An Unspeakable Act, World Service, Tuesday
Making Tracks, Radio 4, Tuesday
The dark heart and darker ways of DR Congo
Every hour, according to reports, 48 women are raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making it only the second most dangerous country in the world for women. (The first is Afghanistan). It can be hell for men, too, as the reporter Will Storr found out.
The second instalment of his harrowing documentary An Unspeakable Act dealt with male rape in DR Congo, and, as with the first, about female rape, I listened to most of it with my head in my hands. The testimonies were grim, physically revolting, a litany of shattered lives – and just as disgraceful were the denials, from government officials and even aid agencies.
What's worse, Storr found, is that there's no understanding there of non-consensual male sex: the very concept of rape implies a female victim. And you're only classed as homosexual if you take the passive, "female" role; the aggressor's manhood remains unimpugned. It was the kind of programme that made you despair of our species; no catharsis, no happy ending, no light in the abyss of human nature. But what a service Storr has done in dragging the issue before the listening public.
It was with relief that I turned to Paul Morley's Making Tracks, in which visits to famous recording studios serve as springboards for typically thoughtful explorations of the history of music. He was at Abbey Road, and I was half-expecting a slew of Fab Four anecdotes, plus the one about a fat, bald Syd Barrett sidling in unrecognised while the Floyd were making "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". In fact it was a fascinating look at the different ways classical and pop use studios – the former in pursuit of sheer fidelity, the latter as laboratories of sound.
Thanks to what Morley refers to as "the monstrously capable computer", the studio as we know it is dying out. But Abbey Road still thrives, and the TV theme composer Daniel Pemberton works there regularly. He told Morley about going in one day, thinking to himself, "Abbey Road again". Then he caught himself: "I've just become slightly blasé about recording at Abbey Road. That's absolutely brilliant. That is a sign that something must be going right."
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Mike Read 'apologises unreservedly' for Ukip Calypso and withdraws it from sale
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991 with most Brits wanting to stay in'