107 episodes

In the Financial Times culture podcast, editors Lilah Raptopoulos and Griselda Murray Brown get together to make sense of where culture is going. This season, with Gris on maternity leave, Lilah is presenting a special six-episode series about how culture is shifting shape. The pandemic has exposed deep cracks in our systems, giving us an unprecedented chance to reexamine and upend. Our question is: what’s possible now? Join Lilah, star guests and the team behind the Financial Times’ award-winning Life & Arts journalism to explore how culture is helping us envision what’s next. New episodes every two weeks.

Culture Call Financial Times

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 87 Ratings

In the Financial Times culture podcast, editors Lilah Raptopoulos and Griselda Murray Brown get together to make sense of where culture is going. This season, with Gris on maternity leave, Lilah is presenting a special six-episode series about how culture is shifting shape. The pandemic has exposed deep cracks in our systems, giving us an unprecedented chance to reexamine and upend. Our question is: what’s possible now? Join Lilah, star guests and the team behind the Financial Times’ award-winning Life & Arts journalism to explore how culture is helping us envision what’s next. New episodes every two weeks.

    Simon Schama on what history can teach us

    Simon Schama on what history can teach us

    Simon is one of the world’s premier historians and art historians, and also a colleague! After a tumultuous election, we've invited him on to help connect the dots and give us much-needed historical context. Plus: Neil Munshi, our west Africa correspondent joins us from Lagos to reflect on our conversation and discuss his recent piece on how companies are facing their brutal colonial histories. Two people with global, historical lenses through which to see 2020.

    What do you think is possible now, that seemed impossible before? Email us atculturecall@ft.com. You can message Lilah on Instagram or Twitter @lilahrap, and find the podcast on Twitter @ftculturecall. We love voice notes - so send those, too.

    Links from the episode:
    –Simon's piece The two Americas: LBJ, MLK and what the dramas of 1965 can teach a polarised nation https://www.ft.com/content/73a26ef6-9083-43bb-8881-b48768a87b92
    –Simon's piece on statues: History is better served by putting the Men in Stone in museums: https://www.ft.com/content/1117dfb6-8e51-46ec-a74b-59973a96a85a
    –Simon's BBC series the Romantics and Us is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgYZaUBQg9s&t=1093s
    –Wendell Wilkie's One World: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_World_(book)
    –September, by Gerhard Richter: https://www.gerhard-richter.com/en/art/paintings/photo-paintings/death-9/september-13954
    –Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is on Netflix
    –Neil Munshi's piece, Belgium’s reckoning with a brutal history in Congo: https://www.ft.com/content/a17b87ec-207d-4aa7-a839-8e17153bcf51
     
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    • 43 min
    iO Tillett Wright on the American experiment

    iO Tillett Wright on the American experiment

    “I feel like America was an experiment that right now is yielding really hideous, ugly results". In the days after the US election, Lilah explores how divided the US is with artist and activist iO Tillett Wright. iO created the hit true-crime podcast The Ballad of Billy Balls. He just finished a ten-year project travelling to all 50 states to photograph 10,000 queer Americans and has a unique lens on America. They discuss the election, how Americans were taught to hate, the dangers of groupthink, the ebb and flow of the fight for queer rights, this generation’s fight for civil rights and what effective activism looks like.

    iO's projects:

    –The Ballad of Billy Balls: https://www.theballadofbillyballs.com/

    –His memoir, Darling Days: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28446322-darling-days

    –Self Evident Truths: http://www.selfevidentproject.com/

    –iO's Ted talk, 50 Shades of Gay: https://www.ted.com/talks/io_tillett_wright_fifty_shades_of_gay?language=en

    –A conversation between iO and King Princess (Interview Magazine): https://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/io-tillett-wright-and-king-princess-examine-queerness-in-todays-america

    iO's recommendations:

    –Rabbit Hole podcast, from the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/column/rabbit-hole

    –The Social Dilemma is on Netflix (here's an FT interview with its director, Jeff Orlowski): https://www.ft.com/content/f1d3a2c8-1a01-4d37-a939-6067ab2b8b63

    –Swindled, a podcast about white-collar crime & corporate greed: https://swindledpodcast.com/

    –A General Theory of Love: a book about the science of human emotions and biological psychiatry https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35711.A_General_Theory_of_Love

    Ahead of our next episode, here are three pieces by Simon Schama:

    –The two Americas: LBJ, MLK and what the dramas of 1965 can teach a polarised nation https://www.ft.com/content/73a26ef6-9083-43bb-8881-b48768a87b92

    –Simon Schama: History is better served by putting the Men in Stone in museums https://www.ft.com/content/1117dfb6-8e51-46ec-a74b-59973a96a85a

    –Plague Time: Simon Schama on what history tells us https://www.ft.com/content/279dee4a-740b-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca
     
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    • 45 min
    We're back for Season 3!

    We're back for Season 3!

    The season kicks off on Friday, October 9! With co-host Griselda Murray Brown on maternity leave, Lilah Raptopoulos presents a new series of conversations with creators and thinkers about our radically transformed cultural landscape.


    We are living through history. The pandemic has exposed deep cracks in our systems, giving us an unprecedented chance to reexamine and upend. This six-episode season is based around the following question: what’s possible now? 


    Join Lilah, star guests and the team behind the Financial Times’ critically-acclaimed Life & Arts journalism to explore how culture is helping us envision what’s next.


    Want to say hi? Email us at culturecall@ft.com, find Lilah on Instagram or Twitter at @lilahrap, and find the show on Twitter at @ftculturecall.
     
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    • 2 min
    Who's afraid of Ai Weiwei? The Chinese dissident artist on what makes a powerful protest

    Who's afraid of Ai Weiwei? The Chinese dissident artist on what makes a powerful protest

    After a summer defined by protest, we invite on Ai Weiwei, one of the most influential artists and activists of our time, to discuss whether we've changed. Weiwei describes how to protest creatively and powerfully ("you only see your power from your enemy's eye"), the symbolic meaning of this pandemic, and his view on the state of humanity. Plus: FT arts editor Jan Dalley joins Lilah to unpack the conversation and consider where art is going.

    Links from the episode:

    —Circa 2020 on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/circa.art/?hl=en. They're raising money for struggling UK artists with a £100 Ai Weiwei print here through October: https://circa.art/the-circa-economy/

    —Watch Human Flow on Amazon Prime or here: https://www.humanflow.com/watch-at-home/

    —Watch Coronation, Ai Weiwei's most recent documentary, which compiled secret footage of Wuhan during the peak of the Covid crisis, on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/267483

    —13 Ai Weiwei works to know (Royal Academy of Arts): https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/ai-weiwei-13-works-to-know

    —FT piece on the best new operas online (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/4b8480f7-6e96-4a90-bea2-3ed40c94d504

    —Jan Dalley's review of the art world in the 2010s: https://www.ft.com/content/b8cd60bc-227b-11ea-b8a1-584213ee7b2b

    Clip credit: AT SEA consists of footage filmed by Ai Weiwei during the making of “Human Flow” in 2016. Since 2015, hundreds of thousands of refugees have attempted the dangerous sea journey trying to reach Europe. Alongside these scenes are shots of physical barriers erected across Europe, the cold response to the plea for safety and shelter from the world’s most vulnerable. Video edited by: Autumn Rin Quotes: The border is not in Lesbos, it is in our minds and in our hearts. – Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist (b. 1957) Music Credit: Karsten Fundal
     
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    • 43 min
    Bonus: Poet Natasha Trethewey on memory, grief and Black Lives Matter

    Bonus: Poet Natasha Trethewey on memory, grief and Black Lives Matter

    In this bonus episode, we bring you a conversation between Lilah and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. In her recent memoir, Memorial Drive, Natasha shares the painful story of her mother's murder at the hands of her stepfather when Natasha was 19. Natasha was born to a black mother and white father in the Deep South during the civil rights movement. When she was an infant, the KKK burned a cross in her family's front yard. In this interview she speaks to the cyclical nature of history, the disease of racism, and the power of memory. This interview was originally recorded at the FT Weekend Live Festival in early September 2020.

    Get tickets to the virtual October 22 FT NextGen festival here for free, using the promo code FTPodcast.

    —Watch this conversation between Natasha and Lilah on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POReYD7lRvg
    —Read Natasha’s piece for the FT, America the Beautiful: three generations in the struggle for civil rights: https://www.ft.com/content/eaa41ce4-a65a-11ea-92e2-cbd9b7e28ee6
    —Read the FT review for Memorial Drive, written by playwright Bonnie Greer: https://www.ft.com/content/a1a857e4-f9cf-4165-9a25-a7c9758b9dcb
    —Read Natasha’s poem, Imperatives for Carrying On in the Aftermath: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/148332/imperatives-for-carrying-on-in-the-aftermath
     
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    • 35 min
    Miranda July on releasing a feature film in a pandemic

    Miranda July on releasing a feature film in a pandemic

    Miranda July is an artist ahead of her time: a prolific filmmaker, writer, musician, actor and more. Her work deliberately leads us into discomfort – and then hugs us from behind. Her third feature film, Kajillionaire, now on US and UK general release, is an exploration of loneliness and love that feels especially prescient now. Miranda and Lilah discuss what it’s like to release a film during a pandemic, how to make art when we don’t know what we’ll want in the future, and how a weirder world has made her film a lot less weird. Plus: FT writer Harriet Fitch-Little joins Lilah to debrief on the interview and discuss why we all stopped going to digital events.

    The coronavirus pandemic has broken so much open. And that gives us a very unique chance to reimagine. Welcome to the first of a six-part season. From now to the end of 2020, Lilah will be posing the question “what’s possible now?” to different creators and thinkers, to FT Life & Arts journalists, and to you.

    What do you think is possible now, that seemed impossible before? Email us at culturecall@ft.com. You can message Lilah on Instagram or Twitter @lilahrap, and find the podcast on Twitter @ftculturecall. We love voice notes – so send those, too.

    Links from the episode: 
    - Our Next Gen virtual festival, hosted by the FT’s young editors, is on October 22! Buy tickets here, and use our discount code, NextGen2020: https://nextgen.live.ft.com/
    - Anthem, by Leonard Cohen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCS_MwkWzes 
    - A deep dive on the line, “There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in”: https://qz.com/835076/leonard-cohens-anthem-the-story-of-the-line-there-is-a-crack-in-everything-thats-how-the-light-gets-in/ 
    - Lilah’s piece about living through history: https://www.ft.com/content/1cc03ac3-4ac8-4b9c-933d-621b5eb50e53
    - Harriet Fitch-Little’s profile of Miranda July: https://www.ft.com/content/e56b7528-7eb0-11ea-8fdb-7ec06edeef84
    - FT’s Kajillionaire review (paywall): https://www.ft.com/content/94d0ca11-eb80-49a9-adbc-ebaa0509341f
    - Jenny Odell interviews Miranda July: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtXe5xJyOU8
    - Behind the scenes of Jopie, Miranda’s crowdsourced video: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17913179020421773
    - An excerpt of John Giorno’s memoir, Great Demon Kings: https://www.vogue.com/article/john-giorno-memoir
    - New York Nico on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/newyorknico/
     
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    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Natstrum ,

Stephen Rea

Thank you for the link to Cyprus Avenue, a powerful and dark ending. I remember watching Stephen on Channel Four when they showed Angel. Of course to me he was a cult hero from his appearances as Carter in I Didn’t Know You Cared. Gris can explain this pre-feminist working class comedy to Lilah. Keep up the great show!

Elaine’s iTunes ,

Like....

You and Ira said the word “like” too many times. It makes you sound like teenagers. I find it annoying for mature adults.

gcdunne ,

Food for the Soul

I started listening yesterday and have listened to three episodes. The subject matter is really interested and thought provoking. I’m listening shook to my core by the insights and perspectives that are opening my mind.

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