Copyright restrictions prevent us from making these programmes available as audio on demand or podcasts.
Monday 25 July - Beauty from Within?
A BBC world Service programme looking at what happens when the worlds of food and beauty collide. The market for nutricosmetics - foods that have claimed beauty benefits - is growing by 10% every year. A beauty blogger in Tokyo tells us why she thinks these products are already popular in Asia, particularly Japan. In China, the concept of beauty from within sits comfortably with traditional medicine. Could the food industry turn the beauty industry on its head? One company that thinks so invites us to take a look at their laboratory where they’ve created a small chocolate bar, which they say prevents ageing and promises all the goodness of 300g of Alaskan salmon.
Tuesday 26 July - A Tempest in Rio
On the eve of the Olympics, Shakespeare’s mix of sex, politics and intrigue plays out in Rio. 400 years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays have come to Brazil and are being played to packed houses in front of enthralled audiences who respond instinctively to their passionate mix of political corruption, violence, sex, death and the supernatural. A unique collaboration between international directors, academics and Brazilian actors has brought one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Tempest – in which he writes about the ‘brave new world’ of the Americas – to Rio de Janeiro. Writer and historian Jerry Brotton finds that the Brazilian world of carnival proves to be not so far away from the popular festival world of Elizabethan England, and sees how Shakespeare has been used by Brazilians to understand everything from their independence to military dictatorship and even the nation’s celebrated television soap operas.
Wednesday 27 July - 'Stealing Innocence' in Malawi
Ed Butler explores the secretive and shocking world of Malawi’s 'hyenas'. These are the men hired to sexually initiate adolescent and pre-adolescent girls – some said to be 12 years old, or even younger. It is a traditional custom that is endorsed and funded by the communities themselves, even the children’s families. Ed meets some of the victims, the regional chief campaigning to stop the practice, and the hyenas themselves, and ask if enough is being done to stamp out a custom that is not just damaging on a human scale, but is also undermining the country’s economic development.
Thursday 28 July - The Secret History of Yoga
Like millions of people, Mukti Jain Campion attends regular yoga classes and enjoys its many physical and mental benefits while believing it to be the “timeless Indian discipline” so often described in yoga books. But recent research challenges this common assumption. Could modern yoga classes, as now taught all around the world, actually be the product of 19th Century Scandinavian gymnastics as much as ancient Indian philosophy?