Thinking Allowed - Northern Ireland Sectarianism and Civility; The Global Pigeon
Laurie Taylor considers our complex relationship with the quintessential city bird. Also, sectarianism versus civility amongst Belfast mothers.
The Global Pigeon - our complex and contradictory relationship with the quintessential city bird. Laurie Taylor talks to Colin Jerolmack, an American sociologist, who spent over 3 years studying pigeon/human interaction across 3 continents. Pigeons were domesticated thousands of years ago as messengers, as well as a source of food. These days they're either treated as a nuisance or scarcely noticed on our city streets and roofs. This new study uncovers the many and versatile lives of these anonymous looking birds; the ways in which people have kept them for sport, for pleasure and profit: From the 'pigeon wars' waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa. The author argues that our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics.
Also, sectarianism and civility in Northern Ireland - Dr Lisa Smyth explores how mothers from different religious communities 'get along' in the shared spaces of inner city Belfast.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.