The play Lotus Beauty, Women in Agriculture & America’s Sterilisation policy
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The play Lotus Beauty set in a beauty salon in Southall tells the story of the Punjabi immigrant women it serves where culture meets the desire to fit in. The beauty salon is a backdrop for exploring themes such as domestic abuse, suicide, and a desperation for belonging. We hear from the plays Director Pooja Ghai, and from Kiran Landa, who plays the character Reita. In 1973, two Black girls - Minnie Lee and Mary Alice Relf - were sterilised without their knowledge in Alabama by a government funded organisation. The summer of that year, the Relf girls sued the government agencies and individuals responsible for their sterilisation. By 1979, the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare was ordered to establish new guidelines for the government’s sterilisation policy. A new book, Take My Hand, draws inspiration on this landmark case and explores the history of compulsory sterilisation against poor, Black and disabled women and girls in America. We hear from the author - Dolen Perkins-Valdez. We hear from the documentary photographer Joanne Coates who has a new photography exhibition and book Daughters of the Soil looking at the role of women in farming . This work is a culmination of a year’s research where she explored the role of women in agriculture in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The poet Charly Cox takes us through her latest collection inspired by a piece of research by the dating website Plenty of Fish. It found that 51% of people have secretly brought a friend along on a date with them. Charly tells us about her own experience and some of the stories behind the eight poems she has written about blind dates and dating. Presenter: Anita Rani Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed Photo credit: Robert Day
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