A Handful of Dust: a Photography Exhibition by Nish Nalbandian

A humanistic photographic portrayal of everyday life of Syrian refugees living in Turkey formed the subject of a talk at the Frontline Club on Tuesday 17th April.

The award-winning photographer Nish Nalbandian came in for a conversation with documentary filmmaker and journalist Matthew Cassel for his latest book, A Handful of Dust – a 148 page reportage of Syrians forging new lives in southern Turkey.

Some of the slides from the book formed the background of the conversation and Cassel started by asking Nalbandian if he could explain his work in his own words. He said:

“There are almost 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey and every time I send pictures out for publicity they, (the media), want to run pictures of refugee camps but since many don’t live in camps I only have two pictures of them in the book. They in fact live all over…you’ll find people living in villages, some squatting in camps or renting apartments in smaller towns and cities in Istanbul and Ankara. So, it’s hard to give a blanket statement about what people are doing and where they are staying.”

He showed pictures of Rehanli in Hatay province and explained how he spent an afternoon with the family where the local farmer let a family of refugees stay but the building was not suitable for winter. The only help they had received from the Turkish government were bags of coal that the photograph showed the children playing with. Nalbandian said: “I was there right before Christmas and it struck me how happy the kids were because they had these bags of coal to play on.”

Matthew Cassel, who hosted the event is an award-winning filmmaker and multimedia journalist based in the Mediterranean region.

As a majority of the pictures were of the refugees living outside camps Cassel asked Nalbandian how they were supported, he said, “by everyone and no one”. He pointed to the efforts of Turkish people, from Syrians themselves and international NGO’s. He also added:

“But some families were not on the radar and they don’t register, (for fear of being put into camps). The Turkish Red Cross/Red Crescent does have programmes, but it doesn’t reach everyone.”

Talking about the title of the book Nalbandian said it is selected from T. S. Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land, as it captured the way in which people were scattered from their homes. He also commented that the book starts with images of camps, showing the refugees eking out an existence but explained: “The whole book is not like this, which I hope you’ll see.”

He added that he has stayed in touch with almost all the families he photographed but most them move on and the neighbours of one particular family he depicted said they chose to go to a camp in order to access essential services and care.

Talking about his thoughtful approach to representing everyday realities of migrants and refugees Nalbandian said: “I think it’s important to get to know what they are feeling and get a sense of what’s going on with them and that emotional connection is important, it’s what gets you the picture.”

In terms of photographic equipment Nalbandian took a a medium-format film camera instead of just shooting Polaroids. He suggested: “It gave a formality to the picture and to the process and people responded to that, they felt you’re taking the time to do something import for them.”

Toward the end of the talk Nalbandian paused in front of a panoramic view of Gaziantep, a city where some of the subjects of his book lived, and said it had a particular resonance with him as it showed an old Armenian Catholic church now being used as a mosque and this reminded him of his own Armenian heritage. He explained:

“It struck me how in 2015 I was documenting a migration a hundred years later on exactly the same routes, just in reverse. There was a huge flow of people in 1915 from Anatolia (present-day Turkey) to Syria. The reason why I do portraitures like this is because I have a photograph of my grandfather from 1915 in Iskenderun, southern Turkey wearing his French Armenian Legion uniform and I wanted to make portraits that spoke to me in that way. I would like to go back and recreate that portrait and have people stand in the same pose using the 8×10 old film camera to show people in the same place a hundred years on. ”

One of the points raised in the Q&A session was if the people he photographed wanted their stories to be told, To this he said:

“In many cases yes, especially early on 2012 people were clambering to tell their stories. Later on, I think they became jaded saying, ‘telling my story isn’t going to make a difference so please leave me alone’. In cases like this I sat down and talked to them and asked them to tell their story anyway, but I don’t think many at this point think their stories will make a difference.”

During the evening numerous other comments and questions followed on the intricacies of refugees’ lives and how Nalbandian had tried to show among others people who were enterprising and trying to move away from the tragedies bought on by the war.

Frontline Fixers Fund Dinner 2018

Safa Al Ahmad, Jeremy Bowen, Lindsey Hilsum, Christina Lamb and Sean Langan invite you to the annual fundraising dinner for the Frontline Fund.

The Frontline Fund was set up in 2007 following the murder of Ajmal Naqshbandi in Afghanistan, with the aim of raising money for the families of media workers killed or injured around the world while working with the international press.

Without the support of media workers, foreign journalists could not operate in the field. They are the unsung heroes of the industry and too often pay the highest price, remaining in the field once the foreign journalists have left.

The evening will begin with a drinks reception in the clubroom from 7pm, followed by a sit down dinner. Join us to support this important cause – the cost of your ticket will help support the Frontline Fund for another year.

Ticket cost £100

Tickets are limited


Frontline Christmas Fair

Public Welcome 1pm-5pm
Members & By Invitation Only 6pm-10.30pm

“Wherever I am travelling, I buy scarves. In many countries, textiles provide a
vital income for women. I am delighted that this Christmas the Frontline Club will
be showcasing handicrafts from countries which should be associated not only
with war, but also with their glorious cultural heritage.” – Lindsey Hilsum –
Channel 4 News International Editor & Advisory Board Member of the
Frontline Club

The Frontline Club is a gathering place for journalists, photographers and other
likeminded people interested in international affairs. It champions independent
journalism and freedom of speech and campaigns for the protection of press
freedom and the safety of freelancers around the globe.
This year it has chosen to hold a Christmas Fair alongside its annual drinks
party on 9 th December 2021 with a selection of charities and enterprises that
sell handcrafted items from many of the countries that Frontline Club members
report from and work in.

Care a lot. Give a little.

Support artisans from Asia, Africa and the Middle East and make a
difference to families in the places behind the headlines, as well as help
fundraise for The Frontline Club Charity.
“Artisans keep culture alive in places torn by conflict. Help them keep telling a
different story,” – Lyse Doucet – the BBC’s Chief International
Correspondent & Advisory Board Member of the Frontline Club

There will be products ranging from glass baubles from the Holy Land, Ottoman
silks, Egyptian leatherwork fashioned by women in Cairo’s City of the Dead,
Afghan and Pakistani jewellery, homeware inspired by the Mughal court,
cushions stitched by Syrian refugees and much more!


A group of vendors that have previously collaborated with Leighton House
Museum and the Aga Khan Centre, this Christmas we are partnering with the

Frontline Club which presents a great location as well as the kind of well-
travelled, socially minded crowd to which our products should appeal.

Bethlehem Baubles

Bethlehem Baubles partners with Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans (BFTA) who
work closely with Muslim and Christian communities at an individual level to
produce hand-decorated glass baubles that make unique gifts from the heart of
the Holy Land.


Ishkar helps craft thrive in challenging contexts. Its clothing, jewellery and
homeware has been handcrafted in places that are, or have been, affected by
conflict or political turbulence. By supporting these artisans Ishkar aims to bring
vitality to our shared global heritage, change one-sided narratives and create
economic opportunities where they are desperately needed.


MISHKĀ produces beautiful leatherware handcrafted by women living among
Cairo’s historic Mamluk monuments in the “City of the Dead”, using traditional
techniques and the finest natural materials. Training and design support by
designers, including leather designer Bill Amberg and jewellery maker, Tania
Clarke Hall, provides the women with the skills to produce these products,
which are sold for the benefit of their families and themselves.


Nimuri sells homeware made by Pakistani artisans, supporting heritage craft
skills and creating beautiful and unique products that tell a story about the
country’s rich artisanal history. It sources from small family-run enterprises,
charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Ottoman Silks

Ottoman Silks reproduces fabrics from the illustrious Ottoman Empire. The
collection comprises of six elegant designs that were originally commissioned
and worn by the Ottoman Sultans and their royal court. Its exclusive range of
kaftans, waistcoats and accessories is unique in its combination of heritage and
contemporary designs and has been made to the highest standard.


Sabbara is a small social enterprise selling cushions, bags and shawls
embroidered by displaced Syrian women. Many have lost their husbands and
are now caring for their children without support, often with low levels of literacy

and no skills with which to earn a living. Half are displaced within Syria, and
trying to survive in a country devastated by ten years of war. The rest are in
neighbouring Lebanon, where 99% of refugees live below the poverty line.

S Jo

S Jo draws inspiration from traditional textile techniques to produce original
accessories handcrafted by artisans, mainly female, in Pakistani villages. Its
signature jewellery collections value each individual craft woman’s creativity,
provide opportunities for fair income and a creative space for artisans to
develop their craft practice.

For further information, images or interviews with the stallholders, please
contact: Eleanor Khan on +44 (0)750 1839210  or Cathy
Giangrande +44 (0)778 9991411


Contact us about Membership
13 Norfolk Place,
London W2 1QJ,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7479 8950

Closest Tube Stations:
Paddington, Edgware Road and Lancaster Gate.

Clubroom opening hours:
Monday to Saturday from 8am till late

Private Dining & Parties

Event Submission Page

Your idea will be considered by the Frontline Club Charitable Trust panel, if it goes through to the next round you will be contacted for more details.



SCREENING DISCUSSION with Writer/Director Jasmila Zbanic and Journalist, war correspondent & Author Janine di Giovanni

“Quo Vadis, Aida?” could do for the Srebrenica massacre what “Schindler’s List” accomplished for the Holocaust. – ForeignPolicy.com

Nominated for the 2021 BAFTA award for Best Director and Best Film Not In The English Language and for the 2021 Academy Award for Best International Feature.

Srebrenica is no longer just the name of a town. It represents the worst of human cruelty and an act that many had hoped was expunged from European history with the end of the Second World War. Jasmila Zbanic’s drama unfolds in 1995, just as the Serbian army have entered the mostly Muslim Bosnia town. Aida is a translator for the UN. Her family is among the thousands of citizens looking for shelter in the UN camp. But as an insider to the negotiations, she has access to crucial information that forces her into the untenable position of deciding between her obligation to those she loves and the role that has a wider impact. Zbanic’s humanity, locating her story on a relatable level, within an event that many of us might find impossible to comprehend, is what raises ‘Quo Vadis Aida’ far above the level of the standard war film.




Journalist, war correspondent & Author Janine di Giovanni







Writer/Director Jasmila Zbanic




The Golden Rule

Thursday 13th May 7pm BST

With Amanda Craig & host Kelly Falconer

A highly enjoyable story about female resilience and finding fulfilment on your own terms, with a twist that is all the more compelling for its unexpectedness ― Sunday Times
Amanda Craig’s new novel turns on two women who meet by chance and discover that they are both victims of abusive husbands. Together, they plot their revenge.



DNA Of The Iconic Image

Main Photograph above, Don McCullins, Shell-shocked US Marine, The Battle of Hue


Thursday 6th May 7pm BST

Part of series with photographer
Carol Allen-Storey



Fiona Shields – Head of photography at the Guardian newspaper, London



Brandei Estes – Head of photography Sotheby’s London






Stuart Smith – is the director and founder of GOST Books, an independent visual arts and photography publisher






Cornell Watson – documentary photographer, created the award winning series, ‘Behind the Mask’., created the award winning series, ‘Behind the Mask’.

Vaccine Diplomacy

The Covid-19 pandemic marks the first time in modern history that all of humanity has experienced the same invisible public health menace at once. It has also revealed deep fractures in the multilateral approach to vaccine distribution – with production hoarded and even blocked, and with many countries left to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the abdication of US leadership and hoping to showcase their own global health leadership, China, India and Russia are donating millions of doses to countries but with strings attached which are not always evident to recipient countries. Everything now seems more political and the pandemic is no exception.

This panel of international experts and journalists will discuss the current dire situation, the hidden costs for countries accepting vaccine donations, how soft power is being flexed, and what the playing field could look like in future pandemics.



Moderated by Michael Bociurkiw.






Dr. Syra Madad is an American pathogen preparedness expert and infectious disease epidemiologist.






Cordelia Lynch is a US Correspondent for Sky News





Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute at the SOAS University of London.







Anna Nemtsova, permanent Moscow correspondent for The Daily Beast.


Irish Mother & Baby Homes Scandal

Virtual Screening PLUS Discussion

We will be showing a 30 minute film followed by a discussion.
In a specially edited episode of People and Power, filmmaker Callum Macrae and reporter Laurence Lee investigates deeply disturbing allegations that both the Irish state and its religious orders were responsible for a systematic decades-long regime of institutional neglect and exploitation involving the death of thousands of children.



Maureen Considine is a Researcher and Co-founder of Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance.





Ann O’Gorman, who was 17 when she gave birth to her baby daughter Evelyn in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork. Evelyn was one of over 900 babies believed to have died in Bessborough before being buried in unmarked graves






Callum Macrae, an Emmy- and Bafta-nominated writer and film-maker whose credits include No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka




Moderated by Channel 4’s Social Affairs Editor Jackie Long






others TBC.

DADLAND with Keggie Carew

Book Night

Tom Carew was 24 when he parachuted into Nazi-occupied France under the cover of night. He was part of the secret Operation Jedburgh, the motto of which was “Surprise, Kill, Vanish”. His role was to liaise with the local resistance, and even in daredevil company he was notably enterprising and brave, later escaping from the German army through a sewer and taking refuge with some nuns. He won the Croix de Guerre, but this was nothing to his exploits a few months later in Burma, where he organised a series of ambushes by guerrilla groups that caused significant damage to Japanese forces. Celebrated as “Lawrence of Burma” and “the Mad Irishman”, Carew was the youngest officer ever to be awarded a Distinguished Service Order.
Tom Carew was a war hero and an unconventional father with heaps of charm. When he began to lose his memory, his daughter set out to write this fascinating memoir. – Guardian reviews
​Dadland won the Costa Biography Award 2016.


Afghanistan 20 Years On

Picture above: Tarana Akbari, 12, screams after a suicide bombing at Abul Fazel Shrine in Kabul on Dec. 6, 2011 Photograph: AFP/Massoud Hossaini.

It is almost 20 years since the Taliban regime was removed from power in Afghanistan and the Allied military engagement in the country began. Any change made is now threatened as the United States seeks a way to broker peace with the insurgents. Massoud Hossaini is an Afghan photographer who won a Pulitzer prize for his heart-wrenching picture of a young woman in the aftermath of a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Kabul. Rupert Frere is a soldier in the British Army, who as a photographer has chronicled life on the military frontlines. They will discuss their work on their very different frontlines. They will be joined by Weeda Mehran, an Afghan academic who specialises in conflict and insurgency. And Waliullah Rahmani, an academic, analyst and media entrepreneur. Moderated by Lynne O’Donnell, author and journalist, bureau chief in Afghanistan for The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse (2009 and 2017).


More info:

With Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer Massoud Hossaini, born in Kabul in 1981, during the Soviet occupation. His family fled to Iran when he was six months old. As a young adult, Massoud became involved in activism and began to record the events he witnessed through photography. In 2002, after 9/11 and the start of the US war in Afghanistan, Massoud returned to his home country and received training from the AINA Afghan Media and Cultural Center in Kabul. He was a staff photographer for AFP & chief photographer for The AP between in 2007 and 2019. He is currently studying for a degree in political science at the American University of Afghanistan. He has won a breaking-news Pulitzer Prize in 2012, as well as the World Press Photo award the same year.

Lynne O’Donnell, journalist & author. Between 2009 and 2017 she was Afghanistan bureau chief for AFP and The Associated Press. She completed an MA in war studies at King’s College London in 2019. She writes about Afghanistan for Foreign Policy magazine, among others, and is working on her next book.

Dr Weeda Mehran, a lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Department of Politics and the Director of MA in Conflict, Security and Development at the University of Exeter.

Rupert Frere,  an award-winning Combat Photographer, a highly experienced photographic instructor with a twenty-two-year career in the British Forces.

Waliullah Rahmani, an academic, analyst and media entrepreneur.

The Influence Of Ethnic Diversity in Photography

What are the challenges and cultural sway for black and ethnic diversity in the photographic world?





Host: Carol Allen-Storey is an award-winning photojournalist



Panel Below:



Jennie Ricketts is a photography editor, curator, consultant and mentor. She is a former Picture Editor of The Observer Magazine,where she worked for seventeen years





Polly Irungu is a multi-media journalist and founder of Black Women Photographers, a global community and on-line database of Black Women and non-binary photographers.






Song Chong PhD – Curator | Professor of Photography and Theory at NYU & The New School. Guest Lecturer at Fordham University Trustee at the Martin Parr Foundation






Jermaine Francis, a London based photographer who works within discourse of the document & portraiture, in the format of personal driven Photo projects & Editorial


Environment – Plastics in Our Oceans, How To Turn The Tide

(Picture above Jasmin Sessler)
Panel Discussion
With Jo Ruxton, Co-Founder Plastic Oceans UK and producer of the documentary feature film, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ (on Netflix), Prof Richard Thompson OBE FRS, World-leading marine scientist, founder and head of Plymouth University’s International Marine Litter Research Unit, which has charted the global distribution of microplastics from Arctic sea ice to the deep seas, Prof Helmut Maurer, Principal Jurist at the Waste Management and Recycling Unit from the European Commission.
Moderated by environmental scientist and former environment editor of the Sunday Times, Jonathan Leake. Nearly three billion people depend directly on marine and coastal biodiversity for their survival. By absorbing approximately a third of carbon dioxide emissions, oceans play a decisive role in regulating the climate. As a source of life, they are therefore crucial to the very fate of humanity. Yet, we dispose of over 8 million tonnes of plastic in the seas every year.#environmentalfrontline is a regular series of events that concentrate on the burning environmental issues of the day, curated and organised by Clear Public Space.

Book Night – How To Stay Sane In An Age Of Division


Ours is the age of contagious anxiety. We feel overwhelmed by the events around us, by injustice, by suffering, by an endless feeling of crisis. So, how can we nurture the parts of ourselves that hope, trust and believe in something better? And how can we stay sane in this age of division? In this powerful, uplifting plea for conscious optimism,
Booker Prize-nominated novelist and activist Elif Shafak draws on her own memories and delves into the power of stories to bring us together. In the process, she reveals how listening to each other can nurture democracy, empathy and our faith in a kinder and wiser future.

ARTconnects Creative Forum – Representation Of Migrants/Refugees

Join us for the ARTconnects Creative Forum where art meets journalism. Speakers include Liberian journalist Mae Azango, also Sally Hayden is a freelance journalist reporting across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with a focus on migration and refugee issues. She is currently writing a book about Libyan migrant detention centres, which will be published by 4th Estate/HarperCollins (UK), and Melville House (US) in early 2022. Refugee girls from Jordan and Italy. Hosted by Filmmaker and Human Rights Activist,  Salma Zulfiqar. this creative event will explore the representation of migrant/refugee females in the media through art and debate.

Reporting Democracy’s Faultlines


Are we living in a new age of protest? Journalists who have been covering some of the world’s most dramatic recent protests and civil unrest will discuss how people across the political spectrum are making their voices heard, and with what consequences.

Featuring BBC Newsnight International Editor Gabriel Gatehouse, Oscar-shortlisted filmmaker Anders Hammer, ITV News Washington producer Sophie Alexander and Sudanese-British foreign affairs reporter, writer and producer Yousra Elbagir. Moderated by freelance journalist Zoe Flood.



Gabriel Gatehouse is BBC Newsnight’s International Editor and an award-winning foreign correspondent with over a decade’s experience of reporting from around the globe. Gabriel recently won a Foreign Press Association for his Newsnight film on the Hong Kong protests ‘The battle of PolyU’, and has also covered pro-Trump protests in the aftermath of the US elections. After previous postings for BBC News in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, he is now based in London.






Sophie Alexander is the Washington DC producer for ITV News. Along with correspondent Robert Moore and camera operator Mark Davey she was part of the only news crew in the world to enter the Capitol with pro-Trump rioters on January 6. Sophie also covered protests in Louisville following the shooting of Breonna Taylor and has explored the rising tensions in the US for the past year, producing at both pro-left and pro-right protests and interviewing militia, Antifa and QAnon supporters.




Anders Hammer is an award-winning filmmaker and investigative journalist whose latest film ‘Do Not Split’, filmed from the heart of the Hong Kong protests, was recently shortlisted in the Best Short Documentary category of this year’s Academy Awards. Hammer has directed a number of other documentaries, including about the refugee crisis and militias in Iraq and Syria, and previously lived and worked in Afghanistan for six years.






Yousra Elbagir is a Sudanese-British foreign affairs reporter, writer and producer. She is the co-host of a new Vice TV series ‘Black Lives Matter: A Global Reckoning’, which explores the Black civil rights movements in various countries in the world. She reported extensively from Sudan during the youth-led 2019 Revolution for Channel 4 News and the Financial Times.




Sumy Sadurni is a freelance photojournalist in Uganda. She documents society, politics, gender rights and environmental stories from across East African region. She extensively covered the run up of the Ugandan elections over 2020 and 2021, and closely followed presidential candidate Bobi Wine as he challenged President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 32 years.






Zoe Flood is a multimedia journalist based between Nairobi and London, covering security, human rights, and economic and social issues.





Photography – The Most Influential Photos Ever Taken

©Philip Jones-Griffiths Vietnam Inc. (large picture above)


Powerful photography is a form of bearing witness, a way of bringing a single vision to the larger world, creating a strong empathy for the story telling, demanding a call to action, because they can create a persuasive atmosphere where change is possible.

A series of talks related to the influence and impact of the still photograph with Documentary Photographer Carol Allen-Storey. 

With Aidan Sullivan, CEO and Founder Verbatim Photo Agency, represents some of the worlds most respected film makers and photojournalists. New York, Harriet Logan, Founder & curator of the INCITE project An active collection of photographic prints supporting photographers who strive for social and political change through their work. Monica Allende – The London-based curator, producer and educator is the director of Format International Photography Festival and artistic director of Getxophoto. Donna Ferrato – An internationally acclaimed photojournalist known for her ground breaking documentation of the hidden world of domestic violence.

World Briefing 2021 – Foreign Correspondents & Experts Discuss World News

Panel Discussion Moderated by Michael Bociurkiw. 

Joined By:

Janine di Giovanni  a multi-award winning journalist and author, a Senior Fellow and Professor at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs





Andrei Soldatov, Russian investigative journalist and Russian security services expert, co-founder and editor of the Agentura.Ru and author of the recent book The Compatriots.





Lina Sinjab is BBC Middle East Correspondent based in Beirut.






Michael Vatikiotis is a writer, journalist, and private diplomat working in Southeast Asia since 1987. He was formerly editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and a correspondent for the Hong Kong-based news magazine for 16 years





Ayla Jean Yackley is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul.




Michael Holmes is an award-winning anchor and correspondent for CNN International based at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta.


BOOK NIGHT:THE AUTUMN OF THE ACE with Louis de Bernières & Kelly Falconer


A different format to our usual events, Book Nights will randomly offer five attendees to join the author and the host (with video), the rest of the audience will be muted but will be able to post or ask questions live. 

Hosted by Kelly Falconer

The idea is to encourage reading and discussion of reading, and to end the night happier and wiser than when it began.
Louis de Bernières‘ new novel is a moving account of an extraordinary life in extraordinary times. This coming-of-old-age story illuminates both the effect of two World Wars on a generation and the irrepressible spirit and love that can connect people despite great obstacles.




Louis de Bernières is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels and one collection of short stories. He was selected by Granta magazine as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (1994) was an international bestseller and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.




Kelly Falconer is the founder of the Asia Literary Agency, which represents Asian writers, experts on Asia and writers living in the region.

COUP 53 Documentary Q&A with Walter Murch and Taghi Amirani



****You can watch the film at your own time via the link below available until end of February



Larushka Ivan-Zadeh will be hosting the Q&A. She is a film critic at The Times, Film Editor at The Metro and a contributor to Radio 4‘s Film Programme.

While making a documentary about the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran in 1953, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover never seen before archive material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but it also leads to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. Working with Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Schindler’s List, The English Patient) to help bring the lost material to life, what begins as a historical documentary about four days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with America and Britain has never been so forensically and dramatically exposed.


This powerful and authoritative documentary by the Iranian

filmmaker Taghi Amirani is as gripping as any thriller

Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian


Both as a detective story and as a deep dive into a world event

whose consequences linger, it is bracing, absorbing filmmaking

Ben Kenigsberg – New York Times


The film’s editor is Walter Murch, who worked on

“The Conversation” and “The Godfather: Part II” (both 1974),

so there’s not much that he doesn’t know about conspiracy

—how it leaks into a movie like the smell of drains

 Anthony Lane – The New Yorker

The Power of the Still Image: Inspiration for photo series during Covid

Thursday 4th February, 7pm (GMT)


A series of talks related to the influence and impact of the still photograph in conversation with documentary photographer Carol Allen-Storey.

The still photo captures a moment in time allowing the viewer to slow down and think, be reflective. It allows for greater emphasis and has fewer distracting elements than the moving image, giving the viewer more freedom to absorb, contextualise and focus on the elements. It allows for contemplation. Like classical music, you can return, re-interpret and discover aspects not experienced before with greater appreciation.

 Photographs importantly preserve historical events, whether from a socio-political vantage through to highly personal experiences of marriage, births, family life. Photographs are global stories, personal stories, timelines of humanity recorded for prosperity.


Julia Fullerton-Batten

Hyper-realism and cinematic are characteristic descriptions of Julia Fullerton-Batten’s images. They are often set in unexpectedly surreal settings with dramatic lighting, communicating simultaneously both tension and mystery. Julia’s most recent awards include: The International Center of Photography, NY

International Photography Awards, Lucie Trophy, Photo Vogue Festival, 2020, all related to this powerful series reflecting life from within during the pandemic.

Title: ‘Looking Out from Within’

Peeking in from outside her neighbours’ windows, Julia created elaborate, cinematic tableaux, voicing their stories from a distance during the COVID-19 Lockdown.


Fabio Bucciarelli

Fabio Bucciarelli is a photographer, journalist and author known for his documentation of conflicts and humanitarian consequences of war. He has spent the last decade covering the world’s major changing events and creating images which reflect his commitment and empathy with the story.Bucciarelli has been recognized with some of most prestigious award in the profession including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, World Press Photo Award, Perpignan’s Visa d’Or, POYi Photographer of the Year and Lucie Impact Award. Today Fabio is a frequent contributor with The New York Times.

Title: COVID-19First Wave Coverage, Italy | 2020

“We Take the Dead From Morning Till Night”

At the moment when the coronavirus was ripping through northern Italy, working on assignment for The New York Times, Fabio gained exclusive access to the Red Cross workers who were going door to door around Bergamo, the hardest hit part of Italy’s hardest hit region, to check on those who were infected and take the worst of them to the hospital.


Alys Tomlinson

Alys is an editorial and fine art documentary photographer based in London. She recently won 1st prize in the National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for her series ‘Lost Summer’. And was also named Sony Photographer of the Year in 2018.

Title: ‘Lost Summer’

The series consists of 44 portraits of north London teenagers who had their proms cancelled due to the pandemic. The images capture the poignancy of a lost summer for young people who were unable to sit their school exams and had nothing to mark this significant step in growing up and leaving school.


 Ismail Ferdous

Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As a documentary photographer, Ismail covers social humanitarian issues. His recent projects, The Cost of Fashion, a photo and video advocacy project that began after documenting the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the worst industrial disaster in history. Ismail was winner of The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for documentary photography, the Getty Images-Instagram Grant winner 2015, Awarded 1st Prize, Professional General News category in the “Prix de la Photographie”.


 Carol Allen Storey

Carol is an award-winning photojournalist specialising in chronicling complex humanitarian and social issues.



In Solidarity- The Migration Blanket

In Solidarity- The Migration Blanket is a collaborative artwork created during COVID-19 by Refugee and Asylum Seeker girls and women around the world and international artist and Human Rights Activist , Salma Zulfiqar. As we approach the the International Migrants Day (18th Dec), the work shines a light on the need for compassion, tolerance and acceptance of Refugees and Migration and gives refugee and asylum seeker girls and women a voice through creative expression. 30 girls and women, representing over 20 nations and 5 continents took part in the project and is a call for solidarity with refugees as we head out of lockdown.

Please note that this project took place online during the height of COVID-19 in 2020 connecting vulnerable girls and women in the West Midlands, London and Manchester, UK  to a global community where they broke the cycle of isolation, learned creative skills and about human rights. Girls from refugee camps and orphanages all over the world participated.  They contributed to this international collective digital artwork breaking boundaries and creating new friendships during the global pandemic which has crippled societies around the world. The positive impact of this project on their lives has been wide ranging. ARTconnects  is still in touch with all participants who are engaging in screening events for the project.
Q&A with Salma Zulfiqar and ladies who took part in the project along with Bosnian refugee Activist Lejla Damon and Senior Spokesperson for UNHCR UK, Matthew Saltmarsh.
Please see short videos and article for more details.
– London screening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQKKb7q2FAQ&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=SalmaZulfiqar%2FARTconnects
Supported by H.E Vanja Filipovic , Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzogovina to the UK.

– Artwork trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVlDz0WAmb0&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=SalmaZulfiqar%2FARTconnects

Battle for the BBC – Post Screening Discussion

We are excited to host a panel discussion on Monday, 23rd November in collaboration with Al Jazeera’s media critique programme The Listening Post, following the launch of their new documentary ‘Battle for the BBC’. Set against the backdrop of the Johnson government’s threats and manoeuvres, ‘Battle for the BBC’ zeroes in on a tension that has plagued the BBC since its birth almost a century ago – between its dependence on the government, and a desire to be independent of its influence. Featuring interviews with presenter David Dimbleby, Newsnight’s former Economics Editor Paul Mason, former BBC Director-General Greg Dyke, former Radio 4 host John Humphrys and others, the film brings to life the little-known history of the BBC’s tussle with the British state – from the 1926 General Strike, through bitter conflicts with the Thatcher and Blair governments, and up to its present-day stand-off with Johnson and company. You can watch the half-hour film free of charge at this link from 9pm this Saturday, 21st November. Then, at 7pm the following Monday (23rd) the film’s presenter, Flo Phillips, will be in discussion with David Dimbleby and Paul Mason.

‘You can watch the trailer for the documentary here: https://vimeo.com/480726442

The full documentary will be available via this link from 9pm GMT, Saturday 21st November: https://youtu.be/O1lT4uthxg4

Paul Mason, (below) former economics editor, BBC Newsnight
Flo Phillips, (below) senior producer at The Listening Post, on Al Jazeera English
David Dimbleby, (below) Reporter and presenter of BBC current affairs programmes, and former host of the long-running BBC discussion programme Question Time’
Tom Mills, (below) author of ‘The BBC: Myth of a Public Service’ and lecturer in Sociology at the University of Aston

The Rise of Populism

Populism can range from persuasive politics to a dangerous agenda that creates internal and external conflict, negates climate change and rejects human rights. We have been experiencing a swell, that could become irreversible if left unchecked. Our panel discusses how we handle this global rise of populism.

with Jon Lee Anderson

American biographer, author, investigative reporter, war correspondent and staff writer for The New Yorker, reporting from war zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Uganda, Palestine, El Salvador, Ireland, Lebanon, Iran, and throughout the Middle East as well as during Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts with K38 Water Safety as documented in the New Yorker article Leaving Desire. Anderson has also written for The New York Times, Harper’s, Life, and The Nation. Anderson has profiled political leaders such as Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Augusto Pinochet.


more speakers will be announced closer to date …


ONLINE Screenings Take 2 steps

  1. Ticket purchase will give you access (48hrs) to watch the film online, at ‘modern films’
  2. The Q&A with Director Zeina Durra on Monday the 16th November 19:00 is free by registration here:  FREE Q&A


A film by Zeina Durra | English, Arabic  Drama | 85min

Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Karim Saleh

When British aid worker Hana (Andrea Riseborough) returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan (Karim Saleh), a talented archeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.


”elliptical, shimmery … mature and mysterious” The Guardian
”excavates an enigmatic love affair” Flipscreened
”Riseborough is exquisite” Moveablefest


Brought to you by Frontline Club in conjunction with Modern Films


A Sea Of Scandals

Panel Discussion

Thursday 19th November, at 7pm GMT, will see the next in our series of environmental events- organised and curated by us at Clear Public Space in conjunction with the renowned Frontline Club #environmentalfrontline.


You can watch a short synopsis video of our last debate in which the EU Commission’s Professor Helmut Maurer, industry-voice Jacob Hayler and environmental campaigner Georgia Elliott-Smith debated By Burning Waste, Are We Burning Our Future?

This week’s aptly titled ‘A Sea of Scandals’ debate will tackle the practices of overfishing, marine protected areas, and the future of sustainable fishing post-Brexit.

Tristan da Cunha, a British territory, has recently declared the largest fully protected marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean at 687,000 square kilometres- three times the size of the UK. This will close over 90% of their waters to harmful activities like bottom-trawling fishing, sand extraction and deep-sea mining. The archipelago, 2,300 miles east of South America and 1,600 miles west of South Africa joins the UK’s Blue Belt Programme, which, as of today, safeguards 2.7 million square miles of marine ecosystems around the world.

However, whilst 8% of the world’s oceans are designated as MPAs, only 2.6% are fully or highly protected. Furthermore, a Greenpeace investigation has revealed that supertrawlers (freezer trawlers more than 100m in length) spent 2,963 hours fishing in UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in 2019, the equivalent of 123 days. There is mixed messaging regarding MPAs, with some scholars arguing they are little more than “paper parks” – “lines on the map that fail to achieve desired conservation outcomes”.

Furthermore, has overfishing been overhyped? In the North-East Atlantic, average biomass was 35% higher than in 2003, with the number of fishing vessels decreasing by 6%, engine power by 14% and tonnage by 24%. In 2017, almost 80% of the global landings came from sustainable stocks and in 2018 the levels of fish populations were 50% higher than at the start of the decade.

Jonathan Leake, former Environmental Editor at The Times, will be moderating this complex debate again and the panel includes voices from all sides.


Panellists include:

Charles Clover – Journalist and author. Charles writes a weekly column about environmental matters in the Sunday Times and is the former Environmental Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Charles is the executive director of the Blue Marine Foundation and author of The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat.

Barrie Deas – Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations. He is the Chair of the North Sea Advisory Council’s Demersal Working Group and sits on the Executive Committee of the North West Waters Advisory Council. Until recently, he was one of the vice presidents of the European trade association, Europeche.

Elspeth Macdonald- Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation and former deputy Chief Executive of Food Standards Scotland. Elspeth previously worked in the Scottish Government’s Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.

Richard Benyon- Former British Conservative Party MP and Fisheries Minister. He implemented the Marine and Coastal Access Act including the designations of Marine Conservation Zones.

We will also hear from the Ullapool Sea Savers, a group of passionate, articulate, well-informed and dedicated young people from Ullapool, Scotland. They were featured on Prince William’s A Planet for Us All for their work protecting local marine environments.









Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins

ONLINE Screenings Take 2 steps

  1. Ticket purchase will give you access (48hrs) to watch the documentary online, at ‘modern films’
  2. The Q&A on Monday the 2nd November 19:00 is free by registration here:  FREE Q&A

FILM: Directed by Janice Engel | Documentary | English | 93 min

The Life & Times of Molly Ivins tells the story of media firebrand Molly Ivins, six feet of Texas trouble who took on the Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Her razor sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing, and craving ink in her columns. She knew the Bill of Rights was in peril, and said “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.” Molly’s words have proved prescient. Now it’s up to us to raise hell!

“New documentary about the great Texas columnist, sends an urgent message from the Bush years to a nation under Trump with sharp humour” — Guardian“New documentary about the great Texas columnist, sends an urgent message from the Bush years to a nation under Trump with sharp humour” — Guardian


Q&A Monday 19:00pm: With director Janice Engel and producer Carlisle Vanerdervoort hosted by Karen Krizanovich

Molly Ivins was one of the most important journalists of the 21st Century. With the US elections fast approaching, her witty words, tenacious opinions and unflinching political outlooks now ring truer than ever. At her peak, Molly was syndicated in over 400 papers in the US.

Karen Krizanovich, below is a journalist, writer and broadcaster published in Wired, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and Financial Times.



Screening brought to you by Frontline Club in conjunction with Modern Films


Black Lives Matter

Post the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and amidst worldwide protests, Black Lives Matter the movement reminds us all how systemic racism is in our societies. We discuss the movement with a focus on the media landscape, which is still overwhelmingly White. The Frontline Club invites a conversation between leading Black journalists and commentators to ask; what are the consequences of reporting the world predominantly through a white gaze?


Moderated by Nima Elbagir

CNN's Nima Elbagir Is Receiving the 2019 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism | TVNewser

and joined by…

Marcus Ryder

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu

On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist

“On All Fronts takes the reader on a riveting journey of storytelling. . . From Russia to China to Syria, she navigates the most intense of human experiences while finding the tools to stay emotional.”–author Lynsey Addario

The recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, Clarissa Ward is a world-renowned conflict reporter. In this strange age of crisis where there really is no front line, she has moved from one hot zone to the next. With multiple assignments in Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan, Ward, who speaks seven languages, has been based in Baghdad, Beirut, Beijing, and Moscow. She has seen and documented the violent remaking of the world at close range. With her deep empathy, Ward finds a way to tell the hardest stories. On All Fronts is the riveting account of Ward’s singular career and of journalism in this age of extremism.

Following a privileged but lonely childhood, Ward found her calling as an international war correspondent in the aftermath of 9/11. From her early days in the field, she was embedding with marines at the height of the Iraq War and was soon on assignment all over the globe. But nowhere does Ward make her mark more than in war-torn Syria, which she has covered extensively with courage and compassion. From her multiple stints entrenched with Syrian rebels to her deep investigations into the Western extremists who are drawn to ISIS, Ward has covered Bashar al-Assad’s reign of terror without fear. In 2018, Ward rose to new heights at CNN and had a son. Suddenly, she was doing this hardest of jobs with a whole new perspective.

On All Fronts is the unforgettable story of one extraordinary journalist–and of a changing world.

Clarissa is joined by member Ramita Navai (below), an Emmy and Robert F. Kennedy award-winning British – Iranian journalist, documentary producer and author. She has reported from over forty countries and has a reputation for investigations and work in hostile environments

Pandemic Plastic – a Burning Issue

Pandemic Plastic A Burning Issue.

By burning, are we burning our future?

Burning plastics is a primary source of Green House Gases.

The plastic pollution crisis that overwhelms our oceans is also a significant threat to the Earth’s climate. At current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle hinder the ability of the world community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C. With the petrochemical and plastic industries planning a massive expansion in production, the problem is on track to get much worse. The UK has committed to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 however at present rates, these greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten our local ability and furthermore will hinder the global communities ability to meet carbon emissions targets.

Most plastic begins as a fossil fuel, and greenhouse gases are emitted at each of each stage of the plastic lifecycle: 1) fossil fuel extraction and transport, 2) plastic refining and manufacture, 3) managing plastic waste, and 4) plastic’s ongoing impact once it reaches our oceans, waterways, and landscape. We will be concentrating on the managing of plastic waste. In pre pandemic 2019, the production and incineration of plastic produced more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases—equal to the emissions from 189 five hundred megawatt coal power plants.

2020 and the Covid Pandemic will contribute further to these emissions and our use of single use plastics and has seen us take a large step backwards as a Global community.

In 2016, U.S. waste incinerators released the equivalent of 12 million tons of carbon dioxide, more than half of which came from plastics and research clearly shows that burning plastic in incinerators creates the most CO2 emissions among any plastic waste management method. Yet today 30 more sites in the UK have planning permission pending, and 45 sites are approved, and China already has some 300 waste-to-energy plants operating, with another several hundred in the pipeline.

On 22 October 2020, a month after ‘Earth overshoot day’, the Frontline Club will be hosting a panel discussion between believers in, and enemies of, EfW / Incineration (Energy-from-Waste).

Moderated by Jonathan Leake, former science and environment editor at The Sunday Times joined also by the EU Commission’s Professor Helmut Maurer and sustainability Advisor Georgia Elliot-Smith, UNESCO Special Envoy for Youth & Environment, and Jacob Hayler (below), Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association. Part of a new series of regular environmental discussions, curated and organised by Clear Public Space, in conjunction with the Frontline Club, to investigate pressing environmental issues, join us!

The next Frontline Club environmental event will be on the 19th November #environmentalfrontline