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Play now 28 mins

The Strand - Friday 30th July 2010

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 30 July 2010

The best of the world's arts, film, literature and music brought to you every day. Presented by Mark Coles.

In today's programme: The BBC World Service's Writer in Residence Hamid Ismailov invites you to read a chosen book, we find out why the great Lebanese songstress Fairouz is not allowed to perform anymore, South Korean Theatre at the Avignon Festival and the rise of South American film.


4 items


    A number of the world's leading authors, novelists and poets are taking it in turns over the next few weeks to choose the three books they think are a key to understanding their country and culture. The BBC World Service's Writer in Residence Hamid Ismailov invites you to read UZBEKISTAN.

    The three books that Hamid recommends are:

    1. The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor (Modern Library Classics)

    2. Kalvak Mahzum by Abdullah Kadyri

    3. Soul by Andrey Platonov

    In his latest blog post Hamid's asking for the audience's help to write a short story...

    Click the link below for more details.

    BBC World Service Writer in Residence - How to break the break


    Photo c/o Video Tape Freeze Frame.

    The great Lebanese diva Fairouz is not allowed to perform anymore. Her fans - and there are millions of them around the world - say she's been silenced as she's been banned from performing many of her best known works over a legal wrangle. Such is her popularity, the news has led to demonstrations on the streets of Beirut as well as a protest concert this week in Egypt. Roula Ayoubi from BBC Arabic joins us.

  • Avignon - Rhinoceros

    Avignon - Rhinoceros

    Photo c/o Valerie Suau.
    A scene from Rhinoceros at the Theatre des Halles in Avignon.

    South Korean theatre at Avignon Festival. Ionesco's 'Rhinoceros' has been given a Korean setting, and the themes of the play of fascism and dictatorship are explored in an interesting new light.

    See top of page for two links regarding the production.

  • The Rise of South American film

    The Rise of South American film

    The South American continent has produced some of the finest cinema in the last 15 years from Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries to Fernando Meirelles' City of God. To celebrate the continent's cinematic renaissance, which has been dubbed the 'buena onda" (good wave), the British Film Institute is presenting a season of films across August. To investigate reasons behind it, Mark is joined by Demetrios Matheou, author of New South American Cinema, and film critic Maria Delgado.

    BFI - South American Renaissance

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  1. Image for World Book Club

    World Book Club

    From Alice Walker to Chinua Achebe, the world's greatest authors discuss their best known novel.…

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