101 episodes

From pop stars to memoirs, abstraction to athleisure, Lilah Raptopoulos and Griselda Murray Brown get together to make sense of culture today. Lilah's an editor in New York and Gris is in London – join them as they dissect the trends shaping life in the 2020s, interview people breaking new ground and bring you behind the scenes of the Financial Times' award-winning Life & Arts journalism. Come to hear what’s new in two cultural capitals; stay for compelling interviews that aren't afraid to go deep. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll take notes. New episodes every two weeks.

Culture Call Financial Times

    • Society & Culture

From pop stars to memoirs, abstraction to athleisure, Lilah Raptopoulos and Griselda Murray Brown get together to make sense of culture today. Lilah's an editor in New York and Gris is in London – join them as they dissect the trends shaping life in the 2020s, interview people breaking new ground and bring you behind the scenes of the Financial Times' award-winning Life & Arts journalism. Come to hear what’s new in two cultural capitals; stay for compelling interviews that aren't afraid to go deep. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll take notes. New episodes every two weeks.

    Photographer Tyler Mitchell on black freedom

    Photographer Tyler Mitchell on black freedom

    The world has changed. In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, Gris speaks to Tyler Mitchell, a 25-year-old photographer, filmmaker and political artist who shot to fame when he photographed Beyonce for the September issue of American Vogue in 2018. In his work, Tyler explores what freedom means for black Americans, and all the ways in which it is denied. Gris first spoke to Tyler in early May - five days before armed white men killed Ahmaud Arbery while he was on a jog - and they talked again just before this episode was published.

    This is our finale for Season Two! Thank you for an incredible run. Gris is about to go on maternity leave, but Lilah will be back for Season Three in a few months’ time. In the meantime, you can still always find us talking about culture on Twitter @FTCultureCall or on Instagram at @lilahrap and @griseldamurraybrown, and you can email us at culturecall@ft.com.

    Links and notes from the episode:

    –Here is our massive list of listener recommendations for what to watch on streaming platforms. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts! There’s no paywall on this, so you can share it freely: https://www.ft.com/content/87f1f7fe-af30-11ea-a4b6-31f1eedf762e

    –If you want free access to explore FT journalism for 30 days, sign up to the Coronavirus Business Update newsletter using this special link: https://www.ft.com/newsletter-signup/coronavirus?segmentId=0d92d58c-2c7d-178e-6aa8-81529dd53b1b

    –White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (You can also listen to an interview with Robin here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/come-through/articles/5-robin-diangelo)
    –Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge 
    –The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 
    –I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel (BBC iPlayer and HBO)
    –Here’s an excellent recent episode of our sister podcast, Behind the Money, on the history of police funding in America: https://www.ft.com/content/a6d56dd2-fd2c-4047-a502-c6c6d9dc3f90

    –Tyler Mitchell on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tylersphotos
    –Tyler’s new photo book I Can Make You Feel Good, published by Prestel on July 28: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/I-Can-Make-You-Feel-Good/Tyler-Mitchell/Prestel/e563080.rhd
    –Inside Tyler’s exhibition I Can Make You Feel Good: https://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/12200/tyler-mitchell-photographer-i-can-make-you-feel-good-exhibition-new-york-2020
    –Photographers who Tyler Mitchell cites as inspirations: Ryan McGinley, Larry Clark, and Petra Collins (who he calls ‘the first internet phenomenon photographer on some level’)
    –Jeremy O Harris’s tweets on his experience at Yale School of Drama: https://twitter.com/jeremyoharris/status/1270447515570233350 and https://twitter.com/jeremyoharris/status/1270858770168643584
     
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    • 59 min
    Liana Finck, New Yorker cartoonist, on finding confidence and creativity in quarantine

    Liana Finck, New Yorker cartoonist, on finding confidence and creativity in quarantine

    This week, Lilah talks to Liana Finck, a graphic novelist and New Yorker cartoonist with a fan base on Instagram that’s half a million strong. Liana is known for her funny and astute explorations of what it means to be human. She talks about how to free yourself up to be creative in quarantine, where confidence comes from, the most interesting human expressions to draw and what it’s like to have Ariana Grande slide into your DMs.


    We also share some of your Netflix recommendations, which we are still collecting to publish! Let us know what we should be watching that the streaming algorithms are hiding from us. Fill out our short form at ft.com/culturecallout, or email us at culturecall@ft.com. If you want to get social, we're on Twitter @FTCultureCall and Instagram at @griseldamurraybrown and @lilahrap.


    Links and notes from the episode:
    –A special gift from us to you: sign up to the FT's Coronavirus Business Update newsletter and get free access to our journalism for 30 days https://www.ft.com/newsletter-signup/coronavirus?segmentId=0d92d58c-2c7d-178e-6aa8-81529dd53b1b
     
    About Liana Finck:
    –Liana's Instagram: https://instagram.com/lianafinck/
    –Her graphic memoir is called Passing for Human
    –Some of Liana’s New Yorker cartoons about quarantine: https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/some-drawings-from-week-three-at-home
    –Unpopular likes and unpopular dislikes: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8pSyMMlHcG/
    –Me/you/us, plotted: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Yy65xlYQB/
    –Liana’s recommendations for which graphic novels to start with:
    1. Everything is Flammable, by Gabrielle Bell
    2. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
    3. Wendy, by Walter Scott
     
    –Lilah and listener Martha O’Neill’s film recommendation, Three Identical Strangers, is on Netflix
    –Martin Wolf video: How might the world be different after the pandemic? https://www.ft.com/video/dafc3578-5c76-412a-8ba3-016495031bd1
    –Martin Wolf column: Maintaining the lockdown and saving the economy are mutually compatible (paywall) https://www.ft.com/content/e486590e-8539-11ea-b872-8db45d5f6714
    –Apps about trees: Tree Talk (London) and Leafsnap (US and UK)
    –Gris' film recommendation, 120 BPM, is on Hulu and available to rent
    –Listener Victoria Amico's Netflix recommendations are 13th (Ava DuVernay's documentary on racialised mass incarceration in the US) and The Great Hack (on the Cambridge Analytica scandal)
    –Listener Kana Kamagae's Netflix recommendations are Never Have I Ever (Mindy Kaling’s TV series) and Tigertail
     
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    • 47 min
    Slave Play author Jeremy O Harris on the future of theatre

    Slave Play author Jeremy O Harris on the future of theatre

    This week, Gris talks to the brilliant 30-year-old playwright Jeremy O Harris about his Broadway sensation Slave Play and his autobiographical "Daddy". This is an interview that will stick with you for a long time. They discuss how black art is re-packaged by white institutions, how black and white audiences respond differently to his work, and how to make theatre more accessible — both for quarantine and for younger audiences (Harris is also an executive producer on Euphoria). Plus: a special appearance from Phoebe Waller Bridge!

    As always, we want to hear from you. This week, we'd love to know what gems the Netflix algorithm is hiding from us. What are you streaming that we should be watching? We'll publish your list! Fill out our short form at ft.com/culturecallout, or email us at culturecall@ft.com. f you want to get social, we're on Twitter @FTCultureCall and Instagram at @griseldamurraybrown and @lilahrap.

    Links and notes from the episode:

    –A special gift from us to you: sign up to the FT's Coronavirus Business Update newsletter and get free access to our journalism for 30 days! https://www.ft.com/newsletter-signup/coronavirus?segmentId=0d92d58c-2c7d-178e-6aa8-81529dd53b1b
    –The recipe for kuku sabzi, a delicious Persian frittata: https://youtu.be/OJFoIfzY7eI
    –A great piece about Jenny Odell's How To Do Nothing: https://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-jenny-odell-interview-how-nothing-20190509-story.html
    –Wesley Morris on ESPN's The Last Dance https://www.nytimes.com/article/the-last-dance-jordan.html
    –(More Wesley Morris content) Still Processing dissects Tiger King: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/podcasts/still-processing-tiger-king.html
    –FT review of Becoming on Netflix (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/e46b7582-8df7-11ea-a8ec-961a33ba80aa
    –Aisha Harris' review of Slave Play: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/07/opinion/slave-play-broadway.html
    –Slave Play's set designer on the choice behind the onstage mirror: https://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/rihanna-mirrors-and-america-processing-slave-plays-set-design
    –Genre defying women that Jeremy mentioned: Aphra Behn, Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks
    –Jeremy's recommendation of Perfect Blue by Satochi Kon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Blue
    –Jeremy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeremyoharris
     
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    • 59 min
    Bonus: Normal People author Sally Rooney

    Bonus: Normal People author Sally Rooney

    This week, we've dusted off a little gem from our archives. Gris spoke to the writer Sally Rooney in 2018, just before her bestselling novel Normal People was published in the UK. It went on to win tremendous acclaim, prizes and the hearts of many readers. Fast-forward eighteen months, and Rooney's tale of passionate young love has been turned into a gripping 12-part TV series on the BBC and Hulu. It's all we can talk about: Marianne, Connell — and Connell's neck chain. But what were the origins of the novel? And what does it have to say about sex, class and power?

    We love hearing from you. Have you watched Normal People? How do you think it compares to the book? Email us at culturecall@ft.com or tweet us at @FTCultureCall. Also, we're still collecting your cultural recommendations: what are you watching, reading and doing at home? Fill out our short form at ft.com/culturecallout, or record a short voice note on your phone and email it to us. You can also find us on Instagram at @griseldamurraybrown and @lilahrap.

    Recommended links: 
    –Sign up for the FT's Coronavirus Business Update newsletter and get free access to our journalism for 30 days: www.ft.com/culturecallcovid 
    –Our colleague Horatia Harrod interviews film-maker Lenny Abrahamson about adapting Normal People (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/c590914c-8870-11ea-a01c-a28a3e3fbd33
    –You know it's a phenomenon when a BuzzFeed writer digs deep into Spotify to unearth Sally Rooney's playlists for Connell and Marianne: https://www.buzzfeed.com/tatianatenreyrowhitlock/normal-people-playlists
    –The FT's book review of Normal People (2018): https://www.ft.com/content/00461b64-b504-11e8-a1d8-15c2dd1280ff 
    –Neck chain hottake 1: 'Why Are Those Little Neck Chains So Sexy?': https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/bvgwp8/normal-people-connell-silver-chain
    –Neck chain hottake 2: 'Is This the Sexiest Thing About Normal People?': https://www.thecut.com/2020/04/why-is-normal-people-connells-chain-so-hot.html
    –'Normal people takes sex seriously': https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/arts/television/normal-people-hulu.html
     
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    • 30 min
    How is culture adapting to quarantine? Plus: our film critic on what to watch now

    How is culture adapting to quarantine? Plus: our film critic on what to watch now

    This week, we discuss the future of movies with FT film critic Danny Leigh. Will we see a wave of apocalypse dramas once this is over? Are mid-budget films under threat? And what little-known films should we be watching? In the second half of the show, Gris and Lilah take stock of how culture has been adapting to a new virtual reality, from online exhibitions to gigs on Instagram Live. What's working in URL vs IRL culture — and what isn't? Will the lockdown democratize the arts?


    We’d love to hear your thoughts. Which cultural experiences have you been enjoying from your sofa? What are you watching, reading or listening to right now? Let us know at ft.com/culturecallout, or record a short voice note on your phone and send it to culturecall@ft.com. You can tweet us at @FTCultureCall, and you can find us on Instagram @lilahrap and @griseldamurraybrown. 


    Links from the episode: 
    –Sign up for the FT's Coronavirus Business Update newsletter and get free access to our journalism for 30 days: www.ft.com/culturecallcovid
    –The TV adaptation of Normal People: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p089g8rs/normal-people, https://www.hulu.com/series/normal-people-57048262-2ca5-41ee-9b57-53bb9b9e1596
    –Gris's podcast interview with Sally Rooney, author of Normal People, from 2018: https://www.ft.com/content/03af4b54-01a0-4220-8f52-168355b36024
    –Danny Leigh's review of The Perfect Candidate (paywall), which you can stream online: https://www.ft.com/content/ae5d4364-741e-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca
    –Danny Leigh's review of And Then We Danced (paywall), which you can stream online: https://www.ft.com/content/61c4f594-7016-11ea-9bca-bf503995cd6f
    –Fiona Apple's album Fetch The Bolt Cutters on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0fO1KemWL2uCCQmM22iKlj
    –BBC Museums in Quarantine - Warhol: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hqml/museums-in-quarantine-series-1-1-warhol
    –Cyprus Avenue at the Royal Court Theatre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptCyZYzUx4M&feature=emb_logo&has_verified=1
    –Dance Church on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dance_church/?hl=en
    –Gris's FT piece on having a ballet lesson with Adam Cooper: https://www.ft.com/content/ffe1a50c-a084-11e6-891e-abe238dee8e2
    –New York Times article - How we use our bodies to navigate a pandemic: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/arts/dance/choreographing-the-street-coronavirus.html
     
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    • 48 min
    Bonus: Esther Perel's advice for coping in a pandemic

    Bonus: Esther Perel's advice for coping in a pandemic

    This week, we turn to Esther Perel, psychotherapist and host of the hit podcast Where Should We Begin?, to help put our fears and emotions around coronavirus in context. She also gives us useful strategies for living in lockdown. There are insights in this episode that we think will help listeners in any circumstance, so we've decided to drop it early.

    We hope you enjoy the episode, and would love to hear your thoughts. Email us at culturecall@ft.com or tweet us at @FTCultureCall. We're also still collecting your cultural recommendations under quarantine: what are you watching, reading and doing at home? Fill out our short form at ft.com/culturecallout, or record a short voice note on your phone and email it to us. We'll use a selection in upcoming episodes.

    Links:
    –Our last episode with Esther, on surviving (and thriving) at work: https://www.ft.com/content/e271eac4-e41a-4577-b6e3-6c24e4e01c75
    –Esther Perel's podcast, Where Should We Begin? https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/where-should-we-begin-with-esther-perel/id1237931798
    –Roxane Gay on the value of giving people money to help them get through Covid-19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8XQpOrAgWs
    –A great article on ways to help during this pandemic (US focus): https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/4/14/21212199/donate-masks-blood-coronavirus-stimulus-checks
    –Another resource with ways to help (UK focus): https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/27/coronavirus-and-volunteering-how-can-i-help-in-the-uk
    –Lucy Kellaway's piece, "Is it okay to be happy in lockdown?" (paywall) https://www.ft.com/content/2203813e-797e-11ea-9840-1b8019d9a987
     
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    • 38 min

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