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tv   Witness History  BBC News  February 29, 2020 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT

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amazes me at the community response that comes out at times like this. just around the corner from here, there is a church that is full of donations that people have brought m, donations that people have brought in, and there is a team of volu nteers in, and there is a team of volunteers that are cooking hot meals and cups of tea, trying to help get through this horrible situation. good to end on a positive note. now it's time for a look at the weather with nick miller. it is moving to the north of scotla nd it is moving to the north of scotland and spreading east as i speak, but we have seen the back of the persistent rain. the problem is the persistent rain. the problem is the winds are starting to get a bit stronger on the southern flank of this weather of low pressure, storm storm dennis, so that is tonight and into tomorrow, particularly across england, scotland and wales, gusts of up to 70 mph winds are disruptive. these are wind gusts showing that it is very blustery
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across the uk, many of us in gusts around 50—60 mph. plenty of showers continuing overnight, and as wejust heard, there is a warning of snow in the hills of scotland. through the rest of the day and tomorrow as well, for hills note, perhaps 400 it could be heavy and thundery with hail, and these are showers, not a constant spell. they move through quite quickly on gusty winds which will be gradually easing through tomorrow. it does feel chilly in that wind, and next week for much of the week, it is looking like sunshine and showers rather than persistent wet weather. it is not looking as windy as well. hello this is bbc news. the headlines. the most senior civil servant in the home office — sir philip rutnam — resigns and says he'll sue the government for constructive dismissal after a public dispute with home secretary priti patel.
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i have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign. it has been alleged that i had briefed the media against the home secretary. this, along with many other claims, is completely false. a historic moment for afghanistan — the us and the taliban sign a deal that will see the withdrawal of thousands of american troops. the negotiation process in doha park, with all of its twists and turns has shown it is possible for us turns has shown it is possible for us to take this step together. the first case of coronavirus contracted in the uk confirmed in surrey and, in the last half—hour, three more positive tests, bringing the total to 23. a surge in south korea, with nearly 800 new cases reported on saturday and more confirmed in france, where the government has banned events with more than 5,000 people. more than 80 flood warnings in place across england and wales, as many already struggling communities brace
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themselves for storm jorge. now on bbc news, witness history. this month, razia iqbal is at the british academy in london to present five extraordinary art stories that shaped our world. hello and welcome to a special edition of witness history with me, razia iqbal, here at the british academy in london as we present five amazing stories from the world of art. coming up, how the acclaimed british sculptor henry moore changed modern art. we speak to the man who wrapped the reichstag in 1995 and a nigerian artist inspired by the oil pollution of her homeland. plus the pioneer who photographed tsarist russia in colour.
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but first, we go to china where in 1974 an accidental discovery revealed one of the wonders of the world. a vast terracotta army which laid buried beneath the earth for more than 2000 years. archaeologist li xiuzhen worked on the astonishing find. newsreel: it is a vast pottery army that is slowly being unearthed from the tomb where it has lain for more than 2000 years.
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now to something more modern. the british artist henry moore revolutionised the world of sculpture during the 20th century, changing the way we see the human body and setting his work in a natural landscape. his daughter, mary moore, talks to us now about her memories of her father and the ideas that inspired him. newsreel: the work of henry moore has been seen in almost every country in the world. he has made a staggering total of something like 900 sculptures, many of them immense, as well as thousands of drawings and nearly a thousand graphics. his work seems so comfortable that you can't believe there was a feeling that it was dangerous, that it was outrageous and that it would defile youth.
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his first exhibition was in 1928. already his work was causing controversy. the art schools that he was studying in called his work ugly and disgusting and he fed on a cesspit. what took people aback was a manner of expression that emphasised the sexual nature of his subjects and rejected the realistic treatment of the human figure. it was considered to be primitive, decadent and savage and in a way it was. he wanted to arouse in us the deepest forces and instincts. henry moore: a great deal can still be done with 3—dimensional forms as a means of expressing what people feel about themselves and about nature and about the world around them. my father and his generation looked rather to ethnographic works, what they called primitive works. my belief is that no matter
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what advances we make in technology, and in the controlling of nature, the real basis of life is human relationships. it is through them that we are happy or unhappy. in 1950, his daughter mary who had been born during the war, was now four years old and a great source of pride. our home and his studios were kind of interchangeable. he had a few basic subject that he could not help from returning to again and again. one of them was the reclining figure. what is the particular significance of that? it may be that it connects the human figure with landscape more easily than what a standing figure could. and landscape is one of my great obsessions. another one was the mother and child. i have done many mother and child structures and most of them have been the idea of the larger form,
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a relationship with the smaller form in a protective sense and a sense of a gentleness and tenderness. moore remains a countryman at at heart. his studios are surrounded by fields, hedges and woods. he is happiest seeing his sculpture in the open air. there was an exhibition in florence in 1972 which was a remarkable exhibition and it was a first in many many ways. moore assembled in the fort and the ramparts, nearly 200 sculptures and 100 drawings. the big sculptures in the open air, each one sited by moore himself, was what made the exhibition unique. one would have to travel the world to see so much at any other time. my father was very worried. he thought that people wouldn't go,
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tourism back in the 19705 was not quite such a big deal and getting to places was much harder. in the end it was a fantastic success. something like 400,000 visitors. i think they need to be set outside. i want to go up and touch them. but you can go up to them and run your hand around them. he wanted sculpture to be part of everybody‘s life and experience and enrich their lives. and we should go on fighting that fight. henry moore's daughter mary. certainly the power of sculpture lives on in our next story. sokari douglas camp is an acclaimed artist based in london but the inspiration for her work comes from her homeland of the niger delta in nigeria, a world of rivers and creeks that has been devastated by decades
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of pollution from the oil industry. i like metal because it has tensile strength that is fantastic. something very small can hold up something gigantic. i love the fact that you can stretch it in the most incredible way, make things that look like fabric and look soft. my childhood started off in independent nigeria and i was sent to boarding school in england so i had one foot in nigeria and one foot in england. my people, the kalabari, live on 22 islands in the niger delta and our transport was by boat. dugout canoes that women could take out and they would gather
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periwinkles on the mudflats and make the most incredible stew. you had oysters growing on the roots of mangroves, dangling in the water. nature was full. gradually these things have been dying out because of pollution. because of the way that oil is being extracted there. newsreel: oil was discovered in the niger delta in 1956 and now nigeria is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world. newsreel: the ogoni people say their homeland has been ruined by oil. we are going to demand our rights peacefully, nonviolently and we shall win. ken saro—wiwa, poet, environmentalist, and leader of the 0goni people. the nigerian government says
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he is a murderer and has sentenced him to death. ken saro—wiwa tried to get the oil companies to behave differently by talking. there was no violence involved. nigeria's military leaders provoked a storm of international outrage today when they went ahead with the executions of nine human rights activists, including the playwright and satirist ken saro—wiwa. no—one could believe it, no—one could believe it. pure, pure sadness, yeah. ken's memorial was extremely important to me, to make sure people remembered him. this is a mini version of the real bus, the real bus is life—size. the memorial had ken's name on a banner at the front, and then on top of the bus were barrels with the names
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of the other eight that were killed at the same time. on it, it had words that ken saro—wiwa said in one of his last interviews, before he was executed. the battle bus had quite an adventure. the environmentalists from nigeria decided that they would like the memorial to travel to nigeria, and when it got to lagos port it was arrested by nigerian customs. because it was believed that it would cause havoc. it's still locked away. it's still arrested. 0ur problem is global. 0ur clothing, toilet seats, lipstick, everything has this crude oil element to it. it's an incredible product. it's a magic product. and yet it is killing us.
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so it keeps on turning up in my work. the wonderful sokari douglas camp. remember, you can watch witness history every month on the bbc news channel, or you can catch up on all our films, along with more than 1,000 radio programmes, in our online archive. just search for "bbc witness history." our next story takes us to germany, where in 1995 a public art project was seen by millions. it became a symbol for berlin's renewal after the fall of the wall and the collapse of communism. it's the story of the couple who wrapped the reichstag. newsreel: it's an eccentric dream, but one that a husband and wife team have cherished for nearly a quarter of a century, and this weekend the bulgarian—born artist christo and his wifejeanne—claude began rubbing the german parliament building in silver fabric. it is very difficult to explain
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if you don't see it. no drawings, no sketch, no scale model can match the complexity of the project. the fabric is actually, it's not completely touching the stone, the surface of the structure. the project started in 1972. the cold war is still in full speed, you know, the berlin wall was built. permission to wrap the reichstag was refused three times. if the wall were not fell down, probably we'd never do the reichstag. for more than two decades, the artist christo and his wife jeanne—claude have wanted to work with the building that, for them, symbolised the cold war. you know, i was born in bulgaria in 1935. highly soviet—ic, communist country. and i escaped to the west alone, speaking only russian and bulgarian. coming from a communist country i tried to do something involving the east—west relations.
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it's been bombed and set on fire, seen war and revolution. but never before has the reichstag been wrapped in silver fabric. we never can believe what is the project until we see it for real. christo himself is paying for the project, helped su bsta ntially by sales of his sketches and other work. the reichstag cost us $12 million in 1995. which is probably today about $20 million or $25 million. this project, we need to build an entire structure of engineers, specialists, lawyers, services. very much like building a highway or a bridge or an airport. it was wrapped by nearly 100 rock climbers. they came down, installing all this 100,000 square metres of fabric and matter for one week. jeanne—claude and myself, we are born together artist.
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and this, i miss so much jeanne—claude today. we were partners, we lived together, we would fight together. it was like an adventure that you cannot repeat it. newsreel: this novel treatment is, they say, in the classic tradition of art. the reichstag was a victorian building with lots of ornaments, decoration. suddenly it was changed, like a sketch. like what is essential, to height, the width, the forms, they are all hidden by this fragile material that moved with the wind. it was in constant motion. newsreel: the building took on a shrine—like nature and was treated with something approaching reverence. it is very special and it always changes with the light. first time in history probably that this building is nice and makes people happy. i came to germany especially to see this project, and i think it is great. for two weeks, the area has witnessed one continuous party,
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with scenes reminiscent of when the berlin wall came down six years ago. everybody who comes to see the project, and there were 5 million people in two weeks in the reichstag, they know that they were seeing something that would never happen again. newsreel: last night was the final and the biggest party, with 100,000 people swarming around the building well into the early hours. today the dismantling work began and germany's former and future parliament building came blinking into the summer sunshine. after two weeks it's gone forever. cannot be repeated. something happened, it will stay forever in that particular unique moment. the world—famous artist christo. and for our final story we go back more than 100 years to a time when the tsar still ruled russia. while the world was using black and white film, a pioneering russian photographer, sergey prokudin—gorsky,
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developed a new method of colour photography and used to document life in russia before the revolution. the results, as you'll see now, were stunning. my grandfather, sergey mikhaylovich prokudin—gorsky, was one of the pioneers of colour photography. it is a unique example of this quality of colour. this is close to a 100—year—old production. at that time, you have to realise, that the only photographs in colour were taken indoors. and he was probably the first to do
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a lot of work outside. this is a very nice picture on the mariinsky canal, where he had done a lot of shots. you really feel you are seeing something natural. you can really feel that this guy was very so pleased, probably, to be taken. and at the same time, the composition of the picture is great. he was able to travel anywhere in the empire. he got permission from the tsar to travel everywhere, even the part which was very difficult to access. bukhara is today in uzbekistan, but at the time it was turkestan, which is really in the south—east
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of the empire, bordering iran, afghanistan and china. my grandfather was somebody who was extremely open—minded. he was really a renaissance man. in his work he tried to show the different category of people in terms of religion, origin. this is a jewish school with, i would say, the teacher and some pupils. at the origin, the images were obtained by projecting the free negative on glass in black
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and white, through a colour lens for the projection, creating the colour. this is the original lab book of my grandfather with a lot of technical description, and the more you learn, the more you find this person extremely attractive, quite fascinating. the grandson of pioneering photographer sergey prokudin—gorsky. that's all from witness history this month at the british academy. we will be back next month with more first—hand accounts of extraordinary moments in history. but for now, from me, and the rest of the witness history team, goodbye.
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good afternoon. another named storm out there, temple micah has brought heavy rain around the uk. clear sunshine and showers for us for now but the winds are picking up in the southern flank of low— pressure in the southern flank of low—pressure particular cross on scotla nd low—pressure particular cross on scotland and northern ireland. there are a few heavy showers out there. but the weather continues particular in terms of strong wind, with some weather warnings and the snow continuing in scotland on and off through the rest of today, tomorrow as well, especially into
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the hills, that is, where we will see some significant accumulations. it is wet out there again in northern ireland and this area of rain, the hills and bridges across northern england and into scotland, really wet with rain developing into shetland, wind, sunshine and showers to the south of the uk, hail and thunder out of these and those strong wind as well which pick up a little bit more over the next few hours. i mentioned up to 70 miles an hours. i mentioned up to 70 miles an hour here, elsewhere 50—60 so it'll be very wind overnight. some hill snow overnight as well, some rain spells as well. a fair few showers rattling through which could disturb your sleep if you get hail which many of us could. temperatures get close to reading but for the most pa rt close to reading but for the most part hold up because we've got such a strong wind which eases a bit gradually during sunday. more rain and hill snow falling in parts of
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scotla nd and hill snow falling in parts of scotland and elsewhere it is sunshine and showers, not everyone will see a shower. if you do, it'll rattle through quite quickly on the brisk wind but these strong gusts will ease later in the day. going to feel chilly in the wind and if you're out of the wind and get to see some sunshine, it won't be too bad. frosty, and icy sunday night into monday morning, then a new week and it is march, it is going to be on the chilly side, though, sunshine and showers, doesn't look as extreme as the weather has done recently, thankfully, but some frosty nights around. that's how your week is shaping up, we have the rest of the weekend to get through with storm jorge close by. there are met office yellow warnings for wind and snow in places, full details on our website, catch up with the latest flood warnings there as well.
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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at three. the most senior civil servant in the home office, sir phillip rutnam, resigns and says he'll sue the government for constructive dismissal after a public dispute with home secretary priti patel. i have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign. it has been alleged that i have briefed the media against the home secretary. this, along with many other claims, is completely false. the first case of coronavirus contracted in the uk confirmed in surrey, and this afternoon, three more positive tests, bringing the total to 23. in france, the government bans all events with more than 5,000 people, as they announce 16 new cases.


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