Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Martha Gellhorn2019011320200825 (R3)In 'Afterwords' we explore the ideas of great writers in their own words - as archive recordings in which they articulate their approach are interwoven with the thoughts of contemporary writers, academics and activists.

In this episode we focus on the words of Martha Gellhorn, one of the most prescient and insightful journalists of the 20th century. During her sixty-year career, from the 1930s onwards, Gellhorn's work often focused on the 'sufferers of history' - those who find themselves caught up in the decisions of leaders from which they neither have the influence nor means to extricate themselves. She reported on almost every major world conflict that occurred within that period - from the Spanish Civil War through to conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s. Through her ideas, contemporary writers and journalists reflect on modern reporting - on capturing truth amidst the chaos of conflict, on the responsibility of the reporter, on memory, objectivity and the failures of political imagination.

Featuring contributions from Patrick Cockburn, Rosie Boycott, John Pilger, Lindsey Hilsum, Janine di Giovanni and Jon Snow, this programme explores how her approach might inform the way we document the world we live in now.

Produced by Eleanor McDowall and Arlie Adlington
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio Three

Contemporary writers reflect on modern reporting through the work of Martha Gellhorn

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

In our new series 'Afterwords', we explore the ideas of great writers in their own words - as archive recordings in which they articulate their approach interweave with the thoughts of contemporary writers, academics and activists.

In this first episode we focus on the words of Martha Gellhorn, one of the most prescient and insightful journalists of the 20th Century. During her sixty-year career Gellhorn's work often focused on the 'sufferers of history' - those who find themselves caught up in the decisions of leaders from which they neither have the influence nor means to extricate themselves. She reported on almost every major world conflict which occurred within that period - from the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's through to conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980's. Through her ideas contemporary writers and journalists reflect on modern reporting - on capturing truth amidst the chaos of conflict, on the responsibility of the reporter, on memory, objectivity and the failures of political imagination.

Featuring contributions from Patrick Cockburn, Rosie Boycott, John Pilger, Lindsey Hilsum, Janine di Giovanni and Jon Snow this programme explores how her approach might inform the way we document the world we live in.

Through the work of Martha Gellhorn, contemporary writers reflect on modern reporting.

In this first episode we focus on the words of Martha Gellhorn, one of the most prescient and insightful journalists of the 20th Century. During her sixty year career Gellhorn's reporting often focused on the 'sufferers of history' - those who find themselves caught up in the decisions of leaders from which they neither have the influence nor means to extricate themselves. Through her ideas contemporary writers and journalists reflect on modern reporting - on capturing truth amidst the chaos of conflict, on the responsibility of the reporter, on memory, objectivity and the failures of political imagination.

Featuring contributions from Patrick Cockburn, Rosie Boycott, John Pilger, Lindsey Hilsum and others this programme explores how her approach might inform the way we document the world we live in.

Produced by Eleanor McDowall and Arlie Adlington
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio Three

Octavia E Butler2019012720200910 (R3)In the last episode of this series, the words of celebrated science fiction and fantasy writer Octavia E. Butler take us on a journey of discovery. During her career, Butler invited us to traverse difficult terrain through the prism of a fiction genre that hadn't quite accepted different perspectives: landscapes that were human rather than technological, earthbound rather than among the planets. Who might we become as we speculate and shapeshift beyond our gender, race and notions of time?

Her published career ran from the 1970s until her death in 2006, across decades of economic, environmental and political upheaval. She is now considered an important part of the science fiction canon, but during her lifetime she experienced works going in and out of print and the archive of her recorded voice is sparse. In this documentary, we examine the notion of legacy and question who gets to be remembered.

Feat. Professor of Sociology Akwugo Emejulu, Butler biographer Gerry Canavan, Ayana Jamieson, Researcher and co-founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, Professor of Literature and Ethnic studies - and current Director of the ground-breaking Clarion Writer's Workshop, where Butler first got her head start - Shelley Streeby, and Assistant Professor Cassandra L. Jones, whose work focuses on memory in Butler's work.

The archive includes an interview with Octavia Butler from Nov 1998 by Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff for the programme “Probabilities” which aired on KPFA-FM/Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, California, courtesy of Richard Wolinsky & Richard A. Lupoff, and an interview of Octavia Butler from 14 Dec 1993 for Fresh Air by Terry Gross.

Readings by Stacia L. Brown

Produced by Shanida Scotland

A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 3

Writers reflect on the work of celebrated science fiction writer Octavia E Butler.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

In our new series 'Afterwords', we explore the ideas of great writers in their own words - as archive recordings in which they articulate their approach interweave with the thoughts of contemporary writers, academics and activists.

In this episode, the words of celebrated science fiction writer Octavia Butler. During her career, Butler's literary landscape guided us through difficult - human rather than technological - terrain that often focused on dark utopias, and characters that shapeshift into and beyond current worlds. Professor Cassandra L Jones, part of the Butler legacy network, is in dialogue with Butler's use of memory and speculative womanhoods. Long-time fan and writer Courttia Newland examines how Butler's characters are born and the sociologist and activist Akwugo Emejulu explores how the reclaiming of fugitive spaces might be a space of action for new generations discovering Butler.

Produced by Shanida Scotland
A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 3

Writers reflect on the work of the celebrated science fiction writer Octavia Butler.

Susan Sontag2019012020200909 (R3)In our new series 'Afterwords', we explore the ideas of great writers in their own words - as archive recordings in which they articulate their approach interweave with the thoughts of contemporary writers, academics and activists.

Through the '60s and '70s up to her death in 2004, Susan Sontag was the embodiment of the fashionable, metropolitan, 'public intellectual'. Her writings on 'camp', on photography, on illness (she survived and then died from cancer at a time when the C word was almost taboo) and the suffering of others, together with her activism and her art, came to be shared with millions through the medium for which she had very little time as a viewer - television. And her radio interviews on the BBC and elsewhere cemented her reputation.

With contributions from her West Coast friend and scholar Terry Castle, the war correspondent Allan Little who got to know her well during the Siege of Sarajevo, the writer and broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi who achieved a rare intimacy in one interview for Night Waves, Andrew Bolton (curator of a forthcoming exhibition called 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), the journalist, critic and Sontag 'fan-boy' Boyd Tonkin and the writer Elif Şafak who continues to work in Sontag's long shadow, we take a close listen to the American writer and examine her legacy.

(Including archive from Studs Terkel Radio Archive, courtesy Chicago History Museum and WFMT Radio Network.)

Produced Alia Cassam and Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 3

A fragmentary look at the writer Susan Sontag through her own words and those of her peers

In 'Afterwords' we explore the ideas of great writers in their own words - as archive recordings in which they articulate their approach is interwoven with the thoughts of contemporary writers, academics and activists.

Through the 1960s and '70s up to her death in 2004, Susan Sontag was the embodiment of the fashionable, metropolitan, 'public intellectual'. Her writings on 'camp', on photography, on illness (she endured cancer at a time when the 'C word' was almost taboo) and the suffering of others, together with her activism and her art, came to be shared with millions through the medium for which she had very little time as a viewer - television. And her radio interviews on the BBC and elsewhere cemented her reputation.

With contributions from her West Coast friend and scholar Terry Castle, the war correspondent Allan Little who got to know her well during the Siege of Sarajevo, the writer and broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi who achieved a rare intimacy in one interview for Radio 3's Night Waves, Andrew Bolton (curator of the exhibition called 'Camp: Notes on Fashion' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), the journalist, critic and Sontag 'fan-boy' Boyd Tonkin and the writer Elif Shafak who continues to work in Sontag's long shadow, we take a close listen to the American writer and examine her legacy.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Toni Morrison20200705Reflections on the American writer Toni Morrison, who died in 2019, through her own words and those of her peers.

The words of the author Toni Morrison, whose work received the Nobel Prize and many other awards, take us on a journey that spans her literary career and the black American story. Through a selection of Morrison's interviews for BBC outlets, spanning her entire career, Morrison is placed in dialogue with contemporary thinkers, writers and activists - as well as with readings from her work. Afterwords outlines the events that shaped her powerful command of language and the great visionary force through which she chronicled the black American experience.

With contributions from writers, historians and curators, including Jay Bernard, Nydia Sawby, Ifeanyi Awachie, Dana Williams and Morrison's friend, Professor Farah Jasmine Griffin.

Produced by Shanida Scotland
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio Three

Reflections on American writer Toni Morrison in her own words and those of her peers.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.