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Global Perspectives

Each year CBC gets together with seven other public broadcasters from around the world to produce documentaries on a single theme.   This year the theme is  Who Says I Can't?.  Karin Wells will introduce stories of defiance.  These are tales of people who, by necessity or choice, challenge authority, sometimes at great personal cost.

  • June 30, 2011 - Don't Tell Me I Can't... Squat
    Squatters have been a well established feature of Dutch life for decades. However, in October 2010, a new anti squat law came into effect to force squatters out of Dutch cities once and for all. But the squatters are not about to let it go that easily. For them, it's a matter of principle. (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)
  • July 7, 2011 -- Escape from Honduras
    In this documentary "Who says I can't" takes on a multiple meanings. There is the defiance of Eduardo Lopez. There are the Honduran police who try to muzzle his anti-government opinions. And then there is the Canadian immigration official who denies Lopez entry into Canada as a political refugee. (CBC)
  • July 14, 2011 -- The Ancestors are calling
    Lesego Mangwanyane in Johannesburg is worried. Her great grandfather was a traditional healer but her grandmother and mother didn't want to take it on. Lesego is starting to have premonitions that the ancestral finger is pointing at her. But she doesn't want to be sucked into that world of ancestral spirits and herbal medicines. She just wants to get on with her life as a young African woman in the 21st Century. Will she listen to the call of the ancestors or not? (SAFM in South Africa)
  • July 21, 2011 - The Too Hard Basket
    Physically disabled people are rarely touched in a loving way or thought of as sexually beings. Yet they have the same need for a sexual life as everyone else. John Blades, who has a major disability himself, talks to sex workers about why they work with disabled clients and the importance of touch to every human being. Note: mature subject matter. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  • July 28, 2011 -- 'Who Says I Can't...Serve?'
    New Zealand Navy prides itself on being somewhat progressive - even in matters considered taboo in many other countries. This is the story of a gay naval officer and the approach of the New Zealand military to what it called "sexual diversity." (Radio New Zealand)
  • Aug 4, 2011 - Watch My Stick...Please.
    At some point, they simply gave up making music. Their instruments gathered dust on a shelf. Maybe somebody told them, you can't play. You're not good enough. Maybe they whispered it to themselves. Alisa Siegel takes us to a band whose common bond is a rekindled love of playing music. (CBC)
  • Aug 11, 2011 - Who says I can't ...Fish?
    Fishermen in many parts of the world are having greater restrictions put on their fishing because of concerns about the level of fish stocks and the marine environment. The BBC World Service visits Fred Normandale, one of the few remaining fishermen in the small town of Scarborough in the North East of England, to tell this story from a British perspective. (BBC World Service)
  • Aug 18, 2011 - Couscous and Cultural Diplomacy
    Elkader, Iowa (population 1,500) is a town with an unusual namesake. American settlers named it after the Algerian jihadist and anti-colonialism fighter Abd al-Qader in 1846. This story charts the efforts of an openly gay Algerian man and his partner as they create an Algerian-American restaurant on Main Street - and wrestle with small town politics. (WAMU in Washington, DC)
  • Aug 25, 2011 -- In His Own Right
    In Hong Kong, Bun Chai was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident 20 years ago. After spending more than a decade in a hospital bed, he made a public appeal for the right to die. In this documentary, Bun Chai talks candidly about those trying times, the public letter he wrote, and making a fresh start. (Radio Television Hong Kong)
  • Sept 1, 2011 - The Women are Coming
    On May 11, 1970, 35 Canadian women shackled themselves to their chairs in the public galleries of the House of Commons. During Question Period they started to shout. The business of parliament came to a halt. It was the culmination of what became known as the Abortion Caravan, a defiant country wide trek aimed at putting the issue of abortion access on the national agenda. More than 40 years later, the impact is still with us. (CBC)