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Life, Death, and Art

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Marc Bookman looks into the case of Andre Thomas, who was convicted of murdering his family and sentenced to death, despite the fact that he was mentally ill. Nigerian artist El Anatsui describes creating large tapestries out of unlikely things like bottle caps. He’ll be joined by Susan Vogel, who’s directed a film and written a book about the international art star. Photographer Chester Higgins discusses Ancient Nubia, which stretched along the Nile in southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. Plus, this week’s Please Explain is all about nursing!

How Crazy Is Too Crazy for the Death Penalty?

Marc Bookman, longtime capital defense lawyer, talks about the case of Andre Thomas in Texas and looks at the moral and legal contradictions around executing people who are mentally ill. Bookman has been a death penalty lawyer since 1993, and now runs the Atlantic Center for Capital representation, a nonprofit devoted to capital defense. His article “How Crazy Is Too Crazy for the Death Penalty?” appears in Mother Jones Magazine.

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Artist El Anatsui

Nigerian artist El Anatsui, best known for shimmering tapestries made from liquor bottle tops, talks about his work. He’s joined by author Susan M. Vogel, who worked closely with Anatsui while directing a documentary film about the artist. Vogel’s book El Anatsui: Art and Life  includes nearly 150 images and traces his lifelong exploration of media leading up to the bottle top art form that has captured the interest of the global art world. The exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui is on view through August 4 at the Brooklyn Museum.

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Ancient Nubia African Kingdom on the Nile

Photographer Chester Higgins talks about new discoveries about ancient Nubia, its remarkable history, architecture, and culture, and legacy. Only a handful of archaeologists have studied Nubia’s history or unearthed the cities, temples, and cemeteries that once dotted the landscape of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Its remote setting in the midst of an inhospitable desert, with access by river blocked by impassable rapids, has lent it not only an air of mystery, but also isolated it from exploration. Higgins’ photographs appear in the book Ancient Nubia African Kingdom on the Nile.

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Please Explain: Nursing

This week's Please Explain we'll find out what nurses do, how they're trained, and why there always seems to be a shortage. Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz, Dean of Columbia University School of Nursing, explains the art and science of nursing. She's joined by Ghislaine Chery, nurse at Jamaica Hospital and for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

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