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Topical arts series hosted by Mary Beard.

Station: BBC Two (GB)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Running
Start: 2020-09-24

Inside Culture Air Dates

S05E02 - Back to the 90s Air Date: 04 March 2022 19:30 -

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Whether it's in fashion and music or on our TV and cinema screens, the 90s are well and truly back. Shahidha Bari takes a look at the reasons why. She meets up with Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds and his son Riley, who has joined his dad in the band. They discuss 90s nostalgia, playing old and new hits to a Gen Z audience and the continuing popularity of their Euro 96 anthem Three Lions.

In Belfast, costume designer Cathy Prior reveals the inspiration behind the outfits she created for the hit series Derry Girls and provides an insight into her creative process – from combing through old copies of Smash Hits to curating 90s playlists.

To take stock of the 90s and ask what our nostalgia for this decade really means, Shahidha chats to Shaparak Khorsandi, Katy Hessel and Jon Savage. As well as reminiscing about Britpop, girl power and life before ubiquitous smartphones, they discuss the role that art and culture play in shaping the spirit of an age.

S05E03 - The Art of Crying Air Date: 11 March 2022 19:30 -

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Mary Beard is joined by the Oscar-winning actor and screenwriter Emma Thompson to talk tears. Together, they dissect some of Emma's most famous on-screen weeps and explore the role that crying plays both in art and in real life. Mary also receives a lesson from Emma in how to turn on the waterworks herself.

In Cardiff, artist Casper White reveals how two apparently different portrayals of crying – sacred paintings and selfies on TikTok - have come together to inspire his latest set of portraits, while classical musician and composer Alexis Ffrench plays a track from his new album, which explores feelings of grief. To make sense of all this sadness, Mary will discuss the history and cultural importance of crying with historian Thomas Dixon and comedian and podcaster Cariad Lloyd.

S05E04 - Can Art Save This Planet? Air Date: 18 March 2022 19:30 -

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Shahidha Bari teams up with artists, poets, comics and musicians to investigate the role that the arts can play in exploring and processing the most challenging crisis of our times: the threat to our planet from catastrophic climate change.

Shahidha meets Antony Gormley at his Norfolk studio to find out how his work has engaged with the climate crisis and to discuss how the global art industry can lower its carbon footprint. She also visits poet and performer Kae Tempest to talk about the importance of resilience and the ways in which music and poetry can help us to process life's pressures.

From Toronto, The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman shares a special performance of a track from her recent album, which explores the emotional fallout from the damage we've inflicted on the natural world. Finally, to debate what happens when art meets science, Shahidha gets together with writer and curator Ekow Eshun and comedian and environmental economist Matt Winning.

S05E05 - Episode 5 Air Date: 25 March 2022 19:30 -

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In the final episode of the series, Mary Beard brings her trademark wit and probing curiosity to an interview with a very special guest - the British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, whose experiences of migration and exile have informed many of her books - including her latest, The Island of Missing Trees.

Mary asks the Booker-nominated writer about her life and career, and together they reflect on the art and culture of the moment - exploring themes from belonging and identity to equality and freedom of speech. They also share their thoughts about polarisation on social media and staying sane in an age of division.

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