The Documentary

The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programmes.

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Website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nq0lx
Description
The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programmes.
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-12-12 20:47
last episode published
2019-12-12 13:45
publication frequency
1.8 days
Contributors
BBC owner  
BBC World Service author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
903
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Society & Culture History News & Politics

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Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
12.12.2019

A fight for light in Lebanon

Life in Lebanon is a daily battle to beat the power cuts caused by the country's chronic electricity shortage. If you live in a block of flats, you have to time when you go in and out to avoid getting trapped in the lift. Food goes bad because fridges ...
BBC World Service author
11.12.2019

From Bude to Berlin

Gordon Corera becomes the first journalist allowed to record inside GCHQ's listening station at Bude on Britain’s south-west coast. The station has spied on global communications satellites for decades, sucking in signals from space. He takes us from t...
BBC World Service author
10.12.2019

My Big Korean-Iranian Wedding

Hossein Sharif is an Iranian boy, about to marry Hee Sue, a South Korean girl. As the families begin to meet, Sharif discovers all the criss-crossing roads that the couple's home countries have travelled. In the last 50 years, South Korea and Iran have...
BBC World Service author
7.12.2019

The digital election: How social media is reshaping UK democracy

In the UK’s 2019 general election, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are playing a more prominent role than in any previous campaign. As the election enters its final stages, political scientist Travis Ridout, co-dire...
BBC World Service author
5.12.2019

Sri Lanka: The new climate of fear

There’s a new climate of fear in Sri Lanka. This time it’s the Muslim community who are fearful of the future. The Easter bomb attacks in Sri Lanka - targeting churches and international hotels - horrified the island. It’s suffered civil war but never ...
BBC World Service author
4.12.2019

How Scarborough saved the world

The work of GCHQ started just after the end of World War One as telegraph became a vital means of military communications. We hear from people who worked at the listening station in the Yorkshire seaside resort of Scarborough during World War Two and t...
BBC World Service author
3.12.2019

Giving peace a chance

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's bed-in for peace protest and the people who witnessed it
BBC World Service author
28.11.2019

The man who laughed at al-Qaeda

Raed Fares, founder of Syria's legendary Radio Fresh FM, was mowed down by unknown gunmen as he left his studios in rebel-held Idlib in November 2018. The death of the man who fought hatred with humour and laughed in the faces of President Assad, ISIS ...
BBC World Service author
26.11.2019

Emperor complex

In the span of five years, Chairman Huang turned farmland in China’s Sichuan province into Seaside City. The ocean-themed town, which Huang says was inspired by Dubai and Disneyland, is now home to more than 400,000 people. In the city centre, numerous...
BBC World Service author
24.11.2019

The Malawi tapes

A race is on to save thousands of tapes of traditional Malawian music in danger of disintegrating in the archives of state broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. The old reel-to-reel tapes date back to the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s and were rec...
BBC World Service author
21.11.2019

Russian women fight back

Domestic abuse in Russia is endemic with thousands of women dying at the hands of their partners every year. Despite this a controversial law was passed in 2017, which scrapped prison sentences for first-time abusers. Beatings that do not cause broken ...
BBC World Service author
14.11.2019

Sierra Leone: The price of going home

Fatmata, Jamilatu and Alimamy all see themselves as failures. They’re young Sierra Leoneans who risked everything for the sake of a better life in Europe. Along the way, they were imprisoned and enslaved. They saw friends die. Eventually, they gave up....
BBC World Service author
12.11.2019

Hong Kong: Love in a divided city

Unprecedented mass protests have caused chaos in Hong Kong’s public sphere – but what has it meant for private life? How have they affected the increasing number of couples who have married across the divide, with one partner from Hong Kong and another...
BBC World Service author
10.11.2019

Comrade Africa

How Communist East Germany tried to influence Africa via radio, during the Cold War. The West often saw the GDR as a grim and grey place, so it’s something of a surprise to find a radio station based in East Berlin playing swinging African tunes. Yet R...
BBC World Service author
7.11.2019

Albania’s Iranian guests

Who are Albania’s Iranian guests? In July, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani visited an Albanian village just outside Tirana. At a tightly-guarded encampment, he addressed the Iranian group who live there - the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), or...
BBC World Service author
6.11.2019

Moondog: Sound of New York

New Yorker Huey Morgan examines the life, work and enduring appeal of the musician known as Moondog, who lived and worked on the city's streets in the 1950s and '60s. Born Louis Thomas Hardin in Kansas in May 1916, he played musical instruments from an...
BBC World Service author
5.11.2019

Cameroon's MMA champion

By the age of 10 Francis Ngannou was working in a sand quarry, where he dreamed of becoming a world class boxer. As a young man he traversed the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea to find himself homeless in Paris. From there, within an extraordinaril...
BBC World Service author
31.10.2019

The Zogos of Liberia

When Miatta was 14 years old, armed rebels stormed into her classroom and forcibly recruited her and her classmates. They were trained to use machine guns and then sent to the front line to fight in Liberia’s devastating civil war. Nineteen years late...
BBC World Service author
30.10.2019

Northern Ireland 1969: The violence spreads

Ruth Sanderson grew up in Northern Ireland yet never really understood how the Troubles started. In the second programme, looking back at Scarman testimonies and talking to her parents who were caught up in events, Ruth is trying to work out how Northe...
BBC World Service author
27.10.2019

Uganda's war in the bush

Alan Kasujja tells the story of the guerilla war in Uganda which began nearly 40 years ago and led to the current President Yoweri Museveni taking power. After the fall of Idi Amin there was a power vacuum in Uganda which led up to a general election. ...
BBC World Service author
24.10.2019

Being black in Italy

Dickens Olewe meets Italy’s first and only black senator, Tony Iwobi, and hears how a new generation of black Italians are fighting to claim their place in a society that’s still very white. Born and raised in Nigeria, Senator Iwobi moved to Italy as...
BBC World Service author
23.10.2019

Northern Ireland 1969: Battle lines

Ruth Sanderson grew up in Northern Ireland, yet never really understood how the Troubles started. Although the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement effectively brought peace in 1998, Ruth believes the fallout from the violence continues to cast a long shadow ...
BBC World Service author
22.10.2019

Looking for love: The Zoroastrian way

The Zoroastrian community has given the world Freddie Mercury, produced some of India’s richest businessmen and practises one of the world’s oldest religions, Zoroastrianism. Yet the community faces extinction: there are less than 200,000 Zoroastrians ...
BBC World Service author
17.10.2019

Argentina’s ‘white gold’ rush

Are lithium-powered electric vehicles as ‘green’ as we think they are? With the advent of electric cars, manufacturers tell us we’re racing towards a clean-energy future. It’s lithium that powers these vehicles. Most of the world’s stocks of this light...
BBC World Service author
16.10.2019

The Gospel of Wealth

What should billionaires do with their money? The world’s greatest philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie said they should give it all away. Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland and moved to America where he became a steel magnate and the richest man in the w...
BBC World Service author
15.10.2019

My personal history of sormeh

The eyes have always been a focal point of Persian beauty for men and women and they have always been embellished with sormeh, or thick black eyeliner. Presenter Nassim Hatam's grandmother taught her mother how to apply sormeh, which originates from a ...
BBC World Service author
13.10.2019

Super Sisters

In 1979 a young girl named Melissa Rich asked her mother Lois why there were no women trading cards. So Lois decided to produce her own set called “supersisters”, 72 trading cards highlighting inspirational women, many of whom were athletes. Exactly fo...
BBC World Service author
13.10.2019

Cuba's digital revolution

A revolution is underway in Cuba. The country’s communist leaders, who normally retain tight control of the media, have encouraged Cubans to become more connected online. Internet access used to be the preserve of a privileged (and relatively rich) few...
BBC World Service author
10.10.2019

Nigeria: sex for grades

University lecturers sexually harassing and blackmailing their students. It's a problem which plagues West Africa but it's almost never proven. Until now. This week Assignment teams up with the World Service investigative series, Africa Eye, which sent...
BBC World Service author
9.10.2019

Translating for mum and dad

Across the UK, in supermarkets, hospitals, council houses and solicitors’ offices, children and young people are doing vital unpaid work: interpreting for their parents. Psychologist and former child migrant Humera Iqbal takes us inside the lives of Br...
BBC World Service author
8.10.2019

Passport to paradise

Citizenship is changing; and half the world’s governments are making money through citizenship schemes. In Vanuatu, a tiny Pacific Island Nation, a blossoming and controversial passport scheme is in place. Vanuatu’s government says it needs the revenue...
BBC World Service author
3.10.2019

Undercover with the clerics: Iraq’s secret sex trade

Muslim men and women are forbidden to sleep together outside marriage, but in Iraq, it’s possible for men to find a way round this obstacle to sexual freedom through a deeply controversial custom. So-called 'pleasure marriages' allow time-limited wedlo...
BBC World Service author
1.10.2019

How to buy your own country

Citizenship is changing; and half the world’s governments are making money through citizenship schemes. We investigate the booming trade in passports, and in a rare interview with the boss of the world’s biggest citizenship brokerage, we hear how easy ...
BBC World Service author
29.09.2019

America's child brides

A tense debate is taking place in states across America. At what age should someone be allowed to marry? Currently in 48 out of 50 states a child can marry, usually with parental consent or a judge's discretion. In 17 states there is no minimum age, me...
BBC World Service author
26.09.2019

Chile’s Stolen Babies

A Chilean man - adopted at birth and sent overseas - searches for the mother forced to give him up. He is among thousands now finding out the truth about their past. Many mothers were pressurised into giving up their children during General Pinochet’s ...
BBC World Service author
24.09.2019

The imam and the artist

On 27 September 1969, Imam Abdullah Haron – an outspoken Muslim cleric in South Africa – died in police detention. Abdullah Haron was the only Muslim cleric in Cape Town who used his sermons to speak out against apartheid policies and laws. His family ...
BBC World Service author
22.09.2019

World War Two: The economic battle

The story of World War Two is usually told in terms of heroism on the battlefield, but perhaps the most important struggle was the economic battle. Across the world countries were fighting to feed their populations, maximise production from their facto...
BBC World Service author
19.09.2019

The bitter song of the hazelnut

Every August tens of thousands of Kurdish migrant workers, including children, toil long hours for a pittance in the mountains of northern Turkey picking hazelnuts for the spreads and chocolate bars the world adores. Turkey provides 70% of all hazelnut...
BBC World Service author
17.09.2019

Living with leprosy

When Aleks Krotoski was six years old she lived in a world surrounded by people with leprosy, or Hansen's Disease as it's officially known. Both her dad and step mum worked at the US's last leper home, the National Hansen's Disease Centre in Carville L...
BBC World Service author
15.09.2019

The Sunscreen Song: The class of '99

Twenty years ago the music track, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) became a global hit. It featured a wise-sounding man giving a graduation-style speech addressed to the Class of ‘99, set to an uplifting backing track. It was the work of Australian...
BBC World Service author
12.09.2019

Colombia’s kamikaze cyclists

Precipitous mountain roads, specially-modified bikes, and deadly consequences. Simon Maybin spends time with the young men who race down the steep roads of Colombia’s second city Medellin. Marlon is 16 and he’s a gravitoso - a gravity biker. He hooks o...
BBC World Service author
10.09.2019

Hearing me

(This programme contains audio effects that may cause discomfort to people living with hearing conditions. There is a modified version of this programme, with quieter effects, on this page https://bbc.in/2TrInga) What does life sound like for someone w...
BBC World Service author
6.09.2019

Robert Mugabe, a Life

Audrey Brown looks back at the life of the former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, who has died in Singapore aged 95.
BBC World Service author
5.09.2019

Marawi: The story of the Philippines’ Lost City

Marawi in the southern Philippines is a ghost town. In 2017, it was taken under siege for five months by supporters of Islamic State who wanted to establish a caliphate in the predominantly Muslim city. After a fierce and prolonged battle, the Philippi...
BBC World Service author
4.09.2019

Detours 5: The last cola in the desert

A small Costa Rican surfing city is the unexpected final home for people leaving Asia and Africa in search of a better life in the US. Hosted by Academy Award-winning documentary film-maker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), this is the last ep...
BBC World Service author
4.09.2019

Detours 4: Imran is stateless

Imran fled violence in Myanmar – now he is in detention on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, with no papers and no idea what will happen to him. Hosted by Academy Award-winning documentary film-maker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), this is t...
BBC World Service author
4.09.2019

Detours 3: Eighteen Greeks a week

Follow the dead bodies – 18 each week – that travel along the mountain passes in northern Greece for cremation in another country. Hosted by Academy Award-winning documentary film-maker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), this is the third episo...
BBC World Service author
4.09.2019

Detours 2: Where the homeless elephants go

Wild elephants surround a village in Assam, India. And they’re hungry. Spend time with the night watch, trying to keep people safe. Hosted by Academy Award-winning documentary film-maker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), this is the second epi...
BBC World Service author
4.09.2019

Detours 1: Doctor Fake News

Fake news pays. Medical student Elena ran out of money, so she joined her friends in Veles, North Macedonia, writing fake stories for cash. Hosted by Academy Award-winning documentary film-maker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna, Diego Maradona), this is the fi...
BBC World Service author
3.09.2019

Michelle Bachelet: Chile's first female president

Michelle Bachelet's father died after being detained and tortured during the first year of General Pinochet's dictatorial rule in Chile. More than 40 years later, Michelle became Chile's first female president. Lyse Doucet hears the story of her remark...
BBC World Service author