Can you create great art out of fear and anxiety? The American comedian Jenny Slate reveals how she was driven to write a weird and wonderful collection of essays by despair, divorce and the election of Donald Trump.
The award-winning writer Jeet Thayil talks to Tina about grappling with grief in his latest book, the darkly comic yet personal novel Low. It’s a work which draws on Jeet’s own feelings of grief, as the central character embarks on a rollercoaster of a weekend in Bombay in an attempt to forget his pain and feel closer to his dead wife.
We hear from the digital artist and video game designer Dan Hett on how he was driven to create a series of video games tackling the issue of grief and loss following the death of his brother Martyn in the Manchester Arena bombing.
Plus Nigerian actor and singer David Jones David on why he has picked up the mic to sing and speak out against drug addiction.
Presented by Tina Daheley.
Image: Jenny Slate
Image credit: Cassie Wright/Getty Images for SXSW
Inside and out: Digital experiences of the body
What happens when digital technology and our bodies start to merge? Zoë Comyns meet artists who are growing body parts with human cells, implanting technology into their bodies and questioning whether we can have meaningful relationships with sex robots. She will also meet an artist who exists only in the digital realm.
Amy Karle has been named one of the most influential women in 3D printing. Born with a rare skin condition, she grew up fascinated by technology and how it can be used to heal and enhance our bodies. As a bioartist, her work includes a human hand design made with 3D-printed scaffolds and human bone cells.
Lans King has surgically implanted a microchip into his hand as a conceptual artwork entitled “This is my body (of work)”. It contains cryptographic blockchain code which represents the work itself. It is perhaps the first artwork ever to be fully integrated within the body of an artist.
Kate Davis used mixed media images, soundscapes and video in her Logging on to Love installations. The series is influenced by the development of sex robots and how our identities might be manipulated as technology becomes more sophisticated.
La Turbo Avedon is the avatar of an anonymous artist. Nobody knows who the artist behind her is, as she exists only in digital form. You can interact with her on social media platforms and in online games. She shares her views on a possible future digital existence.
Image: Amy Karle (Courtesy of Amy Karle)
Work-Life: a provocative new drama about our near future
How would you feel if a robot took your job? That’s the question at the heart of a new play exploring how work place pressures spill over into our family relationships.
Katy works long hours at the local warehouse with no one to talk to but her new colleague, a machine. She then unexpectedly loses her job. Will she fight to get her role back or pursue a new career for a cause she can believe in?
The Cultural Frontline presents the radio premiere of the play, Work-Life by Diane Stewart recorded on location at the Edinburgh Festival. Accompanied by an interview between the writer Diane Stewart and award winning playwright Zinnie Harris.
The featured play was commissioned by The Traverse Theatre with the support of their partners.
Writer: Diane Stewart
Cast: Dawn Sievewright, Neshla Caplan and Gail Watson.
Produced and Presented by Lucy Collingwood.
Image credit: Getty
Antonio Sanchez: Jazz across borders
Antonio Sanchez was born in Mexico City, before moving to the US to study music. Fast forward three decades and the jazz drummer has won four Grammys and composed the soundtrack for Oscar winning film Birdman. Now a dual Mexican-American citizen, Antonio has been outspoken in his criticism of President Trump’s comments about migrants and controversial policies on those caught crossing the US-Mexico border. He tells us how these issues have found their way onto his latest album, Lines in the Sand.
We meet the female bass player blazing a trail on the Sudanese music scene. Despite being frequently harassed for being a woman on stage, Islam Elbeiti tells Tina why she is passionate about performing and even celebrates her love of jazz on a weekly radio show.
Have you heard of Azerbaijani jazz? We look at the nation’s century long love affair with jazz and the foundations of its own unique style, Jazz Mugham.
The award-winning British saxophonist Soweto Kinch chooses his Art That Changed Me for The Cultural Frontline – a painting by Aaron Douglas, titled The Negro in African Setting.
Presented by Tina Daheley.
Image: Antonio Sanchez performing
Image credit: Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns, Getty.
Murad Subay: The walls remember
When war broke out in Yemen, Murad Subay began painting murals on the shelled and bullet-marked buildings of his home city of Sana’a.
His colourful messages of protest and hope raised awareness of the conflict’s impact on Yemeni civilians. He encouraged passers by to join him as he worked, and together they filled ruined homes with images of peace.
Journalist Sumaya Bakhsh traces Murad’s journey as he leaves Sana’a for Cairo. International travel is rarely simple for citizens of Yemen, and we hear from Murad as he languishes in Egypt, stuck without a visa and unable to create new work. Murad is used to living and working in the toughest of conditions, but this period of inactivity is a new test for the prolific artist.
Eventually Murad receives a visa and arrives in the UK to launch a new campaign. Painting with Murad on the streets of London, Sumaya digs into his process as Murad explains why ultimately he must return to the conflict in Yemen, armed only with his brushes and spray cans.
Photo: A mural by Murad Subay Credit: Murad Subay
Murad Subay is voiced by Fayez Bakhsh
Presenter: Sumaya Bakhsh
Producers: Robbie MacInnes and Simona Rata
An SPG production for the BBC World Service