Civilisations (2018)

The title is a reference to Civilisation, the series written and presented by Kenneth Clark almost fifty years ago. That landmark offered one man's personal view of western European civilisation, from the end of the Dark Ages onwards. It was partly conceived by David Attenborough to demonstrate the potential of colour television. The new series ranges more widely, featuring African, Asian, American, as well as European cultures to explore how human creativity began and developed, how civilisations around the world influenced one another and how artists have depicted the human form and the natural world. For each presenter, the series provides powerful and moving firsthand encounters with art. David Olusoga travels to Nigeria to see the technique behind the Benin Bronzes which he was taken to see in the British Museum as a child. Mary Beard climbs one of the Colossi of Memnon in Egypt which she says she has waited half her life to see up close. In Japan, Simon Schama apologises for his shaking hands as he examines an image he describes as almost perfect...

David Olusoga, Mary Beard, Simon Schama

Series, 2018, Arts & Culture, Documentary, Historical, Society & Culture

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