Sunday, February 13, 2011

Programs for the Week of Feb 14

We have a lovely line-up for the week ahead: Rumi for Valentine’s Day; a live interview with Shirin Neshat, Iranian video artist extraordinaire; two programs in honor of African-American history month: one about Harlem, and the other with the author of the soulful cookbook, High on the Hog, and finally, the prospects for South Sudan, Africa’s newest country.

NB: Coming up on INSDE ISLAM: February 23: What are your questions about the Qur’an? Does the Qur’an incite Muslims to violence? What are its core messages? What kind of God is Allah? Send your questions to us via Facebook or Twitter under hereonearthshow, or by email at We’ll use as many as possible when we talk with UW-Madison Professor Anna Gade.

Jean’s Pick of the Week: India Calling: I have to admit my image of India was stuck in the sixties, maybe a hangover from the Beetles, but not anymore! After an hour with Anand Giridharadas, who grew up loathing the land of his parents, and ended up loving it, I now think of India as an awakening giant, and I will never romanticize poverty again.

Monday: A Love Divine: When Rumi, the 13th century poet and founder of Sufism, met his teacher, Shams of Tabriz, he was introduced to a deeper kind of love that would inspire him for the rest of his life. On this Valentine’s Day you’ll see Rumi’s poetry books in every bookstore. But what sort of love was Rumi really talking about?

Tuesday: Women Without Men: Venice Film Festival prizewinner Shirin Neshat depicts the life of four Iranian women in “Women Without Men” during the politically tumultuous summer of 1953. The movie catalogs political change through the personal stories of a prostitute, a rebel, a traditionalist, and an unhappy wife. We talk with Iranian-born visual artist Neshat about her movie and “Rapture” the video installation currently at MMoCA, Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Wednesday: Harlem is Nowhere: Known worldwide as a center of cultural and political achievement, Harlem could be described as the capital of Black America. Now threatened by gentrification, we’ll talk with Harlem’s most recent chronicler Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts about old-fashioned rootedness and what it takes for a community to fight for the value of place.

Thursday: A New Sudan: After the Southern Sudanese overwhelmingly voted in favor of secession from Khartoum, Southern Sudan is slated to become the youngest country on the African continent as of July 9th. While the vote has been viewed as a success by the international community, the new country will face considerable challenges as it makes its transition to full independence. Have you ever witnessed the birth of a country?

Friday: High on the Hog: From Gorée Island in Senegal to Ibo Landing in the Low Country of the American South, from ham hocks to chitlins to fried chicken and vegan soul, we’ll invite Jessica B. Harris, Grande Dame of African American cookbooks, to tell us about the people and the recipes that gained the peoples of Africa their hard-won place at the American table.

Exciting news coming out of Egypt right now. Stay tuned to NPR. My husband and I are planning a trip to Syria later this spring. I hope we get to go!


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