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Art versus climate change

The Cultural Frontline speaks to artists tackling climate change and global environmental damage through their work. It’s the protest movement that has hit the headlines and the streets around the world. Tina speaks to members of Extinction Rebellion about why the group place arts and culture at the centre of their actions. Icelandic film director Benedikt Erlingson explains why he chose to tackle the thorny issue of the environmental impact of industry in a quirky, comic style in his...


African writers now

The Cultural Frontline speaks to some of Africa’s leading writers about the transformative power of literature. Taking the African story to the world. We speak to the writers Cherrie Kandie and Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti about their latest work which has been nominated for the prestigious Caine Prize and ask what life is like as a contemporary African writer working in the United States. A generation after the Rwandan genocide, the writer Yolande Mukugasana tells the Cultural Frontline how her...


Comedy that changes minds

This week the Cultural Frontline speaks to leading comedians and satirists around the world who use humour to question and expose, sometimes at risk to themselves. Tina is joined by the American stand-up and sketch comedian Chris Redd, a cast member of the iconic Saturday Night Live TV show. Chris talks about his impersonation of Kanye West meeting President Trump which went viral online, what he thinks of President Trump’s reaction to the show, and how he uses rap to highlight social issues...


North America’s Indigenous renaissance?

On this week’s Cultural Frontline we’re exploring whether Native American and Indigenous artists in Canada are enjoying a renaissance. And celebrating Indigenous artists who are re-inventing traditions for a contemporary audience. We speak to Indigenous two-spirit musician Jeremy Dutcher about his award winning album and rescuing his community’s language from extinction. For the first time ever, Native American women’s art is being exhibited together on a grand scale. Its unusual centre...


Food, glorious food

On this week’s Cultural Frontline we celebrate the writers, musicians and designers combining the creative arts with the culinary arts in innovative and imaginative ways. Tina takes a tour of the mouth-watering exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate at London’s Victoria and Albert museum. The Mexican designer Fernando Laposse reveals how his brightly coloured corn-based textile helped a Mexican community facing unemployment. Can you find family in a bowl of Nigerian soup? The food writer...


Art to believe in

The Cultural Frontline speaks to artists about how their faith informs and inspires their work. When he was twelve years old, the artist Tsherhin Sherpa began studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting with his father; he is now a celebrated contemporary artist. He tells The Cultural Frontline about how his work combines the ancient traditions of his Buddhist heritage with his personal observations on the political and social issues of today’s modern globalised culture. The graffiti...


My camera, my country

This week, the Cultural Frontline speaks to leading filmmakers from around the world about how they share the story of their country on screen. This week, Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as President of South Africa. But amid corruption, inequality and controversy over land reform, how is the so-called Rainbow Nation being painted by the nation’s filmmakers? Lineo Sekeleoane, director and producer of Zulu Wedding and Samantha Nell, director of Miles From Nowhere, share the story of the South...


India through the eyes of its artists

Following India’s momentous elections, we hear from the writers, comedians, directors and artists who are shaping the nation’s cultural future. Bollywood stars, political biopics and patriotic saris. The writer Sandip Roy reviews the sights and sounds of the campaign trail and reveals how entertainment and politics have become ever closer this election. Seen any Salman Rushdie on a rickshaw or poetry on the side of a street food stand? Brightly coloured sticker quotes are appearing all over...


My art, my gender identity and me

The Cultural Frontline talks to artists, performers and cultural voices from around the world about their gender identity and the role it plays in the stories they tell and the art they create. Joining Tina are Caitlin Benedict and Amrou Al-Kadhi the creative forces behind the critically acclaimed BBC podcast NB – which stands for non-binary. They will be talking about their series and how it explores what being non-binary means and feels. The indigenous Zapotec community of Mexico...


Can podcasts change the world?

The Cultural Frontline asks how are podcasts changing the stories we tell each other and what we learn about our world? Are podcasts just a western phenomenon? According to producer and presenter Yang Yi, podcasts are not even half the story when it comes to audio in China. Yi explains that whilst entertainment podcasts are still in their infancy, it’s ‘pay for knowledge’ audio that’s big business. He’s the podcast pioneer who has interviewed everyone from the Beastie Boys to Barack Obama...


Meet theatre’s bold change-makers

We meet the writers, playwrights and performers who are changing the face of theatre. He is the fearless playwright whose productions have been met with protests and even banned. Abhishek Majumdar tells The Cultural Frontline what drives him to explore some of the world’s most volatile political conflicts on stage. What do you want from your local theatre? How about productions that not only tell dramatic stories but also confront economic inequality, racism, and social injustice. We hear...


Notre-Dame and the art that changes us

This week, we reflect on the power of art and culture to change the way we see the world. It’s a building that has been a source of inspiration for musicians, painters and writers for nine centuries. Following the devastating fire earlier this week the Parisian writer, Agnes Poirier reflects on what Notre-Dame means to her, her city and the culture of France. Has watching a band live onstage ever changed your outlook on life? Cameroonian musician Blick Bassy tells The Cultural Frontline why...


Art breaking barriers

The Cultural Frontline celebrates artists, writers and directors using art to bridge divides and provide a platform for everyone to tell their stories. Many theatres around the world now include some accessible versions of their shows for people with disabilities, such as captioned performances for Deaf audiences. But how accessible is theatre for performers with disabilities and do disabled audiences feel represented by the content being performed? We hear from two champions of...


A passion for dance

As part of the BBC’s Dance Passion season The Cultural Frontline celebrates great dancers from across the world and talks to performers and choreographers about their passion for dance. Can dance put marginalised people centre stage? We head to the Small Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital to meet Vahan Badalyan, the theatre director working to provide an artistic platform to the city’s disabled citizens. Have you ever heard of Pantsula? The acclaimed choreographer Gregory Maqoma tells the...


Arabic cinema's fearless female film-makers

Recent years have seen a new wave of female talent and women-focused stories in Arabic cinema. But what are the types of stories being told and can the portrayal of these stories help influence society across the region? We explore the opportunities and challenges faced by women working in front of and behind the camera. In this current era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, we discuss these and other challenges that arise when showing women on screen, as well as those faced by women within the...


Level up: How video games are changing society

The Cultural Frontline speaks to the gamers, designers and artists who are revolutionising the video game industry and trying to create a positive social change through gaming. What is life like for a professional e-sports player? Getting paid to play games all day and night may sound like a dream job, but in reality, what does it take to be an e-sports champion? The French League of Legends player Paul Boyer aka SOAZ tells The Cultural Frontline about a day in his life as an e-sports...


How to find the funny side of Brexit

Can you find the funny side of Brexit? The British comedian Andrew Doyle tells Tina how he believes British comedy and culture have been changed since the EU referendum. From Victor Hugo to Emile Zola, France has a long legacy of writers who seek to speak for the disenfranchised. But which writer represents the disaffected and the socially marginalised in the age of the anti-government yellow vest protests? The writer and journalist Anne Elisabeth Moutet traces the legacy of French social...


Hong Kong's Foo Tak Building

The Foo Tak building is a hidden artists’ hub in the centre of Hong Kong island. Fourteen storeys high, it stands inconspicuous amongst the futuristic malls and towering skyscrapers that have been crammed into this small, densely populated area. We explore the building studio by studio, meeting an intriguing mix of experimental musicians, illustrators, conceptual artists, painters, community radio producers, academics and journalists. Lack of space is huge problem for Hong Kong artists -...


Restitution and Art: What Does it Mean to Return?

Last November a ground-breaking report commissioned by the French President Emmanuel Macron sent shock waves through the art world. It recommended the return or restitution of artefacts from France back to Africa. But what would this mean for museums and cultural institutions? We take the view of leading figures from two cultural institutions in the two continents – Dr Bongani Ndhlovu from the Iziko Museums of South Africa and Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archaeology...


Meet Dimash, Central Asia’s Biggest Pop Star

Sell out tours, millions of social media followers and adoring fans across the globe. Welcome to the world of Dimash, Central Asia’s biggest pop star. We find out how he went from a child singer to a pioneer of pop music and why he is trying to change the world’s perception of his home country, Kazakhstan. Has a song, a book, a work of art ever changed the way you see the world? Zandra Rhodes, one of British fashion’s leading trend setters, reveals why the work of the artist Duggie Fields...