London, United Kingdom — The latest in the “Evening With” series of inspirational interviews was held at the UPF-U.K. headquarters on February 19, 2017.
Farrukh Dhondy, the former commissioning editor of U.K. television’s Channel 4, was interviewed by Gul Khan of the All Ladies League-London. Matteo Bergamini, the founder of the independent youth news network Shout Out UK, was interviewed by Quince Garcia of Roadworks Media.
The event was organized jointly by the All Ladies League and the Universal Peace Federation.
While Farrukh Dhondy spoke of his desire to promote free speech and human rights for the underprivileged, Matteo Bergamini explained his passion for youth political engagement, general political literacy and cutting-edge documentaries such as Shout Out UK’s Anonymous: A Million Men, which describes the growing underground movement. Watch the interview here.
Farrukh Dhondy is an Indian-born British writer, playwright, screenwriter, and left-wing activist of Parsi descent. He is well known not only for his writing but also for his film and TV work.
Mr. Dhondy's literary output is vast, including books for children, textbooks and biographies, as well as plays for the theater and scripts for film and television. He is also a columnist, a biographer (of historian and journalist C.L.R. James; 2001), and a media executive (Channel Four commissioning editor from 1984 to 1997). During his time with Channel Four, he wrote the comedy series Tandoori Nights (1985-87) for the channel, which concerned the rivalry of two curry house owners.
- Children's Rights Workshop Other Award: 1977, for East End at Your Feet, and 1979, for Come to Mecca, and Other Stories
- Collins/Fontana Award for Come to Mecca, and Other Stories
- Samuel Beckett Award for the television play Romance, Romance
- Works represented in the 1900-1990 exhibition “Children's Fiction in Britain,” British Council's Literature Department, 1990
- Whitbread Award for first novel, 1990, for Bombay Duck.
Matteo Bergamini completed his undergraduate degree in politics and history at Brunel University London in 2014 and earned a graduate diploma in law in 2015. During this time he launched his own multimedia network called Shout Out UK.
During 2015, Mr. Bergamini launched his first investigative documentary, Anonymous: A Million Men. The documentary includes interviews with comedian and actor Russell Brand, Conservative Member of Parliament Chloe Smith and the secretive organizers of the Million Mask March itself. The film later was acquired by Shorts International for worldwide distribution.
On April 28, 2015, in collaboration with U.K. television’s Channel 4 and ITN (Independent Television News), Shout Out UK launched Britain’s first ever Youth Leaders’ Debate. The event gathered the leaders of the seven largest British parties’ youth wings to debate on political issues. After 10 minutes #YouthLeaders was trending in the top six on Twitter.
Mr. Bergamini’s journalism experiences expanded from the corridors of Westminster to the steps of the U.S. Embassy, where he did a full 45-minute interview with then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Matthew Barzun. In May 2015 he was invited to become an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Knowledge Exchange Fellow. In March 2016, he was declared the winner of the Harrow Business Den 2016. In 2016 he launched a political literacy course in a growing number of schools, accredited by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), as part of Shout Out UK.
In the interview he said: “As a young person passionate about politics, I realized that there is not enough political engagement among young people nowadays. I decided to introduce political debates at schools and try to encourage young people to get involved in politics and political literacy. These debates enhance basic understanding of political concepts and encourage people to become actively involved in their communities.”