This Saturday Morning: Kim talks to Dr Simon Chaplin about medical museums and exhibitions - and whether they inform and enlighten, or just exploit the dead; US journalist Katy Tur describes what it was like to be singled out and called "third rate" by Donald Trump during his presidential rallies in 2016; David Klein on his life as a plant, in the name of science - and entertainment; Broadway star Morgan James on why she's partnering with the NZSO on a commemoration of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein; Behrouz Boochani, now into his fourth year of incarceration at Manus Island, explains how he filmed a documentary while behind bars; Madeleine O'Dea on charting the evolution of China in its modern, world-facing era through the personal stories of nine contemporary artists; and Shane Hansen on why his new assignment will see him oversee the process of making objects of beauty out of junk. 



8.09 Dr Simon Chaplin - Medical Museums: scholastic, or just sickening?     

Body Worlds exhibition

Body Worlds exhibition Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dr Simon Chaplin

Dr Simon Chaplin Photo: Supplied

Dr Simon Chaplin is director of culture and society at London's Wellcome Trust, the world's second largest non-governmental funder of medical research, and co-founder of the Human Genome Project. Prior to joining Wellcome, Chaplin was Director of Museums and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons. His academic research interests include the history of anatomy and medical museums. He is about to come to Auckland as a keynote speaker at a colloquium that will debate a proposed Medical Museum for Auckland.  The colloquium will also coincide with the Body Worlds exhibition currently on in Auckland, which has been criticised for objectifying the dead and exploiting the human taste for the macabre under the guise of education.   


9:06 Katy Tur - Unbelievable

Katy Tur

Katy Tur Photo: Elena Seibert

New York-based Katy Tur is a correspondent for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. Tur visited 40 states with then-candidate Donald Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election, making more than 3,800 live television reports. Her extensive coverage caused her to be singled out by Trump for often hostile treatment, in some cases causing security scares when she was called out by him during campaign rallies. Tur has written a book about her experiences on the Trump campaign trail, called Unbelievable: My Front-row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History.

9.40 David Klein - Plant Man

Plant Man - David Klein

Plant Man - David Klein Photo: Anna Pendergrast

David Klein is a science communicator based in Wellington. Last summer he cycled around the country presenting Tour de Science - a show that explained how all the big things in the universe are made of lots of little things. It was performed in more than 50 towns and cities to rave reviews. More recently Klein has been thinking about what it would like to be a plant - making food from sunlight, dealing with all those bugs, the strong connection to the ground, and time passing really slowly. Plants, he says, aren't brainy but they are clever and successful. Klein combines his love of science with his love of storytelling in his new children's show, Plant Man, which he is performing at the Hutt Stemm Festival - celebrating the multi-million dollar science and innovation industries in Lower Hutt - on May 6. 


10:04 Morgan James - Singing Bernstein

Morgan James

Morgan James Photo: Supplied

New York-based soul singer, songwriter, and Broadway performer Morgan James is coming to Aotearoa this month to perform with the NZSO in its Bernstein at 100 concerts. As well as performing with orchestras, James has a big online presence with her jazz and soul interpretations of popular songs, including several with US viral video ensemble Postmodern Jukebox. Bernstein at 100 marks the centenary of legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, best known for the musical West Side Story.

10:40 Behrouz Boochani - Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time

Behrouz Boochani

Behrouz Boochani Photo: Supplied

Kurdish journalist, poet, filmmaker and refugee Behrouz Boochani has been imprisoned on Manus Island for almost five years.  He has created a film entirely on his mobile  phone from inside Australia's notorious Lombrum detention centre by uploading short video segments for Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani to edit into a feature-length documentary. The result is Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time, named after the Chauka bird, which is native to Manus, and also the wing in the detention centre where Boochani and others were sent for solitary confinement. Chauka will screen at the Documentary Edge Film Festival, details here






11.05 Madeleine O'Dea - The Eyes of the Artist 

Madeleine O'Dea

Madeleine O'Dea Photo: Supplied

Madeleine O'Dea has been a journalist, foreign correspondent and author for 30 years. She's written extensively on international arts and culture, as well as on Chinese politics, society, and culture, for a range publications including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, the Guardian, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. Her book The Phoenix Years: Art, Resistance and The Making of Modern China charts the country's ascent from economic ruin to global giant through its art. O'Dea will be speaking at this year's Auckland Writers Festival, details here.   


Artists from The Phoenix Years 


11.35 Shane Hansen - Design Junkies

Artist Shane Hansen

Artist Shane Hansen Photo: SUPPLED

Shane Hansen is an artist, and a furniture and fashion designer of Māori (Tainui, Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Hine), Chinese, Danish and Scottish descent. He draws on his cultural background and the environment to create his work. In 2016 he was commissioned by the NZOC to design the team uniforms and village sculpture for the NZ Rio Summer Olympic Team; in 2014  he was commissioned by Sheppard Cycles to create an original bike to be presented to HRH Prince George during the New Zealand Royal Tour; and in 2010 he was one of five Māori artists selected to create Māori designs for Rugby World Cup 2011; his designs were subsequently licensed for the international market. Hansen is the host of the new TVNZ show, Design Junkies, which began screening this week, in which contestants are challenged to make beautiful creations out of rubbish. 



Books mentioned in this episode:


Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

ISBN: 9780062684929



The Phoenix Years: Art, resistance and the making of modern China

by Madeleine O'Dea


Allen & Unwin

Music played in this show

Artist: Bettye LaVette (featuring Keith Richards)
Song: Political World
Composer: Bob Dylan
Album: Things have Changed
Label: Verve
Played at: 8:55

Artist: Morgan James
Song: Sledgehammer
Composer: Peter Gabriel
Album: Youtube Sessions EP
Label: Certified Morganic
Played at: 10:05

Artist: Morgan James
Song: Call My Name
Composer: Prince
Album: Hunter
Label: Epic
Played at: 10:30

Artist: Roseanne Cash
Song: The Walking Wounded
Composer: Johnny Cash/Roseanne Cash
Album: Johnny Cash: Forever Words
Label: Sony
Played at: 10:55