29 October 2007

Bells in Europe

I've always wanted to play "Bells in Europe," a classic German documentary, on the Listening Lounge. It's a 1973 feature about how German leaders melted down most of the country's church bells to use as weapons during World War II. Now you can hear this timeless piece on the Third Coast International Radio Festival website. The creator of the documentary, Peter Leonhard Braun, is this year's Third Coast Festival's Audio Luminary Award recipient. By the way, if you do take the time to listen to the doc, listen to the German version ("Glocken in Europa") with your best speakers at high volume and read along with the English translation, which you can download and print.

India Rising: Oct. 29 - Nov. 26


Don't miss our "India Rising" series from the BBC. It's a fantastic introduction to India today, its wealth, its poverty, its challenges moving forward. Here's the schedule. (And remember, if you miss a show, you can catch it in the KFAI archives for up to 2 weeks after the broadcast date.)

New Wealth - Airs October 29

Among the most visible and palpable changes to strike India is both the ability and willingness of its consumers to spend. This new materialism is shown in the new urban skyline, the luxury apartments, and the shopping malls. But is this all change for the better, or are there costs, too?

Inside India's Heart of Darkness - Airs November 5

Lazy brown rivers curl through lush greenery; small boys perch on water buffalo. A brief look at the Indian state of Bihar seems idyllic - but on closer inspection, the squalor and dereliction is obvious. Bullock carts are more common than tractors. The roads are appalling. Nothing has changed in the last 20 years. While the rest of India is going through an economic revolution, what has happened in Bihar?

TV Nation - Airs November 12

India is an incredibly diverse country. There is a multiplicity of different cultures, custom and languages. And yet, as Indian people watch the same kind of television shows, they are beginning to absorb the same kind of values. It permeates people's lives, and is one of the prime agents in spreading the new Indian culture. New media is having an impact, too. The spread of knowledge that the internet can provide a way to chisel away at less desirable aspects of the status quo.

Can It All Hang Together? - Airs November 19

There is no doubt that the economic revolution has enabled India to benefit financially. But what are the cost of such rapid expansion? The pollution has made some industrial areas unliveable. The people who stay do so for no other reason than survival. Could a disregard for the needs and rights of the poor lead to social unrest -- and even revolution?

Debate - Airs November 26

In this concluding program of the India Rising series, George Arney chairs a discussion involving all four guests from this landmark documentary season. Guests include: Amitabh Behar of the National Centre For Advocacy Studies, Alka Chaudhary of , Confederation of Indian Industry, Preeti Reddy, a leading consumer and retail expert.

19 October 2007

India Rising - Begins Oct. 29


China isn't the only Asian country emerging as a world superpower. Its more populous neighbor to the south, India, has also been making economic and political inroads in recent years. I've traveled there twice --- once to Mumbai and the south and a second time to New Delhi and the northern regions. It's a giant, complex, fascinating and increasingly important player on the world stage. And it's probably time you learned something about it. This five-part series from the BBC takes the pulse of India today. We explore its new wealth, its poorest rural region (Bihar), its infatuation with television and its future prospects. Join us for shows every Monday night at 7 p.m. beginning Monday, October 29 - Monday, November 26.

11 October 2007

Biography of 100,000 Square Feet - Airs October 22

In the center of San Francisco, there is a plaza with no benches and a fountain with a fence around. It's a place that most people cross the street to avoid. How does this happen? Why does a public space fail? Is there a point where good intentions and idealism become so removed from reality, they actually border on negligence?

Producer Benjamin Temchine explores one city's attempt to remake a desperate public space. Several reviews of Biography are published on PRX. Read more about this piece on Transom.

The Tomato and The Big Apple - Airs October 15

This is an edgy documentary by a young Dutch producer named Alwine Van Heemstra. Her quest: Learn how NYC deals with its waste by following a tomato through the city's waste treatment process. Ugh, but cool.

Here's a review by Bill McKibben of the PRX Editorial Board: "Do you like shaggy dog stories? I do, and
this is a great one. Following a tomato in its journey back to New York is only a semi-interesting conceit, but the stories that go along with it are magnificent -- especially the pugilistic truck driver, who is a latter-day Damon Runyon character. If you know Joe Mitchell's finest work (and if you don't, you have a treat in store) you will realize the tradition of New York stories to which this belongs. A few more facts might have been helpful --like how much of these biosolids are actually used -- but what the hell. This is a very fine piece, from a mind that will clearly produce much more of value. I can't wait."

There's more here at Transom.