Orania - Q&A with director Tobias Lindner

• February 10th, 2015

Orania is situated in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. All of the 800 inhabitants are white Afrikaans people, also referred to as Boers. They refuse to be part of the “Rainbow Nation”. With their own flag and currency the inhabitants create a cultural homeland to preserve their heritage and live independently from the state.

Director Tobias Lindner carefully observes this culturally homogeneous society situated in the middle of a multicultural country, and explores the mechanisms behind the societal experiment. It would be easy to play on the town’s eccentricities, instead Lindner thoughtfully portrays a community where the lines are blurred between open discrimination and the right to self-determination and preservation of tradition.

Directed by Tobias Lindner
Duration: 94′
Year: 2012f

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Photography Networking Party

• February 3rd, 2015
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Egypt’s New Roadmap

• March 13th, 2014

A year after his victory in Egypt’s historic first free election Mohamed Morsi has been ousted. Since his removal from power by the military on 3 July tensions have soared on the streets of Egypt.

In the early hours of 8 July 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed outside a Cairo barracks, where they believe Mohamed Morsi is being held. The Muslim Brotherhood claim its members were fired on as they staged a sit-in, while the army said it had responded to an armed provocation.

Egypt’s military have moved quickly installing a new interim president, Adly Mansour, the chief justice of Egypt’s constitutional court. Adly Mansour has subsequently set out a timetable for amending the constitution, and for parliamentary and presidential elections for early 2014

With events developing at great speed we will be taking stock of what has happened and asking what this means for Egypt’s future.

Chaired by Jonathan Rugman, foreign affairs correspondent at Channel 4 News.

The panel:

Dina Wahba is an independent activist.

Mohamed Yehia is the multi-media editor at BBC Arabic.

Mona Al-Qazzaz is six months away from obtaining her PhD degree at Cambridge University. She participated in the revolution in January 2011 and she is currently the spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. Her brother is one of the senior assistants of Mohamed Morsi who has been facing incommunicado detention.

Dr Maha Azzam is an associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House.

Dr Omar Ashour is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. He is the author of The De-Radicalization of Jihadists: Transforming Armed Islamist Movements.

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Gino Strada in conversation with Giles Duley: Reflections of a War Surgeon

• July 2nd, 2013

Since Italian NGO Emergency was established in 1994 it has provided free, high quality health care to more than 5,200,000 victims of war, landmines and poverty.

Founded by Gino Strada and a group of colleagues, Emergency has now worked in 16 countries, building hospitals, surgical centres, rehabilitation centres, paediatric clinics, first aid posts, primary health clinics, a maternity centre and a centre for cardiac surgery.

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Gino Strada to the Frontline Club, where he will be talking to photographer Giles Duley about his life and work as a war surgeon and founder of Emergency.

Gino Strada graduated in medicine and trauma surgery from the University of Milan in 1978. In 1988 he decided to apply his surgical experience to helping and treating war victims. From 1989 to 1994 he worked in war zones across the world from Ayacucho, Peru to Kabul, Afghanistan, with the Geneva-based International Red Cross. The experience accumulated from years of war surgery made him realise the need for a small, agile, highly specialised medical organisation and in 1994 with few resources he and a group of colleagues founded Emergency.

Giles Duley worked for 10 years as a fashion and music photographer before becoming an accomplished humanitarian photographer. His work has been exhibited and published worldwide in many respected publications including Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Sunday Times, The Observer and the New Statesman. In 2010 he was nominated for an Amnesty International Media Award and was a winner at the Prix de Paris in 2010 & 2012. His self-portrait was selected for the 2012 Taylor Wessing Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2011, whilst on patrol with 75th Cavalry Regiment, United States Army in Afghanistan, Duley stepped on an improvised explosive device. He was severely injured, losing both legs and an arm.

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Reconstructing Haiti

• June 18th, 2013

On 12 January 2010 the deadliest earthquake ever recorded in the western hemisphere hit Haiti, claiming between 230,000 and 300,000 lives. As aid organisations flooded the country there was an unprecedented outpouring from the international community, and $15.3 billion was pledged for relief and reconstruction.

We will be joined by a panel of experts from the humanitarian aid community and reporters who covered the earthquake and the subsequent reconstruction efforts, to examine why – after three years and $15.3 billion – the country is still in crisis.

In a recent development, cholera victims in Haiti are threatening to sue the UN, accusing them of negligently allowing peacekeeping soldiers to pollute Haiti’s water with cholera. We will be asking how the situation went so wrong and have the lessons been learned.

Chaired by Inigo Gilmore, an award winning journalist and filmmaker who has worked across the world, with extensive experience in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The panel:

Jonathan Katz is a writer and reporter, he is author of The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster. He has written for the AP for six years, stationed in Haiti for nearly three and a half years and was the only American reporter in the country when the earthquake hit on 12 January 2010. He is the 2010 recipient of the Medill Medal of Courage in Journalism and the 2012 winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for this book.

Andy Leak is professor of French and Francophone Studies at University College London. His current research centres on literature and politics in Haiti since 1986. He is also secretary of the Haiti Support Group – a UK-based not-for-profit which seeks to amplify the voices of progressive Haitian CSOs in Europe and N. America. He is one of the editors of the quarterly Haiti Briefing.

Arjan Hehenkamp is a general director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (for the Dutch section) and has twenty years experience of humanitarian work around the world since starting in Somalia in 1993. Since 2006 he has been ultimately responsible for much of MSF’s work in Haiti as well as many other countries. MSF has been working in Haiti since 1991 and currently runs substantial medical programmes in the country.

Mario Gousse is a Haitian-born science teacher based in the UK. He is a member of the Haiti Support Group Executive Committee. He has helped to found the education charity UHUK (United Haitians in the United Kingdom) and currently serves as their Education Officer. He is a student and observer of Haitian history, politics and culture.

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Critiquing the media’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict

• June 14th, 2013

This session is organised by Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

Book Launch of Memo to the Editor

A timely, revealing and important book, Memo to the Editor is a compilation of letters authored by Ibrahim Hewitt, the Middle East Monitor’s senior editor, and addressed to the editors of major newspapers on issues of the day.

‘Curated’ in forward chronological order and with a précis included, the letters which date from December 2009 deliver insightful and up-to-the-minute commentary and analysis on events of the Israel-Palestine Conflict as they occur. Woven into this is a shrewd, and frequently humorous, critique of the way these events are often misrepresented in mainstream media.

One of the author’s fundamental premises in writing these letters was to let journalists know that their work was under scrutiny. As such, the book also speaks to issues of freedom of the press and the space allowed to dissenting voices. The end result is a powerful and unique offering that provides the reader with a sustained argument and narrative from an alternative perspective. The quasi-conversational format that it employs also allows the incredulity and helpless horror at the injustices of the conflict felt by so many to be keenly articulated.

The author will be joined by former BBC Middle East Correspondent, Tim Llewellyn and foreign leader writer for the Guardian, David Hearst. They will be discussing media reporting on the Palestine-Israel conflict, looking at key events in the last decade and the way in which they were portrayed by Western media.

Chaired by Mark McDonald, a human rights barrister and the director and principle founder of the London Innocence Project. He has lectured extensively on US death penalty litigation and constitutional law. He is a founding member of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

The panel:

Ibrahim Hewitt, senior editor for the Middle East Monitor.

Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East Correspondent.

David Hearst, foreign leader writer for the Guardian.

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The Trade Off: Individual Privacy and National Security

• June 13th, 2013

Privacy of the individual, secrecy of the state and national security have been in sharp focus in past weeks due to the leak of material from the US’s National Security Agency (NSA).

It has been revealed that under the so-called Prism programme millions of phone calls have been gathered and Internet use has been monitored on a massive scale. In the UK there are suggestions that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has also accessed the material.

The chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme “in order to protect the public that does require, as President Obama said in Washington, some intrusion on privacy in certain circumstances”. The murder on 22 May of Drummer Lee Rigby reignited calls for the draft communications data bill to be re-examined.

As the debate about individual privacy, state secrecy and national security continues, we will be joined by a panel of experts to ask whether it is possible to strike a balance. Are we moving towards a surveillance state or is the idea of online privacy a myth?

Chaired by Mark Urban, diplomatic and defence editor for BBC Two’s Newsnight. He is the author of several books including Big Boys’ Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA, The Tank War and Task Force Black: The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq.

The panel:

Sir Malcolm Rifkind is MP for Kensington and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. In 1990 he became Secretary of State for Transport and in 1992 Secretary of State for Defence. From 1995-97 he was Foreign Secretary. He was re-elected as a Member of Parliament in May 2005 for Kensington and Chelsea. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Kensington in May 2010. He served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and Welfare Reform until December 2005.

John Kampfner is adviser to Google on freedom of expression and culture. He is an author, broadcaster and commentator specialising in UK politics, international affairs, media and human rights issues. Previously he served as chief executive of Index on Censorship from Sept 2008 until March 2012 and was editor of the New Statesman from 2005-2008. He is the author of a number of books including, most recently, Freedom For Sale.

John Naughton is a senior research fellow at CRASSH, emeritus professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University, vice-president of Wolfson College, Cambridge and an adjunct professor at University College Cork. He is director of the Wolfson Press Fellowship Programme and a well-known newspaper columnist, writing the Observer’s Networker column. He is author of a well-known history of the Internet A Brief History of the Future and most recently From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the Internet.

Helen Margetts is the director of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), a department of the University of Oxford investigating individual, collective and organisational behaviour online. Her research focuses on digital governance and politics, investigating the dynamics of online relationships between governments and citizens, and collective action on the Internet. She is the co-author of Paradoxes of Modernization: Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform; The Tools of Government in the Digital Age; and Digital Era Governance: IT Corporations, the State and e-Government. She currently holds an ESRC professorial fellowship entitled The Internet, Political Science and Public Policy, is editor-in-chief of the journal Policy and Internet and sits on the Advisory Board of the Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office.

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America’s Shifting Foreign Policy

• June 13th, 2013

As Barack Obama enters the second year of his second and final term in office, he faces considerable foreign policy challenges. The US position on Syria and the controversy over the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya are weighing on the president. There is a notable attempt by the Obama administration to make a strategic pivot towards Asia and away from the Middle East.

Join us as we dissect Obama’s foreign policy ambitions, exploring the shifts in focus and how they are playing out. Will he achieve his second term goals? Can he successfully pull focus to Asia or will the conflict in Syria direct attention back to the Middle East?

The Obama administration is making considerable efforts to redefine American power, through domestic reforms that the president calls “nation-building at home” and substantial shifts in foreign policy. We will be looking more widely at the attempts to rebuild America’s global strength.

Chaired by author, journalist and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb. He has worked for NPR and the BBC, and has written for Global Post, the Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The panel:

Kim Ghattas has been the BBC’s State Department correspondent since 2008, and travels regularly with the Secretary of State. She is author of the recently published The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. She was previously a Middle East correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, based in Beirut. Her work has also appeared in TIME magazine, the Boston Globe, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Professor Michael Cox is founding co-director of LSE IDEAS and professor of International Relations at LSE. He has held appointments at The Queen’s University of Belfast, California State University at San Diego, The College of William and Mary in Virginia, the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth, The Catholic University of Milan, the University of Melbourne, and the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra, Australia. He is general editor of two successful book series Rethinking World Politics and Cold War History. He is author, editor and co-editor of several books including The Rise and Fall of the American Empire: From Bush to Obama, US Presidents and Democracy Promotion, US Foreign Policy and Soft Power and US Foreign Policy.

Dana Allin, is senior fellow for US foreign policy and transatlantic affairs, and editor of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy at The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He is professorial lecturer at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., and adjunct professor of European studies at the SAIS Bologna Center. He is author and co-author of five books including, most recently, The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America, and the Rumors of War and Weary Policeman: American Power in an Age of Austerity.

Nick Schifrin is a foreign correspondent for ABC News based in London. Previously he was the ABC News Afghanistan-Pakistan correspondent and bureau chief based in both Kabul and Islamabad, from 2008 until 2012.

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Insight with Wendy Law-Yone: A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma

• June 11th, 2013

In 1948, as Burma gained independence, a young man named Ed Law-Yone founded The Nation newspaper. It went on to become Burma’s leading English-language daily and a hugely influential voice in the country. Ed Law-Yone, the editor and proprietor, became a major player within the political elite, but following the military coup of 1962 the paper was closed and he was imprisoned.

After five years he fled to Thailand to form a government–in-exile and to try to ignite a revolution. He was unsuccessful and later settled in the US where he died in 1980. He did not live to see the Burma he dreamed of but he entrusted his daughter, Wendy Law-Yone, to tell his remarkable story.

It was not until 20 years after his death that Wendy Law-Yone found the confidence to unearth her father’s manuscripts. She will be joining us in conversation with the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall to talk about the unique portrait of Burma she discovered.

Wendy Law-Yone was born in Mandalay, Burma, in 1947. She fled after the 1962 coup, settling in the US where she published two novels The Coffin Tree and Irrawaddy Tango. She came to the UK on a David T.K. Wong creative writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia, and has been here ever since. In 2010 she published her third novel The Road to Wanting and her memoir Golden Parasol: A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma has just been released.

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In conversation with Paul Conroy - Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Final Assignment

• June 6th, 2013

Paul Conroy first met Marie Colvin in March 2003 in Syria. He was attempting to smuggle himself across the Tigris on a raft made of tubes stolen from lorries, with the aim to get into Iraq to cover the final assault on Baghdad. A firm friendship was forged over their many shared interests: sailing, whiskey, and their extraordinary dedication to covering the atrocities of war.

Having worked together in Libya in 2011, they were a natural pairing for an assignment to Homs. They were determined to cover the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown and the devastating impact this was having on civilians.

Paul Conroy will be joining us in conversation with international editor at Channel 4 News, Lindsey Hilsum, to talk about Under The Wire. Offering a testimony of war reportage, and a personal account of the final assignment he embarked on with Marie Colvin, one of the foremost journalists of our generation.

Paul Conroy is a former soldier who spent seven years with the Royal Artillery. He developed a passion for photography and first became involved in journalism on a mission to the Balkans. He has since worked extensively as both a photojournalist and filmmaker in combat zones around the world, producing footage from conflicts in the Balkans, Iraq, Democratic Republic Congo, Rwanda and most notably Libya and Syria.

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First Wednesday: Who will be the next president of Iran and why does it matter?

• June 5th, 2013

On 14 June Iranians will go to to the polls to vote for a president to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but what significance does this election hold? Iran’s Guardian Council has approved eight candidates from the list of more than 600 hopefuls. Two notable exclusions were leading contenders Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.

We will be joined by a panel of experts to ask if these disqualifications signal a demise of hope for peaceful change in Iran and a move towards absolute dictatorship. What does this mean for the reform movement?

Join us to analyse the approaching election, the main players and what the result will mean for the future of Iran.

Chaired by Martin Fletcher, former assistant editor and foreign editor of The Times. He covered the 2009 presidential election in Iran.

The panel:

Kelly Golnoush Niknejad is founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning Tehran Bureau, which is hosted by the Guardian. She is also the inaugural recipient of the Innovator Award from Columbia Journalism School for “inspiring, creating, developing, or implementing new ideas that further the cause of journalism”.

Roberto Toscano was the Italian Ambassador to Iran for five years (2003-2008). As a career diplomat, he has served in a number of other posts (India, Chile, USSR, Spain, United States, as well as at Italy’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations at Geneva). He is the author of books and articles on human rights, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, ethics and international relations.

Saeed Barzin has been an Iran analyst with BBC Persian Service and the BBC Monitoring service since 2006. He has written extensively on Iranian politics, media and society for general audiences, internal BBC customers and UK government officials. Over the past 15 years he has written for a number of current affairs journals and has published several books, including the Political Biography of Mehdi Bazargan which was among the top ten best-selling books in Iran in mid 1990s.

Roger Cohen is a journalist, author and op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He joined The New York Times in 1990 where he was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on 11 September 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Since 2004, he has written a column for the International Herald Tribune and 2009 he was named a columnist of The New York Times. He is author of Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo and Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble, he has also co-written a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, In the Eye of the Storm.

This session is in association with BBC Persian Service.

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First Wednesday: Is talking to the Taliban a solution?

• May 29th, 2013

On 18 June Nato handed over security for the whole of Afghanistan to the Afghan government. At the same time in Doha, Qatar, the Taliban opened an office, establishing a political face to the movement.

The newly announced peace negotiations with the Taliban have been met by division. Attacks on security targets have not abated, a suicide bombing near the presidential palace killed seven on 25 June. The Karzai government pulled out of the first arranged meeting stating: “As long as the peace process is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar.”

Paddy O’Connell of BBC Radio 4′s Broadcasting House will be hosting a panel of experts to take an in-depth look at what negotiations with the Taliban mean for Afghanistan. If talks are to go ahead how should they be conducted?

The panel:

Frank Ledwidge is a former Naval reserve military intelligence officer, he served on front-line operations in the Balkan wars and in Iraq. In civilian life he practised as a criminal barrister for eight years before specialising in international development and human rights law. He has since worked as a civilian advisor all over the world, including in Afghanistan and Libya. He is author of Losing Small Wars British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan and Investment in Blood The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War.

Lucy Morgan Edwards is author of The Afghan Solution and a researcher at the CAIS, Exeter University. She first worked in Afghanistan during the Taliban period. After 9/11 she experienced the ‘transition’ as an election monitor, a researcher on transitional justice for the ICG, correspondent for the Economist, Political Advisor to the EU Ambassador and ‘Country Expert’ to the Chief Observer of the 2005 Parliamentary elections. She is also co-author of A Better Path to Peace – submitted earlier this year to the Select Committee on Defence. The paper argues that talking to the hardliners of the Taliban will not achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan.

John D McHugh is a multimedia photojournalist and filmmaker. Since 2006 he has worked extensively in Afghanistan, covering the war against the Taliban. He has embedded with US, Canadian, British, Danish and Afghan troops. His work has been published in Newsweek, Time magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian and many others. His latest film Afghanistan: Drawdown was shot in Kandahar in April/ May 2013 and has recently aired on Al Jazeera English.

Dawood Azami is an award winning broadcast journalist working for the BBC World Service in London. From 2010-2011 he was BBC World Service Bureau Chief and Editor in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is also a visiting scholar and taught at the University of Westminster, London, and the Ohio State University, USA.

In association with BBC Services for Afghanistan.

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Writing Revolution: The voices from Tunis to Damascus

• May 28th, 2013

From Cairo to Damascus, Tunisia to Bahrain, Writing Revolution brings together some of the best new writing born out of the profound changes shaking the region.

We will be joined by the editors and two of the contributors to talk about their work and how it has been shaped and influenced by the historic events unfolding around them. They will be reflecting on what they have witnessed and documented, and the political and poetic engagement with questions of identity and activism.

Bringing together authors, journalists, activists, students, writers and bloggers this collection of writing offers a moving testimony to the hopefulness and the heartbreak that has been witnessed across the Arab world.

Chaired by Rachel Shabi, a journalist and writer, she has written widely on the Middle East for a variety of media including the Guardian, Sunday Times, Independent , Al Jazeera English, Jane’s Intelligence Digest, Foreign Policy, and the New Statesman. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Orwell Prize for political journalism, won the Anna Lindh journalism prize 2011 and was also nominated for the Next Century Foundation’s cutting edge media award.

The panel:

Matthew Cassel is a journalist and photographer based in the Middle East since 2004. Formerly assistant editor of The Electronic Intifada online journal, he is a journalist with Al Jazeera English and a contributor to numerous other publications.

Layla Al-Zubaidi is director of the Southern Africa Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Cape Town. She headed the Foundation’s Middle East Office in Beirut for six years, served as Program Manager at its office in Ramallah and worked for several media and development institutions.

Mohamed Mesrati is a Libyan writer and journalist residing in the UK. He started to publish his short stories online in 2007. He works as a journalist for El Kef newspaper, which has featured his investigative reports on social issues in Libya. An extract from his novel-in-progress Mama Pizza appeared in Banipal No. 40.

Ali Abdulemam is a Bahraini blogger, the founder of Bahrain Online and human rights activist. He took part in protests calling for democracy in Bahrain in February-March 2011. He was amongst the first to agree to contribute to the Writing Revolution project before he went into hiding during a government crackdown on the protest movement. He was sentenced, in absentia to 15 years in prison and recently fled Bahrain to the UK where he’s been granted asylum. He is representing his friend and fellow political refugee, Dr. Ali Aldairy, who ended up contributing to this project but was sadly not able to make it to the UK for this event.

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In the Picture: Brave New Burma with Nic Dunlop

• May 15th, 2013

This event is organised in partnership with the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature.

Twenty years in the making, Nic Dunlop‘s new book Brave New Burma is an intimate portrait of Burma through pictures and words. It takes the reader from the front lines of the ongoing civil war to its deceptively tranquil cities; from the home of Aung San Suu Kyi to the lives of ordinary people and their struggle to survive.

In a talk chaired by BBC foreign correspondent and writer Fergal Keane, Dunlop will present images from Brave New Burma and speak about the changes he has witnessed in the two decades he has covered Myanmar as it opens up to the outside world.

Nic Dunlop is a Bangkok-based photographer and writer represented by Panos Pictures in London. In 1999, he received an award for his discovery and exposure of Pol Pot’s chief executioner Comrade Duch, a story told in his book, The Lost ExecutionerDunlop also co-directed Burma Soldier, an HBO film which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the United Nations Association Film Festival and nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing.

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Russia’s surveillance state

• May 14th, 2013

The surveillance culture in Russia is well documented. In the digital age as we see more protests on the streets of Moscow and elsewhere the FSB (the successor to the KGB) are developing new surveillance technologies.

Towards the end of last year as debate about the draft Communications Data Bill was raging in the UK, in Russia advanced internet-censorship and monitoring technologies were introduced. In reaction to this Privacy InternationalAgentura.Ru, the Russian secret services watchdog, and Citizen Lab have joined forces to launch a new project entitled Russia’s Surveillance State.

We will be joined by those involved in this new project and other experts to discuss the surveillance practices in Russia and how they are developing.

Chaired by Misha Glenny, an investigative journalist, author and broadcaster. He is one of the world’s leading experts on cybercrime and on global mafia networks. He is author of McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime and DarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia.


Edward Lucas is international editor of The Economist and author of Deception: Spies, Lies and how Russia Dupes the West. He has covered Russia and Central and Eastern Europe for more than 20 years.

Andrei Soldatov is an investigative journalist and editor and co-founder of Agentura.Ru, an information hub on intelligence agencies. Soldatov regularly makes comments on terrorism and intelligence issues for Vedomosti, Radio Free Europe and the BBC. He authored a chapter on Russia’s secret services in the PSI Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence: National Approaches and is co-author of The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB.

Irina Borogan is an investigative journalist and deputy editor and co-founder of Agentura.Ru. She covered the NATO bombings in Serbia, and the Lebanon War and tensions in West Bank and Gaza Strip for Novaya Gazeta. In 2009 she started a series of articles investigating the Kremlin’s campaign to gain control of civil society and strengthen the government’s police services under pretext of fighting extremism, the series was published in Ezhednevny Journal and on Agentura.Ru.

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