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The Cultural Frontline

The Cultural Frontline

Podcast The Cultural Frontline
Podcast The Cultural Frontline

The Cultural Frontline


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  • Joyland: Why the Pakistani film caused controversy
    The film Joyland is set in Lahore and tells the story of Haider, a married man who falls in love with the transgender dancer Biba. It’s the first Pakistani film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and it won the Jury Prize as well as the Queer Palm prize. It has also been selected as the Pakistani entry for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards. Despite having a standing ovation at Cannes, the film has had a more controversial reaction in Pakistan itself. Originally cleared for release, that decision was then overturned. However the film is now out in cinemas in Pakistan, although remains banned in the Punjab. Tina Daheley speaks to Joyland’s writer and director Saim Sadiq and film critic Kamran Jawaid. Brazilian director and screenwriter Gabriel Martins took inspiration from his own childhood experience when he made his new film Mars One. It tells the story of a working-class Black Brazilian family adjusting to life after the election of President Jair Bolsanaro. Like Joyland, it has also been selected as its country’s submission for Best International Feature Film at the next Academy Awards. Lone Scherfig is a Danish film-maker best known for her romantic comedies including An Education and One Day. She talks about the film that changed her - Austrian director Michael Haneke's 2009 German-language film The White Ribbon. It is a movie with a troubling message about the history of Europe and one that inspires her to ask big, important questions in her own work. (Photo: A still from Joyland. Credit: Studio Soho)
  • Cultural restitution - who decides?
    Cultural restitution is an issue that creates fierce debate in response to the work of campaigners, curators and nation states, who argue that collections in some of the world’s great cultural institutions contain objects that may have been acquired illegitimately, often during the colonial period. Over the last two years an unprecedented number of restitution claims have been approved by museums and governments. This week two former UK culture ministers teamed up to call for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures removed from Athens in Greece by Lord Elgin, currently on display in the British Museum and last month Benin Bronzes which had been displayed in the USA were returned to the Kingdom of Benin in modern day Nigeria. Some commentators argue that a new way of operating for museums is unfolding before our eyes. It is a global conversation that has huge implications for the future of these institutions. Tina Daheley is joined by Herman Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation who oversees the work of 27 museums and cultural organisations in Germany; Annelize Kotze, curator at the national Iziko Museums of South Africa; Alexander Herman, director of the UK based Institute of Art and Law and author of Restitution: The Return of Cultural Artefacts; Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a human rights activist who runs the US based Restitution Study Group and Victor Ehikhamenor, a leading Nigerian artist who has been inspired to make work about restitution, including at the Venice Biennale. Producer: Simon Richardson (Photo: The Benin Bronzes on display in a museum. Credit: David Cliff/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)
  • Behind the lens of the photojournalist
    Across Ukraine photographers who used to shoot landscapes, fashion shows and weddings are focusing instead on bomb damaged buildings, soldiers in trenches and civilians caught up in the war. Pictures that they hope in future, may provide crucial evidence in war crimes trials. Reporter Lucy Ash talks to Mykhaylo Palinchak, who was the official photographer of Ukraine’s former president and now captures the horrors of the Russian invasion. She also speaks to Olexiy Sai, a graphic designer and artist who’s created a new work using the images taken by Ukraine’s army of war photographers. Despite having some of the world’s largest oil reserves, according to new UN data more than seven million Venezuelans have left their homeland since 2015, amid an ongoing economic and political crisis. Most have moved to neighbouring Colombia and one of them is Fabiola Ferrero. She’s now won the 12th Carmignac Photojournalism award, which is a grant of 50,000 euros to carry out a 6-month field report, the results of which have become her latest project, ‘Venezuela, the Wells Run Dry’. She tells Tina Daheley about her work which chronicles the disappearance of the Venezuelan middle class and capturing the country of today. Photojournalist Nelly Ating has been documenting events across Nigeria since 2014, including the rise of Boko Haram and its impact on the young women and girls they captured in her series ‘This war has found a home.’ She’s currently studying for her PhD in Wales looking at the role of photography and human rights. Nelly told The Cultural Frontline’s Andrea Kidd about her work and the people whose stories she’s been telling. Please be warned there are descriptions of images which some listeners may find distressing in this programme. (Photo: A destroyed book. Credit: Fabiola Ferrero for Fondation Carmignac)
  • How can art help tackle climate change?
    Some of the world’s most famous paintings have become the central focus of the global debate on climate action. Climate activists have thrown tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and mashed potatoes at Monet’s famous “Haystacks”. Tina Daheley speaks to Nigerian climate activist Gloria Kasang Bulus and British art critic Louisa Buck about the role that the art world can play addressing climate change. Bolivian director, Alejandro Loayza Grisi talks to Beatriz de la Pava about his new film Utama. He explains how making the film, which reflects the real life experiences of Bolivian communities facing drought and crop failure caused by a changing climate, transformed the way he saw his country. Indonesia is a nation made up of over seventeen thousand islands making it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. The musician Rara Sekar reflects on her relationship with nature in her country and her feelings of eco-grief in sound and in song. (Photo: Climate activists staging a protest. Credit: Just Stop Oil/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • The Beautiful Game: Art, football and the World Cup
    The Fifa World Cup is being held in Qatar. The country’s been gearing up for this huge event commissioning a broad array of art projects. However human rights groups have repeatedly complained about the bad treatment of foreign labourers building the stadia, and there are also concerns for LGBTQ+ fans attending the matches, in a country where homosexuality remains illegal. Rabih Alameddine is an award-winning Lebanese US novelist and painter, whose books cover topics including the Aids epidemic, the Lebanese civil war, exile and gender identity. He is also a huge football fan and he tells Tina Daheley about what hosting the World Cup in an Arab country means for the region and discusses football’s attitude to sexuality. Argentina is famous for its legendary footballers, but amateur football is also huge in the country. Artist Martin Kazanietz captures this love of five-a-side and the social side of soccer in his paintings and he tells us about his own passion for the amateur game. The Uefa Women's EUROs took place in England this year, with a record audience of more than 365 million people watching worldwide. The tournament appointed British Jamaican, professor Shirley Thompson as composer in residence. She created two works, Momentum, a Concerto for Football and Orchestra, the other, an anthem called Beautiful Game, both performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Shirley told The Cultural Frontline’s Andrea Kidd about the pieces. Nigeria might have missed out on a place in the World Cup, but one man who’s putting the country’s footballers on the virtual international playing field is Victor Daniyan. For the last three years he’s been painstakingly creating a Pan African video football game. Victor explains why it’s important for him to develop this interactive platform. (Photo credit: Colin Anderson Productions Pty Ltd/Getty Images)

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