Andrew Harding travels to Angola, and the site of Africa’s largest battlefield in the Cold War. When Portugal relinquished its colonies in 1975, it looked as though a Communist-backed government would take over in Angola. Instead, there followed nearly 30 years of fighting: American and South African-backed rebels on one side, Cuban and Soviet-backed forces on the other. Nearly half a million Cubans – soldiers, doctors, teachers and technicians – made the six thousand mile journey to play their part in Angola’s long and bloody civil war.
The Cold War ended thirty years ago, but its proxy in Angola rumbled on for another decade, fuelled as much by the rich resources of oil and minerals as by political ideology. Today, a peaceful Angola is one of the wealthiest countries on the African continent. Yet vast tracts of land are still contaminated by the hidden terror of landmines, and dotted with the rusting hulks of abandoned tanks. What will it take for Angola to be truly free of the legacy of Africa’s Cold War?
Presenter: Andrew Harding
Producer: Rebecca Lipscombe
Picture Credit: BBC
My Perfect City: Oslo
Oslo is now the fastest-growing major city in all of Europe. Its growth is attributed to high birth rates and migration. Oslo is keenly aware that as the city expands, it is important to do so in a sustainable way. As a result, they have made a commitment to reducing carbon use and emissions while they grow, which some would say is an impossible challenge. Can Oslo’s plans work? And can it avoid urban pitfalls that may lead to segregation and inequality?
For cities that grow beyond their historic size, numerous problems can occur; from overcrowding, to inequality, to a potential loss of social cohesion as new populations arrive. But Oslo are doing their best to ensure that this does not happen. The city has proposed solutions in three crucial areas - decarbonising the city, ensuring social cohesion and a sense of belonging, and rebranding Oslo both internally for its citizens and as a new global player.
Presenter Fi Glover, Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory and urbanist professor Greg Clark perform a rigorous investigation into the city's plans to grow quickly, but intelligently. They scrutinise the policies aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions and creating a zero-carbon infrastructure, they look at the plans for preventing segregated neighbourhoods, and at how the city intends to ensure that new inhabitants feel welcome and part of the new Oslo identity.
Can Oslo join the list of cities who can prove to be a real example to others around the world?
(Photo: Sculptures by Gustav Vigeland displayed in The Vigeland Park in Oslo. Credit: Rune Hellestad/Corbis/Getty Images)
The Cold War Legacy: India
Divya Arya looks at what happened in India at the height of the Cold War, and afterwards as the Berlin Wall came down, 30 years ago. She explores the rich politics of a country which chose not to pick a side during the Cold War. Where realpolitik and clever diplomacy have been key components for Indian leaders on the world stage from Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1940s to Narendra Modi today.
As two superpowers fought for power and influence during the Cold War, India played a game of diplomacy, moving between the USA and Soviet Union, whilst trying to prioritise its’ own interests. The Non Aligned Movement was founded in a newly independent India, by the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. It is the position that India took when it formed a coalition of countries which refused to pick a side, instead remaining friendly with both. Nehru believed that in an atomic age, peace was the only guarantee of survival. This stance was tested during the 1950s and 1960s; India signed a quasi-military agreement with the Soviet Union but trade liberalisation has brought India closer to the USA more recently. How is India navigating international relations today? Does it bend to the will of the USA or can it continue to choose its own path as it did during the Cold War?
Presenter: Divya Arya
Producer: Nina Robinson
(Photo: Maharaja Krishna Rasgotra (M K Rasgotra) is an Indian diplomat and former Indian Foreign Secretary under Indira Gandhi)
Credit: Nina Robinson, BBC
The Cold War Legacy: Indonesia
In 1965, in a little known chapter of the Cold War, at least half a million people died in organised military-led killings of suspected communist sympathisers in Indonesia, with the blessing of the United States. For almost 50 years speaking about that time has been taboo, and school history books gloss over the killings. Attempts by the current government to start a process of truth-telling and reconciliation are reopening old wounds and have met fierce resistance from the military and old guard. Communism remains banned in Indonesia and students have been detained for reading Marxist books. But the silence is being broken.
Rebecca Henschke travels across Java to meet some of the killers, those still seeking justice and brave members of the young generation who are seeking out the truth and trying to come to terms with what happened in one of the darkest periods of Indonesia’s history.
(Photo: Pipet’s daughter holding a photo of Pipet’s mum Ani, with others at the detention camp where they were held in the 1960s and 70s) Photo credit: Anindita Pradana – BBC Indonesia
The Cold War Legacy: Brazil
Brazil’s controversial new President, Jair Bolsonaro, has praised the country’s military dictatorship, which took power in 1964 and ruled for 21 years. In an echo of the language used by the generals back then, President Bolsonaro claims he is saving his country from Communism and he has vowed to wipe the reds off the map. His critics say he is a threat to democracy.
In this sharply divided country, some say Brazil is reliving the Cold War. Through history, culture and the classroom, the BBC’s South America correspondent Katy Watson explores Brazil’s Cold War legacy.
Presenter: Katy Watson
Producer: John Murphy
(Photo: Brazilian army tanks arrive at Guanabara Palace, on 01 April 1964 in Rio de Janeiro during the military putsch. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)