2,000 episodes

Original BBC documentary storytelling, bringing award-winning journalism, unheard voices, amazing culture and “unputdownable” audio. New episodes every week from The Documentary, Assignment, Heart and Soul, In the Studio, BBC OS Conversations and The Fifth Floor.

The Documentary Podcast BBC World Service

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 1.5K Ratings

Original BBC documentary storytelling, bringing award-winning journalism, unheard voices, amazing culture and “unputdownable” audio. New episodes every week from The Documentary, Assignment, Heart and Soul, In the Studio, BBC OS Conversations and The Fifth Floor.

    Assignment: The Caspian crisis

    Assignment: The Caspian crisis

    The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world. Bordered by Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan it spans 371,000 square kilometres and bridges Europe and Central Asia. It’s fed mainly by Russia’s Volga and Ural rivers and the sea is not only rich in oil and gas but is also home to numerous rare and endemic species, including the Caspian seal and 90% of the world’s remaining wild sturgeon. But the Caspian Sea is in crisis. Climate change and the damming of Russia’s rivers are causing the coastline to recede at an alarming rate. The sea’s levels have fallen by a metre in the last 4 years, a trend likely to increase. Recent studies have shown that the levels could drop between 9 and 18 metres by 2100. Last June Kazakh government officials declared a state of emergency over the Caspian. Iran has also raised the alarm with the UN. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent travels to Kazakhstan for Assignment to report from the shores of the Caspian Sea on what can be done to prevent an environmental disaster.

    • 28 min
    In the Studio: Zoë Barrett and Patrick Eley

    In the Studio: Zoë Barrett and Patrick Eley

    Zoë Barrett and Patrick Eley have a unique way of thinking about space. They know just how to guide people from A to B with ease, no matter how higgledy-piggledy the building or complex the environment. Zoë and Patrick consider every detail of their work carefully, with aspects such as shape, colour, typeface, graphic design, materials and iconography forming an integral part of their strategically placed signage and maps. Their job is to make sense of confusion with beautiful, simple, modern designs and attractive invitations to ‘walk this way’.

    • 26 min
    Bonus: The Global Jigsaw

    Bonus: The Global Jigsaw

    A bonus episode from The Global Jigsaw podcast. “China is not buying Africa, it is building Africa” is the view from Beijing. How is this landing with local audiences? There have been hints of a cooling down of Sino-African friendship. For this episode, the team travels to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to get a sense of Chinese influence on the ground, and understand why Beijing has chosen it as a hub for its media operation in Africa.
    For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globaljigsaw or search for The Global Jigsaw wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
    Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg

    • 41 min
    Labelling the world: The power of DSM

    Labelling the world: The power of DSM

    The number of labels to describe different types of mental disorder has mushroomed in recent years. New categories include Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Prolonged Grief Disorder and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Many classifications have been created or influenced by a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Advocates of DSM say labels help people take ownership of their situation, provide them with answers, treatments and social support. Critics think it creates stigma, medicalises normality and leads to a glut of unnecessary and harmful drug prescriptions. UK based musician Jay Emme asks if labels help or hinders in everyday life and whether it’s time to drop the terms ‘mental’ and ‘disorder’?

    • 48 min
    The Fifth Floor: Message in a bottle to North Korea

    The Fifth Floor: Message in a bottle to North Korea

    Park Jung-oh defected to South Korea from the North 26 years ago. Hearing how North Koreans in the Hwanghae Province suffer from food shortage, he started throwing bottles filled with rice and a USB stick into the Yellow Sea, hoping they would land on North Korean shores. Did his messages ever reach anyone? Rachel Lee from BBC Korean brings us this extraordinary story. Plus, Madina Dahiru Maishanu, the youngest presenter at BBC Hausa, shares stories from her award-winning show, Mahangar Zamani, and Thomas Naadi tells us about Stevie Wonder's love affair with Ghana.
    Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson.
    (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)

    • 26 min
    BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Brazil

    BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Brazil

    Vast areas of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul remain under water after the worst flooding in 80 years. Homes have been destroyed, thousands are without power or drinking water, and entire towns remain cut-off. The torrential rains began in Rio Grande do Sul at the end of April, saturating the ground and bursting the banks of the Taquari and Caí rivers. Those rivers flow into the Guaíba, which has led to severe flooding in the state capital, Porto Alegre. We bring together three residents of Porto Alegre and volunteer rescue workers to share their experiences of the flooding.

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

😉💙🙃 ,

12 November 2022 Qatar

How do expats feel about the classes and their rights? Qatar is highly supported by the expat’s that keep the country running, and allow these women their positions in society. These women are living a fairytale. The toll must eventually be payed for this extortion of others, nothing is free…

avm1406 ,

3 million

Kavita Puri’s new show on the bengal famine is outstanding….binge worthy and deeply moving. The music is beautiful yet evocative of this terrible tragedy deliberately and callously created by the colonial British chiefly Churchill.

blindGuyJoe ,

2/11/2024

Can you believe, a blind guy like me, yet I could see, the art by the sea.

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