With Evan Davis. Boris Johnson says Brexit is a liberal project, the Oxfam scandal, ambition and state schools, plus what makes a political painting?
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He's been the remainers' public
enemy number one ever
since he led the out campaign,
but now he comes in peace.
Tomorrow he makes a speech saying
let's all be friends again.
We'll look ahead to that speech,
in which the Foreign Secretary's
main message is that Brexit
is a liberal project,
not a nationalist one.
It may not entirely convince
all his opponents.
I think we've had
enough of sound bites.
Liberal, outward-looking, global,
buccaneering, Brexit means
Brexit, deep and special
partnership, no deal better than a
All those are slogans.
We'll ask the liberal
in chief how he feels
about Boris's tanks on his lawn.
The Oxfam crisis.
Is this only about one agency?
Or does the whole sector have
questions to answer?
This boy is an outstanding science
student at the state school in the
North of England. What's his
Do you see science in your future?
Yeah, like, I want to become a chef
and apply science to cooking.
Young, gifted and Paul, what should
we do to help realise their
potential? -- and poor.
And you probably saw
the Obama painting.
It's gone down rather well,
so we'll be asking someone who has
painted the former president
what makes a great portrait.
Boris Johnson has become something
of a hate figure to a chunk
of liberal Britain who blame him
for what they see as
the Brexit catastrophe.
They think he lied in the referendum
campaign, and persuaded
Britain to self-harm,
all to serve his own
So, Mr Johnson is bravely trying
to appeal to those core
Remainers tomorrow -
his is the first in a series
of speeches on Brexit by cabinet
ministers over the next few days.
He will argue Brexit is
basically a liberal project.
It is about pulling down barriers,
not erecting them -
so he means it's liberal
in the sense of free trade.
Apart from trying to
heal Brexit division -
good luck with that -
it's an attempt to reclaim Brexit
from any suggestion it's
all about Nigel Farage.
So, does Johnson's argument fly?
Certainly, there is a lot
of illiberalism on the continent -
but Mr Johnson's problem is that
it's that there's a lot
of illiberalism here too, much of it
on his Brexit-supporting side.
So what's the Foreign
Secretary trying to do?
Our political editor
Nick Watt reports.
We are, it would seem,
a divided country.
In the 20 months since the Brexit
referendum, the two sides seem
as divided as ever but have no
fear, help is at hand.
The man who transformed
the Leave cause is
reaching out across the divide.
Boris Johnson will criticise some
ardent pro-Europeans who he will
accuse of trying to reverse Brexit
but I'm told he's also expected to
put balm on the wounds caused
by the bitter referendum campaign.
This may all seem a far
cry from his joshing
of the Remain camp
just a few months ago.
Every day a distinguished pink
newspaper manages to make
Eeyore look positively exuberant.
Just under a year ago,
you wouldn't have known
there was a divide that needed
to be healed.
This year, after a period of intense
debate over the right
future for our country,
there is a sense that people
are coming together and uniting
behind the opportunities
that lie ahead.
Boris Johnson now feels it's time
for something of a reset
of the optics around Brexit.
I understand he has told his inner
circle that he wants to rescue
Brexit from what he privately calls
a Faragist worldview.
Inward and backward looking.
As passionate as ever
about the opportunities that
will be provided by leaving
the European Union, he believes
you can support Brexit whilst
being an internationalist,
a globalist, and a liberal.
The values he says he shares
with many Remain supporters.
Well, I'm all in favour
of reaching out.
I think people voted Remain out
of fear for the short-term
And it is great news that those
forecasts were wrong and the economy
has continued to grow and we've got
more jobs and house prices
did not tank and so forth.
So there will be some of those
who say maybe it was not
quite as bad as thought.
And we want this to
work for everybody.
Those of us who believe in it
believe that Britain will be more
prosperous and more free
when it is a self-governing
A leading pro-European Tory
is not changing her view
of the Brexit is a sceptical
that the Foreign Secretary's claim
that it is a liberal cause.
Liberal doesn't mean anything.
If it means free trade,
we've got free trade.
We are about to throw away
umpteen free trade deals.
We've got frictionless trade.
But if liberal means doing exactly
what we want and hoping
everyone else will let us,
then I don't think
that world exists.
Is hiding all the vital
information we need to know
about what the impact of what we're
doing might be liberal?
I don't think so.
Is putting up new trade barriers
where currently none exist liberal?
I don't think so.
What does this mean?
If we are trying to make our own
rules, make our own laws,
and expect that everyone else
will respect our laws but we don't
really have to comply with theirs,
then that is not how
the world works.
A pollster wonders whether Boris
Johnson is the right messenger.
After being very much
the Heineken Mayor of London,
reaching the parts that other
politicians cannot reach,
Boris Johnson may well regard
himself as the best person
on the Leave side to
appeal to Remainers.
And indeed if he can't do it
then perhaps nobody can.
But what he may find is that he
is not Heineken, he is Marmite.
And for Remainers that means a lot
of people see him simply as a Leaver
and they don't like it.
So Boris Johnson will cast himself
as the nation's healer.
With divisions in his own
family, he knows he faces
a monumental challenge.
But in the end he believes
the free spirit unleashed
by Brexit will prevail.
We are joined by two men who
consider themselves liberal in their
We are now joined by the leader
of the Liberal Democrats Sir Vince
Cable and the Conservative MEP Dan
Good evening to you both. Boris as a
healer, do you feel healed, what do
you think about his message?
be charming and witty but the
substance is not helpful. What I
can't understand is the use of the
word liberal. It is either a
deliberate use of language or to
cause confusion. The European
project that he once asked to
disengage from is the Single Market,
which is fundamentally a liberal
idea, about the free trade in goods
and services and freeing up capital
movements and Labour -- he wants us
to disengage from. The whole point
about the government strategy,
particularly the hardliners like
Boris Johnson, the Chancellor is in
a different position, is about
getting us out of that liberal
arrangement and creating extra
barriers to trade as a consequence.
The other red line is about
withdrawing from the customs union.
Even if you manage to negotiate a
tariff free agreement you would have
friction at the borders because you
have to check...
So it is about
creating barriers? That is the
paradox of what Boris Johnson is
asking, you have the most liberal
trading deal in the world, the EU,
and then you are leaving it. So deal
with that paradox, if you would.
Obviously I don't see it that way, I
see the EU as a top-down project and
there has been a general global
economic and trade liberalisation
which is a good thing, a great
vehicle for poverty alleviation but
the European Union hasn't been at
the forefront of it. Being an
internationalist and Liberal lever
is about raising our eyes to the
other opportunities. At its exports
to the US and New Zealand have grown
by 40% each, to China and Japan,
60%, South Korea, 100%, the EU, 10%.
The idea that I somehow remaining in
a tariff wall and often
protectionist EU we are necessarily
advancing the liberal projects, I
don't agree with. There's another
thing which is important for a
Foreign Secretary to be stressing, a
lot of overseas observers and media
only see the Farage argument for
Brexit. They've got this kind of
idea that the only reason to vote
Leave is bigotry, nostalgia or
disliking immigrants but I think
it's the duty of the Foreign
Secretary to make the case that we
are an engaged country involved in
many countries and Europe.
I want to
go back about trade, it is abstract
about talking about global this and
liberal that. Can you give me a
concrete way in which we will be
more liberal as a result of leaving?
I want to know what this means in
practice, not the abstract. What
does being more liberal mean in
Well, the EU applies a lot
of barriers, especially nontariff
barriers to some of the poorest
countries in the world, especially
Sorry to interrupt, is
it your contention that we will
remove those barriers and have more
imports of cheap agricultural
products from poorer countries?
the prices in the UK fall, which
will benefit all of us, but will
especially benefit the people on the
lowest incomes who spend a higher
proportion of their weekly budgets
on Minister cities like food.
given us a good one. -- on
necessities like. You're not going
to argue about the Single Market but
do you see that there are things
where you can say it works both
ways? The Single Market, you call it
liberal, but agriculture could be
more liberal if we leave?
some barriers to developing
countries but compared with 20 years
ago the European Union is a much
more open economy than the United
States, Japan, China and other
trading... The EU has led the way to
opening up world trade through the
World Trade Organisation. Of course
barriers remain. What I'm not clear
about is what the Brexiteers wants
to do about it. One thing you could
do is save, we are going to have the
open market, get rid of the trade
barriers and just enjoy that
freedom. That is an economic liberal
argument but that isn't what Theresa
May is doing, she's charging around
the world signing, in a rather
pathetic way, trying to get the
Chinese and Indians to sign
bilateral agreements which fragment
the trading system even more. That
isn't a liberal way to approach
Do you think the British
people who voted for Brexit thought
they were voting for more cheap
imports from poorer countries, for
more globalisation, for more free
trade, perhaps for more immigration
from India and other parts of Asia
and Africa, when they voted for
17 point formerly people
voted Leave so clearly there was a
broad range of motives and I can't
tell you what every single one of
those people said but plainly there
were liberal lever is Mac. Not every
libertarian is a Leave voter. To get
away from this caricature of Leave
as being a basically backward
looking project. The day after the
referendum I came on this programme
and spoke to you and said voting
Leave doesn't mean there will be
zero immigration, it will be subject
to democratic control and you did a
Paxman face of incredulity and
banged the table but I've said the
same thing through the campaign, has
It is a strange thing
that it is such a liberal project
that immigration control features
are so heavily as the way to sell it
to the British people. More
In the main... In
the main debate, the most watched
debate, the great Wembley debate,
Boris begun by saying he's not only
liberal on immigration, he's
favoured giving an amnesty to
migrants. It isn't something he
tried to slip into the small print.
A slightly grotesque caricature has
been built up since the vote, not
least in overseas media and I think
it's quite important that the
British Foreign Secretary should be
relying friends and allies that we
remain an engaged and trusted global
Do you trust that?
Hannan is Aina minority of the
leavers on this, the government are
arguing they want to restrict
immigration. You can make a
theoretical liberal argument to say
we will have less legislation but
the government are arguing the
opposite, coming to Parliament
arguing that none of these
regulations will be removed. -- have
less regulation. There is a
fundamental dishonesty in the use of
the word liberal.
Thank you for
It's a sign that Oxfam has not
managed to close down its sexual
misconduct crisis that we are now
deeply into the phase
in which incremental news
drips out day after day.
Tonight, the actor Minnie Driver,
an Oxfam ambassador,
has quit her role -
saying she was "horrified"
by the allegations.
And it was reported today
in the humanitarian
news website Irin -
that the man in charge
of the Haitian operation,
who resigned from Oxfam for himself
using prostitutes, had lost a job
in Liberia some years before
with a different British aid agency
on similar grounds.
Roland Van Hauwermeiren
reportedly denied the
allegations, but did resign.
What this latest news does, perhaps,
is simply harden the suspicion that
Oxfam is just the tip of an iceberg
I'm joined now from Boston
by Diane Mazurana,
from Massachusetts Tufts university.
She has conducted a major
study of sexual assaults
in the aid industry.
And in the studio we
have Bocchit Edmond,
the Haitian Ambassador to the UK.
If I can turn to you Diane, there a
difference between sexual assault
and using prostitutes. But what did
What we found in the
study was sexual assault and
harassment of humanitarian aid
workers was pretty widespread. The
most reliable numbers we have is
about 24% of aid workers, women aid
workers, reported being sexually
assaulted while on a mission. And we
found that the primary perpetrators
are other men who are humanitarian
aid workers who are their colleagues
and usually people in a position of
power, more higher ranking than
them. But also mail Security
officers hired by the agencies to
provide security. We looked at
look at Oxfam and I think it is
important to note that Oxfam
actually was best practice and I
still stand by that with all the
accusations and revelations coming
out. Oxfam was widely viewed by the
other agencies we talked to, UN
agencies and international NGOs as
having the best safeguarding unit
and policy and practice in place.
Other agencies do not even have
safeguarding, or proper mechanisms.
People do not even know how to
report if something happens.
to the interrupting but that is a
very interesting finding. Given the
heat that Oxfam is under. Because
you're saying that perhaps worse is
going on elsewhere but unreported.
Absolutely. And I think one thing we
must understand is once you get
better reporting and investigating
mechanisms in place and people have
confidence to use those mechanisms,
reports are going to go up. So Oxfam
is taking the heat right now but I
can tell you that this is widespread
throughout the sector and other
agencies have not stepped up to the
level that Oxfam has. You have seen
from reports coming out...
sorry, I keep interrupting. What
amazes me is that we have not heard
about this study. You have
interviewed a lot of people and
until it was reported on Oxfam last
week, no one had spotted your report
and said, this is interesting.
in fact the inter-agency standing
committee reported on that, a number
of other media outlets as well. But
it was used in part to help point
champions to the inner agency
standing committee to iron out tasks
with leading a task force, the
deputy High Commissioner for human
rights and president of interaction
and they are in charge of leading a
task force looking at how to really
address and take on sexual assault
and harassment of aid workers
throughout the industry. So it has
been maybe not in popular media
picked up but we definitely have
seen some action. Now what we need
to see is more action. And I'm a bit
concerned at the kind of heat that
Oxfam is taking right now, it makes
it look as if this is an Oxfam
problem but it is industrywide.
We've seen reports on this. Well I
want to stop you there and go to the
ambassador for Haiti. Good evening
to you. What do you make of that,
you have been putting Oxfam under
Well my government is not
in the business of throwing Oxfam
under a bus. We
under a bus. We only saw the results
of the investigation and the
conclusion was that some car crimes
had been committed. And we
understand they were not reported.
-- some crimes. The British
Government has now asked Oxfam to
step up to the plate and take
But maybe you should be
focusing on all the others as well.
Of course. Right now we're talking
about Oxfam because there was an
investigation that came to a
conclusion about Oxfam. It does not
mean Oxfam is the only NGO facing
those kind of issues.
those kind of issues.
Just to put
the Oxfam defence to you which is
that at the time they said reporting
this to the government when law and
order was preoccupied, disaster
struck, it would have been
I heard about that.
Unfortunately we disagree with that
because even in a war zone it does
not happen. After the earthquake the
state of Haiti did not cease to
exist, there was law enforcement,
the police authorities were there.
But even at the best of times some
of these laws are not enforced.
will make the concession that there
are different considerations. But
why not reported to the British
authorities. And even though they
were aware that this guy had
committed crimes, I believe they
made a mistake by letting him go.
But we are here to request Oxfam to
share the facts.
I wonder how
worried you are that what is
happening now is being used by some
people as an argument that we do not
give money to aid programmes. But
these do-gooders are just there for
their own satisfaction. This could
lead to quite a backlash.
understand that and I am concerned
about that as well. As much as aid
is important, you cannot replace
protection. Even though you're
coming to bring aid and give
assistance, you always have to keep
in mind that those people you're
coming to help also have rights and
dignity. Therefore it is up to those
NGOs to step up to the plate and
bring in some changes.
bring in some changes. Have tougher
background checks for recruitment.
Because if you look at the
seriousness of this guy, Roland van
Hauwermeiren, he has been in many
organisations and been thrown out
and wide between themselves they
could not say that. This is
important to have background checks.
If you want to work for this
organisation at least then we are
protected. At least minimise it if
not solve the situation.
It has become common to argue that
a lack of social mobility in this
country has dried up.
Born poor, you stay poor.
The data points to a more nuanced
reading - there are huge social
between different parts
of the country, and there is a big
rise in the numbers of young people
going to university,
including from poorer backgrounds.
So things are not standing still.
But a new way of understanding
the issue is to watch
BBC2 at 9 pm tomorrow,
for the first of two one hour
called Generation Gifted.
It looks at the experiences
of six bright teenagers
from deprived backgrounds.
The programme will actually follow
the six over three years,
but obviously you'll have to wait
for the later years.
But how do these talented teenagers
fare at the start of the series?
Before we discuss social
mobility more generally,
here's a few minutes extracted
from the Generation
In your bedroom, is there
anything that defines
you more than anything else?
I have books.
Lots and lots of books.
Anne-Marie is the sort of student
that every English teacher
wants in their class.
But she's so uncomfortable with her
own potential and abilities.
What makes you uncomfortable?
Is this a common issue for kids
from disadvantaged backgrounds?
A lot of pupils who come from such
backgrounds are the sort of pupils
who absolutely have low self-esteem.
She's very anxious person as well.
But at the same time she is capable
of a lot more than she thinks.
So up here is science.
Science is one of my
In year eight I got
the gold award for science.
Liam is, you know,
he's incredibly bright.
We've done the first
kind of GCSE test.
So obviously it goes
from one to nine.
Where five would be
the new good GCSE.
And he got a nine which is,
you know, fantastic.
It's the highest you can get now.
You think about the grammar schools
and the private schools.
Why should they get all the luck?
If a kid is bright then they should
continue to be bright and we should
be doing everything we can to ensure
that they are making the best
possible progress for them.
How do you see science
in your future?
Yeah, like I want to become a chef
and apply science to cooking.
You know, cooking is mostly
chemical changes, isn't it?
All they have seen around
them is low ambition.
When people ask about what comes out
of this area, it's Geordie Shore.
When you ask the kids,
that's what they know
of Newcastle, Geordie Shore.
It's sad, really, because
they've got John Dobson
and George Stephenson,
amazing, you know,
scientists from this area.
That they have got no
clue about even though
part of the school is
named after them!
OK then, you lot.
You lot, year nines.
In you come.
So when you do homeworks
and sketches, try and do as much
as you can like that.
Because that's brilliant.
That's what I'm getting tattooed.
You're getting tattooed?
When are you getting a tattoo?
That's what I want my job to be.
With Shakira I think this is one
of my favourite subjects
because she is one of the best.
This is the type of
stuff I'm looking for.
Because that's really going to...
But she thinks she
can't achieve things.
It's just confidence.
It's a much harder task
to get through to someone
on free school meals.
Because of their constant struggle
or their constant battle
with believing in themselves.
Because people often think
if you are on free school
meals or if you're poor,
then you cannot
Did you put your name
down for the Rome trip?
I was going to, but my mum said
she hadn't got enough money to pay
for it because of what's
going on with Leo and that.
And I haven't got a passport, so.
So why don't you come and see
us about those things?
Because part of my job is to make
sure that anybody that's
in a difficult situation,
there is money available to support.
The big barrier that
she has is confidence.
But you find that one
thing that is the talent,
the skill, the interest,
and it suddenly opens the doors.
You should be confident, you know.
You enjoy singing.
It enables them to realise that
they're good at something,
realise that they can
belong to something.
And that enables you to sort
of broaden that horizon.
She doesn't just have to be Shakira
from Belgrave who lives in Tamworth
and dies in Tamworth.
An extract from
Generation Gifted, there.
We did ask the government to join
us but they declined.
With me is Jon Spears -
who you saw in that film -
he's an assistant head
at Tamworth Enterprise College.
Also here is the historian
Selina Todd - she's a professor
in modern history at Oxford
She has written about the history of
the working class. Interesting to
watch that. When you are teaching,
how much priority do you give to the
more gifted disadvantaged students
as opposed to the others?
opposed to the others, it's got to
be as well as the others. We can't
single out one group. You know,
philosophically and morally, as a
teacher, every student in the room
is gifted. In terms of the higher
ability, we need to push as much as
Do you give them extra
lessons, do they hang around?
we do, we look to do extra lessons.
It is an issue because of funding
and staffing, being able to afford
that resource is an issue for us. We
have extra classes in registration
times through the day as well.
Certain times of the year we might
collapse a subject and intensify the
maths and English.
Of the people are
presented in the documentary, the
more academically bright students,
let's say, from less advantaged
backgrounds, free school meals,
basically, what sort of number
should go to university and what
kind will go to university?
suppose in a year group of 200, a
good 40%, on paper, should be able
to go to university from our school
and given our intake and their
predicted grades. In terms of how
many will, will go to university,
it's often a very different picture.
Much lower, yeah. There's obviously
such a broad range of factors that
mean it's an issue.
Let me turn to
you, Selina. We have a traditional
motion of social mobility, that it's
about helping people whose talent
might otherwise be wasted, giving
them the leg up so they can exploit
their potential. Is that the right
notion of social mobility?
argue that part of the real problem
with social mobility is that it has
been used by successive governments
as really an opposition to equality.
What has been described here is
excellent practice in a nonselective
school that seeks to value every
child and say that every child
matters but what we've seen with the
political and media discourse around
social mobility is that only a few
are talented and we have to somehow
get them on. Historically that
doesn't work. The place where it was
enshrined, one of the teachers on
the documentary mentions the grammar
schools. Between 1945 and the 70s
the system is all about selection of
the so-called brightest.
involves taking them out.
them a particular education. It is
predicated on the idea that children
from working-class backgrounds are
disadvantaged, a work that has been
used tonight, that their background
gives them nothing, they need to be
taken out on it, but they can be
prepared for university. The fact is
it didn't work because we now know
you cannot test or define brightness
at 11 or even 16. Also it didn't
work because the fact is that
education alone cannot lead to
Are you saying it's
not desirable to get those
youngsters into university? You're
not arguing that, are you?
everybody who wants to go to
university should be able to and if
I had my way, I would elect Jeremy
Corbyn tomorrow, I would end these
pernicious tuition fees, I would
properly fund comprehensibility
education and I would say, let's
rise up as a society and get rid of
this ridiculous inequality.
you do, suppose Jeremy Corbyn
doesn't win the election tomorrow,
where resources are limited, in a
school like Jon's. Do you focus on
the brighter ones and focus on
getting them to university?
think that is being done at Jon's
school, but that is right because
these kids are not lacking
aspiration, they are lacking
material resources because...
that true, Jon?
There is an element
of aspiration but that is a knock-on
about the material resources. Social
mobility for the students isn't just
about getting a group to university,
it has to be about improving
housing, improving the income of the
families and actually wrapping
around the whole child. We are
seeing cuts constantly, with mental
health and all those other specs
that are so vital...
What is the
main barrier to progress of those
children? Is it home, chaotic lives,
the teaching resources, the school?
This is the crux of the issue which
is why there isn't a magic bullet to
solve the problem. It's everything.
They have home lives which are
chaotic, sometimes. I know through
my own Jordan Cameron I've had a
stressful day I'm not necessarily
going to be devoting the time to
educate at home in the way I should.
-- through my own children, if I've
had a stressful day. As we saw with
Shaqiri, I am desperately wants
better for her but she's at a loss.
Selina, very briefly, pin you down,
you are telling people not to go
with the notion of social mobility,
as popularly talked about, that it
isn't the right metric to judge
If we say that success
means that people can lead lives
that they find fulfilling and where
they can provide for their families
then we must expand employment
opportunities and stop asking
schools to do the work that
government should be doing.
education system at the moment isn't
doing that fully.
Thanks very much.
As political portraits go,
the ones unveiled yesterday
of Barack and Michelle Obama -
you might have seen them,
they're all over the place today -
are pretty radical.
by African-American artists in
They'll "shake up the expectations
and assumptions of visitors
to the traditionally button-down
presidential galleries," said
the Washington Post.
"Pretty sharp" said Mr Obama.
Well, few politically-themed
paintings get quite as much
attention as those two have,
and all the chatter made us wonder
what it is that makes
a great political portrait.
Who better to give us an illustrated
talk through that than Nicola Green?
She has herself painted portraits of
Obama in his 2008 campaign. We're
going to do this with illustrations
starting with an old one. Let's go
back to Elizabeth the first. Well,
this is 16th century painting, she
is standing on top of the Earth.
What's special about this?
an early political portrait. I guess
there are three elements to it, the
collaboration, between the subject,
the institution that commissions it
and the artist. And in these early
portraits, in a sense the monarch
had absolute power in the 3-way
collaboration. So she didn't
actually commissioned portrait, it
was commissioned by Ditchley, but he
wanted to impress her and obviously
the artist did too. She had absolute
She's standing on top of the
world. They did things like that,
they wore things like that then.
is the ultimate power dressed! She
has jewels and lace. This was just
after the defeat of the Armada. The
portrait expresses the beginning of
Empire and that absolute power.
power is the word you keep using.
Let's go onto another one, jumping
ahead hundreds of years. Churchill.
This is Graham Sutherland's famous
one, which people who have watched
the first series of the Crown, this
was in one of the episodes.
This is a
really interesting portrait because
it was very controversial,
Parliament and the House of Lords
commissioned the portrait for his
80th birthday -- does he look
powerful? It was a birthday present
to Winston Churchill and was
presented to him and everyone loved
it and it was critically acclaimed.
He could understand it, he hated it
because I think it didn't the picked
him in a position of power.
He is old and he
said he thought he looked drunk in
it. But actually Sutherland didn't
see it like that, he was inspired by
Winston Churchill saying, I am a
Rock and he saw it as solid.
go through another couple. We have
Kennedy here, this is the ship Le
Mans, I think it was done after the
death of Kennedy.
commissioned Jackie Kennedy. She
said she wanted a portrait where he
wasn't looking out with a piercing
gaze, she was bored of that. She
wanted this kind of pose. The artist
said he wanted to depict him as a
thinker and reflective but of course
you can't help feeling about the
national crisis and the personal
crisis of what happened to Kennedy
and how he died. But you know this
was a radical portrait and when it
was made, amongst the other
presidential portraits which were
more of an assertion of power, this
is more reflective.
You picked them
but I like all of these! Let's go to
this Obama one. Do you like it?
a good friend of mine, I saw him in
November and he talked about the
process of photographing and
choosing the pose, the artist. For
him, that's great, it was
commissioned by the National
portrait Gallery, by the American
people. I know what that
responsibility feels like. A great
I think for a political
pose, the backdrop is what is
striking. Sitting down, Jefferson's
portrait, George W were sitting in
this pose, it is meant to signify
being a man of the people. In a way
that isn't uncommon but the foliage,
which Kehinde Wiley is known for, he
has the chrysanthemums of Chicago
and the blue lilies, representing
cannier, where Obama's father was
from and the jasmine, from Hawaii.
In a sense it is about identity. He
talked about wanting to think about
whether the story of Obama, the
story around him was bigger than
Obama himself and I think that's
represented by the foliage.
it very much. Thanks for talking to
That's it for tonight.
I will be back tomorrow but until
then, good night.
With Evan Davis.
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