Arguments

July 1, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Antonia Roupell

On Thursday 26 June an audience collected at the Frontline Club to watch Martin Scorsese and his longtime documentary collaborator David Tedeschi’s latest film: The 50 Year Argument. This multi-layered documentary offered a unique historical retrospective over the last 50 years through the eyes of the iconic New York Review of Books. The film interweaves monumental historical events with critical analysis of their consequences by some of the Review‘s contributors, through interviews and unique archival footage. The screening was in partnership with the award-winning arts programme BBC Arena and concluded in a Q&A with its series editor Anthony Wall, also the film’s executive producer.

The 50 Year Argument

Ground Zero at the Frontline Club

June 30, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Richard Nield

A compelling Frontline Club event on Wednesday 25 June showcased film and photographic work from across the globe that revealed both the depth of suffering and the strength of human spirit in some of the world’s most devastating internal conflicts.

Featured at the event was a series of photographs from Tim Freccia in South Sudan, Alvaro Ybarra Zavala in Venezuela, Eman Mohammed in Gaza and Daniel Berehulak in Afghanistan, curated by multimedia photojournalist and filmmaker John D McHugh.

The event culminated in a screening of Ground Zero Syria, a dramatic film by Robert King featuring unprecedented footage of the brutal conflict in Syria, and an impassioned interview with King by The Times journalist Anthony Loyd that offered some chilling conclusions about the future of the conflict.

Robert King and Anthony Loyd at the Frontline Club.

Iraq on the Brink

June 26, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Elliott Goat

“This started before Maliki and will go on long after Maliki.”
- Hayder al-Khoei

Iraq panel

From left: Zuhair al-Naher, Dominic Asquith, Hayder al-Khoei, Ian Black and Zaid Al-Ali (via Skype).

Ukraine: a new challenge

June 20, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Sally Ashley-Cound

On Wednesday 18 June at the Frontline Club, Bridget Kendall, diplomatic correspondent for BBC News, chaired a heated panel discussion on the current situation in Ukraine and the role of local and Russian media in the region.

Bridget Kendall, Dmitry Linnik and Katya Gorchinskaya at the Frontline Club

Bridget Kendall, Dmitry Linnik and Katya Gorchinskaya at the Frontline Club

Protecting whistleblowers: “The people always have a right to know”

June 19, 2014 Frontline Bloggers 1 Comment

By Allendria Brunjes

A six-person panel, experienced with an array of whistleblowing cases, came together at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 17 June for the Amnesty International event, Protecting Whistleblowers.

Speaking to a sold out room, the panel – which included lawyers, a journalist and a whistleblower – discussed issues of truth, access to information and disseminating information, integrating their own experiences into the talk. All agreed that whistleblowers need to be protected when working in the interests of the people.


From left: Lieutenant Colonel the Reverend Nicholas Mercer, Peter Hounam, Avigdor Feldman, Nancy Hollander, Michael Garcia Bochenek, Kathleen McClellan and Frank La Rue in conversation at the Frontline Club.

“If I didn’t get an agreement, I failed.”

June 17, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Tom Adams

On Monday 16 June, the Frontline club hosted director Karen Stokkendal Poulsen and veteran European diplomat Robert Cooper for the screening of Poulsen’s new filmThe Agreement.

Sir Robert Cooper and director Karen Stokkendal Poulsen in conversation at the Frontline Club.

Return to Homs and the journey of two friends from pacifist protestors to rebel insurgents

June 16, 2014 Frontline Bloggers 1 Comment

By Sally Ashley-Cound

Return to Homs follows two close friends and young revolutionaries as their beloved city is taken over by the army. Basset is a local football star, the goalkeeper for the Syrian national team who also became an iconic singer in the revolution, and Ossama is a media activist and pacifist.

The intimate portrait shows how they transform from peaceful protestors by August 2011 into rebel insurgents in August 2013 as Homs is turned into a bombed-out ghost town. The film directed by Talal Derki was previewed at the Frontline Club on Friday 13 June and a Q&A with producer Orwa Nyrabia via Skype followed.

Tough road ahead for Egypt

June 12, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Richard Nield

In the aftermath of victory for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in recent presidential elections, Egypt’s government faces a huge challenge to unite a fragmented society behind difficult economic reforms, agreed a panel of experts speaking at the Frontline Club on 10 June 2014, chaired by Rasha Qandeel, presenter and journalist at BBC Arabic.

Egypts Roadmap

From left: Chaired by Rasha Qandeel, Dalia Abd Elhameed, Mohamed Yehia and Tarek Osman in conversation at the Frontline Club.

Fault Lines in Unknowable Spaces: Boko Haram and the hunt for Nigeria’s missing schoolgirls

June 10, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Elliott Goat

The Frontline Club’s First Wednesdays kicked off a discussion on the news story that has dominated all others over the past month: Boko Haram and the hunt for Nigeria’s missing schoolgirls. Channel 4 News’ foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller, chairing the evening’s discussion, began by asking who are Boko Haram? What are their ultimate objectives? How have they evolved to take centre stage in the global media spotlight?


L-R Jonathan Miller, Fatima Akilu, Kayode Ogundamisi, Andrew Walker and Bala Liman

Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict

June 4, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Tom Adams

On Tuesday 3 June, with just a week to go until the start of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Frontline Club hosted a fully booked event on preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict, with specialist reference to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

2014-06-03 19.04.22

From left: Liz Ford, Sarah Cotton, Serge-Eric, Fiona Lloyd-Davies and Dr Juliet Cohen at the Frontline Club.

Secrets of the Vatican: Screening and Director Q&A

June 4, 2014 Frontline Bloggers Comment

By Ratha Lehall

Secrets of the Vatican director, Anthony Thomas.

Secrets of the Vatican director, Anthony Thomas.

On Monday 2 June, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of Secrets of the Vatican, which was followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director and producer, Anthony Thomas. The film focuses on the sexual abuse scandals that emerged from within the Vatican during the time when Pope Benedict led the Roman Catholic Church, and looks to the future with Pope Francis. It hears testimonies from people who have been abused by Roman Catholic priests, as well as members of the clergy and also journalists and experts on the Vatican.