Strand Weekend, The [world Service]



The best of the world's arts, film, music, literature and music brought to you every day.


The best of the world's arts, film, music, literature and music brought to you every day.

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Presented by Mark Coles.

Baaba Maal

The Senegalese singer (pictured) talks about curating a special month long festival at London's South Bank Centre. Called Africa Utopia, it celebrates the work of African artists.

Inua Ellams

The self described word and graphic artist talks about the various projects he's involved in for Africa Utopia - a festival at London's South Bank, and also about being a BT Storyteller - one of many who will tell the story of the London Olympics.

Nuruddin Farah

As Crossbones his fact-packed thriller about Somalia comes out one of Africa's most listened-to voices talks pirates, his hatred of fear and questions he wants answered.

Robben Island Bible

For the men held on South Africa's infamous prison island in the days of apartheid, reading matter was rationed to religious texts only, but they managed to smuggle in a complete works of Shakespeare. A new play tells that story.

Toumani Diabate

Malian kora musician Toumani Diabate talks about his latest Brazilian collaboration with Arnaldo Antunes and Edgard Scandurra.

We Face Forward

A festival of West African art and music is taking over the British City of Manchester for the summer. Artists Emeka Ogboh, Pascale Marthine Tayou and Barthélémy Toguo and curator Maria Balshaw talk to the BBC's Ekene Akalawu.

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Presented by Simon Pitts

Today we have a special programme about visual arts projects associated with London's 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread has completed a new sculpture at London's Whitechapel art gallery

Art in the Olympic Park

Sarah Weir from the Legacy List takes us on a tour of the artworks in the Olympic Park in London

The Collective Spirit

The craftsmen whose boat is built out of wood donated from a church roof (pictured).

Olafur Eliasson

The Danish Icelandic artist who created a fake sun in London's Tate Modern reveals his new art installation - which again uses light - or the lack of it - to change the gallery.

A Place To Live When We Are Old

Danzon for the soul and spirit, the Argentinian artist Ana Gallardo explains why Mexican street dance is the basis of her new collaborative art project.

Martin Creed

We meet the Turner-Prize winning artist Martin Creed who is leading bell-ringing across the UK

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Marjane Satrapi

The new film from graphic writer, Marjane Satrapi called Chicken with Plums.

Changing Face of North American Native Art

New York's Museum of Art & Design has been celebrating the work of North America's Indian and first nation artists.

Read My Country

Continuing our series exploring literature which gives a unique insight into a country's culture and history; poet, novelist and Bjork lyricist Sjon chooses three important books abut Iceland.

Lars von Trier - user-generated films

As the controversial Danish director (pictured) asks people to send in their own short films for his new project, film critic Dave Calhoun explains how the process might work.

The Chilean Building / El Edificio De Los Chilenos

Chilean film critic Jeronimo Rodriguez joins us to discuss the documentary about the 60 children (including the director, Macarena Aguiló) of Chilean revolutionaries who were left behind when their parents returned to Chile to oppose the regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Calypso Rose

Trinidad & Tobago's queen of calypso on how she broke the gender bar to become the islands' undisputed queen of calypso

Photo Credit: Jan Buss, Zentropa

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Junot Diaz

Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot Diaz talks about his new book This Is How You Lose Her, a collection of love stories exploring men, women and intimacy.


This week marks the 150th anniversary of Debussy's birth - an occasion being marked by concerts in Sydney, Los Angeles, Wellington, London - and in Paris - where the Debussy Museum is also hosting a special exhibition.

Lourdes Grobet

Photographer Lourdes Grobet discusses her images of Mexican wrestlers - part of London Mexfest festival.

Shadow Dancer

We review the new film from Oscar-winning director James Marsh about torn loyalties and what happens after a young IRA sympathiser and mother is captured by the British Secret Service (pictured).

Paul duToit

One of South Africa's most commercially successful artists has two exhibitions opening in Johannesburg which might help his fellow countrymen to reassess his work

Manu Joseph

The award-winning Indian author talks about his new book The Illicit Happiness of Other People. Ousep Chako cannot understand why his son committed suicide, but his search will lead him to try to unpick the meaning of life.

Lo' Jo

French band Lo' Jo's new album is typically eclectic and delightful with musical influences from around the globe. Founder Denis Paen tells us about the group's unconventional lifestyle

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Presented by Mark Coles.

Motion Disabled Unlimited

Artist Simon McKeown talks about his work 'motion capturing' the movements of paralympians and transforming the results into short films.

Poetry to inspire athletes

We speak to Paralympians Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Chris Holmes, who offer their choice of poetry to inspire athletes.

Blind photography

Edinburgh’s Festival of the Arts has been staging "Through the Looking Glass, Dimly", a photography exhibition with a difference. It's a collaboration between two photographers - Australia's Andrew Follows and Scotland's Rosita McKenzie - both of whom are visually impaired.

Arty Artificial Legs

Prosthetic limbs have traditionally been designed to be functional rather than beautiful. Now an American designer is transforming artificial limbs into works of art that express the wearer's personality

Stuart Skelton

The Australian Tenor Stuart Skelton talks about the role of Peter Grimes which is opening this Tokyo Opera season this October

Airport Art

A set of special features dedicated to the art found in airports: first, we speak to artist Richard Wilson about 'Slipstream', his commission for the new Heathrow Terminal 2 building, which will be the longest sculpture in Europe and mimic the motion of a plane in flight. We take a tour around Singapore's Changi airport to see what remarkable artwork they have on display there. And we speak to the writer Alistair Gordon, whose book "Naked Airport" is a cultural examination and history of airports and the way they've changed our lives.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

The hugely popular Nollywood star Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has been to Jamaica to talk to leading film and music producers about collaborating and getting future Jamaican movies shown in Africa.

Pictured: Stuart Skelton as Peter Grimes

Photo credit: Clive Barda

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Presented by Mark Coles.

As the US presidential campaign heats up, we review a new anti-Obama documentary - 2016: Obama's America - and ask how Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are reacting to it.

The Kennedys; unseen pictures by photographer Mark Shaw, instrumental in the creation of their Camelot myth.

And we catch up with Baloji, the Congolese musician who is currently touring the UK on board the Africa Express, and about to appear at The Proms.

We hear the story behind Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper, now considered to be one of the top five most important pieces of art in the world.

Lawrence Scott

The Trinidadian writer Lawrence Scott talks about his new novel Light Falling on Bamboo. Sett in 1848 it's a fictional account of the life and loves of the island's most famous painter Michel Jean Cazabon

Somali Party Southall

Two cultures meet up in London, and musicians from two continents create an exciting blend; We hear from award winning percussionist Kuljit Bhamra and Abdulkarim Raas

Folktales in India

to commemorate 200 years of the Grimm's brothers collection of fairy stories, we find out what tales are told by parents to children in contemporary India

Everybody's Right by Paolo Sorrentino

A review of the debut novel by award winning Italian film director Paolo Sorrentino which tells the story of a wannabe Frank Sinatra enjoying an extravagant lifestyle in Naples and Capri in the 1980's.


We talk to Australian director John Hillcoat about his gangster movie set in Prohibition-era Virginia, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Alex Katz

85 and still painting every day, the artist on originality, muses and the life-enhancing power of the grudge - as he opens at Tate Contemporary, Margate.

Alex Katz, Black Hat (Bettina) 2010, Oil on linen. Private Collection, London © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Image courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris - Salzburg

Last Flight To Abuja

We talk to Nigerian born British film-maker Obi Emelonye about his film, Nigeria's first ever disaster movie, a box office hit and outperforming Hollywood blockbusters like "The Amazing Spider Man" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift".

Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro is a Hawaiian born ukulele genius. Coming to public attention via a youtube clip, he's now on his 11th album and maturing all the time


We review Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, about a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist who concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador in Tehran.

Come Together

31 artists from around the Arab world exhibit together and interact in a huge new Edge of Arabia exhibition on London's iconic Brick Lane

Anish Kapoor

A major exhibition of new works by Anish Kapoor has just opened at Lisson Gallery in London. Comprising works on a smaller scale than his public commissions, the exhibition runs until 10th November.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Busan International Film Festival 2012

This was the 17th year for the South Korean film festival which came to an end on Saturday night. Jean Noh was there and takes us through the highlights.

Michael Chabon

Anna talks to Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Michael Chabon (pictured). His new book, Telegraph Avenue, set on a real street in his home town in California tells the story of two old friends, and co-owners of a second hand record shop whose livelihood is threatened by the planned arrival of a music superstore nearby.

Hip Hop in the Middle East

Saudi DJ Big Hass selects a couple of tracks that he feels reflect the situatuion musically and politically in the region

Martin Landau

We talk to the veteran Oscar-winning American actor Martin Landau. In a career spanning over 50 years, Landau has worked with some of the biggest Hollywood directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Tim Burton. He gives us an acting masterclass.

Iranian Computer Games

Siavash is a computer game inspired by a Persian epic poem. Hossein Sharif explains why ambitious Iranian games such as this struggle to make an impact on their home market.


Director Eran Riklis discusses his film Zaytoun, the story of an Israeli pilot who crashes in Lebanon during the 1982 war, and enlists the help of a Palestinian boy to return home.

Chico Baurque

As his latest novel, Spilt Milk, appears in English we hear about a founder of Bossa Nova, song-writer and award-winning novelist who is also a political hero in his home country, Brazil.

Photo by Ulf Andersen, Getty Images

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Presented by Mark Coles.

Greek Theatre Attacks

A theatre in Greece has been attacked by far-right MPs for staging a controversial play that has homosexual themes. Audience members were beaten and suffered broken bones, while the actors have received death threats. The director has called it ‘Krystallnacht’ for Greece. The Strand investigates.

Colm Tóibín

Award winning Irish novelist Colm Tóibín talks about giving a voice to Mary, mother of Jesus, in his latest book.

Robert Soko

From Bosnia to Brazil gypsy brass dance music Balkan Beats has been a worldwide phenomenon, Mark talks to the godfather of the genre DJ Robert Soko (pictured) about his new remix CD.


50 years old and still kicking! James Bond is back with the latest offering directed by Oscar-winning Sam Mendes. Skyfall takes us back to the roots of 007 and features a sinister villain played by Spanish Oscar-winner Javier Bardem.

Ecuadorean Films

This year has seen more films released and in production in Ecuador than ever before, mainly thanks to increased state funding. Journalist Irene Caselli talks about two current releases and reflects on the challenges that the industry faces.

Matteo Garrone

The director Matteo Garrone made his name with the award-winning mafia film Gomorra. His new film couldn't be more different. It's the story of a fishmonger who wants to be on Big Brother but his desire to be on reality TV starts to distort his sense of reality.

Cloud Atlas

Directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, this film adaptation of David Mitchell's novel opens in the US this week. Production designer Uli Hanisch talks about bringing this very ambitious book to the screen.

Image: Robert Soko, photographed by Michael Mann

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Harriett Gilbert

Renee Fleming

As one of the world's leading sopranos, her most recent project is a production of Verdi's Otello for The Met in New York, which is being filmed in HD. What problems does such close scrutiny create for a singer?

Ukraine Steel Art

As the first new steel mill opens in Ukraine in 40 years, we visit the factory which features cutting-edge art. We speak to artist Olafur Eliasson and to the owner of the steel mill, one of the country's best known art-patrons, Viktor Pinchuk.

Eduardo Halfon

The Guatemalan author talks about his latest book of short stories in which the line between reality and fiction is somewhat blurred.

The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon, published by Pushkin Press.

Oscar Corral on Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe has done New York, he's done Atlanta - now in his latest novel Back to Blood it's Miami's turn. Over several years research, one man acted as his tourist guide-cum-translator, documentary-maker Oscar Corrall.

Male Nudes in Vienna:

The female nude body has long been celebrated and exhibited, but the The Leopold Museum in Vienna is currently staging the first major exhibition devoted to the male nude. And it's stirring up controversy

India's Graphic Novelist

Indian author and artist Amruta Pàtil tells us about her latest graphic novel, Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean, the start of an ambitious trilogy based on the great Indian mythological epic The Mahabharata.

Michael Cook

Fashion photographer turned artist Michael Cook explores his aboriginal heritage in his latest exhibition Broken Dreams at the October Gallery in

Renee Fleming as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello.

Photo courtesy of Ken Howard and Metropolitan Opera

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Presented by Harriett Gilbert.

It’s a BBC Proms Special this weekend. Celebrating one of the world's biggest and best loved classical-music festivals. This year, the Proms musicians come from even further afield than usual -- everywhere from Australia to South Africa, Israel to Colombia, the USA to Egypt -- and the focus is very much on youth; we'll be talking with performers and composers -- and the Aldeburgh World Orchestra play Benjamin Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem.

Image: Sir Mark Elder conducts the Aldeburgh World Orchestra in Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem at the BBC Proms 2012.

© BBC/Chris Christodoulou

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Presented by Mark Coles.

Tony Gilroy

The screenwriter and filmmaker reveals the secrets of making a good action movie as The Bourne Legacy is released, his contribution to the highly successful Bourne franchise.

Photo shows Jeremy Renner

Nirupama Subramanian

The Delhi-based author discusses her new novel Intermission, a story of love and infidelity in modern India.

Rough Guide to China

Music critic Eve Leung reviews the latest Rough Guide compilation focussing on music from China - everything from the ancient tones of erhu and pipa to the music of the Inner Mongolian folk revival to Shanghai jazz and China-rock.

Oumou Sangaré and Béla Fleck

The songbird of Mali, Oumou Sangaré and possibly the greatest living banjo player, Béla Fleck talk to Mark about their unusual collaboration.

Syrian Heritage

As archaeological sites in Syria continue to be endangered - from both looting and armed conflict - architect Karl Sharro tells us more about the places at risk.

A Simple Life

The Hong Kong film A Simple Life stars Andy Lau and Deanie Ip and has won multiple awards. Anna McNamee talks to its screenwriter Roger Lee about how he based it on his own relationship with his family servant.

Xavier de Maistre

French harpist talks to about his new album Notte Veneziana and transforming the classics.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Harriet Gilbert.

Thomas Heatherwick

Harriett Gilbert talks to the designer of the new London double decker bus and finds out why he thinks that buses are as important as buildings in creating the architecture of a city.

Tino Sehgal

Simon Pitts meets the British-born German artist Tino Sehgal at the Tate Modern where his newly commissioned live artwork is on display - a piece that consists of 70 people walking, running and singing in the giant Turbine Hall.

Herman Koch

The Dutch novelist Herman Koch talks to Harriett Gilbert about his book 'The Dinner', and asks whether parents and those without children have quite different senses of morality.

Jamaica at 50

And we have a round-up of the cultural events being planned in Jamaica to celebrate the island's 50th anniversary of independence, as well as a look at Jamaican literature, both at the time of independence and now. We speak to reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and also to one of the best-known Jamaican artists working today, the controversial Renee Cox. She uses her own body, both nude and clothed, to celebrate black womanhood and cast a critical eye at racism and sexism.

Image: 'A New Bus For London', designed by a collaboration between Heatherwick Studio and Wright Bus. Photo credit: Iwan Baan.

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In a special programme, we look back at 2012's Cultural Olympiad.

In a special programme, we look back at 2012's Cultural Olympiad - the plays, concerts, exhibitions and strange events which took place around the UK during the Olympics. We hear from the writer of the Olympic Opening Ceremony Frank Cottrell Boyce, musicians Baaba Maal and Toumani Diabete and the ping-ping player and composer who collaborated on a piece for string quartet and table tennis balls.

Image: Image: The Olympic opening ceremony, 27th July 2012. Copyright: BBC

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Detroit Music

Once one of the powerhouses of modern America, Detroit has fallen into economic decline. To what extent can the arts and especially music help to rebuild its esteem?

Art in Marseilles

Marseilles in southern France is one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2013. How will its diverse population be reflected in the planned festivities?

Yeung Fai - Hand Stories

Descended from a long line of puppeteers, Yeung Fai's family fell victim to the Cultural Revolution. Interweaving traditional puppetry skills with modern multimedia effects, Yeung Fai stages his personal story in this poignant show.

Cloud Sourced Novel

Silvia Hartmann has just launched what she claims is the first cloud-sourced novel - The Dragon Lords. During the two months she spent writing it, participants around the world went online, watching every keystroke she made and making comments and suggestions.

Aimee Mann

Oscar-nominated American singer-songwriter explains why her new album is packed full of egotists, narcissists and analogue synthesisers

James Church

Former CIA agent turned crime writer James Church talks about his latest, North Korea set, Inspector O mystery, A Drop Of Chinese Blood.

Chinese Photos

Thomas Sauvin discusses his photography archive. Since moving to Beijing he has been collecting negatives of photographs taken by ordinary Chinese people and has now amassed around half a million images. What do they tell us about how China has changed over the years?

Matthew Barley celebrates Britten at 100

Britain's most adventurous cellist is marking the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten's birth by playing 100 concerts in extraordinary venues around the UK, from a swimming bath to a barn, from churches to a cave.

Photo of Marseilles by John Laurenson

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Mark Coles

Brian Eno,

Brian Eno talks to Mark about his new album Lux which began its life as an installation in an Italian palace and ended up getting its world premiere in a Japanese airport lounge.

Rome Film Festival

Jury member Chris Fujiwara talks about the films that he and his colleague's awarded prizes to, including And They Call It Summer, which won the best director and best actress awards but the became the subject of some controversy.

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vasquez talks about his book The Sound Of Things Falling, which explores the violent drug wars in 1990s Bogata and their legacy today.

Africa for Norway

We talk to the creators of a new viral video Africa for Norway, a musical request for Africans to ship their old radiators to Norway who might otherwise freeze during the winter..give generously!

Cecilia Bartoli

Talks about the release of her new CD Mission, the music of baroque composer Agostino Steffani, which is being released with a thriller novel by Donna Leon as well as multimedia treats.

Book Prizes

There are over 300 book prizes awarded around the world every year. For The Strand, literary critic Alex Clark rounds up just a few of them.

'Saving' Indian Music

Ankur Malhotra and Ashu Sharma spend all their spare time making field recordings of traditional music and musicians around India which they fear might disappear forever unless they capture and preserve it.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Turkish Soap Opera

The incredibly popular 'The Magnificent' about the 16th century Emperor Suleiman has riled the Turkish Prime Minister so much that he's taking legal action against it. The Strand finds out more.

Anthony Gormley

'Model' is an monumental new work by British artist Antony Gormley, he takes Anna to explore the internal space of architecture through the body and of the body through architecture.

Everest Art Exhibition

Every year on Everest an average of four tons of rubbish is left by climbers on the mountain. We talk to the organiser of an art exhibition about how the installations aim to highlight the situation by upcycling the waste - turning them into something of beauty and usefulness

Music Round up

DJ Rita Ray talks Mark through 3 exciting new CDs from Africa

Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan Wangechi Mutu is a former Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year and her latest exhibition in Los Angeles features video, sculpture, and a range of disturbing collages. It's called Nita-rudi Nina-rudi -- or I Plan to Return, I am Returning and explores her notion of home after living in the US for more than 20 years.

Chinese Satire

Writer and broadcaster Linda Kennedy has been watching what she sees as small but significant signs that mainland China's experimenting with new forms of comedy both in social satire and political humour.

Emel Mathlouthi

The Tunisian singer talks about writing music for a revolution before it had actually happened in her country, her frustrations with the governments who have been voted in since the Arab Spring and also performs live for the programme.

Doha Tribeca Film Festival

One of the highlights from the 80 movies and documentaries shown at the 4th edition of the film festival was a rap documentary, Lyrics Revolt - Hip Hop and the Revolution. We hear from the filmmakers and the rap artists.

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Grimms Fairytales

We get a sneak preview of one of six new film-versions of the fairytales scheduled to be shown, this Christmas, on German television.

Boxing Day

Director Bernard Rose talks about Boxing Day, his latest, Tolstoy inspired film.

Preserving Video Games

As the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquires video games for its collection, the BBC's Andrew Purcell meets gamers to find out whether they think it's a good idea.

Tata Kinge

We speak to the Cameroonian singer mixing modern subject matter with traditional music. And he sings for us, live.

Ari Folman

The Israeli film-maker Ari Folman, of Waltz with Bashir fame, gives us a preview of his latest animated movie.

Oscar Zaráte

The veteran Argentinian comic-book artist Oscar Zaráte shows us round his studio.


An Iranian trio combining ancient Persian poetry, modern dance beats and a plea for the universal uniting power of music

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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The award winning film producer Michael Haneke directs Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte in Madrid.

The award winning producer of the film Amour, Michael Haneke, directs Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte at the Teatro Real in Madrid. We hear how his ideas translate to the operatic stage.

Anurag Kashyap

The Indian film director - often compared to Quentin Tarantino - talks about making his epic two-part gangster movie Gangs of Wasseypur and why he included elements of Bollywood in a violent story centred around local mafia families.

Changes to the pop singles charts

Billboard - who compile the US pop music charts, have announced that they will include youtube views in their calculations for chart positions. Is this a good idea?

Alisa Weilerstein

The American cellist talks about recording the Elgar cello concerto with Daniel Barenboim, the first time for him since the iconic recording he made with his wife, Jacquelin Du Pre.

Hava Nagila: The Movie

Documentary director Roberta Grossman discusses her film which investigates the origins and meanings behind the classic Jewish song Hava Nagila.


James Lasdun was a lecturer in creative writing who found himself being stalked by a former student. Moving from mild to serious harassment and threats, it's lasted five years now.

Fire In The Blood

Director Dylan Gray joins us to talk about Fire In The Blood, his extraordinary documentary which tells the story of how a small group of activists made cheap antiretroviral drugs available to people with HIV in the third world.

Perunika Trio

Based in London, singing traditional Bulgarian songs, this all-female ensemble's latest CD is full of songs about horses, women, weddings and peacocks and lots of rain!

Image credit: Javier del Real©

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The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Mark Coles

South Africa Animation

We speak to the producer behind Adventures in Zambezia, the first African film to be nominated for a major American animation award.

Hitchcock & Psycho

Film critic Owen Gleiberman on Sacha Gervasi's film Hitchcock which stars Anthony Hopkins as the legendary director and also why Psycho is such an important cinematic milestone.

Beck and Ed Harcourt

Beck is a musician renowned for his experimental approach to music making, and his latest album is typically avant-garde; it exists only as a beautiful collection of sheet music for musicians to interpret. British singer songwriter Ed Harcourt is a fan and he came into interpret the tunes for us.

Mr. Handel

Louis de Bernières talks about Mr. Handel - his new play with chamber orchestra as he represents the composer talking to his contemporaries in the afterlife.

Rachael Young

New Zealand Conductor Rachael Young on how the music of Russia first propelled her on her way to success.

Science Seal of Approval for Fiction

Jane O'Brien reports on a move by one of the oldest scientific institutions in the US to award a seal of approval to fiction writers who make credible use of science in their books.

Richard Russo

Mark Coles talks to Pullitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo, not about his fiction but about his memoir, "On Helwig Street" in which he reveals facts about his mother and his upbringing in the small 1950s glove-making town of Gloversville, New York.


Two members of the Grammy Award wining Saharan blues band, Tinariwen, drop by to talk to us and record a live session track.

(Image: Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren on the red carpet for their film Hitchcock, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

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Harriett Gilbert talks to the director of Shallow Grave and Slumdog Millionniare.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Mark Coles

Harriett Gilbert talks to Danny Boyle (pictured), the director of such films as Shallow Grave and his 2008 hit Slumdog Millionniare. He discuss his latest film Trance as well as how he conceived the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Multi award-winning Irish writer Paul Muldoon's new book called The Word on the Street -- a collection of poems of love, loss and movie-plots that Muldoon wrote with a view to them being sung by his band Wayside Shrines. Paul Muldoon tells Harriett about turning his poems into lyrics.

The sweet, sweet sound of a West African-American collaboration - or what happened when the Guinean kora player Sékou Kouyaté met the New York musician, rapper and beatboxer Joe Driscoll. They perform Lady from their album Faya live in the studio.

The Strand celebrates one of the world's greatest writers - the late Chinua Achebe

The Iranian-born artist, Jila Peacock talks about her artwork depicting the late composer Jonathan Harvey's work 'Messages'.

Tanya Habjouqa, one of the founders of Rawiya, the Middle East's first all female photography collective discusses her work which is currently being shown at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham.

Chinese actress and mega pop star Karen Mok has released more 15 bestselling Chinese language albums over the last 20 years, and her debut English-language album Somewhere I Belong is released in the UK this month.

Anna McNamee catches up with the New Orleans based brass band Hot 8, which was propelled to wider prominence by an appearance in Spike Lee's 2006 documentary in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the band's mix of traditional marching music, hip hop, and R&B has earned them legions of fans around the world.

Photo credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Orhan Parmuk2012111020121112 (WS)

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Orhan Pamuk

Mark talks to Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk whose novel Silent House, written thirty years ago, is now available in English for the first time.

Chinese Dissident Literature

In China sales of so-called dissident literature are on the rise. Chinese tourists from the mainland are flocking to independent bookshops in Hong Kong to read banned books and profits for the booksellers are rocketing. We find out more from Linda Kennedy in Hong Kong.

Seckou Keita

The latest album from this Senegalese kora player blends musical influences from around the world. He explains his love for his instrument and plays for us live in the studio.

Nour Festival of Arts

Palestinian designer Dia Batal explains how she turned one of London's most iconic rooms into a memorial for the Syrian Dead

Edward Seaga

Jamaica ex-Prime Minister Edward Seaga, a former key producer in the history of the island's popular music, has just produced an compilation to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican music. He tells us why.


Three exhibitions opening across the country contrast State with Non-conformist art from the old East Germany. What happened to it after the Wall came down?

Robert Glasper

Respected jazz pianist who's mixing it up on his latest album - with a host of the biggest names in contemporary black American music - including influences from Nirvana to Erykah Badu.

Photo shows Orhan Parmuk

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

Still Life Versus Moving Image2012111820121119 (WS)

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee

Queer India Anthology

Minal Hajratwala discusses her anthology of stories about contemporary queer life in India.


Any Spielberg movie is a big deal. When it's about an American icon - President Abraham Lincoln - and is released so close to an election, it becomes even more monumental. But is it any good?

Judy Chicago

We meet the artist, writer and activist whose work set the agenda for women's art over the past five decades.

Kurt Elling

Everyone of his 9 albums has been Grammy nominated, and his latest is made up of songs written by the composers who worked out of New York's Brill Building in the '50s and '60s.

Still Life Versus Moving Image

Are moving images taking over from still ones? And, if they are, are we losing the ability to focus on pictures that don't leap about? The Strand debates the merit of still vs moving with the curator William Ewing and the neuroscientist Kristine Krug.

Light from the Middle East

As a major exhibition of photography from and about the Middle East opens in London, Anna meets three of the artists from the region.

Max Richter

How can a modern composer make a 300 year old piece of music - that everybody knows - sound new and 21st century? Max Richter has recomposed Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Tatiana Salem Levy

Tatiana Salem Levy is one of the rising stars of Brazilian literature. Her first novel - A chava de casa - won the Sao Paolo Prize for Literature. She talks about the prospects of Brazilian authors finally reaching a wider global audience.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

The Hobbit2012120920121210 (WS)

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Anna McNamee.

The Hobbit

For Tolkein fans it's been a long nine years since Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Was it worth the wait for The Hobbit? Find out what they're thinking in New Zealand.

The Goalkeeper

Author Jonathan Wilson talks about the magic of the number 1 shirt, discussing goalkeepers from around the world.


Jose Henrique Fonseca's film Heleno stars Rodrigo Santoro as 1940s Brazilian football genius Heleno de Freitas. Former Chelsea and Scotland player Pat Nevin casts an expert eye over the film.

Little Richard

A founding father of the rawest, dirtiest, most essential rock and roll is 80. We take a look at how Little Richard's extraordinary character shaped modern popular music.

EL James

From self publishing to Hollywood: Will Gompertz talks to Fifty Shades of Grey writer EL James about her extraordinary year, and the planned film of her books.

Death: A Self Portrait

Antique-print dealer Richard Harris comes into the The Strand studio to talk about why he wanted to put together a collection of ephemera and images of skeletons and skulls.


Material has been one of the biggest hits at the domestic box office that South Africa has produced. Producer Ronnie Apteker explains why the comedy has proved so popular with South African audiences but also why it may struggle to get a wider release.

Jews and Words

Harriett Gilbert talks to award winning writer Amos Oz and his daughter Fania about their new book which highlights Jews' traditional love of words and stories.

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day.

The Perfect American2013012720130128 (WS)

Philip Glass's latest opera is based on the life and death of Walt Disney

The best of the world's arts, film, music and literature brought to you every day. Presented by Mark Coles

The Perfect American

Philip Glass's latest opera The Perfect American is based on the life and death of Walt Disney, but it's not a pretty story.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Stephen Scott is the production designer on Tommy Wirkola's new film, he explains how he came up with the overall look for the film and shares some of the tricks of his trade.

Andrew Kaufman

Canadian author (of the cult novel, All My Friends Are Superheroes) his latest novel, Born Weird, a magic realism tale involving five siblings, their evil grandmother, their absent, presumed dead, father, and their mother who has a breakdown and thinks she's a hairdresser.

Voices United for Mali

More than 40 of Mali's most famous musicians have joined together to record a song calling for peace in their country, where Muslim separatists in the north are trying to ban music.

Hilary Mantel

The prize-winning writer Hilary Mantel joins Harriett Gilbert on The Strand to discuss how the supernatural permeates her work in mysterious ways.

Jaipur Literary Festival

We report from the Jaipur Literary Festival, where the speakers include the Dalai Lama and novelists Manu Joseph, Sebastian Faulkes and Kishwar Desai and the ten finalists for the Man Booker International have been announced.

Nadim Karam

Nadim Karam's renowned and beautiful public art works grace cities around the world

Dana Stebenow

The Alaskan author talks about Kate Shugak - the private investigator at the heart of her series of twenty best-selling crime novels.

Hear My Country

Listeners to The Strand were given the opportunity to choose a piece of music that sums up where they live. We hear choices from Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

Image: Christopher Purves (Walt Disney) and Rosie Lomas (Josh) in The Perfect American by Philip Glass. Photo: Javier del Real/Teatro Real

The Strand - Saturday 1st May 201020100501

The best of this week's global arts, film, music, literature and music. Presented by Bidisha.