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Pass the Ferrero Rocher

I was in a café in downtown Johannesburg, discussing a project with a Japanese friend, when my phone rang. I apologised and answered, and she noticed surprise cross my face. The caller introduced himself, on first-name terms, and proceeded to invite me over to his house. Who was that? she asked, when I’d finished. “Our… read more +

Making a documentary on Angola

I had been thinking about the trip ahead for eight years, and had spent €5,000 to get here. And now, just as I was about to start, I felt like quittin I was standing at a dusty border crossing in the very south of Angola, in southern Africa. Trucks heading north trundled past, accelerating away… read more +

Angola After the War

A new documentary film by Colin Murphy, with stills photography by Guy Tillim (as below), screening on Thursday September 23 on RTE One, at 10.50pm, and on the RTE Player at

The story of Pickhandle Mary

Johannesburg was a city where you could have been advised to carry a pickhandle. I managed to stay out of trouble myself, but one one occasion saw a gun being drawn on someone, and was threatened with one on another. My flat was on the first floor of an old detached house in a once… read more +

Aminatou Haidar returns to Western Sahara

The Western Saharan activist ended her hunger strike on Thursday last, following Morocco’s agreement to allow her return to Laayoune, as I reported for the Sunday Tribune. See also earlier reports on Haidar’s hunger strike here and on the situation in Western Sahara, including an interview with Haidar, here.

Short drama-documentary in the IFI

Sanctuary is a series of 26 ultra-short stories of asylum and refuge in Ireland, being shown in rotation before features in the IFI this month. The stories are all based on interviews I’ve done with people seeking asylum, and were performed by a collection of well known and emerging actors and writers.

On Angola in Le Monde Diplomatique

I spent August in Angola, working on a documentary, and have written

Aziza Brahim sings of Western Sahara

Recently returned from the Western Saharan refugee camps in Algeria, where I was working with Donal Scannel on a documentary he’s making of the Sahrawi exile singer, Aziza Brahim. Here’s a glimpse of Aziza during some downtime on tour in Spain this summer. [youtube=]

Democracy & Dialogue

I’m currently working on a documentary on post-war Angola, and have cut this one-minute short for entry to the Democracy & Dialogue competition in this year’s digital film festival in Dublin. [youtube=]

Alegre’s Story. A World Report from Kuito, Angola

I’ve just returned from Angola, where I was filming a documentary on recovery and reconstruction in the town of Kuito, since the end of the war. This is a short radio essay telling the story of one of the people I met there, Alegre. It was broadcast on World Report on RTE Radio One.