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Regional Spotlights

<p>‘We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey’ – John Hope Franklin.</p><p>

Regional Spotlights is the attempt to capture this in a radio show; we explore different areas of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Each episode focuses on one aspect of whichever part of the world we are looking at – the politics, the language, the music, or anything else.</p><p>

Sometimes, we will investigate major events and issues from angles which perhaps haven’t been fully explored elsewhere. At other times, we will focus on lesser known aspects of a society. Enjoy.</p>

#CreativeAfrica! ADF hosts representatives of African creative industries in an exciting lead-up to the 2014 African Development Forum!

In this Asia spotlight programme, Rahul Verma and Charlotte England explore emerging musical subcultures in India and Burma.

Rahul speaks to Vidhi Gandhi who worked at Bombay's leading music venue, Blue Frog, about the growing popularity of electronic music, how the Police view club culture with suspicion, and the artists at the forefront of Indian electronic music.

On April 26, former Liberian President Charles Taylor was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international law for aiding and abetting rebels from 1996-2002 in Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war. Immediately after the verdict, announced on the eve of Sierra Leone's 51st Independence Day, emotions ranged from excitement to disappointment, showing the complexity of the case.

In this episode we are joined by Suzanne Husseini, well-known for her regular contributions to BBC Good Food and host of one of the most popular Arabic cooking shows in the Middle East. Come along with us on a travel from Morocco to the Gulf countries, and discover the peculiarities of Arab cuisine while Suzanne gives us an insight into the history and meanings of a food culture full of tradition.

Presenters: Nayela Wickramasuriya /Script, Interview and Production: Stefanie Groth

Somalia is no stranger to international interventions, having been colonised and invaded throughout its history. On Feb. 23, 2012, an international conference was held in London to plan a roadmap for Somalia’s future, with some arguing that this conference has stripped Somalia of its sovereignty. 

A country geographically located in the Eastern Horn of Africa, Somalia has been lodged in the international imagination as a failed state since 1991. But there’s another side of the country that we don’t hear about.

The ongoing developments in the Middle East have a considerable impact on the Arab media landscape, both on a transnational and national media. In this episode of Regional Spotlights we investigate the current developments in the Arab Satellite TV news market with new competition arising for Al Jazeera. We spoke to Deena Mostafa, former presenter for the Egyptian State TV, about the challenges of media transition in Egypt. Presenters: Nayela Wickramasuriya, Alexander Shaw / Script, Interview and Production: Stefanie Groth

In part II of this two-part special on 2012 Elections in Africa, our producers interview Senegalese artists and activists who discuss the political forecast for heavily contested presidential elections scheduled on February 26, 2012. There has been an uproar about standing President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, seeking a third term even though he initially promised to step down after his second term. The bulk of the opposition voices have been young men, with a politicised musical movement gaining momentum in poor communities throughout the country. Their message?

While Egypt and Syria attract the full glare of the world media spotlight, and other countries like Bahrain and Yemen catch a few of its rays, there are also protest movements in the Arab world that remain firmly in the dark, such as the 25th of February movement in Mauritania and recent student protests in Morocco. Clearly, the protest movements that have swept across the Middle East affect the entire region in a much wider scope, than one could tell from mainstream media. Therefore we interviewed two young Sudanese, asking how the Arab uprisings are perceived in their country.

In this episode we’ll look at two of the countries at the periphery of the Arab Uprisings, Bahrain and Yemen, where protests haven’t garnered as much attention in the West.
Dr Corinna Mullin, lecturer at SOAS in comparative politics, talked to us about the role that the international community is playing in Bahrain and how it affects the recent developments. And British-Yemeni freelance journalist Abubakr al-Shamahi informs us about the current situation in Yemen.

In 2012 alone, almost 20 African countries will be conducting presidential and general elections. During part I of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights host Robtel Pailey interviews academics from the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, Drs. Phil Clark and Dave Harris, to discuss whether or not elections represent the panacea to democratic consolidation in Africa.

Ghanaian singer Zagunor is our featured artist.

Executive Producer: Zoe Glatt
Associate Producers: Aminat Agoro and Catarina Inverso

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary about the courageous efforts of Liberian women who mobilised for peace in 2003, when a raging civil war threatened to spiral into anarchy in their country. In part II of this two-part special on the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews members of the production team and cast of the film, which features 2011 Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, Leymah Gbowee, Asatu Bah Kenneth, and Etty Weah are our featured interviewees. Beninois singer Angelique Kidjo is our featured vocalist.

During part I of this two-part special, we hear from Liberian women who attended the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, where two of their own, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and peace activist Leymah Gbowee, were honored with Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman on Dec. 10, 2011 for their women's rights advocacy.

For the second part of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights went to the TEDxEuston conference in London on November 26, 2011. We hear from the best and brightest of Africa’s emerging intellectuals, artists, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs. This year’s theme was redefine, re-imagine Africa.

In this show, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews IT mogul Herman Chinery-Hesse, writer Chika Unigwe, artistic director of the World Festival of Black Arts in Senegal, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and eco-fashion designer Jose Hendo.

Producer: Zoë Glatt

For the first of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights went to the TEDxEuston conference in London on November 26, 2011. We hear from the best and brightest of Africa’s emerging intellectuals, artists, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs. This year’s theme was redefine, re-imagine Africa.

In this show, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews Hadeel Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Western Nigeria, and actress and presenter, Moky Makura.

Producer: Zoë Glatt

In October, two-year-old Wang Yue was killed in a road accident in China's Guangdong Province. CCTV footage showed 18 people walking or cycling past without stopping to help. Does the story reveal a failure of morality in modern Chinese society? What does Chinese philosophy have to say about helping strangers? Should there be a law to make people stop and help?

Dr Zhu Sanzhu from the School of Law and Dr Lu Xiaoning from the Chinese Department join us in the studio...

The ongoing upheavals in the Middle East region, that kicked off in December 2010 in Tunisia, had been quickly placed within the framework of the 'Arab Spring'. But does the term fit one year on?
In our first part of this Spotlight we will have a look on the current events in Egypt and Syria.While the revolution in Egypt was succesful in ousting Mubarak, by now the country goes through what some call its 'second revolution'. Meanwhile, Syria is still faced with Bashar al-Assad and a worrying trend of growing levels of violence.

This week we're in Japan, where the Olympus Corporation has been under pressure since mid-October. The CEO of the company was sacked after bringing to light certain suspicious acquisitions payments. Sonja Ruehl from the Department of Financial and Management Studies takes an in-depth look at the story and its implications for corporate Japan.

Four months on from Mubarak’s resignation, and in the second of our shows on the events in Egypt, Nayela Wickramasuriya and Alex Etchart bring you up to speed with developments in the country. The problems facing the demands for self-rule are examined, but we also look at the reasons to be optimistic that the aims of the protests will be met.

The question of if missionaries have had a positive impact on Africa is often seen as redundant. In this show, presenters Nayela Wickramasuriya and Alex Etchart take another look and consider if the colonialist label is always justified. To debate the topic, they are joined by Reverend Pritchard from the London Missionary Society and SOAS second year history student Mashall Khattak.

In the wake of Mubarak’s resignation, and in the first of two shows on events in Egypt, presenters Nayela Wickramasuriya and Joe Buckley bring you up to speed with the origins of, and the background to, the protests. The second show will look more fully at the outcomes of the protests, but here we also consider who the opposition is and what they’ve looked like in the build up to this announcement.

In the first episode, Nayela Wickramasuriya presents a roundup of some of the key stories from 2010. We find out what, 6 months on, people think about the legacy of South African World Cup, discover a musical based on the life and work of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, look at China’s economic growth in 2010, look forward to the UK release of the Japanese film Norwegian Wood, and examine the impact of Wikileaks and social media in Turkey and Tunisia.