Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tonight on Culture Clash

Hello and welcome to Culture Clash.

The only shock delivered by the Turner Prize this year was that it was won by a painter. Tooma Abts, a 34-year-old German artist of contemporary abstract paintings won against competition from sculptural installations consisting of displays of found objects, a ‘live’ exhibit of a TV production office complete with live workers, a computer designed billboard and a film installation of former participants in reality TV.
When the winner was announced last week, art critics commented that the competition had inspired only indifference, and had failed to get people talking. Well we’re going to fill that gap today and ask whether this annual artistic bunfest means anything to anybody outside the art world.

It was 1993 when Channel 4 launched its so-called Alternative Christmas message, and since then Sharon Osbourne, Jesse Jackson and Ali G are among those you’ve gone head to head with Her Majesty. Often its been played simply for laughs, but this year the channel has chosen Khadija Ravat, a Muslim woman in a niqab, that’s a full veil, to deliver her perspective on the events of the past year. Ravat, a part time primary school teacher in Leicester, was born in Zimbabwe, is a convert to Islam and says that her 6 minute broadcast would celebrate British values and the multi-cultural society. We’ll be asking whether this is a timely celebration of our vibrant diversity, or whether it’s a simply a stunt too far.

My guest today are Michael Attwell, producer and former chairman of BAFTA, Dawn Steeves of The New Criterion Magazine, James Delingpole, TV critic of the Spectator, and journalist Franck Guillory.

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