Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)

General enquiries

Leeds University Centre for African Studies
c/o POLIS,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Tel: 0113 343 5069

LUCAS Schools Project coordinator

Richard Borowski


Remembering Darcus Howe – film showing of The Mangrove Nine

Remembering Darcus Howe film showing of The Mangrove Nine – Wednesday 28 June, 7.30pm Mandela Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 3HY

Darcus Howe (1943-2017) was perhaps the most prominent radical black journalist and activist in the post-war period in the UK. He opened the Mandela Centre on Chapeltown Road in Leeds in 1984. This event will discuss his legacy for international politics today.

Darcus made a huge impact when he defended himself in court in 1971 on trumped-up charges against people supporting The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill. He became editor of the magazine Race Today in the early 1970s and co-edited (with Tariq Ali) Channel 4’s Bandung File in the 1980s. Later he presented the programme Devil’s Advocate and led documentaries on black Britain. He was a columnist for the New Statesman.

At this event a screening of the documentary film The Mangrove Nine (made by his comrades Franco Rossi and John la Rose, 1974) will be followed by a panel discussion led by Arthur France MBE. Arthur was a friend of Darcus’s. He was a leading figure in the Black Power movement in Leeds in the 1960s and 70s, a founder of the Leeds West Indian Carnival, and he continues to struggle for black people’s rights to justice, equality and education.

Robin Bunce, co-author of the official biography of Darcus Howe, will be on the panel. Details of his book are here http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/darcus-howe-9781849666510/

Darcus, like Arthur, was an advocate for the politics and art of the Trinidad carnival and this event will include a special calypso in tribute to Darcus Howe written by the famous calypsonian Alexander D Great.

The event is free, but a collection will be made. It is sponsored by Leeds Stand Up To Racism, Remember Oluwale, Conversations in Black History (Leeds University) and Leeds TUC.



This entry was posted in Film, History, Leeds, LUCAS, Research, Symposium.

The Legacy of Tony Blair

Dept. of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

University of Leeds presents:

The Killings of Tony Blair                                                                           

Film showing followed by audience discussion

Tues. Nov. 1, 6.00-9.00 pm.                                                                     

Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building                        

with George Galloway, Peter Oborne, Stephen Fry, Will Self, Clare Short, David Davis, Noam Chomsky, Craig Murray, Seamus Milne, Matthew Norman, Ken Livingstone.

“A meticulous documentation of […] the catastrophic and illegal invasion of Iraq, the deaths of perhaps a million people and the region being plunged into sectarian chaos” (The Spectator)

“Presented with such avarice and duplicity, the stomach churns and the mind recoils” (Culture Whisper)

“Sanctimonious documentary” (The Guardian)

“If you need a nauseating reminder of why so many Brits feel alienated from the political centre, here it is” (Time Out)



Tony Blair: Avarice, Aggression, Aftermath

Panel presentations followed by audience questions

Wed. Nov. 2, 6.00-9.00 pm.

Business School, Western Lecture Theatre, G.01


•   Blair and the Middle East: the Aftermath

     Dr. Jack Holland, POLIS

•   Blair, Neoliberalism and the Rise of Corbyn

     Prof. Salman Sayyid, School of Sociology

•   Blair, Sleaze and the Revolving Business-Politics Door

     Hasan Hafidh, Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

•  Blair, the Israel Lobby and Israel/Palestine

    Dr. Sarah Marusek, Department of Religion Studies, University of Johannesburg

For further information, contact

Prof. James Dickins: J.Dickins@leeds.ac.uk

Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

University of Leeds


All welcome


These events are intended to promote civic debate of the issues raised. The views expressed are those of the filmmakers and speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the University of Leeds.

This entry was posted in Film, Symposium.

The Land Beneath Our Feet – Film showing 11 November / workshop 12 November

Friday/Saturday 11/12 November

This coming month, the ENHANCE ITN Environmental Humanities Training Network will be curating several films at the Leeds International Film Festival. One of these films is The Land Beneath Our Feet, a new documentary about governmental and corporate land grabs set in Liberia. The film’s world premiere will take place at 5pm on Friday, 11 November in the University’s Taylor Cinema. After the film, co-directors Gregg Mitman and Sarita Siegel will be lead a Q&A session.

This powerful documentary weaves together rare archival footage from a 1926 Harvard expedition to Liberia with a young man’s quest to understand why 25% of his country’s land has been granted to multinational corporations for agricultural, mining and logging concessions. An explosive investigation of how large-scale land grabs transform livelihoods across the world. Followed by Directors Q&A and linked to a one-day environmental filmmaking workshop. The Phil Taylor Cinema is located in Clothworkers North Building just behind the Parkinson Building on the University of Leeds campus. Sponsored by the ENHANCE ITN.

The following day (Saturday), Gregg and Sarita will be holding a small workshop focusing on environmental filmmaking. Together, they will be speaking about a number of the practical, financial and commercial challenges in making films linked to academic research projects on the environment. The workshop will also consist of a pitching session, where anyone with a film project (however nascent) in mind will be able to present their ideas and receive feedback and constructive criticism from the workshop leaders. This event will be held in the Alumni Room in the School of English from 10am – 4pm.

Both events are being offered free of charge, but we ask that interested participants please sign up online to reserve a space ahead of time at:

http://www.leedsfilm.com/films/the-land-beneath-our-feet-at-the-university-of-leeds (film screening)
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-in-environmental-filmmaking-tickets-28815572152 (filmmaking workshop)


With kind regards,

This entry was posted in Film.

Rebel with a camera – the cinema of Ousmane Sembène

Ousmane Sembène, otherwise known as the father of African cinema, is one of the key figures of world cinema, and yet his works, still relevant today, remain unknown to many. Through this programme we will explore his work through the new and highly acclaimed documentary SEMBENE!, capturing the life of this prolific filmmaker. This will be screened alongside three of Sembène’s films explored in the documentary: Xala, Moolaadé and Black Girl, each of which was in itself a key and groundbreaking work of world cinema.

The programme is coordinated by Aya Distribution in partnership with Africa in Motion with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Screenings include:

[DOUBLE BILL Sembène! + Black Girl] Showing Sun 09 Oct | 2.30pm

Black Girl (La Noire de…)
Ousmane Sembene | Senegal/France 1966 | | 60 minutes

Samba Gadjigo & Jason Silverman Senegal/USA 2015 Digital 89 minutes
The screening will be followed by Q&A with director Samba Gadjigo, Sembène’s biographer.

Book here:


Showing Tue 18 Oct | 5.40pm
Ousmane Sembène Senegal/France/Burkina Faso/Cameroon/Morocco/Tunisia 2004 | 35mm | 125 minutes

Book now: http://www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk/index.php?showing=8897#now-showing




This entry was posted in Film.

London Recruits – film trailer

To find out more about this film please see here


This entry was posted in Film, History.

Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures seminar – Leeds 27 April

Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures research seminar


‘Global Citizenship and the Potential of Film’

Raymond Bush, Professor of African Studies and Development Politics, Leeds,

Paul Cooke, Professor of World Cinemas, Leeds


Martin Seeger, Associate Professor of Thai Studies, Leeds,

will discuss the ways they have used film in a variety of international contexts to explore questions of global citizenship, showing examples of their work.

This will be followed by a presentation from


Dr Mattia Fumanti

Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies, University of St Andrews,

‘Ethnographic Films and the Limits of Collaboration: Notes from Namibia’


Wednesday 27 April

3-5 pm


1.13 Baines Wing

University of Leeds


all welcome



This entry was posted in Film, Seminars.

Poverty, Inc.: Film showing and discussion

Poverty, Inc – fighting poverty is big business – but who profits the most?

Film Showing and discussion of Poverty, Inc

The West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry — the business of doing good has never been better. Yet the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change. Drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore.

Wednesday 27 April, 5.30pm, Leeds University Business School Maurice Keyworth LT (G.02)
Film showing and post-film discussion organised by Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS) with The Global Native (Leeds-based NGO) – all welcome – admission £5 (costs help contribute towards The Global Native’s development work in Zimbabwe).


This entry was posted in Film, LUCAS.

Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara

A screening of the award-winning documentary Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara.

award-winning documentary poster


Date: 17 March 2016
Time: 17:00 – 19:00

Room: B.10 Parkinson Building, Leeds University

Most people think that colonialism in Africa is ended. But in Western Sahara, the end of Spanish rule gave way to a new occupation, this time by Morocco. Over four decades later, the world continues to look the other way as the Saharawi people face arrests, torture and disappearances for demanding their independence.

Join us in Parkinson Building, room B.10 for a screening of the documentary “Life is Waiting” (mainly in Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles) to hear from an incredible cast of Saharawi cultural activists and artists about their non-violent resistance to military occupation. Afterwards, there will be a talk and Q&A with a Saharawi cultural activist.

For more information please email Joanna Allan at jhm3jca@leeds.ac.uk


This entry was posted in Film, History.

The Battle of Algiers – film screening and roundtable

The Battle of Algiers
[screening and round table]

March the 2nd at 5 pm
Phil Taylor Cinema
School of Media and Communication [2nd floor – room 2.13] Clothworkers’ Building North- (building 56 on Campus Map)
University of Leeds

(w/ English subtitles)

Originally banned in France, this 1966 Italian-Algerian historical war film depicts the Algerian War (1954–62) against the French government in North Africa. The film concentrates on the years between 1954 and 1957 when the guerrilla fighters regrouped and expanded into the Casbah, which was met by French paratroopers attempting to regain territory. The film is followed by a discussion and analysis of the relevance of this film in current times.

Round table with:
Alan O’Leary
Associate Professor and Director of Research and Innovation at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and author of the forthcoming book The Battle of Algiers.
Salman Sayyid
Reader at the School Sociology and Social Policy and author of the books A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism and Recalling the Caliphate.

More about the film:
Original title: La Battaglia di Algeri [معركة الجزائر‎; La Bataille d’Alger] Italy/Algeria – 1966 – 121 min. – B&W – 1.85:1 – French, Arabic
Directed by: Gillo Pontecorvo
Written by: Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas
Music by: Ennio Morricone, Gillo Pontecorvo
Cinematography: Marcello Gatti
Edited by: Mario Morra, Mario Serandrei
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/134274127

Admission is free but due to copyright restrictions is only open to university staff and students.

This entry was posted in Film, History.

Rainbow Collective Film Festival



A festival of films by the Rainbow Collective film company, dealing with human resilience, economic development, exploitation, racism and resistance

Hosted by Leeds University School of Media and Communication, Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures, Centre for African Studies, Centre for Global Development, Dept. of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6-8.30 pm, Worsley Medical LT (7.35)
Amazulu: The Children of Heaven
Velabahleke (Come with a Smile) High School in Umlazi township outside Durban may be the only school in the country that starts at 06h30am and finishes at 4pm and where students are racing to get there on time! Mbongeni Mtshali the principal, has created an oasis of excellence for hundreds of learners, and where students, staff and community are doggedly determined that they not ‘be slaves to their backgrounds’.
Bafana is a 20 minute documentary, looking at the lives and experiences of Cape Town’s street children. The film delves into the global crisis of street children, while offering a ray of hope in the form of Gerald and all his colleagues who are fighting to make a better future for the children in their care.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5-8pm, School of Media and Communication, Cinema
Children’s Shorts
For many years we have developed film training programmes with young people from under-represented and deprived communities, providing the skills, equipment and training they need to enter the industry as artists on their own terms, whatever their background. In this film, stories from the inner city youth of Kingston, the homeless children of Dhaka and young film makers from around the UK can be seen together for the fist time in a remarkable programme of powerful and cinematic short films.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 5-8pm, Business School Western LT (G.01)
The Process
Filmed in Israel and Palestine, the Process is the human tale of a political story. Three lives, framed by bold cinematic observation and reflective criticism, reveal a new perspective on the Middle East peace process.
Tears in the Fabric
In Savar, Bangladesh, Razia struggles to raise two grandchildren after losing her daughters in the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a disaster which claimed the lives of over 1000 garment workers. One year on, Tears in the Fabric follows Razia as, amidst the struggle of raising and educating her grandsons, she searches for resolution and answers through protest on the streets of Dhaka and amongst the rubble and torn fabrics of Rana Plaza. Tears in the Fabric offers a starkly honest and deeply moving view of the human cost of high street fashion

Friday, Oct. 30, 5-8pm, Business School Western LT (G.01)
Mass E Bhat
One young man struggles to grow up and achieve his goals in modern Bangladesh. As we follow the 20 year old Nasir, now a social worker in the slums, he reflects on his life, from childhood in a rural village and his families migration to the city, through his early years working in the rubbish dumps and sweatshops and finally how he has achieved his dream of an education and respect within his community. As Nasir recounts his life, we meet a series of children, parents and employers, who mirror his past but are all real in the country’s present.
Udita (Arise)
Udita follows 5 years in the lives of the women at the grass roots of the garment workers struggle. From 2010, when organising in the workplace would lead to beatings, sacking and arrests, through the tragedies of Tazreen and Rana Plaza, to the present day, when the long fight begins to pay dividends. We see this vital period through the eyes of the unions’ female members, workers and leaders.


This entry was posted in Film, LUCAS.

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