Resilient Cities

Warsaw: Art Fighting Ultranationalism

Since the democratic election of the Law and Justice Party in 2015, Poland is divided between liberals and ultra-­conservatives. The country is moving away from the orbit of Western Europe and returning to a past defined by family, church and home.

In some instances, it is also moving towards a future that echoes elements of its dark history. Antisemitism on the rise and a wave of ultranationalism is sweeping the country.

In response, artists in Warsaw are confronting the tide of right-­wing nationalism, forcing the city’s residents to look in the mirror at this precarious period in time. In this episode, we encounter Maria Peszek, a singer­songwriter whose lyrics are sexually liberated and anti-religious; Liliana Piskorska, a performance artist using her body to challenge society’s discrimination of LGBTQ communities; and Michael Rubenfeld, a Polish-Canadian theatre artist; in their unique ways, these artists are battling the aggressive nationalism that threatens to take over their city.

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Kiev: Art As Protest

In a city on the divide between Russia and Europe, the art of protest stands against war and corruption. Kiev has a government that ignores its citizens and responds to demonstrators with violent measures. Now, artists and activists are spearheading the fight to claim Ukrainian cultural identity. 

Athens: Art As Solace

Amid the chaos and confusion from Greece's financial meltdown, artists from all corners of Athens are gathering to protect Athenian culture through the power of their art. In this episode, four artists show how they are fighting to counteract the bleak outlook of their urban landscape: iNO, the city's only incognito graffiti artist; photographer Panagiotis Maidis; electro-pop group Kid Flicks formed by Nickos Dervisis; and film and television producer Theo Simantirakis. 

Port-Au-Prince: Art As Rebirth

In Port-au-Prince; a radio host, a photographer, a Rabòday singer and a creole rapper showcase the emerging and subversive sounds and images of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Medellin: Art As Remembrance

After two decades of violence and corruption under the reign of the largest cocaine drug cartel operation in history, Medellín, Colombia awakens to the sights, sounds and colors of an urban renaissance crafted by a group of creative entrepreneurs, artists and visionary city planners defying street wars.