This week we’re stretching the definition of Europe to the limit and travelling all the way down to the French-Italian research base in the Antarctic! By some miracle we managed to Skype the physicist Meganne Christian at the Concordia base about what it’s like spending an entire year living in the most isolated place on Earth (albeit with decent Italian cooking). At the other end of the planet: bears, Viktor Orbán’s bid to turn Hungarian women into baby-machines, and pop that pisses off the populists.
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This week, the story of a painting that’s been attacked with knives, chopped up, hidden in a cave from Nazis, and has probably had beer spilled on it. It also happens to be one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Our very special guest is Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum, here to explain why the Netherlands’ national museum is going to be restoring The Night Watch while the whole world watches. And from Rembrandt to race, the playright Marjorie H. Morgan is on the line from Liverpool to talk about the difference between being black in Europe and black in America.
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As you’ll see in this week’s episode, we’re warming to two themes this season: urine, and the far-right.
Timo Lochocki, an expert on populism in Europe, is on the line from Berlin to talk about why we SHOULDN’T talk about Steve Bannon’s new venture on this side of the Atlantic. On a brighter note, Adrian Murphy’s here to talk about Europeana, a lovely EU culture project that is currently collecting personal stories about migrating around the continent.
Also: good times for cash-strapped Berlin parents, bad times for Shakespearean amateur voiceover artists, and a disaster averted in Katy’s hometown.
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We’re back! What’s cooking, Europe? Apparently the whole continent. Greece has just suffered Europe’s deadliest forest fires in a century, part of a spate of extreme weather all over the northern hemisphere. Just back from Athens, we ask incoming AFP science correspondent Patrick Galey (and his dog) whether this is the new normal. Follow @patrickgaley for the angriest climate tweets in town.
Things have been heating up in Germany too, in the form of a huge debate over identity politics. Dicle Akar, a teacher at the Berlin International School, gives us her thoughts on Turkish identity in Germany and the row over football star Mesut Özil.
Plus: how the summer’s been going for Europe’s biggest political egoes, and the bright side of the forthcoming apocalypse.