The Forum Blog

June 26, 2014

Iraq on the Brink

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


June 20, 2014

Ukraine: a new challenge

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.


June 19, 2014

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

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 […]


June 17, 2014

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

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 film, The Agreement.


June 16, 2014

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

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 […]


June 12, 2014

Tough road ahead for Egypt

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.


June 10, 2014

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

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 […]


June 4, 2014

Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict

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).


June 4, 2014

Secrets of the Vatican: Screening and Director Q&A

By Ratha Lehall 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 […]


June 2, 2014

Syrian Snapshots: We started with hope and ended with despair

By Greta Hofmann At the screening of Syria – Snapshots of History in the Making on Thursday 29 May at the Frontline Club, host Vaughan Smith was joined by Abounaddara Films producer Charif Kiwan, former Le Monde editor and founder of the WARM Foundation Remy Ourdan, and photographers Patrick Chauvel and Paul Lowe, for a pre-screening discussion as well as a […]


May 22, 2014

Lying to Survive: Love, Sex, Death and the Search for Truth In Tehran

By Elliott Goat “To live in Tehran you have to lie. Morals don’t come into it. Lying in Tehran is about survival.” Speaking at the Frontline Club on Wednesday 21 May about her new book City of Lies, Ramita Navai was joined in conversation by the BBC’s Middle East Correspondent Jeremy Bowen. She began by elaborating on the […]


May 21, 2014

News and information security in the digital age

By Allendria Brunjes SecDev Group CEO and information security expert Rafal Rohozinski brought digital news issues and security to the forefront on Tuesday 20 May. In partnership with BBC World Service, the night’s focus ranged from regional social media and “robo-lobbies” to data journalism and the internet’s role in warfare. Rohozinski, who also co-founded Psiphon and […]


May 16, 2014

Hearts of Oil: Virunga Sneak Preview + Q&A

By George Symonds “They are like my family.” “They’re just fucking monkeys.” On Thursday 15 May 2014, the Frontline Club screened Virunga, a masterful documentary that portrays both the highest of human empathy, and lowest of murderous greed in eastern DR Congo. Present for the Q&A were director Orlando von Einsiedel, producer Joanna Natasegara and investigative […]


May 15, 2014

Balochistan at a Crossroads: Beauty and brutality

By Anna Reitman Balochistan is one of the least known stories about Pakistan yet its geo-political strategic importance and abundant natural resources means control of this province is a high-stakes battle, said Declan Walsh, The New York Times bureau chief for Pakistan. Walsh was on hand on Wednesday 14 May to launch Balochistan at a Crossroads – the […]


May 14, 2014

On the frontline of defending women’s rights: A conversation with Human Rights Watch

By Anna Reitman The Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch joined The Guardian’s Liz Ford on Tuesday 13 May to discuss the highs and lows of the challenges faced in improving the lives of women and girls around the world. The event took place as the world’s attention focuses on Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls and subsequent failure to […]


May 9, 2014

Dear Leader: From inside the North Korean elite

By Alex Glynn North Korea’s former poet laureate gave the Frontline Club a rare opportunity to hear about life inside one of the world’s most secretive and intriguing nations, in a discussion about the reality of its present and possibility of its future. Defector Jang Jin-sung was joined by Asia expert and commentator, Peter French, […]


May 9, 2014

Documentary Shorts Screening: Sound and Vision

By Antonia Roupell On Friday 2 May, a crowd gathered for a now-familiar Friday set-up of documentary short screenings at the Frontline Club. Wotienke Vermeer, the documentary programmer, introduced the evening’s line up. She explained that this time there was no subject theme for the films but noted instead on the films particular use of sound. […]


May 2, 2014

Remembering Tim Hetherington

By Allendria Brunjes There were more laughs than tears as family, friends and colleagues gathered to remember photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington at the Frontline Club on Wednesday 23 April. The open discussion, Still Kicking – Tim Hetherington, Three Years On, included stories from Hetherington’s life and the influence he continues to have.


May 2, 2014

Vested Interest: In Hock to Oligarchs?

By Elliott Goat Opening the debate organised by Standpoint magazine, which took place at the Frontline Club on May 1, Standpoint Editor Daniel Johnson began by restating the motion: This house believes that Britain is more interested in doing business with Russian Oligarchs than standing up to Vladimir Putin.


May 2, 2014

Frontline Showcase: An evening with the new media game changers

By Alex Glynn The disruptive and unconventional news model of VICE News was a fitting topic for the night that the Frontline Club unveiled their slightly longer, disruptive and exciting ‘Showcase’ evening on Wednesday 30 April. In a mixture of debate, film and discussion, the audience were treated to two different segments on the ‘changing news landscape’ and […]


May 1, 2014

A Thousand Times Good Night: A life in conflict

By Ratha Lehall On Monday 28 April, the Frontline Club hosted a fully booked preview screening of the feature film A Thousand Times Good Night, which was followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Erik Poppe, moderated by Gavin Rees from the Dart Centre Europe. The film, which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, tells […]


April 28, 2014

Aleppo. Notes from the Dark: “Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times”

By Phoebe Hall On Thursday 24 April, the Frontline Club welcomed a full house to a screening of Aleppo. Notes from the Dark. It was followed by an insightful Q&A with directors Michal Przedlacki and Wojciech Szumowski, which touched on the misrepresentation of the conflict in Western media and the possibility of a foreign peacekeeping intervention. […]


April 17, 2014

Can illustration offer another layer to war reportage?

By Sally Ashley-Cound At the Frontline Club on Wednesday 16 April illustrator George Butler and features editor for The Guardian and editor of the G2 supplement Malik Meer discussed whether there is room for supposedly more subjective and abstract illustration in hard-news when photography dominates.


April 15, 2014

Letters to Myself – thoughts on war 20 years on

by Sally Ashley-Cound Letters to Myself, which screened at the Frontline Club on Monday 14 April, follows Russian photographer Oleg Klimov as he returns to the places he documented during the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and into the 2000s. The film combines Klimov‘s memories with the stories of the people he […]


April 10, 2014

Lessons and Legacies: Rwanda 20 Years On

By Elliott Goat Opening the debate that took place at the Frontline Club on 9th April to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, Mukesh Kapila, former humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, claimed that the legacy of this experience is to to make us all Rwandans, “because a crime against humanity in one place becomes […]


April 9, 2014

The Lost Signal of Democracy

By Tom Adams On Monday 7 April, the Frontline Club welcomed Yorgos Avgeropoulos for the screening of his latest documentary, The Lost Signal of Democracy. The film followed the closure of ERT, Greece’s public broadcasting service, in June 2013, and tracked the progress of its staff and critics right up until the end of March 2014. […]


April 9, 2014

Into Darkness: Pulling the plug on Greek Democracy

By Elliott Goat Introducing his film The Lost Signal of Democracy, screened at the Frontline Club on Monday 7 April, director Yorgos Avgeropoulos began by describing the film as more than merely a document of the closure of Greece’s public broadcaster, ERT, by the government: “I would just like to say that this film is […]


April 7, 2014

Sergii Leshchenko on open access information in Ukraine

By Sally Ashley-Cound On Friday 4 April, Open Access was screened at the Frontline Club. Bringing together the work of five directors – Volodymyr Tykhyy, Serhiy Andrushko, Jeanne Dovhych, Dmytro Konovalov and Dmytro Tiazhlov – Open Access follows the stories of five different people as they attempt to invoke the 2011 Ukraine law on access […]


April 3, 2014

Who will lead Afghanistan?

By Alex Glynn ‘What next for Afghanistan?’ asked a panel of experts at the Frontline Club on 2 April, in an event in partnership with BBC World Service, that looked at the possible outcomes of the upcoming election. There was a certain measured optimism in the response to this question from the panel and a […]


April 1, 2014

First to Fall – Losing Innocence

By Ratha Lehall On Monday 31 March, the Frontline Club hosted a screening of First to Fall, followed by a Q&A with the director of the film, Rachel Beth Anderson, and its co-director, Tim Grucza. First to Fall follows two Libyan young men, Hamid and Tarek, who return to Libya from Canada during the conflict […]