Arts and Ideas

Arts and Ideas

The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Proms Plus Literary - John Tavener - 23 July 2014

    Wed, 23 Jul 14

    Duration:
    21 mins

    Poet and librettist Michael Symmons Roberts and broadcaster Reverend Richard Coles on the literature which inspired John Tavener from George Herbert and John Donne to Blake. This programme presented by Matthew Sweet and was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of the BBC Proms.To find out further information about the events which are free to attended go to bbc.co.uk/proms

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  • Proms Plus Literary - Responses to War - 20 July 2014

    Mon, 21 Jul 14

    Duration:
    21 mins

    The Booker prize winning novelist Pat Barker, author of the Regeneration Trilogy on the subject of the First World War, and the poet Owen Sheers discuss writers', musicians' and painters' responses to war including the work of Keith Douglas, UA Fanthorpe, David Jones, Alun Lewis and the paintings of CW Nevinson. The reader is Samuel West. This programme was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of the BBC Proms. To find out further information about the events which are free to attended go to bbc.co.uk/proms

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  • Proms Plus Literary - Chinese Culture Today - 19 July 2014

    Sat, 19 Jul 14

    Duration:
    20 mins

    Professor Rana Mitter discusses contemporary Chinese culture with a novelist and film maker Xiaolu Guo and Dr Katie Hill, an expert on Chinese Modern Art. The event was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of BBC Proms. To find out further information about the events which are free to attended go to bbc.co.uk/proms

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  • Free Thinking - Decision Making in the Money Markets - 17 July 2014

    Thu, 17 Jul 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Does emotion or reason dictate the financial markets? Anne McElvoy is joined by Frances Hudson, Global Thematic Strategist at Standard Life Investments; Daniel Ben Ami, financial journalist, author of 'Cowardly Capitalism' Greg Davis, Head of Behavioural and Quantitative Investment Philosophy, Barclays and Adrian Wooldridge of the Economist whose book 'The Fourth Revolution - The Global Race to Reinvent the State is out now.' Recorded at The Bowler Hat at this year's City of London Festival.

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  • Free Thinking - Politics and writing in Kenya - 16 July 14

    Wed, 16 Jul 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Billy Kahora, one of the writers nominated for this year's Caine Prize for African writing joins Philip Dodd to reflect on the way artists in Kenya respond to the political and religious unrest in the country.

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  • Free Thinking - Prisons & Anthropomorphism - 15 July 14

    Tue, 15 Jul 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Matthew Sweet interviews Karen Joy Fowler author of a novel which looks at the consequences of introducing a primate into a family and the human fascination with anthropomorphism with animal studies experts Susan McHugh and Giovanni Aloi. From Cape Town the South African man of the theatre Athol Fugard pays tribute to his late friend and fellow activist the author Nadine Gordimer. After today’s Howard League conference on community sentencing Matthew asks David Wilson and Gerard Lemos, commentators on the penal system, whether there is an alternative to prison or if prison is the alternative.

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  • Free Thinking - Virginia Woolf & Richard Flanagan - 10 July 14

    Thu, 10 Jul 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    With Anne McElvoy. Curator Frances Spalding and Dr Alexandra Harris discuss what portaits of Virginia Woolf convey of her character as a new exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery. Richard Flanagan's father was a Japanese POW on the "Death Railway". The Australian novelist's new book The Narrow Road to the Deep North was inspired by this.New Generation Thinker Alun Withey looks back at medical history. Stella Rimmington, former director general of MI5 and diplomat Alan Judd discuss turning their experiences of the security services into fiction.

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  • Free Thinking - History of Pain, Richard III, Animal Rights - 09 July 14

    Wed, 9 Jul 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Philip Dodd is joined by political commentator Steve Richards to discuss the new production of Richard III which stars Martin Freeman and is set in the 1970s. Historian Joanna Bourke considers changing medical attitudes to pain. She's joined by Marion Coutts, who has written about her husband's death in The Iceberg, and by the comedian Arthur Smith. Should we equate animals with humans when talking about rights? New Generation Thinker Alasdair Cochrane argues for a shift in our thinking.

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  • Free Thinking - The Digital Age & Boyhood - 08 July 14

    Tue, 8 Jul 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Richard Linklater filmed the actor who stars in Boyhood over 12 years from a 6 year old to a college youth. Matthew Sweet and author Toby Litt review the project and discuss growing up. Artist Cory Arcangel talks about his book composed from tweets and working in digital media. He also explores the themes explored in Digital Revolution at the Barbican Centre, which brings together film-makers, artists, game developers and musicians. As state schools across England prepare for the introduction of coding to the curriculum, journalist Aleks Krotoski and Benjamin Southworth - digital entrepreneur and former deputy chief executive of the government's Tech City initiative, join Matthew to discuss how - if at all - we should be preparing for the 'digital age'. Plus we hear another column from one of this year’s New Generation Thinkers, Jo Cohen, who asks whether we need to rethink the American Constitution, as the country recovers from its Independence day celebrations.

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  • Free Thinking - Oh What a Lovely Savas - 03 July 14

    Thu, 3 Jul 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    '€˜Oh what a lovely Savas' begins Rana Mitter in this edition of Free Thinking, using the Turkish word for War. Along with Sean McMeekin of the Koc University in Istanbul, the novelist Kamila Shamsie, Naoko Shimazu of Birkbeck College and Erez Manela of Harvard University Rana puts Japan, China, India, the Ottomans, Koreans and others centre stage in the years 1914 to 1918. If you weren’t from one of the European Great Powers could you even get into the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 which was to lead to the Treaty of Versailles? And was the failure of the Racial Equality Clause to get on the statute books at this conference the beginning of the end of Empire even for those who won the war?

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