Ideas for March 2017
Wednesday, March 1
THE SHADOW OF CHARM CITY
In a bid to instill civic pride forty years ago, Baltimore was officially named "Charm City". Today, some call Baltimore a war zone -- over 300 homicides per year amid 16,000 vacant homes. And the death of an African-American man in police custody in 2015 sparked the worst urban riots since the 1960's. IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell takes us inside America's great racial divide.
Thursday, March 2
BEYOND THE HUDDLED MASSES
Where we come from, and how we got here from there, shapes who we are. From the 2016 Stratford Festival, three fighters for human rights share their experiences: Flora Terah is a women's rights activist in Canada and former parliamentary candidate in Kenya; Harold Hongju Koh is professor of law at Yale and has worked as an advisor to the State Department; Payam Akhavan teaches law at McGill and has been a UN prosecutor at The Hague; all three are deeply involved in human rights issues.
Friday, March 3
Public spaces, from parks to sidewalks to transit, have a huge impact on millions of women around the world. They can help make life enjoyable and safe, or dangerous -- sometimes even lethal. Contributor Megan Williams travels from India to Vienna to talk to sociologists, city planners, and cultural historians. She reveals how the conception and design of public space profoundly affects the lives of women who move through it.
Monday, March 6
THE ENRIGHT FILES
Our monthly Monday night feature with Michael Enright, host of The Sunday Edition, in conversation with some of the most original and influential thinkers of our time.
Tuesday, March 7
THE TEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE
It's never been easier to banish the feeling of boredom -- at least for a moment. But some fear our weapons of mass distraction could lead to an epidemic of ennui and ADD. Contributor Peter Mitton examines boredom and discovers a little-understood universal state of mind. From its obvious downsides and unexpected upsides, to its evolutionary origins and the way it's shaping our future -- boredom is anything but dull.
Wednesday, March 8
THE LIVES OF WOMEN, READERS AND ALICE MUNRO
In 2013 the renowned short story writer Alice Munro became the first Canadian author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. On a cold autumn evening in St. John's, five women gather for their regular book club. Over snacks, wine and tea, they discuss Alice Munro's work, and reflect upon how her stories illuminate elements of their own lives.
Thursday, March 9
THE NIGHT WATCH: The Rise of the Extreme Right in The Netherlands, Part 1
In 1642 Rembrandt painted a masterpiece, a company of men preparing to go on guard duty in Amsterdam at the height of the war of independence from Spain. Its an icon of democracy in The Netherlands, the reminder of a founding moment in history, of the values of tolerance and nationhood. On the eve of this years national elections, the Dutch are experiencing an explosion of right-wing populism, fuelled by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Geert Wilders, and the nation is torn. What does history tell us, and what does this mean for a nations idea of itself? Part one of a two-part documentary series by Philip Coulter. Part 2 airs Tuesday March 14.
Friday, March 10
GENERATION MARS, Part 1
The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. We'll be driven by a desire to find life -- or what remains of it -- and to colonize the planet. Stephen Humphrey and a stellar crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards, risks and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving -- and living -- on the Red Planet. Part 2 airs Friday, March 17.
Monday, March 13
MAKING MARCO POLO
Almost everything we think we know about Marco Polo - traveller, explorer, the man who brought the wonders of the East to the West - is being questioned. Tony Luppino searches for the real man and story behind the legendary wanderer, and discovers someone even more interesting and unexpected.
Tuesday, March 14
THE IMMIGRANT: The Rise of the Extreme Right in The Netherlands, Part 2
Rabin Baldewsingh came to The Netherlands as a 13-year old, a Hindu from the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America. Today he's Deputy Mayor of The Hague, responsible for Social Affairs and Integration. It's an immigrant story with a happy ending, but it's not a track most new immigrants might be able to follow -- the Dutch are struggling with a rise of right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment on the eve of national elections. Part two of Philip Coulter's series.
Wednesday, March 15
THE 2016 SOBEY ART AWARD: The New Masters, Part 1
In today's art we often glimpse the future. The Sobey Art Award celebrates the best in Canadian contemporary art by artists aged 40 and under, awarding a total of $100,000 to five selected artists -- of which half goes to the winner. Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists: from the West Coast & Yukon: Jeremy Shaw; Prairies and the North: Brenda Draney; Ontario: Charles Stankievech; Quebec: Hajra Waheed; The Atlantic: William Robinson. The programs are produced in partnership with The National Gallery of Canada. Part 2 airs Wednesday, March 22.
Thursday, March 16
EXPLETIVE REPEATED: Why Swearing Matters
Profanity was once considered rude and crude -- a linguistic last resort. Not these days. Swearing is ubiquitous, increasingly accepted as slang, and being studied as an ever-evolving form of creative and cultural expression. Cognitive scientist, linguist, and author Benjamin K. Bergen (What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves) explains why cursing is so %$#* fascinating. Plus, writer Roxana Robinson traces the subversive path of one particular slur against women, and performer/activist Jess Thom explains what it's like to live with coprolalia -- involuntarily swearing out loud.
Friday, March 17
GENERATION MARS, Part 2
The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. We'll be driven by a desire to find life -- or what remains of it -- and to colonize the planet. Stephen Humphrey and a stellar crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards, risks and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving -- and living -- on the Red Planet.
Monday, March 20
SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs on loving your enemy into defeat
Longtime freedom fighter, activist, lawyer and judge on South Africa's Constitutional Court, Albie Sachs has lived many lives. Injured by a car bomb in Mozambique, he had every right to be bitter and angry, but he turned instead to "soft vengeance" -- loving your enemy into defeat, working to make a country that would be fair for everyone. In Canada to give the fifth annual Global Centre for Pluralism lecture, he talks to Paul Kennedy about his own remarkable life, and what he's learned about building a society. The programme includes excerpts from the lecture.
Tuesday, March 21
A PEASANT VS THE INQUISITION: Cheese, Worms and the Birth of Micro-history
Celebrated historian Carlo Ginzburg uncovers the past by telling the stories of the marginalized, the forgotten, and the silenced. His most famous work, The Cheese and the Worms, recounts the story of a 16th century miller who was tried twice by the Inquisition and eventually put to death. The trial records reveal a fascinating worldview that might have been lost forever -- and given the Fascist persecution of Ginzburg's family, he's got a stake in revealing histories that would otherwise remain unwritten.
Wednesday, March 22
THE 2016 SOBEY ART AWARD: The New Masters, Part 2
In today's art we often glimpse the future. The Sobey Art Award celebrates the best in Canadian contemporary art by artists aged 40 and under, awarding a total of $100,000 to five selected artists -- of which half goes to the winner. Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists: from the West Coast & Yukon: Jeremy Shaw; Prairies and the North: Brenda Draney; Ontario: Charles Stankievech; Quebec: Hajra Waheed; The Atlantic: William Robinson. The programs are produced in partnership with The National Gallery of Canada
Thursday, March 23
ARCHIVES AS 'GOOD MEDICINE': Confronting Métis trauma
PhD student Jesse Thistle was once a high school drop-out who spent more than a decade in and out of homeless shelters, consumed by drug and alcohol addiction. By reconnecting with his birth mother and spending time with his Métis elders he came to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma. His award-winning historical research shines a light on the struggles and the resilience of Métis 'road-side allowance' communities in northern Saskatchewan.
Friday, March 24
Monday, March 27 - Friday, March 31
THE 2016 CBC MASSEY LECTURES - THE RETURN OF HISTORY
In his 1989 essay The End of History? American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution, the best and final system to emerge after thousands of years of trial and error. Fukuyama seems to have been wrong: our recent history -- filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature.