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Turtles or People? David Simon debates the Chagos Islands at the Riverside Studios

Posted on 01/03/2012

A Few Man Fridays

Professor David Simon will be debating the Chagos Islands at the Riverside Studios at Hammersmith in an event associated with the Cardboard Citizens' production of the play A Few Man Fridays by Alex Jackson.


Turtles versus People – is it that simple?

5.30pm | Saturday 3rd March | Riverside Studios, Hammersmith | Studio 2

In 2010 the Chagos Islands were declared a Marine Protection Area, after a campaign by conservationists to preserve the pristine reef of the archipelago, which was observed to have shown remarkable powers of recovery after El Nino. Greenpeace, Avaaz and numerous others, rapidly embraced the MPA concept unreservedly, without apparent reference to the Chagossians still fighting for the right to return to the islands from which they were evicted in the 1970s.

Cables released by Wikileaks in 2010 revealed that the Labour government was at least partly glad to support the project because it rendered a return by the Chagossians less likely, regardless of the outcome of the case at the European Court of Justice (with or without conscious irony, the official concerned referred to ‘Man Fridays’, like the famous FCO memo of former times).

So is the presence of the original islanders incompatible with the idea of a Marine Protection Area? Or could man and woman, and nature live side by side in this much-contested zone of the Indian Ocean? And if so, how many? Are we talking yet again, of a Few Men Fridays?

With speakers from different sides of the argument, this debate seeks to bring this important issue out into the open.

Confirmed speakers: Mark Spalding, Roch Evenor, Professor David Simon, Sabrina Jean & Adrian Jackson

Further details of the event here.

A Few Man Fridays:

Almost as suspenseful as it is richly, hauntingly elegiac. ***** - Sunday Times

An increasingly riveting evening that wraps hard facts in a parcel of fiction. **** - Evening Standard


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