29 episodes

The Cultural Frontline: where arts and news collide.

The Cultural Frontline BBC

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

The Cultural Frontline: where arts and news collide.

    Tsitsi Dangarembga: Writing Zimbabwe’s Women

    Tsitsi Dangarembga: Writing Zimbabwe’s Women

    This week as part of the BBC World Service’s 100 Women Season we're celebrating the female writers, artists and performers overcoming challenges and making their voices heard.

    Shortlisted for the prestigious Booker prize, Tsitsi Dangarembga’s latest novel This Mournable Body reveals late 1990s Zimbabwe through the eyes of her female lead, Tambusai. Tsitsi talks to Tina about exploring the experience of Zimbabwean women through her characters and how she feels about being shortlisted at this point in her writing career.

    Chilean female collective Las Tesis speak to our reporter Constanza Hola about their viral protest song The Rapist in Your Path and how it’s inspired women worldwide to speak out against sexual violence.

    British Somali poet Hibaq Osman’s writing explores family history and identity with heartfelt honesty. She shares a poem from her first full collection, Where the Memory Was.

    Plus: has a film, a book or a song ever changed the way you see the world? South African singer-songwriter Zahara on how she took courage from the film A Walk to Remember.

    Presented by Tina Daheley.


    (Photo: Tsitsi Dangarembga. Credit: DANIEL ROLAND/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 22 min
    New Iranian art and the censors

    New Iranian art and the censors

    The repeatedly arrested film maker and women's rights activist, Mahnaz Mohammadi, speaks from Iran about the censors and interrogators she had to deal with while making her award-winning debut feature film, Son-Mother. In the story, a young widow struggles to look after her two children in Tehran. When a kind local man offers her marriage, she must choose between poverty and sending her young son away. Mahnaz Mohammadi talks about making art through personal pain.

    Female singers in Iran have been prevented from performing solo since the Islamic revolution in 1979. But Farvaraz Farvardin was determined that her voice would be heard. She speaks to reporter Sahar Zand about her musical journey from singing in the classroom, to online videos, prosecution and seeking asylum in Germany.

    Visual artist Barbad Golshiri shares his artistic response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran. Tuba Mirum is an audio-visual installation that moves between viral spores and loudspeakers heralding the last judgement, and it draws on both Islamic and Christian iconography.

    Plus: Film director Shahram Mokri on how sanctions on Iran undermine hit film making, and why his new movie, Careless Crime, revisits the 1978 mass murder of a cinema audience, which fuelled the revolution in his country.

    Presenter: Pooneh Ghoddoosi
    Produced by Paul Waters, Sahar Zand, Lucy Collingwood and Shoku Amirani
    (Image: From the film Son-Mother by Mahnaz Mohammadi Image credit: Mahnaz Mohammadi)

    • 27 min
    Capturing #endsars on camera

    Capturing #endsars on camera

    A hashtag that went viral, photographs that caught the world’s attention. Rachel Seidu, a photo journalist from Lagos, tells us how she took to the streets to capture the #EndSars protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

    In Johannesburg, one woman is using her camera to change perceptions of a nation still plagued by racial injustice, inequality and high crime rates. Angel Khumalo tells reporter Mpho Lakaje about the photo club she runs to show another side of her community.

    We hear from two photographers documenting the impact of Covid-19 on mental health. New Zealand based photographer Tatsiana Chypsanava and Spanish photo journalist Manu Brabo are studying the effect of lockdown on their communities as part of The Wellcome Trust’s Covid-19 Anxiety Project.

    Plus: has a film, a book or a song ever changed the way you see the world? Photographer Misan Harriman, who shot the cover of British Vogue’s September activism issue, tells us how a scene from the film Crash has influenced his work.

    Presented by Tina Daheley


    (Image Credit: Rachel Seidu)

    • 22 min
    What’s the future of film?

    What’s the future of film?

    This week, as part of a series of special programmes, we look to the future of cinema and TV.

    One of the biggest changes to our cultural landscape has been the transformation in the way so many of us watch films.

    Cinemas around the world have been off limits and streaming services have never been popular. Production is being drastically reimagined to include social distancing and coronavirus prevention measures. Plus in the light of the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement calls to make the global film industry truly diverse and inclusive are growing ever louder.

    We ask what’s next for film. How can cinema and the film industry be reinvented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Tina is joined by award winning American-Iranian writer director Maryam Keshavarz, Nigerian activist and documentarian Pamela Adie, Swiss choreographer and virtual reality pioneer Gilles Jobin and in London the British director Francis Annan and film critic Rhianna Dhillon.

    Presented by Tina Daheley

    (Photo: Moviegoers begin to attend reopened cinemas. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

    • 28 min
    What’s the future of performing arts?

    What’s the future of performing arts?

    This week, as part of a series of special programmes, we look to the future of the performing arts.

    As many theatres around the world remain dark, closed to audiences for months and with a largely freelance community of actors, writers, directors, musicians and production crews unable to work, we talk to four global theatre makers about the impact of the pandemic on performing arts communities.

    We ask what's next for theatre. Is the outlook bleak or is there cause for hope from the creativity and invention shown in lockdown? What does the future of stage performance hold?

    Tina Daheley is joined by Rwandan theatre director and curator of the Ubumuntu International Arts festival, Hope Azeda, Chilean playwright and theatre director Guillermo Calderon, Indian playwright, theatre director and lecturer Abhishek Majumdar and the artistic director of the Kiln theatre in London, Indhu Rubasingham.

    Presented by Tina Daheley

    (Photo: The empty auditorium of the London Coliseum. Credit: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images)

    • 26 min
    What’s the future of visual arts?

    What’s the future of visual arts?

    Art galleries and museums globally are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, with some closing permanently.

    This week on The Cultural Frontline, Tina Daheley hosts a discussion on what’s next for the visual arts and how artists and curators are radically re-thinking the future of the art world.

    Her panel includes Israeli born artist and educator Oreet Ashery; South Sudanese artist and photographer Atong Atem; Ben Vickers, Chief Technology Officer at the Serpentine Gallery; and Tim Marlow, Director and Chief Executive of the Design Museum in London and former Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts.

    (Photo: A visitor at the newly reopened State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Credit: Dimitar Dilkoff /AFP via Getty Images)

    • 27 min

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