The BBC World Service featured art historian Anne-Lise Tropato, the first Falconry Research Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi, in a radio show and podcast that explores the human relationship with falcons, the origins of falconry, and the prevalence of the ancient practice.
The roundtable interview, which was published on BBC’s website and featured on their radio stations broadcasted in 40 languages to over 210 million listeners worldwide, also featured Majid al-Mansouri, the president of the International Association for Falconry, Adrian Lombard, Chair of the South African Falconry Association, and social anthropologist Sara Asu Schroer.
The 39-minute episode of Forum, which is the BBC’s flagship discussion program, showcases a panorama view on the deep connection humanity has had with falcons, and the prevalence of the ancient practice around the world.
Featuring heavily in the show, Tropato discusses her research which focuses on falconry’s cultural history in the context of national and international relationships, and examines what human engagements with birds of prey across time and culture.
In the conversation, Tropato discusses the iconography of falconry, and the challenge behind identifying the origins of largely nomadic practice.
The podcast also showcases how falconry as a practice is under threat both from a cultural perspective due to modernization and how it is criticized as exploitative.
Tropato currently teaches an interdisciplinary course on the cross-cultural exploration and analysis of falconry. She also continues her separate research and exhibition project on mental and visual imagery of women in falconry, bridging Europe and the UAE and challenging the idea of falconry as a masculine culture.
The podcast can be listened to here on the BBC’s website.