The Serious Business of Comedy

Comedy often ventures where no other artistic medium dares.

Stand up comedians are used to straddling the line between funny and offensive. But as Germany upholds its ban of a comedian’s satirical poem mocking Turkish President Erdogan, and Facebook promises to hire 3,000 extra human moderators to capture offensive content, it begs the question - can we still take a joke? Navigating the line between funny and offensive, ground-breaking Indian comedian Aditi Mittal and British sensation Shazia Mirza.

Over the course of 2017, Canada is celebrating turning 150. The anniversary marks the birth of the ‘Canadian Confederation’, the coming together of the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. But for many native Canadians, they argue it denies their very existence. Despite the backlash, Cree Indian folk icon Buffy Sainte Marie explains why she believes performing at the birthday celebrations is a chance for change.

Growing up in Beirut amidst the aftermath of civil war, female MC Malikah took to the stage when she was just 16. She is proof of the city’s rich underground hip hop movement. But as political unrest continues, there are few opportunities for Lebanon’s emerging artists beyond street level. However for Malikah, who’s now keeping company with Snoop Dogg, rapping in Arabic is one way she believes she can promote her country on the international stage.

And finally to South Korea. Koreans are huge consumers of digital media. But according to TV comedian Lee Young Joo, despite being able to boast the fastest internet on the planet, the country's high level of connectedness is yet to penetrate a culturally conservative landscape. Lee Young Joo explains how as a comedian he is attempting to challenging the status quo.

Photo : Comedian Aditi Mittal

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 24 Jul 2017 06:32 GMT
BBC World Service East Asia