Every month, Executive Committee member Sadie rounds up the best podcasts she’s found with activist, social change or artistic content.
“I think I was meant to be an artist … now I just play with life as an art form. I am a child of Rocky Horror,” So tells bioartist Adam Zaretsky on a recent episode of Love + Radio. Exploring the concept of deviant art, genetic engineering, and the ethical boundaries exposed by what is known as “bioart”, this radio hour blurs the boundaries of art, science, consent, and playing God. “Art that shocks is achieving as aesthetic goal,” Zarestsky says. “If a mouse has an ear on its back, I can appreciate that. I was raised to appreciate surrealism.”
After the death of Cuba’s infamous leader, a multitude of voices emerged extolling Castro’s achievements or branding him an oppressive dictator. This episode of The Cultural Frontline explores Castro’s cultural legacy with two artists from the country. It also takes a look at how Musicians Without Borders are overcoming sectarian divides in Kosovo, and gets the story behind a cancelled Iranian art exhibition in Berlin.
Guests on the long-standing favourite BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs are always well-known and fascinating. The premise is that said guest is stuck on a desert island, able to choose only 10 songs to take with them – lending the interviews a unique angle and intimacy. People’s music choices can tell us a lot about them, which is why this programme is so intriguing.
Yet this week’s offering, released one week before Christmas, felt like an especially good treat to many. The legendary Bruce Springsteen tells Kirsty Young about his childhood, his rented guitar, and his struggles with depression. He also talks about his records, which are frequently a political commentary on the struggles of ordinary Americans.