The Documentary Podcast – including the Three Million mini-series

The Documentary Podcast – including the Three Million mini-series

By BBC World Service

Original BBC documentary storytelling, bringing award-winning journalism, unheard voices, amazing culture and “unputdownable” audio. Recommendation: our mini-series, Three Million, about the Bengal famine of 1943. New episodes every week from The Documentary, Assignment, Heart and Soul, In the Studio and OS Conversations.

Episodes

Assignment: Botswana - living with elephants

The battle to keep the peace between people and elephants in northern Botswana. The earth’s largest land mammal, the elephant, is an endangered species. Poaching, habitat loss and disease have decimated elephant populations. But not in Botswana, which has the world’s biggest population of elephants. In the north of the country, in the area around the remarkable Okavango Delta (the world’s largest inland delta), elephant numbers are growing and they outnumber people. This can pose serious problems for the human population, particularly local subsistence farmers. A crop raid by elephants can destroy a family’s annual food supply overnight. Elephants also pose a risk to life in their daily commute between their feeding grounds and their water sources. John Murphy travels to the top of the Okavango Delta, to see what efforts are being made to keep both people and elephants safe, and to persuade locals that these giant animals are an asset not a liability. He also explores threats from further afield to this green jewel in the desert, the Okavango Delta, which animals and people alike depend on.
29/02/24·27m 54s

Trending - The disinformation war in the Middle East

"A flood of disinformation has erupted across social media in the online propaganda battle that’s being waged alongside the physical conflict between Israel and Hamas.Everything from video game clips falsely presented as genuine combat footage, to the outright denial of civilian deaths, have been deployed to try to skew the online narrative and warp public perceptions.BBC Verify’s Olga Robinson and Shayan Sardarizadeh examine the trends in this alternative war over the Middle East with the help of Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, the independent investigative organisation."
28/02/24·19m 37s

Storm over a teacup

In the mountainous east of Nepal many communities are dependent on tea. The nitrogen-rich soil of the high-elevation estates allow tea bushes to produce a unique flavour, but the picking has to be done by hand. Phanindra Dahal talks to farmers, factory managers, tea estate supervisors and leaders in the business to find out how this small nation is looking to compete globally and the challenges they are up against. One challenge is a complex relationship with its neighbour, India.
27/02/24·27m 46s

In the Studio: Claudia Piñeiro

Claudia Piñeiro is a multi-award winning novelist, with many of her books being adapted for television. She's one of Argentina's most translated writers, as well as being a popular screenwriter and playwright. The BBC's Andrea Kidd joins Claudia in her apartment in Buenos Aires, as she works on her latest, as yet, untitled novel. It follows the story of two step-sisters, one a radio journalist, the other an escort, both unaware of the other's existence, until a dramatic incident brings their lives together. But was it an accident or something more sinister?
26/02/24·27m 19s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Is #Me Too finally exploding in French cinema?. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
25/02/24·25m 54s

Bonus: Hardtalk - Defying Putin

Russian authorities have announced the death of one of the country’s most significant opposition leaders Alexey Navalny in a remote penal colony in the Arctic Circle. Stephen Sackur spoke to him in Moscow in 2017 about the risks involved in being a prominent critic of President Putin.
24/02/24·24m 27s

BBC OS Conversations: Ukraine war babies and returning home

It is two years since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, left millions of Ukrainians as refugees, and wrought much destruction. When your home is invaded and everything is shattered and turned upside down, what happens to your life? Host James Reynolds hears from three women in Ukraine who, despite the dangers of war, chose to have a baby. At the start of the war, millions of women and children escaped to safety abroad. With the passing of time, some have decided to return. Three of those women come together to discuss their decisions to go back home.
24/02/24·24m 1s

Three Million: 5. Ghosts

The Bengal Famine, particularly the experiences of people in the rural areas who suffered the most, is not well remembered today. There is no memorial, museum, or plaque to the victims or survivors anywhere in the world.One man has made it his life’s work to record their testimonies with paper and pen. Kavita hears from him, and tries to understand more about why the three million people who perished aren’t better remembered or memorialised in India, Bangladesh and Britain.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee and Professor Joya Chatterji
23/02/24·28m 55s

Three Million: 4. The tapes

Kavita Puri discovers a set of cassette tapes containing rare interviews with Indian civil servants who were on the ground across Bengal during the famine, shedding new light on colonial responsibility. And as the need for relief in Bengal becomes ever greater, more pressure is put on the British government from India’s new Viceroy. He asks for more food imports. Could the War Cabinet and Prime Minister Winston Churchill have done more to help alleviate the famine in the middle of the war? Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production co-ordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee and Professor Joya ChatterjiInterviews conducted by Lance Brennan courtesy of University of CambridgeInterviews with GS Khosla courtesy of University of Cambridge
23/02/24·31m 21s

Three Million: 3. The f-word

Colonial authorities wanted to censor the famine. They were worried that Britain’s wartime enemies - the Germans and the Japanese - would use it as propaganda against them.But as more and more starving people arrive in cities across Bengal, it becomes harder to suppress. Indian writers, photographers and artists document the humanitarian catastrophe, but it was risky, as the censor forbade mention of the famine. A British journalist and editor of the English language Statesman newspaper, in Calcutta, decides to challenge the censor and begins publishing photographs and scathing editorials about what was really going on in Bengal. It shocks the world. In London, the BBC reports on “famine conditions” and, as we uncover, the British government tries to pressurise the broadcaster to tone down its coverage.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta
23/02/24·29m 37s

Three Million: 2. The cigarette tin

A boy decides how much rice he can give from a cigarette tin to hungry people. A Christian missionary sets up a makeshift relief hospital. A small child watches through the gates of his house in Calcutta as emaciated women clutching children ask for food. As the food crisis deepens, shocking testimonies from the countryside show the extent of starvation. Many thousands of hungry people begin moving from the rural areas towards the cities.Indians - including children - are forced into life-or-death decisions.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta.Interview with Alan McLeod courtesy of the University of Cambridge
23/02/24·26m 35s

Three Million: 1. War

During the Second World War, at least three million Indian people, who were British subjects, died in the Bengal Famine. It was one of the largest losses of civilian life on the Allied side. But there is no memorial to them anywhere in the world - not even a plaque. Can three million people disappear from public memory?From the creator and presenter of the award-winning series Three Pounds in my Pocket and Partition Voices, this is the story of the Bengal Famine of 1943. For the first time it is told by those who were there - farmers and fishermen, artists and writers, colonial British and everyday citizens. Nearly all of the testimony in the series has never been broadcast before. Eighty years on, those who lived through it are a vanishing generation. Time is running out to record their memories.We begin in 1942. As the Japanese sweep through South East Asia, Calcutta (now Kolkata) is inundated with hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from all over the world. Fear of a Japanese invasion of British India provokes a consequential decision.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta. Interviews with American soldiers courtesy of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: nationalww2museum.org/ Interviews with G S Khosla and Debotosh Das Gupta courtesy of the University of Cambridge Major General Dharitri Kumar Palit interviewed by Gillian Wright, 1987, British Library reference C63/195/09. Audio © British Library Board and the interviewee. The British Library has been unable to locate the family of the interviewee. Please contact oralhistory@bl.uk with any relevant information.
23/02/24·28m 50s

Heart and Soul: Ladino - Saving Greece’s ancient Jewish language

For centuries, the Judaeo-Spanish language of Ladino was spoken in the vibrant streets of Thessaloniki. But today, it is a language on the verge of fading away, its echoes becoming fainter with each passing generation. Journalist and language enthusiast Sophia Smith Galer heads to the city to find out what happened to Ladino, and where its traces may still be found today - hearing from the teachers, community members and even singers who do not want Greece to forget one of their linguistic jewels.
23/02/24·27m 20s

Assignment: Pakistan - journalists under fire

Journalists in Pakistan say they’re under threat of abduction and even of being killed if they criticise the state authorities. Whoever is in power, legal action against journalists who’ve spoken out against the authorities is nothing new. Press freedom campaigners say that in 12 months 140 journalists were threatened or attacked with some saying that democracy itself is under attack. For Assignment Mobeen Azhar hears the allegations made by those who say they’ve been targeted to shut them up - allegations which the authorities deny.Archive: AAJ News, May 2023 GNN, February 2023, Naya Daur February 2022, GEO TV October 2022
22/02/24·26m 14s

Trending: The new fight for land rights

In Malaysian Borneo, indigenous people have struggled for land rights against companies and the state. Using new mapping technology, communities in Borneo’s rainforests are racing to prove their claims. We explore how technology and social media are being used and misused to shift the balance of power.
21/02/24·18m 20s

Two Years of War: Voices from Russia

As the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches, Oleg Boldyrev reports on how ordinary Russians are dealing with life in a country at war with its close neighbour. Are there new economic and social challenges, and what do we know of attitudes to the invasion? We talk to Russians across the country to gauge the mood.Photo by ANATOLY MALTSEV/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (14329432c) People stand at a bus stop near an image depicting St. Isaac's Cathedral (back) on a sunny day in St. Petersburg, Russia, 02 February 2024. Temperatures in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, reached minus two degrees Celsius on the day.
20/02/24·27m 0s

In the Studio: Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz says he owes his artistic career to being shot as a young man, not because he had an epiphany about the meaning of his life, but because he won enough compensation from the accident to move to New York and kick-start his career in the art world. He is now probably one of Brazil’s most successful visual artists and his pieces can range from tiny specs that are photographed by microscopes to giant landscapes captured from helicopters. He is known for working with unconventional materials; some of his most famous works have been created out of sugar, chocolate and a plate of left over spaghetti. Andrea Kennedy went to New York to meet him as he prepared for an exhibition full of illusions.
19/02/24·27m 19s

World Wide Waves '24

Radio can be a lifeline for women: a place to speak out in safety; a place to find their voices. We hear from women taking to the air and making waves in the cracks left by the Taliban in Afghanistan; in Fiji's scattered archipelago threatened by climate change; in the migrant farmworker community of the Yakima Valley in North America's Pacific north-west; and in the Ecuadorean Amazon, where indigenous women are coming together to save their land from pollution and destruction by oil companies.
18/02/24·50m 10s

Bonus: The Global Jigsaw - Does Russia’s election matter?

Putin’s re-election is certain, but there is still a lot at stake for the Kremlin. We look into the efforts aimed at achieving unequivocal victory in what seems to be the most oppressive election in Russia for two decades. What are the stories state media can and cannot touch, how much of a headache does dissent from the mothers and wives of soldiers pose to the authorities and does Putin really have body doubles? We have the answers. Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg Editor: Judy King Twitter handle of contributors: @VitalyBBC, @jen_mon1, @oivshina Original music: Pete Cunningham Sound engineer: Martin Appleby
17/02/24·36m 2s

BBC OS Conversations: The earthquake in Turkey and Syria – one year on

When we first reported on the earthquake in February 2023, the scale was overwhelming. We heard from families who had escaped as buildings around them collapsed and rescue workers described the devastation as the worst they had ever seen. Each day the casualty figures mounted. It is now thought that at least 55,000 people died.A year on, we have been catching-up with survivors to hear how their lives have changed. One family – Iman, Karim and their 7-year-old daughter Nada – had fled from the war in Syria to have a new life in Turkey. They lost family, friends and their home in the earthquake. When host James Reynolds called the family up in the last few days, they told him they were doing much better. Young Nada, however, is still having nightmares about the floor shaking and people she has lost. “I have a dream about my friend Iman, she died from the earthquake,” Nada tells James. “I’m so sad about her, and I have a friend who moved to Canada – I miss her so much.”We also hear messages from BBC listeners in Turkey and reunite with Harun, an English teacher in southern Turkey, and Bilal who is living in the east of the country and had his business destroyed last year. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
17/02/24·23m 56s

Bonus: HARDtalk - Alexey Navalny: The interview

Russian authorities have announced the death of one of the country’s most significant opposition leaders Alexey Navalny in a remote penal colony in the Arctic Circle. Stephen Sackur spoke to him in Moscow in 2017 about the risks involved in being a prominent critic of President Putin.
16/02/24·25m 12s

Heart and Soul: The killer's counsel

Doctor Gwen Adshead is a forensic psychiatrist working with the UK’s most violent offenders, many of them serving life sentences at Broadmoor Prison for murder. Gwen believes that empathy starts with a recognition that there is a capacity for evil in all of us. She believes that for her patients, “no matter what their history”, therapeutic treatment works. She speaks to the writer and convicted murderer Erwin James. Together they reflect on Erwin’s life story and how he came to commit the crime he did. Erwin asks Gwen about her relationship with Christianity and how it has supported her in her work.
16/02/24·27m 21s

Assignment: Tempting fate - Istanbul's earthquake dilemma

Millions of residents living in Istanbul face the dilemma of whether or not to find out if the buildings where they live are resilient to earthquakes. Many cannot afford to do anything about it even if they are unsafe. A year on from the earthquakes in south-east Turkey that killed over 53,000 people, it is clear poorly built homes, hospitals and hotels that collapsed within seconds contributed to the high death toll. There are warnings that a similar fate awaits Istanbul, where scientists predict a major earthquake could strike any day now. Emily Wither looks at the challenges facing Istanbul and discovers a story of politics, poor urban planning and a struggle to find safe housing.
15/02/24·28m 1s

Trending: The Mexican mayor and a deepfake scandal

When an audio recording alleged to be from the Mayor of one of the world's largest cities started circulating online, reality was called into question. Mexico City's mayor, claimed the clip- which sounded like he was discussing a campaign against a political candidate- was AI generated. Others are convinced the audio is real. In this episode of Trending’s Power season, Jack Goodman and Laura García go on the hunt for answers. Using the latest AI detection tools, they explore the possibilities and limitations of verifying such content, and question how disinformation may shape Mexico's general election in June. Could AI disrupt elections around the world?
14/02/24·19m 0s

Reporting Greece

Greece is the birthplace of democracy. But how free is Greece’s media? Nikos Papanikolaou travels to his home town, Athens, to speak to journalists who have had their phones hacked by an advanced new spyware, been sued for defamation, and been under surveillance by the Greek national intelligence agency. In the south of the city he visits the widow of the an investigative journalist – murdered just outside their family home. Nikos also hears from Members of the European Parliament – those who want the EU to withhold funds until Greece improves the position for journalists – and those outraged by the idea that Greece does not already have a free media. Presented by Nikos Papanikolaou Produced by Giles Edwards.This podcast was edited after it was published
13/02/24·26m 42s

In the Studio: Jon Foreman

Jon Foreman is a land artist. He creates work in natural spaces using natural materials like stones, sand, leaves and driftwood. Known for his mesmerising sculptures that harmonise with nature, Jon’s work has captured the imagination of art enthusiasts worldwide. His artwork may last as little as 10 minutes before the sea washes it away, but his sculptures are not meant to last; his art is a testament to the beauty found in the ephemeral moment. From the ancient tools he uses to create his sculptures to the modern technology he employs to capture it, we follow Jon's creative process as he takes us to his favourite location to work - the pristine beach of Lindsway Bay on the Pembrokeshire coast, west Wales.
12/02/24·28m 58s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Could Taylor Swift swing the US election?The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
11/02/24·25m 9s

Bonus: Sportshour at the Super Bowl Las Vegas edition

Some claim that the romance between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce has been manufactured by the NFL for political gain, and whilst that is clearly nonsense we look at the impact of Swift's relationship with the NFL.Shaquem Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome causing the fingers on his left hand not to fully develop. The pain was so intense that at 4 years of age he grabbed a butcher knife, planning to cut the hand off. His mother took the knife away, and scheduled an amputation the next day… Despite the obvious setback of only having one hand, Shaquem still fulfilled his dream and played in the NFL for four seasons. He tells us his story.And Cyndy Feasel who watched on helpless as her husband, former NFL star Grant Feasel died the victim of alcohol abuse and a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. She tells us about one NFL wife’s story of concussions, loss, and the faith that saw her through.Plus, in the year America elects its next president we explore the relationship between the Super Bowl and the Commander in Chief.And we speak to SpongeBob Square pants best friend Patrick Starr as he prepares to give an alternative commentary of Sunday's game for younger viewers!
10/02/24·45m 45s

BBC OS Conversations: Deepfake attacks

After explicit faked photos of Taylor Swift went around the world, US politicians have called for new laws to criminalise the creation of deepfake images. The term ‘deepfake’ describes how artificial intelligence – AI – can be used to digitally alter pictures, audio or video and trick us into seeing or hearing something that is not real.It is not just the famous who are being targeted. Host James Reynolds hears the story of how a daughter’s voice was copied and used to make a scam phone call to her mother. “She said mom I messed up, and all of a sudden a man said ‘put your head back and lay down’ and that’s when I started to get really concerned that she was either really hurt or something more was going on,” Jennifer tells us. “And then she goes ‘mom, mom, these bad men have me, help me, help me and she starts crying and sobbing.”Thankfully her daughter, Brianna, had not been kidnapped but the call has had a lasting effect on the family.Technology has made the process of adjusting images easier but artificial intelligence provides the means to create media from scratch to generate completely fake content. We bring together two women – in the US and Australia – who have had their faces manipulated using AI to produce malicious pornographic images and videos.
10/02/24·24m 5s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st century - Buddhism (episode 3)

What does it mean to be a Buddhist today? For this last programme in a special series on religion in the 21st century, Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service brings together three global Buddhists from Singapore, the USA and the UK. Venerable Canda Theri Bhikkhuni is the only fully ordained bhikkhuni, or female Buddhist monastic, in the UK. She founded the Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project, which aims to provide the country’s first monastery where women can train towards full ordination.Heng Xuan Tio is based in Singapore and is the co-founder of Handful of Leaves, an online community which aims to show young people how Buddhism is relevant to their modern lives.And Lama Rod Owens is a Black gay Buddhist teacher and author based in the USA. His teaching focuses on social change, identity, and spiritual practice.For this special discussion programme, the BBC’s Alice Bhandhukravi brings them together to discuss Buddhism’s difference branches, how it’s been interpreted in western countries, the differences between monastic and lay Buddhism, and the unique challenges of following a 2,500-year-old faith tradition in the present day. Presented by Alice Bhandhukravi.
09/02/24·27m 24s

Assignment: Is Ireland’s reputation for tolerance under threat?

Ireland is known as the land of a hundred thousand welcomes. But the government says the country has run out of accommodation to house all new eligible refugee arrivals. Some properties earmarked to house asylum seekers have been fire-bombed and others are subject to protests. Hundreds of people seeking asylum have been forced to sleep in tents in Dublin and elsewhere. Ireland has taken in around 100,000 people from Ukraine and the number of people seeking international protection from other countries has increased four-fold since pre-Covid times. The government has slashed benefits for new arrivals from Ukraine and limited to three months the time it will guarantee to house them. As the country leads up to local, national and European elections, migration is rising up the political agenda. Is Ireland’s reputation for tolerance under threat?
08/02/24·27m 49s

Bonus: Killer drug: Fentanyl in Mexico and the US

Fentanyl is deadly. Thousands of Americans die every year from a drug overdose – the majority of them after using a synthetic opioid like fentanyl. It was developed as a legal, and effective, pain killer. Now, fuelled by insatiable US demand, it is illicitly produced in makeshift laboratories in Mexico by organised crime groups. In the first part, Assignment travels to the Mexican Pacific port of Manzanillo. This is one of the main entry points for the chemical ingredients required to make fentanyl. It is a town where Mexico’s powerful cartels have fought for control, and where the mayor lives under armed guard after a failed assassination attempt. In the second part, we cross the border into the US from Mexico to explore the devastation this lethal drug has left in its wake in San Diego County. Presenter / producer: Linda Pressly Producer: Tim Mansel Producer in Mexico: Ulises EscamillaThis Podcast was originally published in March 2023
07/02/24·53m 39s

Trending: Serbia’s real life ‘bots’

Over the summer, a mysterious Twitter persona published details of over 14,500 social media accounts - all of them controlled by real-life Serbian citizens, it's claimed. They stand accused of posting… whatever the President’s party tells them to.It’s long been rumoured that Serbia’s ruling SNS party commands the online activity of a small army of citizens, dubbed ‘bots’ by the opposition. But this kind of list, naming and shaming thousands of ordinary Serbians, is unprecedented.If true, their activity represents a form of political corruption according to Serbia’s public prosecutor. The government’s response has alarmed observers - it shrugged off the story, publishing instead a veiled tongue-in-cheek ‘admission’.But who is behind the list, and can it be trusted? BBC Trending has analysed the data in an attempt to establish if the ‘bots’ are indeed real people. And whether their accounts show evidence of co-ordinated activity.Featuring interviews gathered on the ground in Belgrade, we hear from opposition politicians, pro-democracy activists and a self-professed real-life ‘bot’. She tells us she trolled the President’s opponents under threat of losing her job – as a receptionist at a state-controlled electricity company in a small Serbian town.Reporter: Sam Judah
07/02/24·18m 45s

Cairo in comics

Modern Cairo is a crowded metropolis. The city’s ‘thousand minarets’ are now dwarfed by a new skyline of slick tower blocks. Modern highways fly over bustling kiosks where residents gather to smoke and buy soda drinks. Inspired by the lives of their neighbours, playing out among mosques, high rise buildings and on busy streets, Egyptian writers and graphic artists, including Deena Mohamed, Shennawy and Mohamed Wahba bring their thousand-year-old capital to life.
06/02/24·27m 21s

In the Studio: Awais Khan - Overcoming writer’s block

The Pakistani author, Awais Khan, is working on his latest thriller, His Sister’s Secret, a look into the dark side of dating and family life. But Awais is also struggling with a familiar challenge for many authors - writer’s block – which is stopping him finishing the book he hopes could win him a global publishing deal. Join fellow author Paul Waters as he watches Awais take a radical step to tackle this problem and try to finish his first draft. Along the way Paul meets other international authors who share how they cope when the words won’t flow. But will Awais manage to finish his own story?
05/02/24·27m 26s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Elon Musk says Chinese electric vehicles could destroy competition. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
04/02/24·25m 30s

BBC OS Conversations: Leaving Gaza

The BBC revealed this week that more than half the buildings in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed since Israel launched its retaliation for the Hamas attacks in October. The war has left tens of thousands dead or injured…and an estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced. There are shortages of water, food, and medicines.This week, three US doctors who recently left Gaza share their experiences of working in a hospital in the territory with host James Reynolds. “Blast waves hit the operating room, you can see your metal table with all the instruments rattle, doors slam, the plaster falling off the walls,” Dr Chandra Hassan, from international humanitarian NGO MedGlobal tells us. “You learn to live with that, and you sleep out of exhaustion.”The escalation of the military activities left many people with no choice but to flee their homes. 35-year-old Layan and her two daughters, 12-year-old Sama and Elya, who’s 8, had to take a long – and at times dangerous – journey from Gaza City to Khan Younis in the south. They have since managed to cross the border into Egypt, where they are now living safely in Cairo. They share their experiences of leaving the Gaza Strip and Layan tells us why she feels guilty leaving the rest of her family behind. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
03/02/24·24m 16s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st Century - Hindus (episode 2 of 3)

What does it mean to be a young Hindu in 2024? The world's Hindu population is projected to rise by 34%, by 2050 to nearly 1.4 billion. So how does one of the world’s oldest religions fit with today's world more than 4,000 years after its inception? In the second of three discussion programmes looking at religion in the 21st century, Rajeev Gupta is joined by 36-year-old Indian-born banker Om Dhumatkar who runs a YouTube channel explaining Hindu scripture, 23-year-old Prasiddha Sudhakar, a student of information security at Carnegie Mellon University and 22-year-old Thomas Awad, a student at Cambridge University and follower of the Swaminarayan Hindu sect. With Rajeev, they discuss how they apply ancient traditions in the modern world, the way people respond to their Hindu identity and the things they want others to learn about their faith.
02/02/24·27m 35s

Assignment: Spain, the kiss and the culture war

When Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso after her team’s world cup victory last summer, it set a match to Spanish gender relations. On every chat show, on every campus, in every couple’s bedroom, arguments started - does a kiss count as sexual violence? What is consent? Has feminism gone too far? 53% of Spaniards think it has, and that it is discriminating against men. Now, Rubiales is facing criminal trial. “Se acabó” (it’s over) trended after the kiss, but this battle is far from over. For Assignment, Sofia Bettiza travels to Madrid to hear how the Rubiales case tapped into a rift in Spanish society that has been splitting further apart for decades.
01/02/24·28m 3s

Trending: Power

Crude fakes in Uganda A BBC investigation has uncovered a network of fake social media accounts seemingly working together to promote the Ugandan government and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Online, an information battle appears to be going on – one being waged by hundreds of social media accounts set on pushing narratives in line with those of the Ugandan government. As part of a coordinated campaign, they have been artificially inflating support for EACOP online and viciously targeting those that oppose the project – both at home and abroad. But who is behind these accounts? And how influential have they become?
31/01/24·19m 54s

The Israeli hostages

Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October 2023, killing more than 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages, including children and babies, women, and elderly people. The exact numbers are still changing. Some of the hostages have been released under a deal brokered by Qatar, but many remain in captivity inside Gaza. Anna Foster talks to people who were there when the attacks happened at the kibbutzim and the Nova music festival.
30/01/24·27m 34s

In the Studio: Shoeshine Caddie

The search is on to find new ways to document the lives of the homeless – nowhere is this more true than in America, with increasing numbers of people sleeping rough. Sue Mitchell talks to filmmaker, Leonard Manzella, who has risen to the challenge with his award-winning film, Shoeshine Caddie.The film follows a year in the life of 61-year-old African American, Adrian Spears. He certainly stands out in the sleepy Californian town where he makes a living shining shoes: dancing around with his bowler hat, starched shirt and bright red uniform. The film opens as he folds up the cardboard sheets he sleeps on at night and makes his way to the storage unit where he keeps clothes and an iron. Everything he owns is immaculately pressed, and it was partly his quiet dignity which drew Leonard to Adrian, and which resonates throughout the movie.Leonard had thought his days in the movies business were over: he gave up his Hollywood career 30 years ago to retrain as a family therapist and through Adrian’s story he has reclaimed his passion. The BBC Producer, Sue Mitchell, came across Leonard’s film whilst recording with a homeless man living just a few miles away. She was intrigued and began exploring the background to the film and examining why it was proving so popular with audiences.
29/01/24·27m 9s

Understand: The US election

Caucuses, primaries and Super Tuesday. Justin Webb, former BBC US correspondent, unpicks some of the terminology associated with the US election.
28/01/24·54m 32s

BBC OS Conversations: Life in Yemen

With concerns around further instability in the Middle East – as well as international trade – Yemen is the focus for many around the world. The Red Sea runs along part of the country’s coastline, and it is in these waters where cargo ships have been attacked. The US and UK have responded with air strikes against the Houthis, the armed political and religious group, which is responsible for targeting the ships. These events are against the backdrop of a recent civil war in Yemen and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. We wanted to talk to people in Yemen to get a sense of what day to day life is like. Host, James Reynolds, is joined by two Yeminis who live and work in the capital, Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis. “It looks like normal life,” Radhya tells us. “But if you are sick you will not find a proper health system, there is no good education system at all – the disaster in Sanaa is not something you can see with your naked eye.”Others inside Yemen have sent us messages and we bring together three people who have left the country. They talk about their home and hopes to one day return. “I imagine Yemen before the nightmare, before the war,” says Ahad. “It was a beautiful place and I wish for it to go back to how it was before.”A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
27/01/24·23m 55s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st Century: Islam

What does it mean to be a young Muslim in the world today? In the first of three discussion programmes looking at religion in the 21st century, a panel of young Muslims look at Islam and discuss their hopes, feelings and grievances on how they see their religion shaping up in the modern era.
26/01/24·27m 16s

Assignment: American mercenaries - killing in Yemen

While recent attention has focused on the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, BBC correspondent Nawal Al-Maghafi investigates a different, hidden aspect of the country’s long civil war. The conflict in Yemen began in 2014. It has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. In 2015, a coalition formed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen. Its stated aim was to return the elected government to power, and to fight terrorism. However, Nawal Al-Maghafi , from BBC Arabic Investigations has found evidence that the UAE has been funding a method of covert warfare in southern Yemen – assassinating those who have spoken out against the UAE’s operations in the country. Assassinations were initially carried out by a band of former American Special Forces operatives turned mercenaries, who were paid by the UAE. These extra-judicial killings, conducted in the name of counterterrorism, continue to this day. The UAE denies the allegations.
25/01/24·28m 37s

Solutions Journalism: Reducing risks in a risky world

Since the devastating 2011 tsunami, Japan has been piloting risk reduction solutions in areas prone to severe damage from earthquakes and tsunamis. Better communication is key to these efforts - 35% of people living in affected areas in 2011 apparently did not hear the radio announcements. Sendai City is working to solve the challenge of reliable communications by developing an emergency announcement system that uses fully automated drones. These can quickly be dispatched to tell people to evacuate when tsunami alerts are issued. This new system uses a dedicated private wireless communication network and an infrared camera mounted on a drone transmits pictures of affected areas to the city's disaster response headquarters in real-time.
24/01/24·33m 34s

Solutions Journalism: Ending homelessness the Finnish way

What happens if you give a homeless person a house, with no strings attached?In 2007 Finland decided to switch to a radical new approach to homelessness called ‘housing first’, in which homeless people are simply offered their own apartment, with no expectations of them except paying the rent (usually covered by their benefits); alongside this they are given whatever support they need to remain housed, for as long as they need it. Proponents of 'housing first' argue that it is much easier for homeless people to sort out issues such as addiction or poor mental health when they have a secure home.The results so far seem to bear this out: around 90% of people offered an apartment remain housed, a much higher rate than under the previous system. However, critics argue that the approach could be much harder to implement in countries without Finland’s extensive social welfare system or good stock of affordable housing.Erika Benke visits the Väinölä Housing Unit outside Helsinki, an emergency shelter which was converted into 35 individual flats for formerly homeless people. What difference has having their own place made to the residents? And are they off the streets for good?
23/01/24·23m 52s

In the Studio: Maria Djurkovic

Another chance to hear from production designer Maria Djurkovic, as she takes us behind the scenes of Harry Styles' movie, My Policeman, which was made in the middle of the pandemic. Lockdown presents a number of challenges, expected ones like social distancing and sick crew members. And unexpected ones, like studios being too full and staff being in short supply because more movies were being made during the pandemic, rather than less. Maria kept an audio diary during these unprecedented times for the British film industry, as she battles with crew shortages, schedule changes and a possible bout of Covid.
22/01/24·26m 15s

Paris: Football’s greatest talent factory

In the France World Cup squad, 11 were from Paris and there were also players born in the city's suburbs representing Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Qatar, Cameroon, Ghana, Portugal and Germany. What is it about Paris's banlieues that helps create such amazing football talent? We go inside the clubs that created Kylian Mbappe, William Saliba and Moussa Diaby, and speak to the coaches who helped launch their incredible careers. We also meet some of the street footballers who turned into international stars. We investigate why Paris Saint-Germain has often missed out on the talented players on its doorstep and hear about the dangers posed by agents, scouts and pushy parents.
21/01/24·50m 46s

BBC OS Conversations: Surviving sepsis

The inspiring story of nurse and mother Cindy Mullins from Kentucky in the United States has captured a lot of attention online and has raised awareness of a condition that affects millions of people around the world. Following an infection that led to sepsis, Cindy’s doctor told her she would need to have both of her arms and both legs amputated. Cindy and her husband, DJ, share their experiences and emotions with host James Reynolds. “I told the doctor to shoot it to me straight and he explained what they had to do to save my life and that the very next day I would lose my legs from the knees down,” Cindy tells us. “I was okay with it, I was at peace, I was just happy to be alive.” Sepsis – sometimes known as blood poisoning – occurs when the body's immune system has an extreme reaction to an infection and starts to damage the body’s own tissues and organs. Recent figures suggest there are 50 million cases of sepsis a year worldwide. We also bring together two other survivors of sepsis who have had to adapt to life without legs or arms. Caroline from the UK contracted sepsis after falling sick from Covid-19 and pneumonia. Shan from South Africa, contracted sepsis after being bitten by a mongoose. She has since had dozens of surgical procedures but still regularly works out in the gym.A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
20/01/24·23m 56s

Heart and Soul: Russia’s Africa crusade

When the Russian Orthodox Church set up its own outpost in Africa in late 2021, just months before the invasion of Ukraine, it was considered a blatant challenge to the historic authority of the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. It sparked a major split in the global Orthodox community. Moscow’s move was in response to Alexandria’s support for the newly independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine. But it was also an opportunity for Russia to try to extend its influence across the African continent. Lucy Ash hears how priests in Kenya have been lured into joining the Russian Orthodox Church and asks whether President Vladimir Putin’s crusade for hearts and minds will succeed.
19/01/24·27m 17s

Assignment: Bulgaria - the people smugglers

Migration is high on the political agenda in countries across Europe, as the number of asylum seekers rises once more. As well as those who risk life and limb on flimsy boats in the Mediterranean, thousands more come via the Balkans, many of them through Turkey and across the border into Bulgaria. They don’t stay there long. Their preferred destinations are further west, Germany perhaps or Britain. And while the migrants’ stories have become well-known in recent years, we hear relatively little from the people who enable their journeys, the people smugglers.For Assignment, Nick Thorpe has been to the north-west of Bulgaria, where it meets Serbia to the west and Romania across the Danube to the north. There he meets two men who worked as drivers for a smuggling organisation, shuttling migrants from Sofia, the capital, to the border.
18/01/24·27m 27s

Our House: Stories of the Holocaust

Jo Glanville meets Berliners who have researched the stories of the Jewish families who once lived in their homes. Marie, Hugh, Anke and Matthias all became fascinated by the history of the families who lived in their flats before them when the Nazis were in power and wanted to find out what happened to them. Their discoveries are an intimate portrait of how lives were turned upside down and offer a new way of honouring the memory of Berliners who lost everything in the Holocaust. Jo visits one of the surviving residents - 95-year-old Ruth, now living in the UK, who vividly remembers what it was like to grow up in Nazi Germany. She tracks down the house in Berlin where her own mother spent part of her childhood. It is a journey that uncovers the past through forgotten family stories, revealing how the Nazis deprived Jews of the right to live in their homes.
16/01/24·27m 14s

In the Studio: Thelma Schoonmaker

Thelma Schoonmaker is arguably the world’s most famous film editor, winning three Oscars in her 40-year career. Ever since Raging Bull, she has worked on all of Martin Scorsese’s major feature films like Goodfellas, Gangs of New York and Killers of the Flower Moon. She tells Francine Stock some secrets of the cutting room and about the other director in her life, her late husband Michael Powell, himself a major influence on Martin Scorsese.
15/01/24·27m 23s

BBC OS Conversations on graduate unemployment

The pandemic, an economic downturn and the cost of living crisis have all taken their toll on the global job market. In China, millions of young people are struggling to find a job and in India 42% of graduates under the age of 25 are unemployed.Host James Reynolds hears from graduates from India, the United States, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana who either can’t find work or have changed direction from what they studied in order to find success - be it from English via waitressing to financial education - or economics to fashion.These are stories about resilience and overcoming rejection, with many companies not even responding to job applications.23 year old Priyanka, from India, lives in the UK after obtaining her degree and then her Masters in London in 2022. She recently signed up with a graduate coach to improve her chances of employment. “I’ve probably had, out of 800 applications, maybe five interviews so far,” Priyanka says, “So it’s a very, very tough market for an entry level candidate.” A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team
13/01/24·24m 0s

Heart and Soul: Facing death in Kenya

In Kenya, palliative care - which involves end of life care for terminally ill patients - is often treated with suspicion. There's a deep taboo around speaking about the death of a person before it happens, which is thought to be like welcoming it. Some feel that taking up end of life care indicates that you've lost faith in the power of a healing God to cure your illness. But serious and complex illnesses like cancer are becoming more common in Kenya, and end of life care is a much-needed service for people facing death. In Eldoret, Western Kenya, a group of Christians have made it their life's work to defy the stigma, and to help those with terminal illnesses find peace in their final days. Kimbilio Hospice, run by a Christian charity called Living Room International, was established by Pastor David Tarus over a decade ago. The hospice provides specialist medical care to ease symptoms at the very end of a patient’s life, but often they first have to convince patients' families that it's OK to accept the facility's help. BBC Africa reporter Esther Ogola visited the hospice to see what exactly that entails.
12/01/24·27m 3s

Assignment: The struggle for Barbuda's future

Campaigners on the tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda are locked in a battle over its development by foreign investors who are building exclusive resorts for wealthy clients. The development of Barbuda into a high-end tourist destination is supported by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, who say it’s essential to create jobs and for the economic future of the island. But others argue that it will fundamentally change the island’s ecology and unique way of life. Caroline Bayley travels to Barbuda for Assignment to speak to both sides in the heated debate over the island’s future.
11/01/24·29m 4s

Building a future for cyclone-hit Mozambique

Five years after reporting on one of Mozambique’s worst cyclones, the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko returns to the city of Beira to meet the people on the frontline of climate change. With scientists predicting that such storms will become more powerful and dangerous because of global warming, work is underway to build the resilience to withstand this extreme weather. From builders learning techniques to construct stronger houses, to volunteers educating people in how to evacuate safely. The future of life and livelihoods in this region hangs in the balance, but these people want to help their communities adapt. Presenter: Nomsa Maseko
10/01/24·27m 26s

The Return

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in Virginia, America, in 2019 Ghana launched the ‘Year of Return’, an initiative to encourage the African diaspora to invest, settle and visit. After a positive response a 10-year follow-up initiative called ‘Beyond the Return’ was launched in 2020 to further promote investment, migration and tourism. As a result there has been an increase in visitor numbers, particularly from the United States with thousands of African-Americans making the trip across the Atlantic. Some have decided to stay. At least 1500 people have since moved to the West African country from the U.S and there are over 5000 African Americans currently living in Ghana. Dr Ashley Milton is one of them. An environmental science and policy expert and entrepreneur, Dr Milton relocated from Washington D.C. to Ghana’s capital Accra just as the Year Of Return was being launched. In this documentary Dr Milton travels from Cape Coast to Tema, meeting a variety of African-Americans who now call Ghana home along the way. From a Marine Corps veteran who grew up in Los Angeles to a single mother from Atlanta, through varying stories of assimilation, hope, identity and migration, Ashley highlights the personal experiences of those like herself who have moved to Ghana, whilst reflecting on the significant historical connection between both countries for the BBC World Service.
09/01/24·45m 11s

In the Studio: Poet Fred D’Aguiar

The poet, novelist and playwright Fred D’Aguiar was born in Britain, grew up in Guyana and now lives in Los Angeles. There he came across the story which became his most recent collection of poems, For the Unnamed. It was originally entitled For the Unnamed Black Jockey Who Rode the Winning Steed in the Race Between Pico’s Sarco and Sepulveda’s Black Swan in Los Angeles, in 1852. That tells us what we know: the horses’ names, who owned them, where and when the race was run, and that the winning jockey was black. His name, though, was not recorded. Fred D’Aguiar recovers and re-imagines his story, in several voices – including the horses. In this edition of In the Studio, Julian May meets D’Aguiar on the cusp. For The Unnamed is written and D’Aguiar explains how he is now preparing it for publication and his way of proof-reading. He is also feeling his way towards his next project, beginning a series of poetic studies of people he has known, people he has lost and people who inspire him. This is, tentatively, entitled Lives Studied. D'Aguiar reveals his processes, how he begins, rising very early, taking his dog, Dexter, for a walk, drinking a coffee, then setting to. He speaks quickly, so writes always in longhand with a pen, to slow thought down, to consider. He speaks too of his reading and influences, for instance Robert Lowell and his collection ‘Life Studies’. For D’Aguiar the practice of writing is integral to his existence - writing is living.
08/01/24·27m 14s

BBC OS Conversations: Covid-19 four years later

It is four years since we reported the first cases of an outbreak of a mysterious viral pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China. Within months, what become known as Covid-19, had spread around the world affecting most people in some way. The disease led to the creation of this programme. Since March 2020 – shortly after the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic – we began our first conversations. Four years on, we thought we would take the opportunity to return to Covid-19 and reunite some of the people we have spoken with over the past four years. Our conversations feature three doctors – in India, Italy and the US – who treated Covid-19 patients in the early days of the pandemic. Host James Reynolds also catches up with three former guests who have long Covid.
06/01/24·24m 21s

Assignment: Bones that speak

In 2016, the Philippines’ newly elected president, Rodrigo Duterte declared there was one, common enemy: the drugs trade. What followed was a bloodbath. Addicts, alleged traffickers, and many who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, were gunned down in the streets by the security services. The government put the number of people killed in the ‘war on drugs’ at 6,252, a figure that does not include the thousands killed by unknown assailants. Now some of those victims are speaking from beyond the grave. A Catholic priest, Father Flaviano 'Flavie' Villanueva, offers families help to exhume and cremate the bodies. But before cremation, the remains are examined by one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, Dr Raquel Fortun. Her findings often contradict police narratives. Linda Pressly reports on the efforts to uncover the truth.
04/01/24·28m 8s

An octopus's garden

The octopus is prized as the most intelligent of all marine species – immortalised in stories, poems and songs worldwide. In Madagascar it is also a vital source of income. Hazel Healy takes a journey into a pioneering Madagascan closure system which is enabling one particular species of octopus to flourish and protecting incomes for the most vulnerable. She learns how the system was first developed and how it is inspiring other coastal communities in Kenya and Indonesia. Hazel also learns how the success of the system has sparked greater support for ambitious marine management efforts more widely, including the creation of permanent marine reserves in Madagascar.
03/01/24·23m 47s

The Approach

Adriana Brownlee is a mountaineering pioneer. The British woman became the youngest female to summit K2 - the second-highest mountain on Earth - in 2022. But mountains are changing and becoming more unpredictable because of climate change. High mountain areas are warming faster than the rest of the planet, meaning glaciers are shrinking and permafrost holding mountain faces together are disappearing. How are mountaineers like Adriana adapting and what implications are there for communities living in the foothills of these mountains? Adriana investigates by visiting Chamonix in France, the mountaineering capital of Europe and home to Mont Blanc.
02/01/24·27m 46s

In the Studio: Manal AlDowayan

Internationally renowned Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan is midway through an ambitious public installation that will be shown in the Valley of Arts, in the desert of north-west Saudi Arabia. She has just returned from collecting stories and drawings from the inhabitants of AlUla, and is starting to transform them into her own artwork. Titled Oasis of Stories, the project pays tribute to the local people of AlUla. She will carve their drawings into her installation, just like their ancestors carved petroglyphs to tell their own stories thousands of years ago. She also talks about her early work challenging the restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, such as I Am, which questioned the way women were only allowed to perform certain roles in Saudi society.
01/01/24·27m 26s

HARDtalk: Past notes

A special programme remembering past HARDtalk guests who died in 2023. All of them left an indelible mark on public life and all, in their different ways, relished the opportunity we gave them to discuss their decision-making and motivation.(Photo: Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary committee during confirmation hearings as she seeks to become the first woman to take a seat on the US Supreme Court, Washington, DC, 9 September , 1981. Credit: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
31/12/23·23m 49s

BBC OS Conversation: Adventurers

We have spent the last year here on BBC OS Conversations covering some of the World’s major news stories. As the year draws to a close, however, we thought it would be interesting to hear from three people who have been doing something completely different in 2023 for their perspective on the world. 53-year-old professional explorer from Australia, Geoff Wilson, joined us from Canada. He has just completed the first part of his latest expedition, Project Zero, a two-year journey to promote the concept of “carbon neutral exploring”. So far, the adventure has included crossing perilous crevasses in Patagonia and battling towering waves at sea.“I was woken up by my son and his mate Geordie who were on watch saying that the boat was surfing down 15, 16 metre waves at about 16 knots,” Geoff tells host, James Reynolds. “It just felt that everything had gone to custard very quickly.”We bring Geoff together with Kiyonah Mya Buckhalter, a 25-year-old New Yorker. Kiyonah is Muslim, black and blogs as the “Veiled Traveller” on Instagram.“Travelling the way I do,” she says, “I’ve had to grow my confidence to get people to understand that I do have a warm heart and I am smiling very hard under this veil, even though they may not see it.”We also hear from 29-year-old Noel Salmon from London. Noel has just completed a seven-month solo cycle of the old silk road from Turkey to China, which involved extreme temperatures and exploding inner tubes. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
30/12/23·24m 6s

Assignment: Bolivia’s giant fish intruder

Some people said it was created by Peruvian scientists, that it gorged on the blood of farm animals, that it was a monster. Many myths have grown up in Bolivia around the Paiche, one of the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish which is native to Amazonian rivers of Brazil and Peru and can grow up to four metres long. But after young fish were accidentally released from a Peruvian fish farm, the Paiche has arrived big time in Bolivian rivers.Every year, it reaches another 40 km of river and is eating all before it, especially smaller native fish stocks including even the deadly piranha. At the same time, the Paiche is proving a boon to many local fisherman who sell it to families and restaurants who are acquiring a taste for it in a land-locked country where meat has always been the favourite form of protein. This gives scientists and the authorities a dilemma. Do they try and control or even eradicate the Paiche from rivers famed for their biodiversity where new species are being identified all the time? Or let its spread continue unabated and provide a useful livelihood for fishermen and a healthy addition to the Bolivian diet? For Assignment, Jane Chambers takes to the rivers of Bolivia
28/12/23·27m 45s

HARDtalk: 2023 in review

Stephen Sackur looks back at some of HARDtalk’s most impactful and thought-provoking interviews of 2023.
27/12/23·23m 50s

In the Studio: Andrea Hernández

Photographer Andrea Hernández has been travelling around her native Venezuela documenting people and nature for her ongoing project called Mango Season. Mango season in Venezuela is a time of abundance, when mango fruit is plentiful on the trees. During this time of economic crisis and food scarcity in the country, many people can now be seen roaming the streets looking for these fruits to feed themselves and their families. Andrea doesn’t want to just take photographs of the hungry, but to dignify the struggle, showing how people are helping to solve this situation and help create a bridge between the people in the photographs and the viewer. Presenter: Francis Peña
25/12/23·27m 17s

Football and faith

Mani Djazmi presents a special programme as Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward and the former Portsmouth player Linvoy Primus discuss their Christian faith. We also hear from former USA international Jaelene Daniels, whose religious beliefs led her to turn down the chance to continue playing for her country.
24/12/23·27m 21s

BBC OS Conversations: The Taylor Swift phenomenon

There’s no doubt this has been Taylor Swift’s year. Just 34 years old, the American singer songwriter has been in the music industry for more than half her life. She’s a multi-award winning performer whose diehard fans have helped her break all sorts of records. Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year is also the most streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple and this week she achieved a record 90 weeks at number 1 on the US Billboard Artist 100 chart.Swift’s Eras tour, which began in March this year and concludes at the end of 2024, has become the first to gross over $1 billion. Wherever Swift’s concerts land, they bring a big boost in the local economy.Host James Reynolds hears about Swift’s appeal from those with a professional and personal interest in the singer-songwriter. They include the first full-time Taylor Swift reporter and also the professor who is about to start teaching a ‘Taylor Swift and her World’ course to students at Harvard University. We also meet fans - or Swifties - from across four continents about why her songs are so special.“I was in the southern most part of Africa,” says Agape, who is from Cape Town and currently studying in the UK. “But I felt, even in her song lyrics, like she was writing for me or about me.”   A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
23/12/23·26m 14s

Heart and Soul: Irish myths and fairy tales

Many mythological creatures and traditions we know, love, and more importantly fear, owe their origins to Celtic folklore. Borrowed to create epic franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, the countless adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, this programme casts new light on the subject. Seanchaí (shan-a-key) were/are traditional Irish storytellers and the custodians of history for centuries in Ireland. They can recite ancient lore and tales of wisdom whenever it was needed and could be considered as something of the Google of ancient times. The Irish people have created a unique and beautifully poetic oral literature.
22/12/23·26m 5s

Assignment: Ukraine - building back better

Rebuilding Ukraine after the destruction inflicted by Russia will be a gigantic task. Foreign donors have pledged billions of dollars. But they want reassurances that the money will be properly spent, in a country which still has high levels of corruption. For Assignment Tim Whewell visits Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, site of some of the worst Russian atrocities, to see the beginning of reconstruction. A series of shocking reports by Ukrainian journalists into alleged misuse of rebuilding funds have forced local authorities in the area to explain themselves. But a new state reconstruction agency committed to transparency has now also started work in Bucha. And anti-corruption campaigners believe a new digital accounting and monitoring system they are developing in collaboration with the authorities will help turn Ukraine into a world beacon of openness. The government's slogan is "build back better." But what exactly does that mean? And can it be achieved?
21/12/23·27m 24s

Rewilding the orphaned elephants

In a remote corner of Northern Kenya, former Samburu warriors continue to rescue orphaned and abandoned baby elephants, even as drought has put on hold plans to release them back into the wild. Traditionally Samburu warriors are not only charged with protecting their community, but with caring for their livestock. Now they have turned their attention to raising elephants. At Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, they rescue baby elephants that have been injured, orphaned or abandoned. They look after them, rehabilitate them and release them back to the wild. It is transforming the way local communities relate to elephants, in a way that benefits both humans and animals. But drought has meant their rewilding programme has been put on hold until the rains come.
19/12/23·27m 18s

In the Studio: Ivan Hove

Ivo van Hove is the most sought-after theatre director in the world. We join him in Paris, London and Amsterdam, where he works on productions that are often maximal - big musicals, operas and dramas such as The Damned - but where he also loves to stage minimal intimate dramas, such as The Glass Menagerie or A Little Life. How does van Hove work? Why are actors of the calibre of James Norton and Isabel Huppert so willing to work with him? And what drives his relentless thirst to bring new experiences to the theatre audience?
18/12/23·27m 18s

BBC OS Conversations: Ukrainians and hope

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knows that if he has any hope of victory in the war in his country he needs his international friends to keep backing him. Although the size of that task was pretty clear this week, in both the United States and Europe, when he returned largely empty handed - for now, at least. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, says he remains up for the fight and talked confidently about ultimate success. It is now approaching two years of war in Ukraine. Despite both leaders talking of victory, the fighting and losses continue and neither side has been making much progress on the battlefield. In this edition, we hear conversations among Ukrainians. They talk about the emotional impact of the fighting but also how they are able to have plans despite the war. Three residents of Kyiv share their experiences, including Iryna, on how the approach of a second Christmas at war has affected her wedding plans to her British fiance. “When first he proposed I said yeah, we’re going to do it after the war, after we will win,” says Iryna. "But now it’s so long already and I feel like I just paused my life. So we decided to get married next year.” Host James Reynolds also hears from a woman whose brother was captured in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and brings together Ukrainians in the UK and Poland. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team. (Photo: Iryna and her fiance Reese)
16/12/23·23m 53s

Heart and Soul: Queer and Christian in Kenya

What does it mean to be a gay Christian in a country where many Church leaders say your sexuality is wicked and even demonic? In 2013, a group of LGBT Christians in Kenya started meeting for Sunday worship, to practice their faith free from homophobia. The community grew and became Kenya’s first openly queer-affirming Church - a sanctuary for diverse believers who feel excluded from mainstream religious spaces. But with calls for new laws to further curtail the rights of LGBT Kenyans, and increasingly open homophobia and anti-gay protests, this sanctuary may be in jeopardy. While some members consider returning to the closet, others are determined to protect their sacred space, come what may.
15/12/23·27m 25s

Assignment: Ukraine - fighting for openness

As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers defend their country against Russia, many patriotic civilians are engaged in a struggle that's less risky, but that they believe is also vital. They’re battling for a fairer, less corrupt Ukraine, worthy of its heroes. For Assignment, Tim Whewell follows one tireless citizens’ group in the city of Dnipro as they continue, even in wartime, to hold local authorities to account. They've been investigating a contract to repair housing damaged in a Russian attack. And they claim there's been corrupt profiteering. But Dnipro's powerful mayor dismisses the allegations - and deliberately insults those who question his priorities. What's the role of civil society when rockets are falling? And can Ukraine - one of the world's more corrupt countries - pursue reform while the war continues?
14/12/23·27m 17s

Stories from the New Silk Road: Iceland

In 2013 Iceland made history by becoming the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China. It was aimed at increasing exports from Iceland to China as well as opening up Iceland to cheaper Chinese consumer goods. Geothermal energy has meant that Iceland is effectively carbon neutral. Its expertise in this area has led to collaboration with China and its geothermal model is changing China's energy mix. One man behind this collaboration is Atli Jonsson, CEO of Arctic Green Energy. Anna Holligan asks him how will geothermal help shape the future needs of China's energy consumption and open further opportunities for collaboration?
12/12/23·27m 27s

In the Studio: Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma has a philosophy: to enrich the connection between buildings and nature, “almost tuning-in” to the materials. His architecture is inspired by traditional Japanese design, and he is a serious critic of the global dominance of concrete. Kuma’s mission has manifested in iconic buildings including China’s Folk Art Museum, the V&A in Scotland, and Japan’s National Stadium, built for the 2020 Olympics. Broadcaster Nick Luscombe follows Kuma to Japan’s oldest and largest lake, and to the ancient capital of Otsu, where Kuma is attempting to represent the history of the area not by constructing a new building, but by creating a monument to a legendary cow.
11/12/23·27m 25s

Taiwan's balancing act

Former BBC Taiwan correspondent Cindy Sui meets two young Taiwanese voters, Shirley Lin and Dennis, who have very different views about the island, its future and its relationship with Mainland China. While one is a committed peace campaigner and seeks to reduce antagonism between Taiwan and China, the other has signed up to train with a citizen's army, to be ready for Chinese aggression. We follow them in their work, with their friends and hear their differing reflections on an island and an electorate being watched by a global audience.
10/12/23·50m 24s

BBC OS Conversations: Climate change and the young

World leaders are currently meeting in Dubai for the United Nations’ COP23 climate summit to discuss how to cope with a changing global climate. At the same time, a new study has suggested that air pollution from using fossil fuels is responsible for 5 million avoidable deaths around the world every year. Host James Reynolds brings together three young people in India, Uganda and Bangladesh to hear their concerns and what it’s like to live in a country struggling with air pollution.“I got up, I looked out the window, nothing. I couldn’t even see my own lane. It was extremely sad,” said 12 year old Myra in Delhi, India. “I was getting ready to go to the school. I was going to my bus and I couldn’t see anything. Almost all days smog is covering the entire city. It’s suffocating.”Three women from the United States, India and the UK - all in their twenties - also share why they decided to not have children in order to help save the planet. “Every year has become more significant,” says Melissa in London, “and of course making changes in my own life to help the climate like being plant-based and not having children seems to be quite a good decision in that regard as well.”A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.
09/12/23·23m 57s

Heart and Soul: The Sarajevo Haggadah

Sarajevo’s most famous artefact, a 700 year-old Jewish prayer book called the Haggadah, captures the story the city wants to tell about itself. But is it accurate? In Sarajevo, Farrah Jarral joins members of the Jewish community to find out. In a city devastated by conflict in the 1990s, she hears stories about living together, and the wish that Jews and Muslims can still live alongside one another, as they had for hundreds of years. And the story of the Haggadah seems to capture that. Saved from the Nazis by a Muslim and a Catholic, and then again from destruction in the 1990s by another Muslim, it captures the possibility of living together, caring for one another's treasures.
08/12/23·27m 13s

Assignment: Cyprus and the battle over songbird slaughter

Cyprus is one of the main resting stops for songbirds as they migrate between Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For centuries, Cypriots trapped and ate a small number of migrating songbirds, as part of a subsistence diet. But over recent decades, the consumption of songbirds became a lucrative commercial business and the level of slaughter reached industrial levels. Millions of birds were killed each year as trappers employed new technologies to attract and capture birds. The methods used by the trappers are illegal under both Cypriot and EU law. In the last few years, both the Cypriot authorities and environmental groups have been fighting back, dramatically reducing the number of birds being trapped. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent sees the trappers in action, and meets those determined to stop the mass killing of birds.
07/12/23·28m 39s

The Children of Paradise: Without hope you're dead

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” In this final episode, in which Fergal Keane and Milton Nkosi re-visit some of the places and people they encountered 30 years ago, they are in the Western Cape, around Cape Town. They visit a school in the sprawling Khayelitsha township, and the university in Stellenbosch, once the centre of white and Afrikaner intellectual thought. With the country’s high crime rates, lack of jobs, violence and intense corruption, is all lost or can South Africans still hold onto hope?
06/12/23·28m 17s

The Children of Paradise: A deadly mixture

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” In this second episode, in which Fergal Keane and Milton Nkosi, re-visit some of the places and people they encountered 30 years ago, they return to KwaZulu-Natal. In the early 1990s, leading up to the country's first democratic elections, the area was a hotbed of political violence. What about today?
06/12/23·28m 3s

The Children of Paradise: The future must change

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” As the BBC’s South Africa correspondent at the time, Fergal Keane, along with his colleague and friend Milton Nkosi, lived through some of the country’s most desperate times. It was a period of extreme violence and loss, but also of great hope. Now Fergal and Milton travel through the country, re-visiting some of the places and people they encountered in the lead up to the end of Apartheid. Through this series they will explore how and why paradise was lost. Presenter: Fergal Keane Producer: John Murphy
06/12/23·28m 12s

Stories from the New Silk Road: Norway

The Norwegian town of Kirkenes set on the coast and inside the Arctic Circle, is on the edge of what the Chinese refer to as the Polar Silk Road. The Northern Sea Route or Northeast Passage is an increasingly valuable shipping route for both Russia and China, hugging the Russian coastline to eastern Siberia. In 2010 a ship departed from Kirkenes bound for China with 41,500 tons of iron ore concentrate, arriving 22 days later. Via the Suez canal, the same journey would have taken over 40 days. It was the first time that a non-Russian ship had been along the Northern Sea Route, showing that this was possible and paving the way for China’s Arctic policy. Anna Holligan shines a light on China’s wider ambitions in the Arctic.
05/12/23·27m 43s

Filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk: Animating Ukraine’s War

Iryna Tsilyk is one of Ukraine’s best known young documentary makers. She made her name following the lives of soldiers, female paramedics and families living on the frontline in East Ukraine after the region was taken over by Moscow-backed separatists. However after Russia’s full-scale invasion brought the war to Iryna’s home city of Kyiv, she decided she could no longer stay behind the camera. So, in her current project, The Red Zone, Iryna is turning the lens on herself and her family.Iryna’s husband, Artem Chekh, is a well-known novelist and journalist. He volunteered to join the army and found himself in Bakhmut, scene of some of the bloodiest fighting. For five days Iryna did not know if he was alive or dead. She is focusing on the anguish she felt over this period and using a series of flashbacks to illustrate their past lives in peacetime.Iryna tells Lucy Ash that to give herself more artistic freedom she has decided on a radical new tool for her work: this film will be an animation. Making films in wartime is a challenge and animation is expensive but Iryna has foreign backers and is determined to tell her own story in her own way.
04/12/23·27m 21s

Introducing Amazing Sport Stories

Sport but not as you know it. A brand new sports storytelling podcast.Imagine being stranded in the “death zone” on one of the world’s highest mountains. How about running 200 miles in a dark tunnel? We’ve been searching the world for the most amazing sport stories. Other podcasts bring you the scores and team news. This one tells the stories you’ll wish you’d known about and now probably won’t forget. You don’t need to be obsessed with sport to find yourself immersed in our mini-seasons and short stories. Search for Amazing Sport Stories wherever you get your BBC podcasts. Or find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xtvs1/episodes/downloads
03/12/23·3m 23s

Kissinger’s Legacy

Henry Kissinger was one of the most important diplomatic figures of the last 50 years. James Naughtie looks back at his global influence, as he reflects on his own interview with Kissinger, conducted just a year before his death.
03/12/23·27m 28s

BBC OS Conversations: Israel and Gaza - securing freedom

A week without war meant that the temporary pause in fighting was replaced by the emotions of family reunions. Before the air strikes resumed on Friday, dozens of the hostages captured by Hamas in the 7 October attacks were released, while Palestinians held in Israeli jails had been allowed to leave.In our conversations host James Reynolds hears a few of those stories of families celebrating seeing loved ones again. “My mum came out of the Earth one day and that was incredible,” Sharone Lifschitz tells us. Her 85-year-old mother, Yocheved, was one of the first hostages to be released but (at the time of recording) her father was still being held. “She told us my father was injured and so we thought that he was gone and now we know that he is there, but we also know so much more about how horrendous the conditions are.”Human rights organisations say the number of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons has increased dramatically since 7 October. There are now thought to be more than 6,000 Palestinians held by Israel, many still awaiting trial. We bring together Marwan whose son, Wisam, was released after six and a half months in prison, and Eman who recently welcomed home her sister in law, Hanan.We also meet two parents living under the Israeli bombardment in Gaza who led their families to safety in Egypt. They tell us about the conditions they endured and how their children are coping.A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
02/12/23·24m 21s

Heart and Soul: Follow God, not the people

Brought up in a devout Catholic family in the suburbs of Kampala, Frank Mugisha knew that something was different about him even as a small boy. He was gay, although in those days he had no words for it. Growing up, he was subjected to conversion therapy, and his family took him to traditional healers to try and change his orientation. When all his prayers for God to “make him like his friends” went unanswered, Frank gradually came out to family and close friends. He started an organisation to help other LGBTQ+ people. Frank tells Mike Wooldridge why, despite the enormous risk, he has to do the right thing and continue his campaign.
01/12/23·27m 14s

Kissinger

Few people can claim as much influence over the shape of the modern world as Henry Kissinger. The former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate is loved, loathed and listened to - for the decisions he took, the attitude he espoused and for his knowledge and analysis of world affairs. In 2022, James Naughtie travelled to Kissinger's home to discuss six great leaders and the lessons they taught, as Kissinger reflected on his own role in creating the modern world.this programe was first published in 2022.
30/11/23·49m 16s

Assignment: Poland's forest frontier

The Polish government has built a steel border wall 186km long and 5m high along its eastern frontier. It is meant to stop global migrants from Asia and Africa trying to cross from the Belarusian side. But the wall cuts straight through the Białowieza forest - the largest remaining stretch of primeval forest in Europe and a Unesco world heritage site. Grzegorz Sokol meets environmental scientists, activists and local villagers, such as Kasia Mazurkiewicz-Bylok who treks into the forest with a rucksack of supplies to try to help migrants lost in the dense, trackless forest. And, Kat Nowak, a biologist trying to log the precise effects of the wall, from the plant species brought in with the gravel for the foundation, to the possible effects on wolf behaviour.
30/11/23·27m 27s

Gaza diaries

English teacher Farida and Khalid, a medical supplier, document through intimate voice messages their struggle to survive the war in Gaza. They tell a story of immense loss and resilience in a worsening humanitarian crisis.The Gaza diaries was produced by Haya Al Badarneh, Lara Elgebaly, Mamdouh Akbiek Mohammad Shalaby and Mary O’Reilly.The editors were Rebecca Henschke and Simon Cox and it was mixed by Graham Puddifoot.A BBC Arabic investigations production for the BBC World Service.
29/11/23·27m 28s

Sweden: Living with guns and gangs

Sweden has become a European hotspot for deadly shootings, rocking its reputation as a safe and peaceful nation. Last year, a record 62 people were killed in gun violence in the Nordic nation, which has a population of just 10 million. Crime researchers say Sweden’s trend for shoot-to-kill murders is unique in Europe. Stockholm-based broadcaster Maddy Savage and Nikoi Djane – an ex-gang member turned criminologist – visit communities impacted by the deadly violence and explore what is being done to tackle the problem.
28/11/23·27m 15s

In the Studio: Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle, the visionary behind the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony and the Oscar-winning director of films like Slumdog Millionaire, Yesterday and Trainspotting, returns to his home town of Manchester, England, to direct a hip-hop dance spectacular to open a breath-taking new venue, Aviva Studios. The show, called Free Your Mind, is based on the Wachowskis’ Matrix franchise and updates the concept of a dystopian future to reflect recent developments in artificial intelligence. We go behind the scenes to eavesdrop on rehearsals and meet Danny and his creative team.
27/11/23·27m 29s

The Cultural Frontline: K-drama

Korean drama, or K-drama, is enjoying phenomenal worldwide success. South Korea is now one of the largest content providers in the world. Actress Min-ha Kim, star of Pachinko, explores how K-drama is evolving. She hears from: K-drama critic Joan MacDonald and Korean script writer Hong Eun-mi on how streaming is changing K-drama; Doctor Cha star Uhm Jung-hwa on how women’s roles have changed; Minyoung Alissia Hong on why webtoons - comics made for smartphones – revolutionised K-dramas; screenwriter Melis Veziroglu Yilmaz on adapting K-drama for a Turkish audience. And superfans Deema Abu Naser and Jeanie Chang visit K-drama locations.
26/11/23·28m 9s

BBC OS Conversations: Hostages, prisoners and peace

After seven weeks of war between Hamas and Israel, there was a deal for a pause in the fighting. On Friday morning the rockets and gunfire fell silent in Gaza. The agreement also included the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and Israeli hostages held in Gaza; plus more aid deliveries to the people of Gaza. After so much trauma and anger, host James Reynolds hears from those who say there has to be another way than war. He talks with two members of Parents for Peace - an organisation consisting of both Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children throughout decades of conflict. A Palestinian sniper killed Robi Damelin’s 22-year-old son, David, in 2002. An Israeli soldier killed Bassam Aram’s 10-year-old daughter, Abir, with a rubber bullet, outside her school in 2007. Today, Robi and Bassam are united in using their grief positively for peace and to help others who continue to suffer the consequences of war. “Instead of building more graves, they need to try to move on with this pain, to use it as a motivation,” says Bassam. “To build more bridges for peace for the memory of their beloved one.” We also hear how two Israelis are coping under the strain of not seeing their relatives; knowing they are probably being held hostage in Gaza, but are unlikely to be released as part of the current deal. (Photo: Robi Damelin (l) and Bassam Aram)
25/11/23·24m 2s

The Trial of Oscar Pistorius

In 2014 Audrey Brown told the dramatic story of the trial of the athlete Oscar Pistorius After becoming a Paralympics champion, Oscar Pistorius rose to fame as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. He became a hero to millions – until the fateful night when he shot dead his girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp. His trial featured high tension and dramatic twists and turns. In often highly emotional testimony, Pistorius tried to convince the court that he shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a burglar. Prosecuting barrister Gerrie Nel subjected the athlete to merciless cross-examination as he attempted to prove that Pistorius was a man with a love of guns and an uncontrolled temper. This is the story of a trial which gripped the attention of South Africa and the wider world. Picture: Oscar Pistorius leaves North Gauteng High Court on 12 September, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa, Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
24/11/23·50m 2s

Heart and Soul: Wolves in sheep's clothing

When Kenyan-born nurse Margaret Ruto chanced upon an internet story about an American Christian missionary accused of sexually abusing children in a Kenyan orphanage, she knew she had to act. The orphanage in question was close to where Margaret had grown up. The man accused of the abuse lived 10 minutes away from her current home in Pennsylvania. Mike Wooldridge talks Margaret about her fight to bring Gregory Dow to justice.
24/11/23·27m 41s

Florida's political refugees

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are escaping states they no longer feel comfortable in. They are calling themselves ‘political refugees.’ And the sunshine state of Florida is at the heart of this political sorting. How can one US state be both a safe haven for Americans fleeing their homes in the north and a dangerous threat to liberal families? Lucy Proctor traces the journeys of America’s homegrown refugees, meeting progressives and conservatives making their move. Through their crossing paths, she explores what is behind this new wave of domestic migration, and what it might mean for America’s future.
23/11/23·27m 42s

We the people are Barbados

In September 2020, Barbados announced its decision to become a republic, removing the British monarchy as head of state. November 30th, 2021 marked not only the 57th anniversary of the nation’s independence but a new beginning as a republic. Award-winning author Candice Brathwaite, explores Barbados’ transition to a republic two years after the official declaration. Through interviews with poet laureate Esther Phillips, historian Dr Pedro Welch, artist Oneka Small, journalist Krystal-Penny Bowen and socio-economics expert Professor Don Marshall, she gains insights into the Island’s evolving identity. With thanks to Barbados Today and Barbados’ Prime Minister’s Office.
21/11/23·31m 30s

In The Studio: Damon Galgut - Adapting The Promise for the stage

Damon Galgut’s 2021 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Promise, chronicles the slow decline of a white family on a farm outside Pretoria, South Africa, and the ripple effects of a deathbed promise – made but not kept – to give the family’s Black housekeeper ownership of the small house in which she lives. Now, the stage adaptation of The Promise, written by Galgut and director Sylvaine Strike, is being readied to premiere at the Star Theatre, at the Homecoming Centre in Cape Town.But how does a text so praised for its formal inventiveness – the narrative voice shifting from third to first person, and inhabiting multiple interior lives, sometimes within a single paragraph – get translated for the theatre and brought to life?Writer Bongani Kona goes behind the curtain to watch the rehearsal process unfold. We trace Galgut’s journey from the play’s conception, and follow the director and cast as they workshop scenes, experiment with sound and action, and navigate the unusual set design – all in the build-up to opening night. The Promise on stage is directed by Sylvaine Strike with stage adaptation by Damon Galgut and Sylvaine Strike. Original music composition by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.Presenter: Bongani Kona Produced by Catherine Boulle and Bongani Kona A Falling Tree production for the BBC World Service
20/11/23·27m 22s

The Debate: Israel Gaza - What happens when the war ends?

The BBC’s Mishal Husain is joined by a panel of guests to discuss what happens when the Israel Gaza war ends. On the panel are Jeremy Bowen, BBC International Editor; Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations; Lord Ricketts, former chair of the UK’s intelligence committee under Tony Blair and former national security adviser to David Cameron, former national security advisor and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee; Ghada Karmi, Palestinian academic and author and joining from Washington Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for President Obama.
19/11/23·40m 43s

BBC OS Conversations: Hate against Jews and Muslims

The war in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel continues to cost many lives. It is also increasing tensions and anger around the world.Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protest marches; there are reports of a rise in Islamophobia and antisemitism in some countries; and an increase in hate crimes.We hear from Muslims and Jews living in the United States and Europe. Some of our Jewish guests say they would feel safer in Israel and the war, than in the country where they currently live.“I don’t order anything, not an Uber, not a taxi, in my real name anymore,” says 20-year-old student Deborah Kogan, who lives in Berlin. “Not because I’m a Jewish activist, but also because my name sounds very Jewish, especially in Germany. So I’m afraid to get recognised as Jewish.”Host James Reynolds also hears about the impact of Islamophobia on three Muslims living in Germany and the United States. They talk of how some people perceive them with suspicion, associate them with Hamas and call them a terrorist.“I’m on a campus that an Arab-Muslim student experienced a hit and run and was told ‘F you and your people’, says Arab American University Lecturer Maytha Alhassen in California. “He was wearing a shirt that said in Arabic, Damascus. So that’s terrifying.”A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.
18/11/23·24m 3s

Heart and Soul: Israel – Gaza: Can interfaith work prevail?

The recent violence between Israel and Hamas threatens the survival of the hundreds of small-scale projects which aim to bring Jews and Palestinians together to work for peace, or at least share understanding. Now the flare up in violence threatens their future. To discuss the way forward and question the future of such projects, Caroline Wyatt brings together people from different faith backgrounds who’ve been working for years to build bridges in this volatile area of the Middle East. Presenter: Caroline Wyatt Producer: Julia Paul / Rajeev Gupta Editor: Helen Grady Production Coordinator: Mica Nepomuceno
17/11/23·27m 18s

The mighty Mekong’s last hope

Tens of millions of lives depend on the Mekong river for fishing and farming as it travels through China and South East Asia. But there are increasing signs that this river with one of the richest ecosystems on earth is being strangled. A cascade of dams, intensifying climate change, and sand dredging have scientists worried. Is this region harnessing the river’s power – or are they killing it? Laura Bicker visits communities whose livelihoods rely on the Mekong and meets a new generation trying to breathe life into the dying river.
16/11/23·28m 16s

Tanni's Lifetime Road to Disabled Equality

Multi gold medal winning Paralympic wheelchair athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson examines 50 years of changing attitudes to disability around the world.When Tanni was a child in the 1970s in Wales becoming an athlete with spina bifida was far from guaranteed. There was no support for her parents bringing up a disabled child and education for children with disabilities was minimal.Over the years Tanni’s suffered discrimination including when she was pregnant being offered a termination. “This woman said: ‘How did you get pregnant?’ says Tanni.In this programme Tanni reflects on experiences over her lifetime as she meets others who’ve had similar journeys in India, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil and New Zealand.With Abha Khetarpal in India, Tanni reflects on several shared experiences. They both had scoliosis and use a wheelchair and faced early challenges at school - Abha having to be home schooled.Meanwhile Lois Auta in Nigeria also uses a wheelchair. She was born in 1980 and tells Tanni how she managed to challenge the status quo and stand for parliament. ‘Disability is seen in our country as something that happens through witch craft’. And Lois, who now acts as an advocate for women with disabilities says those prejudices still exist.She meets BBC war correspondent Frank Gardner who tells her how he adapted to becoming disabled after being injured during his work in a war zone in the Middle East.
15/11/23·49m 36s

A man without bees

Why are all the bees dying? Simon Mitambo, an expert from Kenya's so-called 'Land of Bees', travels from his own affected community to huge industrial farms in search of answers. It is a journey both planetary and personal: without bees, can Simon's world survive?A Smoke Trail Production.
14/11/23·27m 27s

In The Studio: Jenn Lee: Taiwan fashion designer

Taipei based fashion designer Jenn Lee is preparing her Spring Summer 2024 collection for London and Taipei Fashion Weeks. Inspired by the recycled materials she finds in local markets, by British designer Vivienne Westwood and the Punk movement, as well as the joy of her young son, the collection celebrates freedom, happiness and sustainability.Jenn is joined in her Taipei studio by Lucy Collingwood as she reaches the final stages of a collection that’s been many months in the making. Surrounded by sewing machines and a snooker table repurposed into a large fabric cutting table. Jenn shares her influences and attention to detail – from the running order of her catwalk show, finalising the looks on mannequins, to adding handmade accessories made of recycled zips and ribbons and choosing which eye catching creation should kick start the show.Jenn takes us to one of the places that informs her work, the Fu He Bridge Flea Market, where items from used bicycle chains to second hand motorbike jackets can end up as integral parts of her high end garments.For the catwalks of fashion weeks, Jenn is also planning something a little unusual. As well as her striking garments made in bold colours and hand-dyed fabrics, she’s also creating a digital version of her designs and collaborating on a game featuring characters who embody the themes behind her show.We share Jenn’s creative journey from Taipei to backstage at her London Fashion Week catwalk show as the audience reacts as her collection is finally revealed.Producer: Lucy Collingwood Exec Producer: Andrea Kidd(Photo: Jen Lee. Credit: BBC)
13/11/23·27m 17s

BBC OS Conversations: Israeli losses

Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October, thousands of lives have been lost in the war. While rolling news and live updates give us minute by minute coverage, we want to take the opportunity to pause, reflect and hear stories from the families of a few of those killed.Last week we heard from Palestinians. This time, Israeli families share their experiences and memories of those lost. During the surprise raid on Israel, Hamas killed 1400 people and took more than 200 hostages, including children.Keren and her husband Avidor were rescued that day, under gunfire, from the Kibbutz Kfar Azar. But a few days after, the family heard that both Keren’s parents, Cindy and Igal, had been killed. “She was just the biggest soul,” says Keren of her mother. “She was a humanitarian through and through, she was just all heart.”Host James Reynolds also speaks to Magen, a teacher from Israel who lives in London. His parents, Yakov and Bilha, were both killed in the attack. We bring Magen together with Elana, the mother of Yannai who was serving as a trainer in the Israeli Defence Forces. Yannai was killed defending his base, helping to save the lives of dozens of other young men and women. He would have celebrated his 21st birthday on the day before we spoke.BBC OS Conversations is a Boffin Media production in partnership with the OS team.(Photo: Keren with her baby, her sisters and her parents)
11/11/23·24m 31s

Heart and Soul: Queerly beloved: Same-sex love and the Synod

The Church of England prohibits same-sex relations. Even so, the debate on this position – in the UK and the worldwide Anglican Communion - continues. Should the Church allow and conduct LGBT blessings, and even marriages? And can the Church ever sanction sexual relations between two people who are not husband and wife, man and woman? These are the questions Anglicans tussle with.Most recently, bishops in England made a proposal that same-sex couples should be welcomed in church for a blessing. Opposition from conservative, Anglican groups has been noisy, including from some same-sex attracted Christians.Ahead of the General Synod, the Church of England’s regular gathering of bishops, and elected clergy and laity, Heart and Soul explores the most divisive and explosive issue facing Anglicans. Linda Pressly meets Christians who both accept, and struggle with, the Church’s teachings on sexuality.Producer/presenter: Linda Pressly Editor: Helen Grady Production co-ordinator: Mica Nepomuceno(Photo: Esther and Victoria were married in September, 2019 in Old Saint Paul’s Church in Edinburgh. The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, but it has allowed same-sex marriage since 2017. Credit: Marta Kacala)
10/11/23·28m 24s

The Jews and Arabs coexisting in crisis

Just over 20% of Israel’s population are Palestinian - or Israeli Arabs - making them the largest minority in the country. They are distinct from the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza as most have citizenship and far greater freedoms. However, they complain of discrimination and even in “mixed” cities the Jews and Palestinians tend to coexist rather than interact. Following the attacks on 7 October by Hamas and the subsequent bombing and killing of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army, tensions are high. Standing Together, a peace movement comprising of Jews and Palestinians, are trying to jointly diffuse tensions on the streets of their neighbourhoods. Emily Wither talks to Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, about their different experiences of growing up in Israel and their hopes for the future.
09/11/23·28m 20s

My Forgotten War

Turkey hosts the largest population of refugees and asylum seekers in the world. These include around 3.6 million Syrians, who fled there during the war in their country. Now many of those Syrian refugees feel forgotten, and again unsafe, and tensions with locals are higher than ever. Seven years ago, the EU handed Turkey 6 billion euros in a deal to stop Syrians heading to Europe. Since then, many Turks say their welcome has worn thin. And now, the Turkish government is deporting Syrians it says are in Turkey illegally, back to the warzone.Karam was 19 when the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, had security forces fire on peaceful protestors and arrest hundreds of citizens. Karam was one of those arrested, and after being released he eventually paid a people smuggler to take him to Turkey. He believes that he’ll be arrested and tortured if he returnsto Syria. But he’s also afraid to stay in Turkey, saying that local Police ask for his papers around five times a day.Hannah Lucinda Smith is in Esenyurt, a predominantly Syrian district around an hour's drive from the centre of Istanbul, speaking to both Syrians and Turks about why tensions have escalated. She's asking what’s next for Syrians living there, and whether or not it will ever be safe enough for them to return home.A Depictar production for the BBC World Service.
07/11/23·28m 11s

In The Studio: Carol Morley

Carol Morley is known for films like The Falling, Dreams Of A Life, and her most recent work, Typist Artist Pirate King.Her next movie is an adaptation of her autobiographical novel Seven Miles Out. It’s about a teenage girl coming to terms with her father's suicide, and not one word of the book has made its way into the screenplay. Carol tells Stephen Hughes why she was surprised by how difficult it was to adapt her own work, and how it brought back thoughts and feelings she thought she'd learned to live with. Carol also reveals that selling a script is harder than writing one, as she waits patiently to hear back from film companies that she’d sent the screenplay to.Produced and presented by Stephen Hughes**This programme contains distressing content**During this interview, Carol speaks frankly about the effect of her father’s suicide upon her. If you need support following anything you’ve hear in this episode, there’s information at bbc.com/actionline and help is also available at befrienders.org.
06/11/23·27m 45s

BBC OS Conversations: Palestinian losses

The fighting and funerals in the Israel and Hamas war are constant. Thousands have been killed.The number of fatalities don’t tell the real stories though. In recent days, the OS team has been reaching out to people on both sides who have lost loved ones in the war; inviting them to tell the stories of those killed.Next week’s programme will feature Israeli families. This edition, hosted by James Reynolds, is a conversation with two Palestinians who now live in Scotland and Turkey.Yousef Almqayyad in Istanbul, had to have a heartbreaking discussion with his seven-year-old daughter about the deaths in his family.“Your grandfather, your grandmother, your uncles and aunts and your cousins, right now are in heaven, in a good place,” he said. “Better than Gaza, better than Turkey, better than any place in this world. I told her they are waiting for us.”Dr Ibrahim Khadra also shares his final conversation with a member of his family in Gaza, who said: “If we’ll survive, we’ll pray to God and if I’ll die just pray for me.”“It was our last call,” said Dr Khadra.A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.(Photo: Yousef Almqayyad with his parents Yaser and Inshirah)
04/11/23·24m 30s

Heart and Soul: Finding Falun Gong

It’s been more than two decades since the Chinese government launched a crackdown on Falun Gong. The spiritual group claims practitioners face mass arrest, torture and are murdered by the state for their organs. The movement is seen as the most organised opposition group to the Chinese government. China calls Falun Gong an evil cult determined to bring down the Chinese Communist Party. Practitioners say the movement is non-political but critics claim the spiritual group is building an international fake news empire, are staunch supporters of Donald Trump and are sympathetic to far-right politicians. Banned in mainland China, Falun Gong believers once practiced and protested openly in Hong Kong. But since the introduction of a draconian national security law Falun Gong’s presence in the territory has all but vanished. The BBC’s Danny Vincent travels to the self-ruled island of Taiwan to talk to practitioners about their faith, persecution, the Chinese Communist Party and the future of Falun Gong. Producer: Danny Vincent Series Producer: Rajeev Gupta Editor: Helen Grady
03/11/23·28m 16s

Assignment: Taught to fear - corporal punishment in the classroom

In Kenya, corporal punishment in schools has been banned for over twenty years, yet young students are being beaten by their teachers on a daily basis, and the consequences can be fatal. In the last five years alone, it’s believed more than 20 children have died at the hands of their teachers. In this week’s Assignment, BBC Africa Eye’s Tom Odula, whose own school years were marked by brutal and degrading treatment at the hands of teachers, goes on a journey to investigate the extent of the problem and what can be done to address it.He speaks to young victims who bear the scars of vicious beatings, to families who are seeking justice for their children who have reportedly been beaten, one of whom died - and to teachers who have turned their back on the cane and are now trying to spread the message that violence in the classroom is wrong. Through all of this, Tom asks the question, why is this happening, and what is being done to protect the most innocent in our society?Reporter: Tom Odula Producer: Chris Alcock and Rebecca Henschke Africa Eye Editor: Tom Watson Assignment Editor: Penny Murphy (Image: Kenyan child looks out of a school window. Credit: BBC Africa Eye)
02/11/23·27m 46s

The Raspberry Visa

The ‘Raspberry Visa’ is the colloquial name given to the Portuguese passport that workers picking berries in Western Portugal can apply for after 7 years of work. Bhrikuti Rai and Fabian Federl visit Odemira, where the raspberries are grown, to find out what life is like for the workers here and whether their dream of earning an EU passport is worth the toil. Is this system the answer to the lack of workers in the West or simply another means for the unscrupulous to exploit the hopes of migrants with dreams of a better life?
01/11/23·27m 44s

In the Studio: Kieran Stanley - Designing a Zoo

Zoo designer Kieran Stanley has created some of the world's most impressive spaces to care for animals ranging from the Indian rhinoceros to the giant panda. He is passionate about animal welfare, wanting to inspire people to fall in love with wildlife in order to help protect nature.Originally from Cork, Ireland, Kieran now lives in Berlin where he plans and designs zoos across the globe. He lists milestone projects in countries including the UK, Denmark, South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, and Germany. From his studios in Berlin, we find Kieran overseeing multiple international projects including a major, and slightly mysterious, new zoo development in Gujarat, India, called simply ’Zoo India’.Working with a multidisciplinary team including architects, landscape architects, interior designers and communication designers, it quickly becomes clear that design is just one element of a complex and fascinating process. A Tandem Production for BBC World Service.
30/10/23·27m 21s

BBC OS Conversations: Jewish-Palestinian couples

Observing the suffering on both sides of the Israel and Gaza war, are couples and families around the world in which individuals with Jewish and Palestinian heritage have come together and built a shared life. For some there will be conflicting and mixed emotions, and some difficult questions.We hear their conversations as they talk about the beginnings of romantic relationships, and the realisation of the huge complications and family disputes that might ensure. Emotions are shared, and the challenges and decisions they face because of the present and also the past.Leya and Thaer, a Jewish-Palestinian couple living in the US, describe how both of their families were happy with the match, and how they’re bringing their son up to understand and celebrate both sides of his heritage, and to make his own choices.Becca, an American-Israeli describes meeting her Palestinian husband-to-be Mohammed in Israel, and the moment she realised the impact this could have on both of their lives. “We kissed for the first time,” she says, “and afterwards I literally said, are we playing with fire here?” Despite unease on both sides of their family, they married in 2012. Years later, shocked by the events of October 7th, Becca found herself asking Mohammed, “’Is this the sort of operation that you support?’ And he was like, ‘of course not’. But I had to ask him that question, and I regret it.”We also hear from a family of four, whose two adult sons now find themselves being asked by friends “whose side are you on?”.(Photo: Leah and Thaer with their baby)
28/10/23·23m 59s

Heart and Soul: The New York Supreme Court's first female Hasidic judge

Rachel Freier was 30 when she started her training to be an attorney, and many people told her she was making a mistake. Growing up in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, women having high-powered careers has not been the norm, and even discouraged. But for Rachel, a mother of six, she felt that she could be a good mother, a good housewife, stay true to her Jewish faith and beliefs, while still being able to have a career – even if she was a woman. With the support of her husband she graduated law school and became an attorney, and then made history becoming the first Hasidic woman to be appointed as a judge at the civil court. Now, she is making history again, having just been elevated to the New York Supreme Court. We pay a visit to her home in Brooklyn to hear how she balances everything in her life, while managing a hugely demanding career.
27/10/23·27m 15s

Assignment: The Life, Death and Rebirth of a Russian Theatre

Tatiana Frolova wasn’t born to be a theatre director. She grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s in a cut-off part of a closed country, the Soviet Far East. She was a shy, nervous girl brought up by a silent mother in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the bleak “City of the Dawn” built on Stalin’s orders in the early 1930s and celebrated officially as a Communist “hero-project.” But in 1985, aged 24, as the first glimmerings of glasnost appeared, Tatyana founded the Soviet Union’s first independent theatre since 1927 – known as KnAM - in Komsomolsk. It was tiny – with only 26 seats. But it tried to push back the boundaries of what could be discussed, building new plays around the memories and experiences of local people. They dealt with fear and violence transmitted from generation to generation. The theatre survived for 37 years despite the narrowing of possibilities for free speech under Vladimir Putin. But when the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last year, Tatiana realised she and her actors had to leave. Now, they’re touring Europe with a new play, "We are no longer.." It’s about who they were, and what they’ve lost. But what’s the future for Tatiana and her troupe - just a handful of the hundreds of thousands of Russians now in exile? And what image of Russia are they presenting to Western audiences? For Assignment, Tim Whewell goes to meet them. Image: A scene from “We Are No Longer” by KnAM Theatre (Picture copyright Julie Cherki)
26/10/23·27m 17s

Africa's urban future: What next?

Faced with the ever-quickening pace of urbanisation, what is the future for Africa's swelling cities? Experts predict that Africa could be home to forty percent of humanity by the end of this century, and that the twenty fastest-growing cities in the world will be in sub-Saharan Africa. Will the continent have the potential for a brilliant urban future – or for an increasingly bleak one? Much will depend, in large part, on how it’s managed. How can already highly pressurised African cities provide better opportunities for all their inhabitants?In the final episode of 'Africa's Urban Future', a four-part series from the BBC World Service, Mike Wooldridge considers the future - and nothing is more pressing than the combination of this rapid urbanisation and accelerating climate change. In many cities, climate change will only add to the challenges. How the continent manages this, will not only affect the daily lives of the millions of Africans, but shape everything from migration and global economic prosperity to the future of the African nation state and the prospects for limiting climate crisis. ‘Africa’s Urban Future’ is a Ruth Evans Productions series for the BBC World Service.
24/10/23·37m 50s

In the Studio: PAC NYC

September 2023 sees the opening of PAC NYC – the Perelman Performing Arts Center in New York. It’s the final building in the new piazza, situated on the site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, which was destroyed on the 11th September 2001, when hijackers seized US passenger jets and crashed them into the Twin Towers, killing thousands of people. Jeff Lunden follows PAC NYC’s artistic director Bill Rauch and his behind the scenes team, as they get the specially built, flexible theatres ready for their opening season.
23/10/23·27m 16s

Other people's children

Mothers from all over the world leave their families in search of economic opportunities elsewhere – and they often end up working as nannies, which means they spend their days with children while their own are far away.How does it feel to nurture other people’s children while someone else takes care of yours? How does it shape a family when the mother works abroad? What’s the impact on the children, and their relationship with their parents?Namulanta Kombo - host of the multi-award-winning World Service podcast Dear Daughter – explores the personal stories behind this “global care chain.”She speaks to women all over the world who’ve been in this situation, from the Philippines to Romania to Nairobi to Dubai.They tell her what led them to leave, and what it’s been like for them - the birthdays missed and late night phone calls.They talk about the thrill of watching someone else’s child take their first steps, and the challenges of keeping your family together when you’re thousands of miles apart.And she speaks to some of the people who stayed behind about the lasting impact on their families.
22/10/23·50m 11s

BBC OS Conversations: Teenagers in Gaza and Israel

In recent days, there have been warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza amid continual bombardment. In Israel, the discovery of bodies continues in the communities near the border, following the attack by Hamas on 7 October. Many of those caught up in this conflict are young people. Host James Reynolds hears from teenagers, on both sides. In Gaza, roughly half the population is under 18, and although communications are very difficult, young people have been sending us voice messages when they have enough internet. Sanabel (16) is sheltering with her family. In her messages, she said: “No one cares about us.” In Israel, Neta (18) is preparing to be a solider for Israel.
21/10/23·24m 0s

Understand: Israel and the Palestinians

A guide to the history and context of the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Katya Adler and guests explain the key players and set out the background to help you get to grips with what’s going on today. They explain the history of the creation of the state of Israel and look at the experience of Palestinians. They take a closer look at Hamas, the group responsible for orchestrating the recent attacks on Israel. They are regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and the UK, but how are they seen by Palestinians? Of course outsiders have also played a crucial role. We take a tour of this Middle Eastern neighbourhood to set out the relationships with Lebanon, Hezbollah, Jordan and Egypt and explain the role global powers like the USA and Iran have had at times of war and peace.
20/10/23·1h 5m

Heart and Soul: My journey beyond death

Following a dramatic train accident, David Ditchfield was dragged under a speeding train in Cambridgeshire and nearly lost his life. As he lay in hospital, just before being taken into surgery, he had an extraordinary spiritual experience characterised by overwhelming love, white light and spiritual beings The experience awakened a previously hidden talent for painting and music. Despite his vision of angelic beings and a white tunnel of light, he doesn’t view his life-changing spiritual awakening as a religious experience. He tells his remarkable story and meets the founder of Near Death Experience UK who too had a profound spiritual awakening while in a critical condition.
20/10/23·27m 13s

Assignment: The village versus the mine

A village in northern Portugal is fighting to prevent what could be the first large scale battery grade lithium mine in Europe from going into operation on its doorstep. For Assignment, Caroline Bayley travels to Covas do Barroso - the remote farming community with World Agricultural Heritage status and a tiny population - where villagers have formed a protest group which has gained international support. Portugal has one of the largest deposits of lithium in Europe and the Government is in favour of exploiting these resources as part of the green transition as lithium is used in electric vehicle batteries. The mining company needs to lease common land jointly owned by the villagers to access the lithium but the residents are holding out against this, in spite of the compensation on offer. They fear that the four open pit mines would destroy their agricultural way of life. The Barroso mine has been given the green light by Portugal’s environment agency subject to certain strict criteria being met. Owned by Savannah Resources, a London listed company, the mine aims to produce enough lithium for 500,000 electric car batteries a year. Produced and presented by Caroline Bayley Producer in Portugal Alison Roberts Editor: Penny Murphy Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman(Image: Aida Fernandes, farmer in Covas do Barroso. Credit: BBC/Caroline Bayley)
19/10/23·28m 4s

Africa’s Urban Future: South Africa

Apartheid may now be long buried politically but in and around South Africa’s main cities it has left a visible legacy. Those entrenched historical problems could be about to get worse as cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town continue to grow rapidly, as a result of both migration and the natural population growth. Persistent power cuts and creaking infrastructure are major challenges to the ever-quickening pace of urbanisation. Can an ambitious new plan for Stellenbosch, the place where apartheid was reportedly conceived, help to break down the post-apartheid legacy of urban planning?
17/10/23·38m 38s

In the Studio: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf takes us behind the scenes of the making of Kandahar, his film about life in Afghanistan that captured the world's attention when President Bush asked to see it after the attacks on 9/11. He reveals how he managed to film on a smugglers' route between Iran and Afghanistan, and how he avoided the attentions of the Taliban.
16/10/23·27m 17s

Special: My Indian Life

“I’m in love with the mountains.” A special episode from Kalki Presents: My Indian Life. Savita Kanswal was an inspirational climber, who had scaled Mount Everest. At the age of 26, she was tragically killed in an avalanche in the Himalayas. Kalki Presents: My Indian Life explores stories of being young and Indian in the 21st Century. Presented by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. www.bbcworldservice.com/myindianlife #MyIndianLife
15/10/23·30m 40s

BBC OS Conversations: Israel and Gaza

This is an historical conflict with decades of bloodshed but the unprecedented violence of the past week has thrown the crisis into unknown territory. It was triggered by the Islamist militant group Hamas – which is designated a terror organisation by many Western governments – breaking through the barrier between Israel and Gaza and launching a range of surprise attacks. Israel immediately announced it was at war and made threats to destroy Hamas; firing rocket attacks into Gaza. We speak to Israelis and Palestinians living in Gaza.
14/10/23·24m 13s

The Cultural Frontline: How Disney redefined animation

It has been 100 years since a young animator sold his first film series, called Alice Comedies, to a distributor. Without knowing, he was starting what became one of the world’s biggest media empires. The company took his family name: Disney. The studio has led and shaped the animation industry for generations, and it’s now in the very heart of global culture. In this episode of The Cultural Frontline, we speak to animators responsible for some of Disney and Pixar’s most successful films. We also explore the creative, technological and cultural challenges Disney and the wider animation industry are facing today. Veteran animator Floyd Norman has worked with Disney since the 1950s, on films like Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book. His colleague Tony Bancroft was the co-director of Mulan and the creator of one of the most beloved Disney characters, Pumbaa the warthog, in The Lion King. They talk about the milestones of Disney history. Oscar-winning director Brenda Chapman reflects on the role of women on screen and in production, and talks about the inspiration for Merida, Brave’s anti-princess. Plus, Rebecca Sugar, and Frank Abney discuss how the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement are changing the animation industry.Presenter: Brian Sibley Producer: Constanza Hola
13/10/23·36m 9s

Assignment: America’s hidden histories

It’s more than 150 years since the end of the American Civil War. But the replacement of a monument dedicated to the Confederate Commander Robert E Lee with a statue of black icon Henrietta Lacks has proved an emotive issue in Roanoke, Virginia. In a region steeped in the history and trauma of that war, the unveiling of a new memorial has shone a spotlight on the hidden histories of the United States. As Elizabeth Gabriel reports for Assignment, how we remember the past remains a divisive issue.Produced by Ben Wyatt Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Studio mix: Rod Farquhar Assignment editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Statue of Henrietta Lacks on Lacks Plaza, Roanoke. Credit: David Hungate and the Roanoke Times)
12/10/23·27m 46s

Africa's urban future: Tanzania

Mike Wooldridge and Tanzanian development worker Mary Ndaro report on the opportunities and challenges for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial centre, and one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Some six million people currently call Dar es Salaam home, but the city’s population has grown by a whopping 40% in just a decade. By the 2030s it is projected to become a megacity with a population of more than 10 million. Getting around cities like Dar es Salaam can be not only stressful but expensive, negotiating roads clogged with cars and choked with fumes, but the city is now investing in transport infrastructure to keep people moving.
10/10/23·32m 24s

In the Studio: Anton Skrypets

Stay Online is the first film about the full-scale war in Ukraine. Young producer Anton Skrypets tells Antonia Quirke about the dangers and challenges of this groundbreaking production, through a series of interviews and diary entries interspersed by the sound of air raid sirens and drone attacks. Directed by his sister Yeva Strielnikova, Stay Online is a rare thing: a war movie made entirely in a war zone.
09/10/23·27m 31s

BBC OS Conversations: Fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh

The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is at the centre of one of the world’s longest running disputes that goes back more than 100 years. The latest conflict involved a lightening military operation by Azerbaijan. It resulted in nearly 120,000 Armenians, virtually the entire population, leaving Nagorno-Karabakh and making a difficult journey across the border to Armenia Host Anna Foster hears from three women who took that single route.
07/10/23·23m 57s

Heart and Soul: Young Catholics on the Francis revolution

Pope Francis has launched the biggest consultation in the history of the Catholic church. Since the process started three years ago, millions of Catholics worldwide have given their responses to the question: “What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our journeying together?” Caroline Wyatt brings three young Catholics together to discuss the future of their church. She also hears other voices from around the world, to explore just what Pope Francis’s revolution means to them.
06/10/23·27m 14s

Gabon’s dark football secret

Gabon is football crazy and it’s the dream of most young footballers to play internationally. But, in 2022 a long serving coach for youth national teams admitted to charges of raping, grooming, and exploiting young players. He faces up to 30 years in prison. For Assignment, BBC Africa Eye’s Khadidiatou Cissé travels to Gabon to investigate one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in the history of football. She speaks with victims and eyewitnesses who reveal a shocking culture of sexual abuse and despair, with claims that many people knew, and many stayed silent. We follow a coach who, at personal risk, is determined to bring about change. Football’s world governing body, FIFA, is facing accusations of failing to take effective action over the scandal. Presented by Khadidiatou Cissé Produced by Stephanie Stafford and Suzanne Vanhooymissen. BBC Eye editors Rebecca Henschke and Tom Watson Mixed by Neil Churchill Assignment series editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Child holding football boots. Credit: BBC)
05/10/23·27m 15s

Africa's urban future: Ghana

What is the future for Africa's rapidly swelling cities? The stretch of nearly 1,000 km between Abidjan and Lagos, is by 2100 projected to be the largest zone of continuous, dense habitation on earth - and home to about half a billion people. In Ghana alone, the population which was around six million at the time of independence could exceed 50 million by 2050. There has been unprecedented migration into Accra and other cities from rural areas, straining the city’s ability to provide basic housing and services to people, and exacerbating existing inequalities. Presenter Mike Wooldridge and Ghanaian architect Ruth-Anne Richardson report on the opportunities and challenges this rapid urbanisation brings in West Africa.
04/10/23·33m 59s

Will the unicorns of the sea fall silent?

The term “narwhal” derives from the old Nordic for “nár + hvalr”, meaning corpse + whale, which, for these animals, is quickly becoming prophetic. Climate change, with its accompanying increase in human marine activity, has led to the Arctic Ocean becoming noisier. As narwhal rely on sound to communicate and navigate their surroundings, this could result in the extinction of populations like East Greenland's narwhal by as soon as 2025. Mary-Ann Ochota investigates how this issue is at once political, cultural, and environmental and speaks to the scientists, traditional hunters, and activists, who are seeking a solution.
03/10/23·27m 22s

In the Studio: The visitors

After its award winning premier in 2020, a new production of The Visitors by Indigenous playwright Jane Harrison sees us on the eve of colonisation. The first fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on the 26 January 1788 bringing with them convicts, disease and violence. The play asks, what if we saw this moment from the Aboriginal perspective? What if they could decide whether or not to let the fleet land? As seven tribal elders watch the fleet arrive they must decide whether to stop them, or welcome them. Regina Botros follows the director Wesley Enoch, the writer Jane Harrison and the cast through the challenges of the play as it reflects, quite poignantly, the current political climate in Australia.
02/10/23·27m 17s

October 1973: The war that changed everything

It is a war with many names - The Yom Kippur War, the Ramadan War, the October War. What is clear 50 years after it was fought is that it was a conflict that really did change the world. Michael Goldfarb tells the story of the war that began on the 6 October 1973 and ended less than three weeks later - yet somehow the Israeli and Arab states combatants, as well as the rest of the world, still live with the aftermath today.
01/10/23·55m 28s

BBC OS Conversations: War and fatigue in Ukraine

Winter is approaching once again in the war and, for all the combat in the summer, the situation remains largely unchanged for both Ukrainian and Russian forces. There is talk that the conflict could go on for many years. President Volodymyr Zelensky is still firmly focused on victory for Ukraine but he admits that the mood among some of his international backers appears to be changing. But on the battlefields, what are the attitudes of Ukrainians? Host Lukwesa Burak speaks to two Ukrainian soldiers, journalists and families caught up in the conflict.
30/09/23·23m 55s

Heart and Soul: The Hare Krishna MC

Jake Emlyn’s musical talents were once hailed by international pop star Robbie Williams, who mentored the young English rapper. It lead him to feature on the albums of major stars and tour worldwide. However, 10 years ago, on the verge of signing a major record deal, Jake lost his father to cancer and it prompted a journey of reflection and self-discovery. A chance meeting with a Hare Krishna monk led Jake to visit the Radha Krishna temple in central London and from then on Jake was hooked to spiritual life. For the past decade, he has devoted his life to the Hare Krishna movement, combining his rapping skills with his religious life and becoming the world’s number one Hare Krishna rapper.
29/09/23·27m 15s

Germany: Jail for fare-dodging

In Germany you can go to prison for travelling on public transport without a ticket. It’s estimated that 7,000 people are serving a jail sentence for this at any one time. Most of them are serial offenders, usually unemployed or homeless, the poorest people in German society. The law that enables courts to imprison people for not paying a fare dates from the early 1930s when it was introduced by the Nazi government. The public transport companies defend its existence. They say they lose hundreds of millions of Euros a year to people cheating on their fares and that it’s important to retain the threat of prison as a deterrent.As Tim Mansel discovers for Assignment, others disagree and are campaigning for the law to be abolished. Most eye-catching is a campaign run by the Freedom Fund, set up in Berlin in 2021, which has raised hundreds of thousands of Euros. Its founder, Arne Semsrott, describes the law as “deeply unjust,” saying it “discriminates heavily against people who don’t have money, against people who don’t have housing, against people who are already in crisis.”Produced and presented by Tim Mansel(Image: Gisa März, who served a prison sentence for fare dodging. Credit: Tim Mansel/BBC)
28/09/23·27m 46s

Donor babies: A question of identity

For many people around the world, donation of sperm or an egg can be the difference between becoming parents and not. But while this donation can make their dream of parenthood come true, what are the considerations for the end result, the child themselves? Donation and IVF can help jump the hurdles when it comes to the physical process of conception for would-be parents, but what about the emotional and psychological impact on the people who eventually find out they are not biologically related to one or both of their parents? Louise Mcloughlin, herself donor-conceived, hears from people around the world who have been faced with the news they are not the identity they assumed they were.
26/09/23·27m 15s

In the Studio: Ken Loach: The Sequel

The shooting starts on The Old Oak and Sharuna Sagar is there to witness Ken Loach's unique style of directing. Throughout his career from Kes to The Wind That Shakes The Barley to I, Daniel Blake, the 87-year-old film-maker does not like to tell the cast what is going to happen in the next scene. He explains his reasons, while star Dave Turner reveals what it is like to be surprised every day on set.
25/09/23·27m 14s

BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Libya

Storm Daniel delivered 300 times more rain than expected onto the north-east coast of Libya, causing two dams to burst and water up to 30 meters high to tear through the coastal city of Derna. The immense power of the flood smashed everything in its path, claiming thousands of lives and leaving shattered buildings, bridges and mountains of mud. Since the disaster, we have been hearing from people in the city, who have been sharing their thoughts and experiences.
23/09/23·24m 0s

Heart and Soul: Poland's nuns lifting the veil

What happens when a Catholic nun in Poland chooses to leave her religious community? Nuns are rejecting their orders after experiencing what they now regard as abuse. Some say they have even been sexually abused by priests. Izabela Moscicka recently made this journey. She stopped being a nun and is now living independently in Krakow. She knows how hard it can be, so she is setting up an aid centre for nuns and former nuns, who are looking for assistance and refuge. For the first time, Izabela shares her life story, the realities of the day to day life of Polish nuns, and the difficulties they have if they decide to leave the church.
22/09/23·27m 14s

How a war has changed a Norwegian town

Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway, once thrived on its close ties with neighbouring Russia. All that changed after the invasion of Ukraine. Now it’s become home to Ukrainian refugees and a safe haven for some Russian journalists escaping President Putin’s media clampdown.For decades this area popularised the phrase “High North, Low Tension.” Close economic and cultural ties developed with brisk cross-border trade. Hundreds of Russians settled in the town. But now new cross-border restrictions have been imposed and co-operation has ended. The local economy has taken a significant hit and cross-border cultural groups no longer meet. However, despite this being a NATO member, the Norwegian government is keeping the border open. Russian fishing vessels still unload their catch in Kirkenes but are no longer allowed to undergo repairs. The Norwegians have stepped up checks on these Russian boats amid concern of a rise in Russian spying and potential sabotage.For Assignment, John Murphy travels to Norway’s Arctic to see how war has changed the town and to ask what’s next for this unique community. Presenter: John Murphy Producer: Alex Last Production co-ordinator: Gemma Ashman Series editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway. Credit: BBC)
21/09/23·29m 27s

Cricket and the maidens

In March 2023, the first season of the Women’s India Premier League, the world’s second most valuable cricketing league, behind only the men’s IPL, was played. Five teams battled it out to claim the crown, comprised of international teams of women cricketers at the top of their game who earned ten times more than they can elsewhere. While Indian players dominated, there was another factor that marked them out - many Indian women cricketers are single. As Indian women’s cricket has shot to the top of the global stage, how does this rapid change reflect broader changes in Indian society?
19/09/23·27m 27s

In the Studio: Vhils

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a Portuguese artist, known for his striking huge murals that have appeared on city walls from Brazil and the US, to Senegal and Vietnam. He uses a bas-relief carving technique, which involves using chisels and even hammer drills to scrape away at the fabric of the wall, revealing the history in the layers below the surface. Abi McNeil talks to Vhils as he works on his latest project – a 31 metre long mural for the Paris headquarters of Unesco.
18/09/23·27m 14s

Bonus: The Explanation

What is a war crime? How is it different to a crime against humanity and genocide? And who holds those responsible to account? Find out in this bonus episode of The Explanation, from the BBC World Service.
17/09/23·19m 7s

Remembering Buthelezi

The BBC's Audrey Brown looks back at the life of South Africa's Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died earlier in September aged 95. He played a vital - and controversial - role in the country's history during both the Apartheid era and the transition to multiracial democracy.
17/09/23·26m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: The earthquake in Morocco

The earthquake struck in a region of the High Atlas Mountains. Its force destroyed entire villages and could be felt across the country, and even in neighbouring Algeria. Around 3,000 people lost their lives and thousands were injured. It’s described as the worst earthquake in the country in 60 years. Tour guide Mohamed and Majda, an architect, tell host James Reynolds what it was like when the earthquake struck their hometown of Marrakesh. We speak to Paul Philipp, a rescue volunteer in Germany and Ayça Aydın, a Turkish rescue worker, from the organisation Global Empowerment Mission. She visited some of the worst affected areas to care for survivors.
16/09/23·24m 0s

Heart and Soul: Faith, terrorists and mercy at Guantanamo Bay

Dr Jennifer Bryson interrogated suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists at the infamous Guantanamo Bay. She worked at the detention centre in Cuba for two years and says that some of the inmates bragged openly about helping to organise the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed 3,000 people. Bryson was the first woman to take up the role of lead interrogator at Guantanamo, and the first who was not a member of the military. She would carry out interrogations herself but was also responsible for signing off methods and techniques used by other interrogators. After some time, she started to feel uneasy about some of the 'enhanced interrogation' methods she was asked to approve - in her gut, she felt something was not right. She says it was her faith-formed conscience that led her to deny her colleagues’ requests to use such interrogation techniques.
15/09/23·27m 15s

Missing in Syria

There are one hundred thousand missing Syrians, according to the UN, who’ve been detained or have disappeared since the beginning of the uprising in Syria twelve years ago and the civil war that followed. Most of their families have no idea where they are and whether they’re alive or dead. Many are paying thousands of dollars for information about them which almost always comes to nothing. For Assignment, Lina Sinjab reports from Turkey and Beirut where she’s been talking to Syrian refugees about the desperate measures they'll go to in their search for their missing relatives.Presenter: Lina Sinjab Producer : Caroline Bayley Editor: Penny Murphy Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar(Image: Framed photographs of some of the people who are missing in Syria. Credit: Guevara Namer/The Syria Campaign)
14/09/23·27m 22s

Building power: India’s new parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes India’s new parliament as a reflection of the “aspirations and dreams” of all Indians. But the huge triangular structure that sits next to its colonial-era predecessor is controversial: some opposition parties boycotted its inauguration. From Delhi, Shalu Yadav reports on a story that is about cost, architecture and urban design, but also power, democracy and India’s future.
13/09/23·27m 14s

In the Studio: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh is one of Ireland's leading screen costume designers - working on such productions as The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Jimmy's Hall and the recent, multi award-winning The Banshees of Inisherin. For many years she has also been compiling a collection of iconic items seen on the Irish screen. Eimer has been involved in the photographing of each item to museum standard, allowing the entire collection to be available online for anybody across the world to access, free. We follow Eimer as she oversees the meticulous photographing of her applauded and distinctive knitwear for the Banshees of Inisherin.
11/09/23·27m 16s

Inside an autistic mind

Science journalist Sue Nelson shares her personal journey to better understand a condition that affects millions worldwide. Inside her autistic inner world is a cacophony of brain chatter, anxiety and sensory issues - recreated within a 360 degree soundscape - that impact her life and interactions with others. Sue, who discovered she had autism last year aged 60, meets other autistic people, researchers and clinicians to try to make sense of her late diagnosis. Those who offer their own stories and experiences include Canadian actor Mickey Rowe, the first autistic actor to play the autistic lead character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime; award-winning science writer Dr Camilla Pang; and former teacher Pete Wharmby, who left the profession to write about his condition to help others.
10/09/23·51m 3s

BBC OS Conversations: Climate change in Africa

Africa causes little damage to the climate but tends to feel the brunt of changing weather patterns. That was the debate in recent days as Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, hosted Africa’s first-ever climate summit. More than a dozen African leaders discussed the continent's increasing exposure to climate change and what that means for the environment, food supply and the economy. They also wanted to get their case together ahead of the next big climate conference, COP 28, which will be held in Dubai at the end of the year. We went around the continent to bring together some of those who are affected by climate change. We hear from farmers, environmental journalists and climate activists, with guests from Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi and Kenya.
09/09/23·24m 0s

Izabela in the forest

Hear the marvellous sounds of Europe's last primeval forest, Białoweiza, in an immersive experience rich with all kinds of bird song and animal sounds, including that of the rare European bison. They're recorded by Polish field recordist Izabela Dłużyk.Izabela is unusual as a young woman recordist, in a profession dominated by men - all the more so because has been blind from birth. She developed a special sensitivity to birdsong ever since her family gave her a tape recorder at the age of 12, and she at once turned its microphone towards the sky. She identifies species entirely though her ears, with an extraordinarily detailed depth of field.Hearing the forest through Izabela’s acute ears, we venture into her world as well as that of the wilderness she loves. Recorded on location in Białoweiza, we also hear night and dawn recordings that bring all sorts of surprises to the microphone.Produced by Monica Whitlock. Mixed by Neil Churchill
06/09/23·29m 50s

Surviving Greece's migrant boat disaster

n the early hours of 14th June, a heavily overcrowded, rusty fishing trawler carrying as many as 750 migrants capsized off the coast of Greece. The passengers - men, women and children from countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Syria - were fleeing conflict and poverty, hoping to start safer and more prosperous lives in Europe.After its engine broke down, the boat drifted for several hours while desperate passengers made distress calls and waited for rescue. Only 104 people survived the sinking. More than 600 may have drowned, making this one of the deadliest disasters in Europe’s ongoing migration crisis.For Assignment, Nick Beake travels to Greece to meet survivors of the sinking, who are now living in a refugee camp outside Athens. He hears how they endured a four-day voyage, during which several passengers died due to a lack of food, water and ventilation on board. Brutal smugglers forced them to board the dangerous boat, and confiscated water bottles and life jackets to make room for extra passengers.Many of the survivors have accused the Greek coastguard of causing the sinking by attempting to tow the heavily overloaded vessel. Greek authorities have denied these claims. Nick meets a Greek activist who volunteers for an emergency hotline that received distress calls from passengers on the ship. She explains that the June 14th disaster is not the first time the Greek coastguard has come under scrutiny, and it has previously been accused of using aggressive and illegal tactics to deter migration.Presented by Nick Beake Producer: Viv Jones Studio mix: Graham Puddifoot Series Editor: Penny Murphy
05/09/23·27m 16s

Slovakia divided

Slovakia may be a small country, but its upcoming elections could have a big impact across Europe and beyond. One of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in its war against Russia, Slovakia was the first Nato country to deliver fighter jets to its eastern neighbour. But could that soon change? September’s snap elections follow the collapse of Slovakia’s staunchly pro-Western government. Leading the polls is the populist party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico. The fiercely Moscow-friendly candidate has promised to end military aid to Ukraine, if he returns to power. John Kampfner travels across Slovakia to find out why the country looks set for a dramatic political about-turn.
05/09/23·27m 17s

In the Studio: Robyn Weintraub

Robyn Weintraub is a leading crossword designer who writes clues and fills in cells for the New York Times, famous for its challenging daily puzzles. She also creates for the New Yorker, People Magazine and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Robyn is known for her distinct style, and keen readers recognise a “Robyn Puzzle” from the quotes and sayings she uses as hints. Tara Gadomski follows Robyn over three intense days as she constructs a new crossword puzzle from blank page to completed grid. We get a glimpse of her long word lists and her daily puzzle-writing routine, and experience Robyn’s final verification - by pencil and paper - to make sure the puzzle is satisfying for the millions of people who will try to solve it then we discover whether Robyn’s puzzle has been accepted for publication by the New York Times
04/09/23·27m 16s

BBC OS Conversations: American voters

The US elections for the next president are not until November 2024, but the campaigning for votes is underway. And it’s two familiar faces who seem to be the ones to beat. Host Lukwesa Barak hears from Democrats and Republicans across the country about what they make of their choices, and also from those who feel that neither party represents them.
02/09/23·23m 55s

Heart and Soul: My sex work and my faith

Aaliyah grew up a devout Muslim but now makes adult content for the online service OnlyFans. She’s often pictured wearing a hijab. Aaliyah is her stage name. She’s had death threats but believes that expressing her sexuality and making her own choices about her body are empowering. She has also had support from young Muslim women and couples. She was brought up in the UK as a Muslim and began to question her faith at the age of 12, when her parents got divorced. She says, “My work now is definitely a rebellion against my upbringing. I’m tired of being told how women should be”. Aaliyah still describes herself as Muslim, and feels that her sex work is more important than the version of Islam she grew up with.Can you be a sex worker and still follow your faith? Sex work has always challenged religion. Although it’s broadly considered immoral within Christianity, Islam and Judaism, sacred texts carry some mixed messages. Women sex workers often see male religious leaders condemning them in public, whilst buying their services in private.In Bangalore in India, women at a sex workers cooperative think religion is compatible with their work. One Christian, who’s a mother and wife, says her family don’t know how she makes her living. “I can talk to God about it when I can’t talk to my husband”. In Nigeria, a Muslim sex worker we’re calling Zara operates in an area where sex work is illegal and dangerous. But she draws strength from her faith. “I know what God says about selling sex, that it’s against the religion but he understands that I have to do it.”
01/09/23·27m 14s

Singing Morocco's new identity

Gnawa music is a Moroccan spiritual musical tradition developed by descendants of enslaved people from Sub-Saharan Africa. It combines ritual poetry with traditional music and dance, and is traditionally only performed by men. But one female Moroccan artist, Asmâa Hamzaoui, has broken the mould. She's become an international star, who has even performed for Madonna on her birthday. For Assignment, reporter Myriam Francois travels to Casablanca to meet Asmaa and her family, and follows her to the Essaouira Festival, the annual celebration of Gnawa culture.What does its ever-growing popularity tell us about the changing identity of a country that once saw itself primarily as part of the Arab world, but has now become more interested in its links to the rest of the African continent?Presented by Myriam Francois Produced by Tim Whewell Series editor Penny Murphy(Image: Asmâa Hamzaoui. Credit: BBC/Myriam Francois)
31/08/23·27m 15s

A new term in Myanmar

On 1st February 2021, a coup d'état began in Myanmar where the National League for Democracy was deposed by Myanmar's military. Students studying at the country’s higher education institutes were left with a decision: continue their studies under the new regime, or walk out. More than two years on, five students at Parami University share their experiences of studying during the coup. Offering a US style liberal arts education, Parami University is one of many institutions offering people another chance to begin, or in some cases restart, their learning. From dealing with electricity blackouts to writing essays about philosophy for teachers who are only ever a tile on a screen - and usually on the other side of the world - each student shares how they are using education as both resistance and hope for themselves and their country. We also hear from Parami University staff and academics who explain how education continues during conflict. Names and voices have been changed on some contributors.With thanks to Dr Shona Loong, Dr Will Buckingham, Dr Kyaw Moe Tun and students at Parami UniversityProducer: Mollie DavidsonA 7digital Production for BBC World Service
29/08/23·27m 24s

In the Studio: France's Rugby World Cup kit

The French national team are known throughout the sporting world as "les bleus" because of their iconic kits, which echo the blue of the French national flag. French sportswear brand Le Coq Sportif, in collaboration with the French Rugby Federation, have been creating and developing a new kit for the national squad ahead of France hosting the Rugby World Cup in September and October 2023. Rosa Johnston-Flint talks to some of the creatives behind the design and manufacture of this new kit, and goes to Le Coq Sportif's factory in Romilly-sur-Seine, a small town not far from Paris, to watch the first shirt being made with fabric especially created in France. Rugby is a rough contact sport, so how do you make a jersey that can withstand tackles while being as light as something worn by a cyclist and looking elegant under the spotlight of a home world cup? Presenter/producer: Rosa Johnston-Flint Executive producer: Andrea Kidd
28/08/23·27m 15s

BBC OS Conversations: Migrating from Africa

More than 60 people are currently feared lost at sea after trying to escape Senegal by boat for a better life in Europe. According to the UN, Africa accounts for only 14 percent of the global migrant population. Most Africans also migrate internally but, due to the recent tragedy from Senegal, we decided to focus on those - both skilled and unskilled - who want to leave the continent for elsewhere. Host James Reynolds and his colleague Lukwesa Burak hear from men and women across four countries in Africa to discover the many reasons why they want to leave.We also hear from two unemployed mothers, one of whom is prepared to temporarily leave her young child with relatives in order to secure her own and her daughter’s future.A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.
26/08/23·24m 0s

Heart and Soul: 60 years since ‘I have a dream’

Baptist minister Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivered his "I have a dream" speech on 28 August 1963 to crowds of over 250,000 in Washington DC as part of the Great March, which called for jobs and freedom for African Americans. It helped spur the passage of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964. On the 60th anniversary of this legendary speech, Emmy award-winning journalist Sherri Jackson meets speakers from differing religious backgrounds and experiences to talk about how they have been influenced by Dr King's words. They discuss the details of his vision, and the role of faith in securing social justice and in anti-racism protest today. Produced by Nina Robinson Series producer: Rajeev Gupta Production coordinator: Mica Nepomuceno
25/08/23·27m 16s

Belize's blue bond

In 2020 Belize was broke. Again. This small, climate-vulnerable, Central American nation is home to the western hemisphere’s longest barrier reef. And it was about to default on a debt of over half a billion dollars. Enter an American NGO... The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the world’s largest conservation charity. TNC made an offer to the government of Belize: it would help restructure the debt, if Belize would channel the savings made into its precious coastal resources. In 2021, the deal became reality – creditors were paid off, and investors found for the new, so-called ‘blue bond.’ Belize’s debt shrank by 12% overnight. A win-win, right?But as Linda Pressly finds on a trip to Belize for Assignment, the ‘blue bond’ hasn’t been universally welcomed. There are concerns about an international NGO having influence in a poor nation, and arguments about which Belizean marine organisations have benefitted from the new investment. And there is one unresolved question: what does the ‘blue bond’ agreement mean for the potential future exploration of offshore oil in Belizean waters? Presenter/producer: Linda Pressly Sound engineer: Neil Churchill Editor: Penny Murphy (Photo: Replanting corals to restore Belize’s barrier reef is critical work in an era of climate emergency. Credit: Fragments of Hope)
24/08/23·28m 17s

Back to school: Supporting neuro-divergent students through LARP

Neurodivergent students learn, think, and process information differently than their neurotypical peers. Because of this, they often face unique challenges in the school setting. Students may struggle with executive functioning skills, typical social and communication skills and have sensory processing difficulties. As a result, they may be more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and many other mental health crises - resulting in a difficult education in which they won't receive the grades or social experience that they could achieve. This programme uses the Østerskov Efterskole school in Denmark as a case study to determine whether their revolutionary LARP (Live Action Role Play) teaching techniques could aid the education of every neurodiverse pupil.
23/08/23·23m 50s

In the Studio: Nicola Benedetti

World famous violinist Nicola Benedetti starts her new job as Director of the Edinburgh International Festival. Anna Bailey follows her as she enters unchartered territory, commissioning new works and running an organisation. Nicola talks through her decisions for her first programme, which features over 2000 artists from 48 countries. And Anna follows the progress of some of those artists as they begin rehearsals in the Scottish capital.
21/08/23·27m 23s

The famine at the edge of the ocean

Madagascar is experiencing its worst famine for over 30 years. With successive years of drought, this began in the country’s deep south but as successive cyclones hit Madagascar in 2022 and 2023, people in the south-east are now also suffering from food insecurity. The United Nations has described this as the “world’s first climate-induced famine”. But some climate scientists claim there is little evidence suggesting global warming is the primary cause. Journalist Raissa Iousouff travels to the south of Madagascar in search of answers and meets many of the local people and communities who are fighting to survive.
20/08/23·50m 11s

BBC OS Conversations: The fires in Hawaii

It is the deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than a century. On the Hawaiian island of Maui, block after block of the seaside town of Lahaina lies in ruins. Only the twisted wreckage of buildings and charred vegetation remain among the ashes. More than 100 people have been killed. Host James Reynolds speaks to Ella, who lost her family home in the fires and with two volunteers, Uilani and Alison.
19/08/23·23m 59s

Heart and Soul: German, soldier, Jew

After the horrific role played by the German military in the Holocaust, arguably the last place you would expect to find a Jew would be in the German Armed Forces. And yet it is estimated that today there are around 300 practising Jewish military personnel, and since 2021 they have had their own chaplain, the first chief rabbi – and the first non-Christian - in nearly 90 years. With the help of serving personnel and the head of the military rabbinate, Shelly Kupferberg explores what it means to be Jewish in today’s German armed forces. Shelly also hears from Michael Fürst, the very first Jew to sign up after World War Two, who is now the president of the association of Jewish communities of Lower Saxony.
18/08/23·27m 23s

Zimbabwe's worker exodus

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are fleeing their country, looking for work in the West, especially in the United Kingdom.Last year Zimbabwe was the third largest source of foreign workers for the UK, behind India and Nigeria, and ahead of the Philippines and Pakistan, which have much larger populations.A popular social media post reads: “the Zimbabwean dream is to leave Zimbabwe.”Many of those leaving their country are highly qualified. They’re taking jobs in the British care sector, where there is a huge shortage of workers. They send much of what they earn back to their families in Zimbabwe. For those back home it’s often the only way to survive in a country with hyper-inflation.Zimbabwe is about to go to the polls but few expect things to change. The economy is in dire straits and the opposition hasn’t been allowed to campaign freely. Some activists have been imprisoned or even killed. The ruling ZANU PF party, which has been in power since independence in 1980, shows little sign of losing control.Earlier this year the UK gave Zimbabwean teachers “Qualified Teacher” status, allowing them to work long-term in the UK. Zimbabwean parents fear their children’s teachers will be the next to leave.Zimbabwe’s latest skills exodus could break the country’s healthcare and education systems, which are already crumbling after decades of under-investment and corruption. For Assignment, Charlotte Ashton hears from Zimbabweans who’ve left, Zimbabweans who want to leave and Zimbabweans who say they can only dream of leaving.Presenter: Charlotte Ashton Producer: John Murphy(Image: A well-used five US dollar note in Zimbabwe. Credit: KB Mpofu)
17/08/23·27m 29s

Directing disability

In the 15 years that Jordan Hogg has been a TV director, he has never worked with another disabled director. Whilst 18% of the population has a disability, this is not represented in many industries, but Jordan is attempting to change this in TV and Film. Jordan, who has cerebral palsy, speaks to those who are challenging and changing the industry from within. Alongside him is TV Producer (and close friend) Jules Hussey. They speak to Academy award-winning actors James Martin and Rachel Shenton, hear the impact their award wins have had on the communities they were representing and discuss the changes that they believe have the biggest positive effects on inclusivity in Film and TV.
16/08/23·23m 51s

Did big tech know I was gay before I did?

Journalist Ellie House is bisexual. But before she had even realised that, it felt like big tech had already worked it out, with sites like Netflix and TikTok regularly recommending her LGBTQ content. Years later, Ellie goes on a quest to understand how the powerful recommendations systems that big tech companies use really work. She reconstructs her digital fingerprint, and hears from LGBTQ people around the world who are conflicted about the risks and rewards of being queer online.
15/08/23·27m 23s

In the Studio: Christopher and Tammy Kane

Fashion designers and brother and sister duo, Christopher and Tammy Kane have been trendsetters in the fashion world since 2006. They’ve dressed celebrities and world leaders, blending a playful, sexy aesthetic with working-class realism. Now they're launching a brand-new club night in London, the More Joy Disco. But how does their upbringing in a small Scottish village inform the glitz and glamour of their event? And why is joy such a motivating factor for the pair?
14/08/23·27m 23s

The Engineers: Lunar exploration

Humans are returning to the moon for the first time in over 50 years. The multi-national mission is called Artemis and involves the most powerful rocket and capable spacecraft ever built, a space station in lunar orbit, and a permanent moon-base on the surface. At a special event at the Royal Geographical Society in London, Dr Kevin Fong speaks to three of the world-leading engineers who are making this possible: Howard Hu, Orion programme manager at Nasa, Sara Pastor, chief engineer at the ESA Ihab Gateway, Libby Jackson, head of exploration at the UK Space Agency.
13/08/23·50m 15s

BBC OS Conversations: Football in Saudi-Arabia

A new season of the Saudi Pro League is underway, now featuring some of the biggest names in football. Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante, among many others, have all signed-up to play in the country. It has shaken up the transfer window but it is not without its controversy. Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who signed for a Saudi club for example, was a vocal advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. But in Saudi Arabia, sexual activity with people of the same sex is illegal and can be punishable by death. Henderson’s rainbow armbands have been edited to grey in recent promotional videos. Host James Reynolds hears from three international football fans, Cassie, Alex and Evan.
12/08/23·24m 7s

Heart and Soul: Moscow vicar returns home

The Rev Malcolm Rogers has been in charge of the most extraordinary church.  St Andrews looks like an ordinary British Victorian church, but amazingly it’s just ten minutes from the heart of power in Russia, the Kremlin.   His flock includes local Russian people but also many English speaking ex-pats and members of Moscow's international community. This would have been an unusual posting at any time, but he’s been there during a remarkable period. It included the diplomatic dispute over the Salisbury poisonings, the Football World Cup staged in Russia, the Covid Pandemic and now the war in Ukraine.  It has put him in a sensitive situation at times, but it has also helped him to understand how the world is seen through Russian eyes.
11/08/23·27m 19s

When Wagner came home

Tens of thousands of Russian criminals – murders, rapists, robbers – were recruited from prisons by the mercenary group, Wagner, to fight in Ukraine. Now, after six months on the battlefield, the survivors have returned home, with official pardons. Many served only a fraction of their original sentences. And now, they're officially treated as heroes - protected by a new law which criminalises discreditation of anyone who fights on the Russian side in the war.Already, some returnees are reported to have committed further serious crimes. One has confessed to the brutal axe-murder of his 85-year-old former landlady. In another case, an ex-convict believed to have served with Wagner has been charged with masterminding the killing of two children's entertainers, one of them a 19-year-old woman who was training to be a teacher. The murders in southern Russia provoked an outpouring of anger and grief, with thousands signing a petition demanding that the alleged ringleader - who denies any guilt - should get a life sentence if he is eventually convicted. But they know any punishment will probably be less severe, because the criminal records of former Wagner mercenaries have been wiped. They start their lives again from a clean slate, and if they re-offend, no previous convictions can be considered.Reporter Arseny Sokolov talks to the mother of the murdered entertainer, to campaigners for prison reform - and to an ex-convict who fought for Wagner - to investigate what threat the returned mercenaries pose in their home towns and villages - and to assess the damage "legal nihilism" is doing to Russian society.Producer: Tim Whewell Editor: Penny Murphy(Image: A poster showing Wagner Group servicemen with a slogan reading “Join the winning team” in St. Petersburg, Russia, 24 June 2023. Credit: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
10/08/23·27m 25s

Female founders: Green tech in the blue economy

Subsistence fishing employs hundreds of millions of people around the world. It’s an enormous business worth trillions of dollars. It’s also a dirty business. High-cost diesel motors and expensive, inefficient lights consume huge amounts of fossil fuels, leaving a considerable carbon footprint. But these lights are essential. Venturing out onto the high seas in a small boat is always dangerous, but night fishing is absolutely treacherous, so although good lighting saves lives, it also requires a lot of power. We follow the female scientists who are developing solar tech to help fisherfolk in South East Asia reduce their impact on the environment, improve their health and put money back in their pockets.
09/08/23·23m 57s

Inside Afghanistan's secret schools

In March 2022, seven months after the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, second level education was banned for girls, leaving around 1.1 million of them without access to formal schooling. Then in December that year, all female students were refused access to universities and colleges. But across the country, Afghan women and girls are fighting back, and defying the Taliban government by continuing their education in secret. Founded and, for the most part, staffed by women, secret schools have started to emerge from the shadows, offering online and in-person classes to those brave enough to attend. BBC Afghan broadcast journalist, Sana Safi, takes us inside two such secret schools, and into the hearts and minds of those who, despite the risks, refuse to be denied an education. (Photo: A classroom with students. Credit: Getty Images)
08/08/23·27m 25s

In the Studio: Ajay Chowdhury

The Indian-born crime fiction author, Ajay Chowdhury, is writing the fifth instalment of his Detective Kamil Rahman series, set between India and the UK. But Ajay is also a leading digital tech entrepreneur and this side of his life influences how he writes his fiction. Join fellow author Paul Waters as he watches Ajay completing the first draft of his latest book with the help of artificial intelligence tools. Some authors – including Paul - fear that AI is an existential threat to human creativity, so why and how does Ajay use it to make his books better?
07/08/23·27m 15s

Beats, rhymes and life: Hip-hop at 50

DJ and writer Lynnée Denise marks hip-hop’s 50th year by speaking to leading names about the music, the art and the creativity of this global cultural movement. Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock reminisces over the last five decades, celebrating the artform, exploring its social impact and ask what lies ahead in hip-hop’s story. Artist and rapper Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 tells us how the social realism of Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5 inspired him to write rhymes.
06/08/23·26m 25s

BBC OS Conversatioms: Living through a coup

Niger has been the focus of international and diplomatic attention over the past week after its democratically elected president was removed from power by the military. In recent days, we have seen hundreds of foreign nationals leave the West African country. For most people in Niger though it is about trying to get on with life – amid the uncertainty – in a country that consistently ranks as having the lowest standards of living anywhere in the world. Host James Reynolds hears from two friends in Niger, Sadissou and Sidien, who share their different perspectives on events.
05/08/23·23m 58s

Heart and Soul: Online spiritual communities

A doctor in New York, Anjoli has been longing for a space to practise spirituality within a like-minded community, but she does not want to go to her parents’ Hindu temple. Whilst she likes the rituals and the sense of community, she feels torn over the teachings about race and caste. She's one of a flock of people signing up to an online community called The Nearness - a group brought together by people with Divinity School backgrounds who yearn for a community where they can explore big spiritual questions, but outside the confines of tradition religion. Research suggests that many millennials are hungry for spiritual communities but wary of mainstream religious ones, so they are trying to create their own. But is it possible to do this in a lasting way, without the history, traditions and rituals of an established faith?
04/08/23·27m 15s

Returning to Romania

Millions of people left Romania after it entered the EU in 2007. They were haemorrhaging doctors at such a rate they had to shut entire hospitals and losing so many builders they had to cancel major infrastructure projects. By 2015, nearly 20% of the population lived abroad. Now their government wants them to come home. They’ve doubled health care salaries, offered tax breaks to builders and dished out thousands of Euros in grants for returners who start up a business. And in 2023, with Romania projected to have one of the fastest growing economies in the EU, the migration tide could finally be turning.Dr Tessa Dunlop travels to Transylvania to meet Alina, who was persuaded to leave the UK by a grant that helped her start up a leather clothing business. Adrian, co-owner of an app design company, relishes the high tech salary he can earn and the relatively low living costs in Romania. Dan, a foetal medicine specialist left the UK after nearly a decade working for the NHS, hoping to improve Romania’s maternity wards. In some sectors, though, there are still shortages. Builder Ion can't find the Romanian talent he could easily recruit in Italy. Perhaps not enough has improved, yet, to tempt lower paid workers home.Presenter: Dr Tessa Dunlop Producer: Phoebe Keane Editor: Penny Murphy Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Mixed by: James Beard(Image: Alina Morar returned to Romania to set up a leather clothing company with the help of a government grant. Credit: BBC)
03/08/23·27m 17s

A billion batteries

Fourteen-year-old Sri Nihal Tammana is on a mission to prevent billions of batteries going to landfill. After watching devastating fires cause by discarded lithium-ion batteries, the kind of batteries found in most modern consumer electronics, he decided to set up a not--for-profit organisation called Recycle my Battery. They have set up recycle points in shops and local businesses, evangelised about the importance of recycling batteries in schools and local temples and have partnered with the largest non-profit battery recycling company in north America, Call2Recycle.
02/08/23·23m 48s

Invading the past: Russia and science fiction

Science fiction flourished from the earliest days of the Soviet Union. A rare space to explore other realms and utopian dreams of progress. But with the Soviet Union's collapse different narratives bubbled up. Many of them reactionary, imperial, violent with one sub genre flourishing above all - Popadantsy: accidental time travel where protagonists return to World War Two or the Imperial past to set the path of Russian history on the 'right' course, Historian Catherine Merridale explores how the once visionary world of Russian science fiction shifted in the time of Vladimir Putin to become a reactionary playground.
01/08/23·27m 15s

In the Studio: Sophie Hannah

The crime writer Agatha Christie remains the best-selling novelist of all time even though her death was almost 50 years ago. Her fictional detective Hercule Poirot has attained legendary status, so for a modern novelist to breathe new life into the character is a considerable challenge. However, the English psychological crime author Sophie Hannah has been doing just that. In 2014 she wrote her first novel using Poirot as the central character and we follow her in 2018 as she prepares her third Poirot novel for publication, entitled The Mystery of Three Quarters. Felicity Finch next catches up with Sophie as her fifth Poirot novel, Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night, is due to be published.
31/07/23·27m 11s

Women writing Zimbabwe

Look at any fiction prize recently and odds are that you will find a Zimbabwean woman nominated, be it Tsitsi Dangaremba, NoViolet Bulawayo or Petina Gappah. But forget the glitz of the Booker, what is the situation inside Zimbabwe? Reporter Tawanda Mudzonga takes us on a literary tour of Zimbabwe to find out why it has produced so many talented and renowned women writers. Tawanda speaks to emerging authors like Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Valerie Tagwira, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Sue Nyathi among others to explore what their writing can tell us about modern Zimbabwe.
30/07/23·51m 11s

BBC OS Conversations: Women in sport

The Women’s World Cup is underway and global attention is once again on women in sport. Host James Reynolds brings together Preeti Singh, a national and international basketball player for India, lawyer and former England netball player Eboni Usoro-Brown and Jennifer Jones, one of Canada’s most successful female curlers. They compare notes on the progress in their respective professions. We also get into the challenges for a sports woman after having children. Jamaica footballer Cheyna Matthews is currently playing in the World Cup and adds her thoughts.
29/07/23·23m 58s

Botswana: Living with elephants

The battle to keep the peace between people and elephants in northern Botswana. The earth’s largest land mammal, the elephant, is an endangered species. Poaching, habitat loss and disease have decimated elephant populations. But not in Botswana, which has the world’s biggest population of elephants. In the north of the country, in the area around the remarkable Okavango Delta (the world’s largest inland delta), elephant numbers are growing and they outnumber people. This can pose serious problems for the human population, particularly local subsistence farmers. A crop raid by elephants can destroy a family’s annual food supply overnight. Elephants also pose a risk to life in their daily commute between their feeding grounds and their water sources. John Murphy travels to the top of the Okavango Delta, to see what efforts are being made to keep both people and elephants safe, and to persuade locals that these giant animals are an asset not a liability. He also explores threats from further afield to this green jewel in the desert, the Okavango Delta, which animals and people alike depend on.Presenter: John Murphy Producer: Charlotte Ashton Studio Mix: Rod Farquhar Editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Elephant wading in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Credit: Brytta/Getty)
27/07/23·27m 25s

Song of the bell

The world's most followed religion is changing rapidly. Hannah Ajala explores how church bells travelling from Italy to Nigeria herald Africa's new role as the beating heart of Christianity. The Marinelli family in Italy have been making church bells for nearly 1,000 years. But in recent decades demand from Italy has fallen as faith dwindles, whilst orders from sub-Saharan Africa have grown dramatically. Hannah Ajala follows the journey of the Marinelli bells to Nigeria where she interviews one of the country's most famous pastors, Dr Paul Enenche, about the rapid rise of Pentecostalism.
25/07/23·27m 22s

In the Studio: SO - IL and Ben Lovett: The architects of music

Brooklyn-based architectural practice SO|IL's have garnered a reputation for crafting exquisite arts spaces. They are joined by musician Ben Lovett, one of the founding members of folk rock outfit, Mumford & Sons. When he is not on stage, he puts his energy into reinvigorating tired music venues with his company TVG. Launching in 2016, TVG is now a leader in this field, helping to ensure the survival of spectacular independent venues which would otherwise be vulnerable to closure. In the Studio gets behind-the-scenes and under the floorboards with the SO - IL experts as they describe how their philosophy and processes enrich and shape their buildings.
24/07/23·27m 21s

BBC OS Conversations: Surviving a heatwave

Millions of people around the world have been living under heat advisories due to record hot temperatures. The exceptional heat is being felt across Europe, the US, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Host James Reynolds hears from three farmers in South Africa, Nigeria and the UK about how they are having to adapt their work and methods due to the extreme conditions. We hear from three doctors in India, France and Australia about the warning signs of heatstroke and the cases they are having to treat due to exposure to the sun.
22/07/23·24m 15s

Heart and Soul: America’s atheist street pirates

On a busy street in Los Angeles a group of people in yellow vests are holding a ladder against a lamppost. Up the ladder, 34-year-old Evan Clark is ripping down a sign that is nailed to the post. It reads “Jesus: The way, the truth, the life”. These are members of the Atheist Street Pirates, local activists who track and remove religious signs affixed to public property. They, along with other volunteers, interfaith leaders and progressive Christian pastors who have joined the pirates to remove signs, as they believe they interfere with creating a pluralistic society. Nastaran Tavakoli-Far travels to Los Angeles and joins the Atheist Street Pirates out on a hunt for religious signs,
21/07/23·27m 38s

Tunisia’s democratic dream

Tunisia’s democracy is being dismantled by a president who claims he’s saving it from anarchy. Parliament has been dissolved, scores of judges sacked and opponents jailed. Once Tunisia - the north African country of just 12 million people squeezed between it’s much bigger neighbours Libya and Algeria - was a beacon of democracy. It was the first Arab country to overthrow it’s dictator Ben Ali in 2011 during what became known as the Arab Spring. Now a new authoritarian leader, Kais Saied, dominates the country. Tunisia faces numerous problems, from soaring prices and shortages of some basic foods - to thousands of migrants – many Tunisians - trying to flee across the Mediterranean to Europe.Mike Thomson meets the sister of an activist who was imprisoned, an aspiring kickboxer who wants to settle abroad, a sub-Saharan migrant who’s lost his job and his home and a rapper, whose music helped inspire that 2011 revolution. What future faces Tunisia – democracy or dictatorship?Presenter: Mike Thomson Producer: Bob Howard Mixed by Rod Farquhar Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Series Editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Tunisians with Tunisian flags protesting against the constitutional referendum. Credit: Mohamed Messara/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
20/07/23·27m 48s

Kew Gardens: Botany and the British empire

For centuries, Kew Gardens was the flash point for a lesser known British imperial project – the collection of plants from colonised nations for political and commercial gain. Author and journalist Rosie Kinchen finds out about the work Kew is doing today to examine this, and looks into how the institution is supporting botanical science and conservation around the globe. Rosie speaks to curatorial and scientific staff at Kew, as well as taking a wider view on the role of plants in colonial history.
18/07/23·27m 38s

In the Studio: Gregory Doran

Acclaimed and award-winning Shakespearean, Gregory Doran, has directed every play in Shakespeare’s First Folio except Cymbeline. For him it’s one of Shakespeare’s most complex creations and he will be directing it for the first time as his swansong, as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director emeritus. From the start of the production’s rehearsal period until its first performance, we follow Gregory and his team as they get to grips with a play criticised and celebrated for its genre-busting, location-hopping, multiple plotlines, topped by the appearance of the god Jupiter descending from the heavens on an eagle.
17/07/23·27m 39s

Women's football: Passion versus profit

The Euros 2022 saw the Lionesses finally ‘bring it home’ - the excitement and crowd numbers showed there was a huge demand for women’s football. Ahead of the Women’s 2023 World Cup this documentary explores whether opportunities for women have changed. What is the state of play for women’s football around the globe?
16/07/23·50m 4s

BBC OS Conversations: Living with rising prices

Prices almost everywhere are going up, which means most of us have less money to spend. At the heart of it is inflation, the rate at which prices are rising. It means paying higher costs for everything, from food to transport, clothes to power, and less on life’s luxuries. Host James Reynolds has been bringing people around the world together to share their experiences of inflation. Three people living in cities in Asia, Africa and Europe describe their struggles to buy food and pay the rent.We also speak to business owners, in Argentina, Senegal and Zimbabwe, including two who run restaurants. They give us an insight into how they stay solvent and share some advice on spending. They say that even when times are tough, people still want to go out to socialise with friends and family. And two students, in Poland and Lebanon, tell us know they have taken on multiple jobs to make ends meet.
15/07/23·23m 49s

Heart and Soul: Future shaman

As a shaman, Sipa Melo is the beating heart of tribal faith and culture in a remote corner of north-east India, tucked in the shadow of the Himalayan Mountains. He's a healer, a story-teller and a protector of the natural world. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent joins Sipa for a week of ritual, performing ceremonies to mark deaths and births and maintaining taboos that help preserve this mountainous region's indigenous culture and its rich wildlife. She hears about his determined efforts to encourage a new generation of trainee shamans and his worries about the changing values of the region as roads and hydro-electric dams end its isolation from the booming cities to the south.
14/07/23·27m 41s

Speaking for themselves

Kaaps is a language widely spoken in the bleak townships of Cape Town, South Africa. It’s often denigrated as a lesser form of Afrikaans – the language that was used as a tool of white supremacy during the apartheid era. Spoken predominately by working class people on the Cape Flats, Kaaps is associated with negative stereotypes – its speakers denigrated as uneducated, "ghetto" layabouts involved in gang culture.But a new, burgeoning movement led by hip-hop artists, academics, writers and film makers is actively changing that perception. They want to reclaim Afrikaaps to restore the linguistic, cultural and racial dignity of a formerly disenfranchised people. The writer Lindsay Johns travels to Cape Town to meet the activists determined to assert the worth and pride of the people who speak Afrikaaps.Presenter: Lindsay Johns Producers: Audrey Brown and Tim Mansel Mixed by Neil Churchill Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Series Editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Children in Lavender Hill, a township on the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
13/07/23·27m 15s

Bangladesh's clothing conundrum

Many Western fashion brands source garments from Bangladesh, a country with a long history of producing affordable clothing. The industry suffered a devastating disaster in 2013 when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building near Dhaka collapsed, costing the lives of more than 1100 workers. Ten years on, Bangladesh has tried to reinvent its image: it has brought in safer working conditions and is positioning itself as a sustainable green textile producer. Despite the extra costs of becoming more environmentally friendly, the clothes Bangladesh exports remain surprisingly affordable. In this documentary, fashion media producer and rights campaigner Sheemtana Shameem asks how this is possible. She looks into technologies to help sustainable production, examines what sustainability costs, and visits textile manufacturers to find out what it takes to ensure that sustainability itself remains sustainable. Ultimately, she asks, who is paying the price of Bangladesh’s textile industry going green? Will we all have to dig deeper into our pockets if we want to continue wearing clothes made in Bangladesh?Producer: Shiroma Silva A CTVC production for the BBC World Service
11/07/23·35m 9s

In the Studio: The Aquatics Centre, Paris Olympics 2024

In September 2017, The International Olympic Committee announced that a century after France last hosted the Olympics in 1924, the games would be returning to Paris for the third time in its history. The 2024 games, are set to become the most sustainable games to date and are following a new model -which involves only two new construction projects for the entire games – The Aquatics Centre and Olympic Village. The bid therefore to design the only new permanent sports facilities for Paris 2024 was highly sought after. French journalist, writer and broadcaster, Agnès Poirier, follows the architects who have won this coveted contract - Cécilia Gross and Laure Mériaud.
10/07/23·27m 14s

BBC OS Conversations: Race in France

France has questions to answer around inequity and its approach to policing. It follows days of violent protests after the fatal shooting in Paris, during a police traffic stop, of a 17-year-old boy of Algerian descent. The world also witnessed some of the country’s social issues laid bare, as anger around discrimination in some of France’s poorest areas spread across the country and came, once again, to the fore. In this edition, hosted by James Reynolds, we bring together young French men, mothers and those in public office from the capital’s suburbs to share their experiences of school, work and with the police.
08/07/23·24m 0s

Heart and Soul: A new generation of Nigerian royalty

Hannah Ajala, a Nigerian-British broadcaster explores the new generation of chieftaincy and royalty in Nigeria. She takes a closer look at some of the key aspects of an inauguration ceremony across various states in Nigeria, and the impact Nigerian royalty has within Diaspora. Hannah speaks to the new wave of Chiefs and Kings embracing this tradition and why they continue with this path whilst integrating more modern practices and preserving their ultimate beliefs.
07/07/23·27m 46s

What's happened to Iraq's Yazidis?

In 2014, militants of the Islamic State group set out to destroy the ancient, minority Yazidi community of northern Iraq. Thousands were murdered, thousands of Yazidi women and children were enslaved and brutalised. Since the defeat of IS in 2017, the traumatized community has tried to recover. And yet, as Rachel Wright reports, more than 100,000 Yazidis remain stuck in camps, unable to return to their homes.Photo: Bahar, a Yazidi survivor, holds a picture of her missing husband and son. She and her family were captured by Islamic State in 2014. (BBC)Presenter: Rachel Wright Producer: Alex Last Sound Mix: Neva Missirian Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Series Editor: Penny Murphy
06/07/23·27m 18s

Wagner's revolt: The world takes stock

Russia's once shadowy private military company Wagner hit the headlines around the world when the group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, ordered his men to march on Moscow. Although the insurrection was short lived, the impact is felt far and wide. The Global Jigsaw from BBC Monitoring examines the Wagner mutiny from the perspective of countries who have a reason to pay close attention.
04/07/23·27m 24s

In the Studio: Shezad Dawood

The British artist, Shezad Dawood is known for his colourful textiles and multimedia artworks, often featuring music and VR to explore issues such as migration, the environment and climate change. His latest exhibition is inspired by the African American composer and musician Yusef Lateef and his 1988 novella Night in the Garden of Love. Join Anna Bailey as she follows Shezad creating his latest commission for the Wiels, Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, along with his collaborator the American musician and percussionist Adam Rudolph.Audio for this episode was updated on 4th July 2023.
03/07/23·27m 25s

BBC OS Conversations: What do Russians and Belarusians make of the Wagner Group?

Following the Wagner group march on Moscow, we hear from Russians and Belarusians.
01/07/23·24m 17s

Heart and Soul: Nick Cave on grief, faith and music

The songwriter, poet and author, Nick Cave has a conversation about grief, faith and the spirituality of music with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Nick writes hauntingly beautiful songs – the themes of which tackle deep questions about humanity – often drawing from biblical sources. In 2015, NIck's son Arthur, died in a tragic accident at the age of 15, after falling from a cliff. Last year, Nick’s eldest son Jethro also died in Melbourne at the age of 31. Much of Nick’s art in recent years has dealt with grief, suffering and forgiveness. He reflects on this in his book, Faith, Hope and Carnage, written during the pandemic with the journalist Sean O’Hagan. And he openly explores love and loss with those who write to him on his online forum called The Red Hand Files.
30/06/23·27m 34s

The Organ Harvesters

Assignment tells the story of a young street trader from Lagos who ended up at the heart of an organ harvesting plot involving a senior Nigerian politician and a hospital in the UK. The young man was tested, trafficked and tricked into a plot to remove his kidney, to donate to the daughter of one of Nigeria’s most powerful politicians. As Mark Lobel discovers, the criminal trial and conviction is the first of its kind in the UK – and has led to police investigating more potential cases. Presenter Mark Lobel Producer Kate West Editor Carl Johnston Studio mix by Graham Puddifoot
29/06/23·27m 35s

Biniam Girmay: Africa’s new cycling hero

Biniam Girmay stands on the brink of history as the first black African rider to win a stage of cycling’s biggest race: the Tour de France. After a hard upbringing as one of six children in the Eritrean capital Asmara, he has become one of the most talented riders from the continent in the sport’s history. We profile an extraordinary early life and examine the significance of what his achievements can mean for such an accessible sport, which, after more than 100 years, remains almost completely white European.
27/06/23·27m 37s

In the Studio: Matthew Xia

***This programme contains racially sensitive language and themes that may be upsetting.*** Matthew Xia is a theatre director and Olivier award-winning artistic director of the Actors Touring Company. As his alter ego DJ Excalibur, he performed to a global audience of over a billion as one of the headline DJs at the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. His latest production is a futuristic hip-hop infused performance, Tambo & Bones, at the Stratford East Theatre in London. Written by the US playwright Dave Harris, this satirical play, which is part distorted clown-show, part absurdist Afro-futuristic lecture with robots, explores the commodification and commercialisation of the traumatic black experiences that have been portrayed on stage over the decades. Felicity Finch follows Matthew, his actors and creative team as they develop the work into a playful, funny and provocative show.
26/06/23·27m 35s

BBC OS Conversations: Survival

Race against time rescue stories have been among the dominating international headlines in the past couple of weeks. There was the missing sub in the Atlantic and before that the incredible survival of the four children who were stranded for six weeks in the Amazon jungle in Colombia. Host James Reynolds brings together other people who have survived against the odds after being lost in the jungle and at sea.
24/06/23·24m 32s

Heart and Soul: Windrush at 75

Prof. Robert Beckford interviews Barbara Blake-Hannah the UK’s first black news reporter who returned to Jamaica after just eight years after coming over as part of the Windrush generation. She talks about how racism lead her to embrace the Rastafari faith and what it means to her.
23/06/23·27m 47s

South Korea: A room with a view

“It’s like living in a cemetery.” Jung Seongno lives in a banjiha, or semi-basement apartment in the South Korean capital Seoul. Last August parts of Seoul experienced major flooding. As a result several people, including a family of three, drowned in their banjiha. Seongno dreams of having a place where the sunlight and the wind can come in.These subterranean dwellings are just one example of a growing wealth divide in Asia’s fourth largest economy. With almost half of the country’s population living in Greater Seoul, the struggle to find affordable housing has become a major political issue. It also contributes to Korea’s worryingly low birth rate. The inability of young people to afford a home of their own means they are not starting families. Many have given up on relationships altogether.John Murphy reports from Seoul, where owning a home of your own is so important and yet increasingly unattainable.Produced and presented by John Murphy Producer in Seoul: Keith Keunhyung Park Studio mix: Rod Farquhar Production co-ordinator: Iona Hammond Series editor: Penny Murphy(Photo: Park Jongeon, his wife and dog live in this one room in one of Seoul’s poor housing districts. Credit: John Murphy)
22/06/23·28m 58s

The monkey haters

There is disturbing material, including descriptions of violence and torture of monkeys, from the start of this programme.There's a horrific and disturbing trade in the torture of Macaque monkeys that are filmed and sold online. Rebecca Henschke follows the trade in these videos from the USA to Indonesia to the UK. Who is making them, who is selling them and who is buying them? Why is it that monkeys being put through unimaginable pain is so attractive that people are willing to pay to watch it? Rebecca confronts the people at the centre of this worldwide trade.
20/06/23·44m 0s

In the Studio: Wayne McGregor

Wayne McGregor is a choreographer and director whose future-focused, multi-award-winning works take inspiration from technology, literature and visual art. As resident choreographer for the Royal Ballet since 2006, he has created a catalogue of daring and beautiful dance pieces, pushing the artform in radical new directions. Reporter Eliza Lomas goes backstage at the Royal Opera House, following Wayne as he creates a brand new work. Called ‘untitled: 2023’, the piece developed in collaboration with someone he greatly admires - the late Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera.
19/06/23·27m 46s

Controlled and connected: 50 years of the cell phone

Fifty years on from the first mobile phone call, this programme examines how the device has revolutionised the way we lives our lives. It was 1973 when Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher made the first mobile phone call to his rival at Bell Labs. The prototype weighed 2 kilograms and measured 23 by 13 by 4.5 centimetres. It offered a talk time of just 30 mins and took 10 hours to recharge. Fast forward five decades and checking the phone is the first thing many people do when they wake up in the morning and the last thing they do when they go to bed. How has the mobile phone revolutionised the way we live our lives?
18/06/23·49m 42s

BBC OS Conversations: Air pollution

Hundreds of wildfires are burning across Canada, almost half are classed by officials as ‘out of control’. Their immediate impact is the destruction of homes and businesses, plants and wildlife. But the smoke from those fires is affecting air quality. Maps tracking the spread of the smoke, have shown it covering large parts of Canada, as well as US cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago. We speak to families in Canada and New York who share experiences of the smoke from wildfires in Canada. Plus, mothers from India, Pakistan, and United States discuss the effect of air pollution.
17/06/23·24m 33s

Heart and Soul: Swiss Christians and conversion therapy

There’s a debate raging in Switzerland over a potential nationwide ban on so-called conversion therapy. We meet Christians whose lives the procedure has changed forever. They explain how growing up in an Evangelical community, they struggled with their faith and sexuality from a young age – driving them to seek help. So-called conversion therapy has been around for centuries. The controversial practice is used around the world to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has become a hot topic in in Switzerland, and the parliamentary process to potentially enact a nationwide ban is underway. Claire Jones meets the Christians working to change the law, and those who are against a legislative ban.
16/06/23·27m 51s

Catching a Pervert

An investigation by BBC Eye exposes the men profiting from an ugly business of sexual assault for sale.We find websites selling thousands of videos of men sexually abusing women on trains, buses, and other crowded public places across East Asia. You can even order your own tailor-made assault on these sites.They’re run by a shadowy figure known as “Uncle Qi”. He’s hailed as a guru by an online community of perverts. But who is he?The hunt takes Assignment to Japan, where sexual assault in public is known as "Chikan". We take you inside this dark and twisted world to hear from the perpetrators of these horrific crimes, and meet the women who are fighting back. We visit a “Chikan” sex club where customers can pay to legally grope women in rooms decorated like trains; and we follow plain clothes police searching for sexual predators on Japan’s metro.The investigation goes undercover to expose the identity of the men running these websites who are cashing in on sexual violence.Presenter: Zhaoyin Feng BBC Eye Producers: Aliaume Leroy, Shanshan Chen, Zhaoyin Feng Assignment producer: John Murphy Sound mix: Rod Farquhar Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Assignment Editor: Penny MurphyThis programme deals with matters of a sexual nature which some listeners may find disturbing.
15/06/23·27m 58s

Swan's head, tiger's roar

Producer Steven Rajam travels to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar to meet some of the women challenging convention, tradition and history at home and across the globe, including hip-hop artist Mrs M, Hollywood actress Bayra Bela and traditional throat-singer Zolzaya, whose fiddle is adorned not with the traditional horse's head, but a swan.
13/06/23·27m 51s

In the Studio: Ada Limon

In the Studio follows US poet laureate Ada Limón as she crafts an original poem dedicated to Nasa’s Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter’s icy moon. Her poem will be engraved on the Clipper spacecraft, which will launch in 2024 and travel 1.8 billion miles to reach Europa - a journey that will last six years. We follow Ada’s creative process over several months, from her first meetings with the Nasa team, through many drafts of the poem and a visit to Nasa's jet propulsion laboratory in California to see the Europa Clipper under construction. In this update, we hear the finished poem.
12/06/23·27m 49s

BBC OS Conversations: India train crash

The collision between three trains in the state of Odisha claimed more than 280 lives and left more than 1000 people injured. We bring together a volunteer, Govind Dalai, who was one of the first on the scene and doctors Manoj Kumar Barik and Amrit Pattojoshi. Dr Barik was working in the local hospital on the night the crash happened, and Dr Pattojoshi, a psychiatrist, has been involved in identifying those who lost their lives. They discuss the support they are trying to provide to the families of victims. Also, Shweta in New Delhi and Riddhi in Ambala City, talk about their experiences of Indian railways and their concerns about safety.
10/06/23·24m 4s

Heart and Soul: America's relief mission

The work of Florida's Baptist Relief responding to climate events like Hurricane Ian and floods in Kentucky - in support of people whose lives have been turned upside down.
09/06/23·26m 46s

Ukraine: The men who don’t want to fight

For more than 15 months the Ukrainian armed forces have held out against the superior numbers of the Russian invasion force. But not every Ukrainian man subject to the draft is willing to fight. More than 6,000 Ukrainian men of military age have been granted protection in Romania since the beginning of the war, according to figures supplied by the Romanian immigration authority. Some left Ukraine in order to avoid the draft. Others served on the front before throwing down their weapons. Romania has a 600-kilometre border with Ukraine, which is difficult to cross. The choice is either a short swim across a fast-moving river or a long trek over snow-covered mountains. A number of those who’ve tried have died in the attempt. Nick Thorpe has been to the border region to meet Ukrainian men who do not want to fight in the war.
08/06/23·29m 45s

Yellowstone: The first national park

In 1872, Yellowstone became America and the world's first national park. Alongside erupting geysers, bubbling hot springs, canyons, and bison herds, we uncover the pivotal role of art in winning over the public and convincing politicians to set aside this unique landscape, which today spans 2.2 million acres. Shirl Ireland is a landscape and wildlife painter from Gardiner, Montana, and naturalist and guide Ashea Mills, tread the same terrain as painter Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson.
06/06/23·27m 21s

In the Studio: Ken Loach

The Old Oak will be Ken Loach's last feature film and Sharuna Sagar was granted exclusive access behind the scenes of this landmark movie. She joins the 86 year old director on his swansong as he brings together his loyal team for one last time. As with his previous two films, I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You, Ken returns to the North East of England, to tell the story of Syrian refugees who have been housed in an ex-mining village. With him are his long-standing partners, producer Rebecca O'Brien and writer Paul Laverty, and they reveal the secrets of Loach's success.
05/06/23·27m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: Mount Everest

It’s 70 years since a New Zealand mountaineer and his Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer guide reached the highest point on Earth. There have been celebrations in Nepal in recent days to mark the anniversary. Thousands of people have followed in their footsteps but this climbing season on Mount Everest is drawing international attention for the record number of climbers and the increased deaths on the mountain. James Reynolds hosts conversations that give us an insight into one of the toughest challenges on the planet, as well as the challenges posed by climate change and the overall impact on those who rely on the mountain to earn a living.
03/06/23·24m 9s

Heart and Soul: The ‘living saint’ who hid a mystical sex sect

Jean Vanier changed Richard and Hazel’s lives. He founded the L’Arche movement – a global network inspired by Christian teaching – where people with and without learning disabilities live together in community. During his life, Vanier was hailed as “a living saint” and “a prophet”. But shortly after his death, a deep and disturbing secret emerged – that Vanier founded L’Arche to hide a mystical sex sect, coercing and abusing at least 25 women, all without disabilities. Richard and Hazel were stunned when they discovered the truth. Now they and 150 L’Arche communities are coming to terms with what has happened.
02/06/23·27m 36s

Myanmar’s war in the air

Russia is supplying the Myanmar military with advanced fighter jets and training their pilots how to use them in a war against their own people. More than two years on from the coup, the country’s military is facing a countrywide armed uprising and their troops are struggling to hold ground and recruit foot-soldiers. So, the strategy is turning increasingly to the air with devastating consequences. BBC’s Asia editor Rebecca Henschke follows those fighting back on the ground and in the air. And meets defectors from the airforce who give exclusive insight into the strategy and psychology behind those operating these deadly machines.(Photo credit: Free Burma Rangers)
01/06/23·27m 36s

Metaleurop : A stain on France

For years the people of Evin-Malmaison in north-east France have lived and brought up children in a town which is dangerously polluted. The Metaleurop Foundry attracted workers and their families, it provided life to the area - but it has now killed it with the pollution, which lies deep in the soil. Twenty years after the factory closed, the scale of the scandal has only just emerged, thanks to a new residents campaign. But who will takes responsibility? Marine Hay meets the families here who say they can't live with lead seeping into their water supply, but can't leave because, who would buy their houses?
30/05/23·27m 34s

In the Studio: Alberta Whittle

Alberta is an award-winning Barbadian-Scottish multi-disciplinary artist whose work encompasses drawing, digital collage, film and video installation, sculpture, performance and writing. In this edition of In The Studio, Antonia Quirke follows the progress of a new painting, commissioned specifically for the exhibition. All is going well with the painting, until Alberta realises that it might be upside down.
29/05/23·27m 37s

BBC OS Conversations: Living with ADHD

The exact cause is unknown, but the mental health condition ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) affects millions of lives around the world. Symptoms include hyperactive behaviour and maintaining concentration. To understand its effect a little more, we brought people together who are living with it. Two mothers in Kenya and the UK share their experiences of bringing up children with the condition. Host James Reynolds also hears from two couples living with ADHD in Nigeria and the United States, and rapper Jude MI Abaga.
27/05/23·24m 21s

Heart and Soul: Evangelical or political Christianity?

One of the founding principles of the United States is that religion and politics, church and state, are separate. Yet today in America religious belief and politics have become inseparable. Self-styled "evangelical" Christians have become the dominant grassroots force in the Republican Party. "Evangelical" is not a denomination, it can mean different things to different people in terms of religious doctrine. The unifying principle seems to be in the political outlook of its adherents: deeply conservative in the 21st Century American political context. Michael Goldfarb explores the tension between a life of Christian faith and the dirty realities of secular politics.
26/05/23·27m 42s

Germany’s forests under threat

Drought and hotter summers are killing Germany’s spruce forests. They’re a staple of the timber industry but are proving unable to cope with the consequences of climate change. Four out of five of Germany’s trees show signs of sickness, according to the latest survey of the health of the country’s forests. All tree species are affected. And although the last couple of years have seen more rain this hasn’t been enough to compensate for the damage already done. One third of Germany is forested and trees are seen as a means of absorbing carbon emissions, as well as a source of wood for the building industry and heating. Forests are also a popular destination for recreation – hiking, biking or simply relaxing. Caroline Bayley has been to some of the country’s forests to find out what’s being done to rescue Germany’s trees before it’s too late.Producer/presenter: Caroline Bayley Editor: Penny Murphy Studio: Engineer Rod Farquhar Production co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross(Photo: Harz mountains by Caroline Bayley)
25/05/23·28m 22s

Global dancefloor: Salvador

Brazil has one of the highest rates of trans and gender-diverse homicides in the world, and almost three-quarters of people killed each year are either black or mixed race. Many think the country's conservative and populist class explicitly targets Afro-Brazilians, whose voices are under-represented in politics and culture, despite making up more than half of the country's population. Frank McWeeny heads to Salvador to meet the queer and PoC collective Batekoo, who are changing perceptions by advocating for freedom of self-expression through music, dance, education and community politics.
24/05/23·31m 41s

Global dancefloor: Beirut

Frank McWeeny heads to Beirut to meet the nightlife community behind the Grand Factory club, and explores how underground culture here survives even during chronic lack of opportunity. This scene is working tirelessly to remain active, while rebuilding both physically and psychologically. But how do you run a club in a country that is going through the worst economic and political crisis in its history?
24/05/23·39m 24s

Beirut: Life in the unliveable city

What is it like to live through the collapse of your country, in a city you love and cannot bear to leave? Lina Mounzer is a writer and translator living in Beirut, and this is a question she wrestles with, both in her writing and her daily life. Lebanon has been in crisis since 2019 when the country’s financial system started to collapse - many people lost their life savings overnight. The 2020 Beirut port explosion then only increased people’s suffering. Lina speaks to friends, family and neighbours to hear how they are coping and trying to keep the spirit of the city alive.
23/05/23·27m 47s

In the Studio: Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and forensic investigator of sound. He describes himself as a 'private ear’, listening to, with and on behalf of people affected by corporate, state and environmental crimes. Whether that’s determining the type of ammunition and location of gunfire from sound alone, drawing on earwitness testimony for evidence, or uncovering crucial information buried within noise. As a new exhibition of his work opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, presenter Eliza Lomas follows as he prepares for a performance, After SFX. This piece interplays storytelling with live sound design and percussion, drawing from the artist’s investigative work to explore various aspects of sonic memory.
22/05/23·27m 48s

Iraq: Generation Invasion

Twenty years after the US-led invasion, four young Iraqis recall life under foreign occupation and share their hopes and fears for the future. Shedding a light on post-Saddam Iraq are: 26-year-old Dima who rebelled against religious extremists in her native Basra and has rediscovered a love of singing; Bassam, an enthusiastic environmentalist helping re-green the city of Mosul; Ahmed, a Kurdish graduate struggling to make ends meet in a local barber shop; and Baraa, a female publisher, whose message to the world is “Iraqis need a second chance.”
21/05/23·50m 47s

Introducing The Explanation

On a mission to make sense of the world. A new podcast, with hosts John Simpson and Claire Graham. Episodes released weekly from 20 May 2023.
20/05/23·1m 24s

BBC OS Conversations: Long Covid

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest figures suggest that nearly seven million people have died due to Covid - although the true figure is likely to be much higher. While many more contracted the disease and avoided being seriously ill, one estimate suggests 65 million people have not fully recovered. These are the people with long Covid, whose symptoms have persisted for more than six months after being infected. This month, the WHO said Covid-19 is no longer a “global health emergency”, though it still poses a danger. Host James Reynolds hears from those who feel forgotten and misunderstood.
20/05/23·24m 32s

Heart and Soul: The emerging Muslim 'manosphere'

In Britain, the growth of Islam is being driven by a younger population, born and brought up in the United Kingdom. This includes BBC reporter Rahil Sheikh. Having grown up against the backdrop of the ‘war on terror’ and rising Islamophobia, he has seen how young Muslims have turned to social media to forge online safe spaces where they can connect, celebrate and discuss their faith. Young Muslims say these social media stars explain the faith in a more relatable way than the imams or spiritual leaders they may encounter in the mosque. But in recent years, Rahil has noticed that some of these male Muslim influencers have been using Islam to advocate alpha masculinity as a way of combating liberalism and feminism. Critics – including some Muslim women - argue this is a misguided interpretation of the faith.
19/05/23·27m 54s

Hard times in the Big Easy

New Orleans is the murder capital of the United States: researchers into 2022’s crime figures say it suffered more homicides per capita than any other major city. Carjackings, armed robberies and other potentially lethal offences are also at sky high levels in ‘The Big Easy’ - a place better known for its happy mix of cuisine, carnival and colonial architecture. Crime plagues many American cities, and some of these problems are down to familiar causes, with economic disparity, poor education and the prevalence of guns all at play. However, other factors appear unique to New Orleans, such as high incarceration rates; entrenched racial inequality and chronic police understaffing. Many people believe that the chaos and mistrust of authority which followed Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005 has brutalised the generation which grew up in its shadow. For Assignment, the BBC’s Anna Adams meets those at the sharp end of this crisis in her adoptive city, and asks what went wrong. But as she also discovers, the spirit of the Big Easy can still be resilient, with some local people stepping up to do their failing authorities’ work for themselves in a variety of different social projects. To the backdrop of the city’s ever-present music, this is the story of a community that is literally under fire, and fighting for its life. Presenter Anna Adams Producer Mike Gallagher Sound mix Rod Farquhar Production coordinator Helena Warwick-Cross Series editor Penny Murphy(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
18/05/23·27m 55s

Bonus: The Lazarus Heist

Introducing season 2 of an original podcast about hackers and North Korea. They’re back - in fact the criminals never went away. Season 2 begins at an ATM, possibly near you.
17/05/23·36m 23s

In the Studio: Sir Lenny Henry

Sir Lenny Henry's new one man show - August in England gives an insight into the lives impacted by the Windrush scandal. In 2017, thousands of legal residents who arrived from Commonwealth countries from the late 1940s to early 1970s were misclassified as illegal immigrants and were wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights. Their experience inspired Sir Lenny Henry to write and perform his very first one man show from the perspective of August, a grocer and father based in the West Midlands in England, who faces deportation from a country he has lived in for the past 52 years. Presenter Vishva Samani follows Sir Lenny as he prepares for his exciting playwriting debut at The Bush Theatre in London.
16/05/23·27m 54s

Generation Change: Battling for a sustainable environment

Babita Sharma meets young people from around the world working to fight climate change, including a Kenyan engineer who has designed a solar powered fridge which can be used to transport vaccines on a bike, a Californian teenager who has designed a wind turbine for use in cities, and South Korean protesters taking their Government to court. She also meets Nobel Chemistry Laureate Frances H. Arnold, the co-chair of President Biden’s science commission.Generation Change is a co-production of the BBC and Nobel Prize Outreach
15/05/23·27m 20s

Generation Change: Equality in science and technology

Megha Mohan talks to young people working to diversify science, technology, engineering and maths - fields that will be crucial to the future of our planet, but whose workforces remain predominantly male. She also hears how Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Andrea Ghez overcame gender barriers in her career in science.Generation Change is a co-production of the BBC and Nobel Prize Outreach
15/05/23·27m 22s

Generation Change: Tackling taboos around organ donation

Babita Sharma talks to young people who are trying to save lives by tackling taboos around organ donation in countries including India and the UK. She also speaks to Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin Roth, who discusses his work on kidney donation.Generation Change is a co-production of the BBC and Nobel Prize Outreach
15/05/23·27m 18s

Generation Change: Fighting hunger

Babita Sharma meets young people trying to solve global food problems, including a Lebanese man who worked to feed people after the deadly bomb blast in 2019, and an American woman whose work connecting charities to excess food from restaurants is spreading around the world. She also learns about the work of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning World Food Programme.Generation Change is a co-production of the BBC and Nobel Prize Outreach
15/05/23·27m 22s

BBC OS Conversations with Russians

In recent days, Russia staged its annual Victory Day military parade, celebrating the defeating of Nazi Germany during World War Two, which ended in 1945. Host James Reynolds hears from two women in Moscow, against the backdrop of Victory Day. They talk about the roles their families played during the war 78 years ago, and how they feel about those fighting in Ukraine today. We also bring together three men in Russia to hear their thoughts about fighting for their country.
13/05/23·24m 34s

Heart and Soul: Ticket to Taiwan

Cindy Sui discovers how the Chè-lâm Presbyterian Church in central Taipei has been helping Hong Kong activists who have fled to Taiwan since the introduction of the national security law. The Lunar New Year is a time when families usually come together and celebrate, but the Hongkongers that Cindy meets are unable to return to their homeland. Instead, they find support and a sense of community at the church which offers a service in Cantonese. In addition to spiritual support, the church meets their medical, psychological and social needs.
12/05/23·27m 19s

Searching for my son

In the chaos following Turkey’s devastating earthquake in February, Omar was separated from his son Ahmed after both were pulled alive from the collapsed ruins of their home. Omar lost his first born and his wife but believes Ahmed could still be alive. Many children went missing in the aftermath of the earthquake. Some ended up in hospitals or childrens’ homes on the other side of the country and families have spent months trying to locate them. But for many of the estimated 3.5 million Syrian refugees, searching for lost loved ones is even harder - there are language barriers and a lack of money, or sometimes official I.D cards. Omar has enlisted the help of Nadine, a fashion designer before the quake, whose now trying to reunite Syrian families. She and her team find both success and heartbreak. Emily Wither follows Omar, a Syrian refugee, as he searches for his son across South East Turkey.Producer: Phoebe Keane Producers in Turkey: Zeynep Bilginsoy, Musab Subuh(Omar pastes a poster of his son on a lamppost near his destroyed home. It reads: ‘Missing’. Credit: Musab Subuh)
11/05/23·28m 6s

In the Studio: Kevin Kwan

In recent years, dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians, has made Los Angeles his home. The city is rich with art, fashion and intriguing social structures, all of which are key sources of inspiration for Kevin’s novels. Los Angeles has become his living and breathing studio, and going out into the city is a huge part of his creative process. In the first of several ‘deep dives’ into the LA life that sustains Kevin creatively, we attend the opening of a new show (featuring the work of artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby) at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Gardens, out in Pasadena, where the old money families of LA live.
08/05/23·27m 54s

BBC OS Conversations: Escaping from Sudan

The fighting between Sudan’s military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces started around three weeks ago. Since then, the UN estimates that more than a 100,000 people have fled the country and more than a third of a million have been displaced within Sudan. Host James Reynolds hears from some of those who have been forced to flee their country.
06/05/23·24m 34s

Heart and Soul: Will the real Shaman stand up?

According to the national census, the number of British people who say they follow Shamanism as a religion has risen twelvefold in the space of 10 years. While the numbers are still low – at around 8,000 followers - the increase has put pressure on those who have followed the practice for years. The BBC’s Amber Haque visits a British shaman to find out what Shamanism is, what it means to her and her circle of believers and why they think it should be taken seriously.
05/05/23·27m 53s

Kenya's Free Money Experiment

Thousands of Kenyan villagers are being given free cash as part of a huge trial being run by an American non-profit, GiveDirectly. Why? Some aid organisations believe that simply giving people money is one of the most effective ways to tackle extreme poverty and boost development. After all, they argue, local people themselves know best how to use the funds to improve their lives. But does it work? Is it really a long term solution? In 2018, the BBC visited a Kenyan village whose residents received money at the start of the trial. Five years on, the BBC’s Mary Harper returns to see what’s changed.Photo: Woman frying fish in village in western Kenya (BBC)Reporter: Mary Harper Producer: Alex Last Studio Manager: Graham Puddifoot Series Editor: Penny Murphy Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross With special thanks to Fred Ooko
04/05/23·29m 12s

The making of King Charles

Charles III waited a very long time to become King. Since his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, he filled his life with activity, pursuing deeply held passions and causes – on the environment, farming, architecture, charities to help young people and projects to improve understanding between religious groups. We speak to the people who know him best, to explain the ideas and values which motivated him for so many decades. We discover how his many eclectic projects are rooted in his spiritual beliefs about the essential harmony of the universe and his reverence for the natural world.
02/05/23·26m 29s

In the Studio: Tinuke Craig

The acclaimed British theatre director, Tinuke Craig embarks on her opera debut at the English National Opera with Blue, a tale of police violence in America and its impact on a New York family. The opera has been composed by the Tony award-winning Jeanine Tesori, with a libretto by Tazewell Thompson. Anna Bailey follows Tinuke and her operatic collaborators as she embarks on a challenging new chapter in her career.
01/05/23·26m 13s

The day I met the King

People from all over the globe remember their meetings with King Charles III over the years. They include Dr Joe McInnes who took the former Prince for a dive beneath the ice of the North West passage in 1975, holocaust survivor Lily Ebert, Joseph Hammond who met the King when he visited a military cemetery in Ghana and former pop singer and Spice Girl Mel B who remembers several hilarious encounters with the King including one involving the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.
30/04/23·50m 36s

BBC OS Conversations: Fentanyl in the United States

Fentanyl is a potentially deadly synthetic opioid. The other month, a drug enforcement official in the country described it as the single deadliest drug threat the US has encountered. It’s been around since the 1960s and small doses are used safely every day by medics for pain relief. But as an illegal drug, Fentanyl is blamed for more than 70,000 deaths in the US every year. We bring together two parents who lost children to the drug. George Gerchow in Colorado tells us that one of the hardest aspects is dealing with the stigma and lack of support from the community.
29/04/23·24m 37s

Heart and Soul: The Church's slave plantation, part two

Professor Robert Beckford explores the Christian understanding of reparations. He speaks to Christians in Barbados who say reparations from the Church are now both justified and necessary. But their perspective is only one side of the story. In England, representatives from the Church of England and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel articulate their understanding of reparations and why they believe it is unnecessary. Robert looks into Christian scripture to explore if there could be a theological case for the payment of reparations.
27/04/23·27m 55s

Laos: the most bombed country on earth

50 years after the last US bombs fell on Laos, they’re still killing and maiming. In an effort to stop the march of communism, between 1964 and 1973, America dropped over two million tonnes of ordnance on neutral Laos: on average, a planeload of bombs was released every eight minutes, 24 hours a day. This is more than was dropped on Germany and Japan in the entire Second World War. Laos, today a country of just 6 million people, remains the most heavily bombed country in the world per capita. Five decades after the war, these deadly items remain a persistent threat and daily reality for communities across Laos. More than 20,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO (unexploded ordnance, unexploded bombs, and explosive remnants of war) in Laos since the war ended in 1975, with people still killed and injured every year. Around half the victims are children. But UXO doesn’t just kill and maim, it renders agricultural land useless and prevents economic progress. Although Laos is rich in natural resources, its development has been crippled by the legacy of the war. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent travels to Laos to tell its story 50 years on. Producer John Murphy(Photo: Clearing unexploded bombs in northern Laos. Credit: MAG / Bart Verweij)
27/04/23·28m 7s

Miss Marple returns

Agatha Christie is the world's most translated author, with her work being available in over 100 languages. And one of her most beloved characters, Miss Marple, is about to be resurrected with the help of 12 contemporary authors. In The Studio talks to two of those writers: Dreda Say Mitchell who specialises in a different type of crime story, the gritty gangster genre, and Kate Mosse, who is known for her historical sagas. They reveal how they rose to the challenge of reinventing one of the most famous characters in 20th Century fiction.
25/04/23·27m 12s

After the earthquake: Turkey’s election

We travel to Turkey's Anatolian heartland to find out whether the region which helped propel President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power in the early 2000s will do it again in May's crucial election, despite widespread disappointment with the government's preparation and response to February's deadly earthquake.
24/04/23·28m 31s

4. Murder in Mayfair: The home front

“He’s a coward, he’s not a man.” Martine’s mum passes judgement on Farouk. A final push for answers takes Nawal to Yemen and Norway. And questions of betrayal ring alarm bells in London.
23/04/23·35m 37s

3. Murder in Mayfair: The flight

“He won’t wake up...I think he’s dead.” What Farouk did in the hours after Martine died and the bridges he burned to get away. Nawal’s investigation reaches a critical point. Will Farouk keep talking?
23/04/23·27m 43s

2. Murder in Mayfair: Martine

Friends panic when "street-smart" Martine fails to come home. Her family scrambles to help as a surprise move on Facebook makes something “click” with police.
23/04/23·27m 11s

1. Murder in Mayfair: Finding Farouk

The hunt for the suspected killer of 23-year-old Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, whose body was found buried under rubble in a London basement in 2008. She died after a night out with "billionaire playboy" Farouk Abdulhak, son of one of Yemen’s richest and most powerful men. Police found Martine’s remains in Farouk's apartment building. But Farouk had already fled. Fifteen years later, he’s still on the run. The BBC's Nawal Al-Maghafi was born in Yemen and has been on the case for more than a decade. This is the story of how she finally tracked down the elusive Farouk Abdulhak.
23/04/23·27m 10s

Caught in Sudan's conflict

To live in Sudan is to have experienced violence, protest, dictatorship, political instability and upheaval. But the scale of fighting during the last week has shocked many. Caught in the middle have been the people, as residential areas have been pummelled by missiles. Amid the crossfire, they have faced no power and no food and have had to decide whether to remain hiding in their homes or risk going outside. Three women from Khartoum - Dallia, Sara and Enass - share their personal situations and concerns with host James Reynolds.
21/04/23·23m 59s

Heart and Soul: The Church's slave plantation, part one

What are the consequences of the Church of England's historic slave plantations in Barbados today? Theologian Robert Beckford considers why and how the Church's missionary arm, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, got involved in the slavery business. He travels to Barbados to hear from a range of voices who tell the story of how in 1710, the Church turned the Codrington Plantation into a missionary experiment. The original mission failed but later generations did eventually adopt the Anglican faith. However, spurred by the country becoming a republic, some are now questioning the Church's historic role in slavery.
20/04/23·27m 21s

Leaving Sri Lanka

Record numbers are fleeing the island in the wake of a brutal economic crisis – perhaps one in twenty five Sri Lankans left last year alone. Some 300,000 went for contracted positions, mostly in the Gulf. But hundreds of thousands of others took less official routes. Many of them get scammed, some even lose their lives, as illegal migrants in what looks like a web of corruption and organised crime.Ed Butler speaks to some of those who are involved in this industry, who’ve taken this perilous option, and asks why aren’t more Sri Lankans, and even the government, speaking out more loudly about what some see as a national tragedy?Produced and presented by Ed Butler Production coordinator Helena Warwick Cross Series editor Penny Murphy(Photo by Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images)
20/04/23·26m 28s

Introducing: Murder in Mayfair

Coming soon: The hunt for the suspected killer of 23-year-old Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, whose body was found buried under rubble in a London basement in 2008. She died after a night out with "billionaire playboy" Farouk Abdulhak, son of one of Yemen’s richest and most powerful men. Police found Martine’s remains in Farouk's apartment building. But Farouk had already fled. Fifteen years later, he’s still on the run. The BBC's Nawal Al-Maghafi was born in Yemen and has been on the case for more than a decade. This is the story of how she finally tracked down the elusive Farouk Abdulhak. Murder in Mayfair is a new four-part mini-series from The Documentary, available on 24 April.
18/04/23·3m 48s

The hidden caste codes of Silicon Valley

Sam, Harsha and Siddhant are tech workers of Indian descent, who all say they have experienced discrimination in corporate America. They are not being singled out on the basis of race, gender, religion or nationality, but by an invisible factor; one they were born into, and one that others like them come to the US to try to escape. They say they have faced discrimination because of their caste.
18/04/23·27m 13s

In the Studio: Erica Whyman: Directing Hamnet

Maggie O’Farrell’s historical novel Hamnet was published in 2020 to great critical acclaim, winning the Women's Prize. It tells the story of a gifted herbalist, Agnes Hathaway, who is married to a young William Shakespeare. We follow her on her journey as they meet, marry, and later come to terms with the death of their 11-year-old son, Hamnet. Now, the Royal Shakespeare Company is putting Hamnet on stage for the first time in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon. Presenter Dan Hardoon follows the RSC’s Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman throughout the rehearsal process.
17/04/23·27m 21s

The ghost ship

In the Persian gulf, a powerful storm appears to sink an oil tanker, prompting a dramatic Royal Navy rescue. But six weeks later, the same tanker causes a scandal when it drifts onto a luxury Bollywood beach in India - like a ghost. Environment journalists Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor delve into the unsolved mystery, investigating allegations of murky goings-on.
15/04/23·49m 48s

BBC OS Conversations: Living with multiple sclerosis

A ground-breaking new medical trial has begun in the UK aimed at slowing the progress of multiple sclerosis. The Octopus trial is looking into whether existing drugs can be repurposed to help slow the progression of the condition. Alykhan, who was diagnosed with MS when he was still at school, is taking part in the study. He joins us in conversation with Professor Jeremy Chataway, from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, who is leading the trial.
15/04/23·24m 29s

Heart and Soul: Sikhism’s lost song

In the heyday of the Sikh Empire, Kirtan (Sikh hymns) were performed using stringed instruments such as the sarangi, rabab and taus. The rich, complex tones these instruments create are said to evoke a deeper connection to Waheguru (God). But in the late 19th Century, these traditional instruments were replaced by European imports like the harmonium. Now a new generation of diaspora Sikhs is painstakingly rebuilding that musical heritage - restoring scores and meeting up to teach and learn traditional instruments. Monika Plaha meets one these musical pioneers, Harjinder Singh Lallie, and finds out how his beliefs fuel his work and how his music shapes his faith.
14/04/23·26m 29s

Gran Chaco - Paraguay’s vanishing forest

The Gran Chaco Forest is Latin America’s second largest ecosystem. It is a mix of hot and arid scrublands, forests and wetlands, part of the River Plata basin, so large it extends into Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. Large parts of the forests have already been cleared to make way for farms. Now a new highway being driven through it is heralding further change. The so called Bioceanic Corridor will transport the produce of cattle ranchers and soya-bean farmers in Brazil and Paraguay across to ports on the west coast. Members of some indigenous communities like the Ayoreo see it as a further threat to their way of life. The new road is being cautiously welcomed by some members of the Mennonite Community, a Christian religious group who came to the Gran Chaco 100 years ago via Prussia, Russia and Canada and bought land from the government to farm. Will the impact of the road on the indigenous and Mennonite communities - and the environment - be worth the economic benefits? Jane Chambers travels across the Gran Chaco for Assignment. Produced by Bob Howard. The Paraguay producer was Santi Carneri.
13/04/23·28m 26s

In the Studio: Telling the John Hume story

Beyond Belief: The Life and Mission of John Hume is a new musical drama about the Irish politician who was one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process. Marie-Louise Muir goes behind the scenes of the production, staged in Hume's home city of Derry, with its director, Kieran Griffiths. She follows his young company of actors rehearsing for a major production which will be streamed live globally on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the historic peace accord, the Good Friday Agreement.
12/04/23·27m 50s

The billion-dollar scam

Investigative reporter Simona Weinglass leads a BBC Eye investigation into a criminal network, believed to have scammed more than a billion dollars from victims across the globe. The organisation sponsored a top-tier football club to promote its online trading platform, promising investors the chance of astonishing returns. We hear from victims, undercover agents and police, in a bid to track down who is in charge.
12/04/23·27m 59s

Deep Waters: Container ships

Container ships are the monsters of the seas - the very biggest are almost half a kilometre long and piled high with up to 20,000 huge boxes. At any one time, there are tens of thousands of these floating cities on the move, many unable even to dock at local ports. It’s our relentless demand for more and cheaper stuff that drives the industry. We meet the British salvage man who’s making millions from the boxes that get left behind, lost or abandoned - yet another example of how invisible the world of shipping is, even though the whole planet depends on it.Image: Jake Slinn, founder of JS Global, at Felixstowe docks
10/04/23·27m 57s
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