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May 17 & 20, 2012: from Zimbabwe - Kyiv, Ukraine - Beijing

From our correspondents around the world...


A member of the Ukrainian women's rights group FEMEN attacks the UEFA Cup in Kiev.  FEMEN says the Euro 2012 soccer tournament markets Ukraine's women to sex tourists.  (Photo: Reuters/ GlebGaranich)

From Zimbabwe, a foreign photographer emerges from jail telling of political tyranny, sadistic guards, and a first-hand fear of the lost freedoms he was sent to cover.

In Ukraine, a political protest that takes its top off. Half-naked women take to the streets saying it's their way of struggling for gender equality.

And from the vaults, Visions Of Joanna: the story of a picture that sent a man in China on a twelve-year quest.

And, we'll re-visit The Tree of Forgetfulness as author Alexandra Fuller recounts her memoir of family madness and colonialism in Africa.

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New Zealand photographer Robin Hammond was imprisoned for 24 days by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, atfer photographing people fleeing the country. (Photo: Amnesty International)

Tales of jail in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the police are pretty good at scaring people, according to Robin Hammond.

Maybe not so good at police work. The New Zealand photographer found out first hand.

He was jailed for taking pictures of Zimbabweans fleeing the political violence of the Mugabe regime.

He might still be in there if the police had promptly patted him down and seized his cellphone.

They didn't.

Long story short, Robin Hammond was held for twenty-four days and only released last week. We caught up with him in Paris to hear more about conditions in Zimbabwe.

Listen to Rick's conversation with Robin

New Zealander Robin Hammond is an award-winning photographer whose work in human rights and environmental issues.  He is now completing his retrospective on 32 years of Mugabe rule in Zimbabwe for the Carmignac Gestion Foundation.

Inna Shevchenko (R) and Sasha (L) are the most prominent members of FEMEN, which uses female sexuality, including nudity, to demand women's rights in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe.   (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 

Feminism laid bare in Ukraine

Well, the spark that ignited the Orange Revolution in Ukraine just a few years ago is more like a damp squib. Seems the days of political protest are mostly over.

Except for a small and controversial group trying to revive them in the name of women's rights. Controversial, because they use their sexuality to gain attention.

They went topless at KGB headquarters. And the Vatican. This week one of them peeled off and grabbed the Euro 2012 soccer trophy. Anything to advance the cause. They put their half-naked bodies on the line, occasionally with brutal result.

But Dispatches contributor Saroja Coelho says some wonder just what their cause is, and went to see whether their tactics help or hurt it.

Listen to Saroja's dispatch

The picture that triggered a magnificent obsession

The introductions to our stories usually tip you to the key components of what's coming up but this one's going to be a little different, because this one's a yarn, as we used to say in St. John's. 

A story that zigs and zags and asks you to lie back and enjoy a banquet of images crafted by a gifted storyteller.

All you need to know is it takes place in China, and involves two people who've never met. And yet they're about to have a reunion, all of it, set in motion by chance, and a picture.

Danielle Nerman's Visions Of Joanna



Alexandra Fuller with her parents on their land in Zambia (Photo: Alexandra Fuller)

Cocktail Hour Under The Tree Of Forgetfulness

Madness, insurrection and wine by the box in the African bush are all poured into Alexandra Fuller's new memoir of growing up British in the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Despite the gothic elements, her affection for Africa and her formidable mother -- the villian and the heroine of the piece, if you can believe it -- are intertwined in a compelling story of colonial misadventure in Africa.

The book is called Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness, and Alexandra Fuller joined Rick studio to talk about it.

Rick's interview with Alexandra

Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness is published by Random House. And after a long history in Africa, Alexandra Fuller now lives in Wyoming.

Here's an excerpt from the book, read by the author, talking about her mother. Fuller also describes her armed existence living in white-ruled Rhodesia.

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This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Victor Johnston and Nima Shams. Senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

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