India and Morocco

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Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in west Bengal was a grand metropolis, the second biggest of the Empire, when Britain ruled India. Since then, and in no small part due to the work of Mother Teresa, the city has become more of a byword for poverty and squalor. But now the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, wants it to become more like London. Why London? Much of Kolkata's British-built heritage survives, and it's now getting a make-over.

Richard Hamilton used to be our man in Morocco, and in 2006 he met the last remaining storytellers on the famous Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech. He recently returned to see how they were getting on, and found there is only one left. Competing with television and noisy modern lifestyles, storytellers are crowded out. But the stories only exist in the tellers' memories, so each time one of them dies or gives up, it's as if a library burns. So what can be done to help the thousand-year old art to survive?

Presenter: Pascale Harter
Producer: Arlene Gregorius
Photo of the Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech: BBC

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11 minutes

Last on

Mon 14 Apr 2014 19:50 GMT

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