How should museums deal with contentious legacies?
Two years since the French President, Emmanuel Macron, called for the restitution of objects taken at the height of Europe’s empires, some French and Dutch museums have started the process to hand back some artefacts. However, most of the UK’s main institutions remain reluctant.
Should we empty our museums to make amends for our colonial past? In this edition of Analysis, David Baker speaks to people on all sides of the argument to get to the bottom of a topic that is pitching the art world up against global politics.
Producer: Matt Russell
Editor: Jasper Corbett
Picture Credit: Crown, gold and gilded copper with glass beads, pigment and fabric, made in Ethiopia, 1600-1850 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum
The Problem with Boys
The data is indisputable: in developed countries boys now lag behind girls in several significant areas of education.
For years, women lagged behind men in educational attainment. More boys went to university, and twice as many men as women got degrees in 1960. Forty years later and, fifty seven percent of university students are women. By almost any measure of school related performance girls are doing better than boys.
Everyone agrees there is a problem but there is little consensus over what is causing it. Are boys doing worse or girls doing better? Is the education system biased against boys? Are boys just wired differently when it comes to learning?
The roots of the new gender gap are complex and nuanced, but if we can't agree on what's causing it, how can we solve it? In the meantime more and more boys will fall behind.
In this Analysis on The Problem with Boys, BBC journalist and father of three boys, David Grossman, looks at the evidence and tries to find a way forward.
Producer: Gemma Newby
Editor: Jasper Corbett
For many white people their race is not part of their identity. Race, racial inequality and racism are things that people of colour are expected to talk about and organise around. Not anymore.
Anti-racist activists and academics are now urging white people to recognise that they are just as racialised as minorities. The way to successfully tackle structural racism, they say, is to get white people to start taking responsibility for the racially unjust status quo.
Bristol-based journalist Neil Maggs, who is white, takes a deep dive into the canon of books, Instagram challenges and workshops that seek to educate people like him on their white privilege and internalised white supremacy. He gets advice from anti-racism trainer Robin DiAngelo, learns about the growing field of whiteness studies in the UK, and visits the white working class estate of Hartcliffe to see how these ideas play out there.
He also talks to Eric Kaufmann about the inevitable decline of white majorities by the end of the century and how to prevent white people falling for far-right conspiracy theories about being wiped out.
Presenter: Neil Maggs
Producer: Lucy Proctor
A shorter working week
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the working week gradually got shorter and shorter. As technological advances powered economic growth, workers reaped the gains not just in the form of higher pay, but more leisure time. The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd eventually all be working a 15-hour week. Even in the 1970s the expectation that 8 hour days would be reduced to 6 was widely held across the political spectrum. But this all ground to a halt in the 1980s.
In this edition of Analysis Sonia Sodha explores the great leisure mystery: whatever happened to this dream of working less? And why is the idea of a 4-day working week gaining traction on the political left in Britain? What would a society that ditches the long-hours culture, and re-embraces the leisure dream look like, and is it really possible to achieve this without increasing inequality between the haves and have-nots of the labour market?
Going the way of the dodo? The decline of Britain's two main parties.
Recent polling data and election results paint a picture of woe for Britain's two main political parties. Of course both Labour and the Conservatives have suffered periods of decline throughout their history. But arguably never before have both parties been so riven by internal divides and suffered such a loss of public confidence at the same time. Edward Stourton looks to historical precedents for guidance on today's political turmoil and asks if the two parties' decline is now terminal. With Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London; Lord Lexden, official historian of the Conservative Party; Deborah Mattinson of Britain Thinks; Charlotte Lydia Riley of the University of Southampton; John Sergeant, former BBC Chief Political Correspondent; and Adrian Wooldrige, author of the "Bagehot" column at The Economist.