Sunday 9 March 2014, with Jeremy Rose
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Ideas Special from the BBC Freedom 2014 Series
China’s Global Popstars
After decades of being closed off to western pop culture, the pressure is on for China to find a state-endorsed popstar, a fun and cool ambassador who can command the global stage. Rebecca Kanthor heads inside China’s pop machine, the ‘Earth’s Music Project’, to meet Ruhan Jia – one of the first artists to be actively promoted by the government, and those tasked with transforming her into a global sensation. In makeshift studios across China, she hears from Ruhan’s rock rivals, who are also hoping to get noticed – with or without support from the state. Raising questions of identity, ambition and freedom, Rebecca investigates the dizzying world of state-sponsored pop, and the power of pop culture. This programme is from the BBC Freedom 2014 series.
Another feature of the BBC’s Freedom 2014 season is a look at some of Europe’s Troublemakers – profiles of controversial Europeans who are stirrers to some and heroes to others. Today we focus on Roberto Bui from Italy. He’s a member of Wu Ming. It’s a writers’ collective which has been challenging the Italian political establishment through high-profile pranks and planting fake stories in the media. BBC journalist Lucy Ash went to Turin to meet Roberto, otherwise known as Wu Ming Wong.