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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm

The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm
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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm




Landmark - This Sporting Life

Philip Dodd discusses the significance of David Storey's groundbreaking 1960 novel with social historian Juliet Gardiner, journalist Rod Liddle, writer Anthony Clavane and the author's daughter Kate Storey.

Duration: 00:43:57

Many faces of Eve?

Catherine Fletcher talks to Professor Stephen Greenblatt about the Adam and Eve story in the Christian tradition; to Islam Issa about Islam's version which tells a rather more gender-equality story of the original first couple. Jennifer Evans and Sara Read reveal how the story impacted on mothers and would-be mothers over centuries through their reading of 16th and 17th century medical textbooks. Garlic was one interesting diagnostic of pregnancy while menstrual periods played their part in...

Duration: 00:44:01

Fre Thinking: Turner Prize Winner; The Joy of Bad Films

Matthew Sweet debates the merits of bad films with critics Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and Tim Robey as The Disaster Artist, James Franco's film inspired by cult classic The Room opens in UK cinemas. Plus the power of underground protest, of art and of the mind as we hear from psychologist Tali Sharot, from Jonathan Lerner on his time in the Weathermen, an organisation dedicated to the violent overthrowing of the United States government during the Vietnam era and from Lubaina Himid winner of this...

Duration: 00:43:58

Free Thinking – Russia: Totalitarianism? and Punishment

Masha Gessen has traced the lives of 4 Russians born as the Soviet Union crumbled. Daniel Beer won the Cundill History Prize for his history of punishment in Tsarist times. Mary Dejevsky writes and reports on Russian politics now. Philip Dodd presents. Masha Gessen's book is called The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. Daniel Beer's prize winning book is The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile under the Tsars

Duration: 00:44:10

Ken Burns – Flash photography - Joy

Matthew Sweet discusses the Vietnam War with the film maker Ken Burns who has spent the last decade making a monumental documentary about America's ill fated war in South East Asia. The award winninng poet, Sasha Dugdale, reads from her latest collection, Joy; and Kate Flint traces the history of flash photography from its origins in the nineteenth century to Weegee and Gordon Parks in the twentieth and Hiroshi Sugimoto and Martin Parr today The Vietnam War - a film by Ken Burns and Lynn...

Duration: 00:44:54


New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik talks to Shahidha Bari about city living. Plus artist Lucinda Rogers on depicting changes to a London market, a new report into prosperity and New Generation Thinker Alastair Fraser from the University of Glasgow shares his research . At the Stranger's Gate by Adam Gopnik, a staff writer for the New Yorker, is a memoir recalling 1980s New York and the early years of his marriage. Lucinda Rogers: On Gentrification Drawings from Ridley Road Market is on display...

Duration: 00:43:14

Free Thinking – David Willets

The Rt Hon Lord David Willetts talks to Philip Dodd about universities. The UK Minister for Universities and Science from 2010 to 2014, his new book considers both the history and the global role they now play.

Duration: 00:44:53

Free Thinking – Religious Belief

Philip Dodd looks at 2000 years of Arab Christians, at the modern rise of Pentecostalism and a novel depicting a man who decides to build a new church. Laura Premack from Lancaster University researches pentecostalism in Brazil, Nigeria and the USA. Neil Griffiths is author of a novel called As a God Might Be. Aurélie Clemente-Ruiz is Director of Exhibitions Department at the Institut du monde arabe in Paris where Eastern Christians: 2000 Years of History is on until January 14th 2018. It...

Duration: 00:43:09

Improving or Ruining the Future? Kevin Rudd. Finland 100.

Kelly and Zach Weinersmith share visions of the future with Rana Mitter. Plus former Australian PM Kevin Rudd on power and what images does Finland conjure 100 years after independence? We hear from Pauliina Stahlberg, Director of the Finnish Institute and Anne Robbins, curator of Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland which runs at the National Gallery in London until 4 February 2018. Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith is out...

Duration: 00:44:09

Free Thinking – Being Human: Lost and Found in the Archives

New Generation Thinkers Shahidha Bari & Laurence Scott consider how archives come to life with events from the Being Human Festival including klezmer music, stories from conflict in Northern Ireland and voices from marginalised communities.

Duration: 00:44:02

Being Human: The Lost Luggage Office, Ghosts and Warrior Poets.

Stories of objects, ghosts and histories lost and found recorded on location in Portsmouth's most haunted house, the site of a sacrifice in Canterbury and at the TfL Lost Luggage Office. Presenter Matthew Sweet meets academics taking part in Being Human which showcases research from universities around the UK. How can the reflections of a warrior-poet from the distant past and the adventures of an Iron Age tribesman from the far future help us rethink our relationship with a city centre in...

Duration: 00:44:10

Network, Jaron Lanier, Reputations.

BBC Head of News, James Harding, offers his verdict of a new stage version of Network, starring Bryan Cranston. Philosopher, Gloria Origgi, considers the importance of reputation in the digital age. Plus, presenter Rana Mitter meets with the 'father of Virtual Reality', Jaron Lanier. Jaron Lanier's books include You Are Not a Gadget, Who Owns the Future, and Dawn of the New Everything. Network scripted by Lee Hall and directed by Ivo van Hove, based on the Paddy Chayefsky film, runs at the...

Duration: 00:44:31

Free Thinking: Poetry and Protest Newcastle

‘There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face today… that is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war.’ The words of Martin Luther King in 1967 when he visited Newcastle upon Tyne to receive an honorary degree. Words that underlie a discussion about poetry and protest which features in the festival marking the 50th anniversary of that visit. The poets Jackie Kay, Fred D’Aguiar and Major Jackson join Shahidha Bari and an audience at Newcastle...

Duration: 00:44:12

Russian Art and Exile. Part of Breaking Free: A Century of Russian Culture

Author Boris Akunin and broadcaster and writer Zinovy Zinik in conversation with Anne McElvoy, recorded with an audience at Pushkin House. Pushkin House has commissioned a pavilion on Bloomsbury Square in London from the architect and artist Alexander Brodsky, titled '101st km - Further and Everywhere', as part of the Bloomsbury Festival. Anne visits this with Pushkin House Director Clem Cecil. Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in Georgia in 1956. An...

Duration: 00:44:06

Landmark – Man with a Movie Camera

"The greatest documentary of all time"? Michael Nyman, Alexei Popogrebsky, Ian Christie and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh join Matthew Sweet to discuss Dziga Vertov's 1929 film, Man with a Movie Camera, which was voted top of a poll conducted by Sight and Sound Magazine. Vertov's film is a kind of cinematic symphony of urban life in the Soviet Union. It fizzes with ideas and is the embodiment of the notion that cinema can promote revolutionary consciousness. For some its an achievement to set along...

Duration: 00:46:31

Free Thinking: Soviet Histories: Part of Breaking Free: A Century of Russian Culture

Nobel prize winner Svetlana Alexeivich on the Soviet Woman's Stories of World War II and why they did not want them published; Stephen Kotkin with Volume II of his biograph of Joseph Stalin explores the bloody creation of a Soviet State capable of standing up to hostile global countries. Ran Mitter talks to them about their top down/bottom up histories of Soviet Culture and also hears from Juliane Fürst about Soviet hipsters and hippies who challenged the system in ways that required no...

Duration: 00:44:05

The pros and cons of Swearing.

Comedian Janey Godley, historian John Gallagher, poet and journalist Bridget Minamore and author and science writer Dr Emma Byrne discuss with Matthew Sweet swearing on stage, in pain and protest and when new terms entered our language. Swearing Is Good For You by Emma Byrne is out now. Please note this programme may contain strong language. Producer: Debbie Kilbride

Duration: 00:45:09

Benjamin Britten and Radio

David Hendy, Glyn Maxwell, Kate Kennedy and Lucy Walker with Philip Dodd and an audience at Aldeburgh in a discussion exploring Britten’s relationship with radio in Britain and in America, with his subjects as varied as mountaineering (with words from Christopher Isherwood), a dramatisation of Homer’s Odyssey and short stories by D.H. Lawrence (with a young W.H. Auden). But why was Britten so reluctant to accept a job at the BBC’s Music department in the 1930s? David Hendy is a historian...

Duration: 00:44:17

Jonathan Swift at 350. Black and White Art. History of British nature writing.

What does Gulliver's Travels say to us now? Satirical cartoonist Martin Rowson and Daniel Cook from the University of Dundee assess the legacy of Swift's best-known work. And Monochrome exhibition co-curator Jennifer Sliwka and photographer Sarah Pickering discuss exhibits ranging from black and white art on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood, and canvas from Leonardo da Vinci to Gerhard Richter to a room filled with yellow light by the artist Olafur Eliasson, who created the Sun...

Duration: 00:43:45

Forgotten authors, cult fiction and The Prisoner

Alex Cox discusses surveillance, mind bending and the power of the individual versus the collective in the 1967 cult TV series The Prisoner. Plus Christopher Fowler, Clare Walker Gore and Lynda Nead look back at bestsellers from the past which deserve re-reading and the way movies and fiction of the 1950s reflected both the smog and fashions of post-war British culture. Christopher Fowler's The Book of Forgotten Authors catalogues 99 writers whom he thinks should be better known. The...

Duration: 00:44:56

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