We speak to creative minds about their mental health to find out how it shapes their art and their lives.
Two artists from two different continents, the painter Hana Alfikih and the photographer Tsoku Maela discuss how they use their artistic platform to challenge attitudes toward mental illness in their home countries of Indonesia and South Africa.
We meet the comedian finding the funny side of her mental health battles. Maria Bamford, the star of the TV series Lady Dynamite shares the story of how many of her most difficult moments inspired her most celebrated comedy.
In the city of Mumbai, India, a group of creative minds have come together to try and change attitudes toward mental health – all through the power of a podcast. One of its producers Zain Calcuttawala tells The Cultural Frontline how he was inspired to create the podcast, Marbles Lost and Found by his own personal experience.
Plus has a book, a song or a film ever changed the way you think about life? The award-winning choreographer and performer Akram Khan shares the story of the film that changed his life, giving him the sense of humour and confidence to express himself that he lacked as a tongue-tied teenager who loved to dance.
If you have been affected by the content of this programme or if you have found anything in this programme distressing support is available.
It may help to talk to a health professional or trusted friend or you can go online to the website befrienders.org which lists organisations in around the world which can provide support.
Presented by Tina Daheley
Produced by Mugabi Turya, Kirsty McQuire, Nancy Bennie, Anna Bailey and Shoku Amirani
Image:Sehlaga from Abstract Peaces by Tsoku Maela. Credit: Tsoku Maela
The Art of Storytelling
How do you tell the story of your country through music? The Iranian composer Mehdi Rajabian tells the BBC's Sahar Zand why he’s brought musicians from across the Middle East together to promote peace in the region through an ambitious new album.
One of Africa’s brightest new film makers, Blitz Bazawule, tells The Cultural Frontline how he fused magical realism and social commentary to tell the story of the tumultuous relationship between two Ghanaian brothers in his new film The Burial of Kojo.
Has a book, a film, or a poem ever changed the way you see the world? Acclaimed poet, storyteller and social media star Rupi Kaur shares her love for the poem ‘On Marriage’ from The Prophet by the Lebanese writer and poet Khalil Gibran.
Plus we take to the stage with the renowned theatre director Ola Ince. She shares her views on the transformative power of the theatre and reveals how she brought her latest production The Convert, written by Black Panther star Danai Gurira, to life.
Presented by Tina Daheley
Produced by Mugabi Turya, Sahar Zand, Shoku Amirani, Kirsty McQuire and Nancy Bennie.
(Picture: A scene from the film the Burial of Kojo Photo Credit: Blitz Bazuwale and Michael Fernandez)
Meet Dimash, Central Asia’s Biggest Pop Star
Sell out tours, millions of social media followers and adoring fans across the globe. Welcome to the world of Dimash, Central Asia’s biggest pop star. We find out how he went from a child singer to a pioneer of pop music and why he is trying to change the world’s perception of his home country, Kazakhstan.
Has a song, a book, a work of art ever changed the way you see the world? Zandra Rhodes, one of British fashion’s leading trend setters, reveals why the work of the artist Duggie Fields inspires her.
They have been dubbed “the wildest DJ crew and label in Mexico” and have been credited with revolutionising a dance music scene in Mexico City that has been devastated by the War on Drugs. The BBC’s Emmanuella Kwenortey speaks to the creative minds behind the pioneering artistic collective NAAFI and finds out what drives these cultural mavericks.
Plus we find out why the sky is the limit for Indian statues. The writer Sandip Roy explores the increasingly competitive and record breaking nature of public art and public life in India.
Presented by Tina Daheley
Image: Dimash in concert. Credit: Nikita Basov
House of Kenzo, Art Collective
House of Kenzo are the underground dance collective revolutionising Texan nightlife. We join Breezy, Roxy, Flo, Gemel and Toni over a weekend, as they perform at the opening of a queer film festival in Austin and in their hometown of San Antonio.
Each performance is a conceptual piece of artwork with built in messages of radical self-expression, body positivity, ecology and community. Constructing a DIY stage on the dancefloor, House of Kenzo blend jaw-dropping dance moves - voguing, krumping, break dancing in ten inch heels - with avant garde club music, shouting explicit mantras at the audience, inviting them to join in a communal, often cathartic, dance battle.
For local artist Ben Aqua, they represent the future of queer culture. Their volatile energy, flamboyant fashion, and total freedom of expression are inspiring a movement in Texas - a traditionally conservative state. Their events are often a springboard for other LGBT artists of colour in the underground nightlife scene.
Local journalist and DJ, Dan Gentile, believes House of Kenzo have a real future not in just music but in performance art, the type of higher end culture that would traditionally be difficult for an underground art collective to break into.
To date, they’ve performed showcases at Austin’s SXSW, Day For Night Festival in Houston, and are beginning to tour all over the US, and will be travelling to Europe for the first time this October.
A Just Radio Production for BBC World Service. Produced by Victoria Ferran.
Image: Roxy and Breezy from underground arts collective House of Kenzo (Credit: Ben Aqua)