Andrew Marr travels back to Egypt in the 1950s to a time of religious pluralism and openness with the writer Tarek Osman. As Egypt votes in parliamentary elections, Tarek, asks what has happened in the intervening years. Francis Spufford imagines a very different world with his account of the Soviet Union under Kruschchev, and what could have happened if the dream of plenty had come true. Turkey's best-selling female novelist, Elif Shafak, argues against the constraints of identity politics and the pigeon-holing of multi-cultural writers. While Vicky Kaspi believes that we should be looking to outer space to stimulate curiosity and creativity: the astrophysicist and cosmologist researches some of the universe's most mysterious objects.
Producer: Katy Hickman.