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Frank Browning
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Frank Browning is based in Paris, France, and reports for NPR. He provides news coverage of France and the European Union as well as cultural reporting and essays.

In 1983, Browning joined NPR's National Desk covering everything from Neo-Nazis in the Midwest to ancient apple forests in Kazakhstan, the dilemmas facing small tobacco farmers in Kentucky to the cultural contradictions facing African musicians in France. Browning, along with long-time NPR reporter Brenda Wilson, coordinated and reported a special 16-part series on AIDS in black America. The series, which aired in 1990 won a DuPont-Columbia award and a Major Armstrong award the following year. The next year he was honored with another Armstrong award for a five-part series on AIDS and sexuality in Brazil.

Throughout his career, Browning has worked in radio, television and print journalism. Stories and reporting have taken him all over the world including Brazil, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Switzerland. Browning worked on three documentary projects for Italy's RAI 3 channel: "AIDS: The San Francisco Model" (1990), "War Comes to Twin Peaks: Perceptions of the Gulf War in the Pacific Northwest" (1991), and "American Politics After 9/11" (2002).

Before coming to NPR, Browning was an editor and writer for Ramparts, Inquiry andPacific News Service, all in San Francisco. He has worked as an independent journalist for publications including The Washington Post, National Geographic, Playboy, Health, California and Gourmet.

Browning earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Michigan. He was a Knight Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1985-86. Browning moved to France in 2001, and is the author of seven books including The American Way of Crime,The Culture of Desire and Apples: Story of the Fruit of Temptation.

Entries by Frank Browning

Made In Algeria: A Colonial Laboratory

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 7:57 AM

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Once again, leave the glory of the French capital and head to Marseille if you want a fresh insight not only on how France became France but still more on the role art, science, graphics and design together helped develop the Arab rage...

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Memories in the Sands of Libya

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 9:57 AM

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Everywhere memory is in danger--in our heads, in our disappearing bookstores, in the Twittering reduction of communication to chatter, and as the black market in physical markers of memory scales unparalleled heights enriching the world's richest collectors to the benefit of revolutionary terror....

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Flying Carpets/Savage Knives in Bordeaux

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 5:20 AM

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For those who hold out hope of finding a magic carpet spun of gossamer gold, look no further: it hangs from the beams of a grand light-flooded port warehouse, Bordeaux's Museum of Contemporary Art.

Catch a tram ten...

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Female Bodies 3: Forest Sex, Men in Silk & Pastoral Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 9:55 AM

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Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythere island, 1717, oil on canvas, Paris, musée du Louvre
© Musée du Louvre, Dist. RMN-GP / Angèle Dequier


Much of France has just been won in the first round of regional elections by the...

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Female Bodies 2: Georgia O'Keeffe & the Mystery of Sense

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 1:59 PM

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Georgia O'Keeffe, Gray, Blue and Black--Rose Circle, 1929

How is it possible that Georgia O'Keeffe, one of the pre-eminent American artists of the 20th century, not to mention one of the pre-eminent women artists of the era worldwide never had a singular...

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Female Bodies 1: Licentious Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 3:26 PM

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Bodies are everywhere this fall in France--particularly women's bodies. Suffering and Delight of 19th Century prostitution at the impressionist Musée d'Orsay. Licentious landscapes at the Luxembourg Museum. Mme Pompadour aristocratic kisses and embraces at the Louvre Lens. The first major show of Georgia...

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Masks and Men's Bones

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 5:47 PM

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Time was in my backwoods Kentucky youth, you couldn't get elected president of the Student Council if you hadn't mastered sophomore biology and a basic understanding of human evolution. Certainly you couldn't then have won admission to medical school whereas today hardly any...

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CONGO ART! in Paris

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 3:49 PM

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--Chéri Chérin, The New Masters of the World, 2008.


For a white boy just heading toward high school in the upper south, the names were weird and musical, the acts ghastly, the place--Congo--all but beyond imagining.

Loo-moom-bah (Patrice Lumumba--tortured...

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Trans Gods of Time Gone By

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 9:51 AM

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Vajrapani-Hercules as revered by ancient Buddists. Photo (c) Fondation Gandur pour l'art, Geneva

Dionysus, that incomparable symbol of drink and revelry was the only deity that my normally sober and demure father ever enthusiastically embraced, in a column he wrote for his...

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Tunisian Artists Explode Time & Memory

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 10:15 AM

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(c) Héla Ammar

Héla Ammar "weaves time" via the red thread she has used to stitch the poster-sized historic images of her country under the thumb of brutal French colonialism, hopeful liberty where women can toss aside the scarves as they...

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Sacred Sanctuaries in the Fog of Death

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 12:26 PM

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It's not every day that you find Christian pilgrim's shoes celebrated on Muslim prayer rugs - or Christians, Hassiduc and Muslim travelers gathered together to break bread. Less and less, it would seem in this current era of fundamentalist blood letting. Unless you...

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Explosive Illusions

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 7:01 PM

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The sun was up. A weekday. Seemed the perfect moment to cycle over to see the new blockbuster exhibit of Diego Velasquez, the 17th century Spanish master whose works are scarcely known in France. Alas the line on this second day of the...

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Bather's Delights

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 8:46 AM

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Phhwww! February has gone away. The Seine is turning blue again. And despite the looming Ides of March, the love of beautiful bodies is returning to Paris--at least in this city's more interesting galleries. First and most interesting is La Toilette: The...

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Body Talk: African Sexuality & Womanism

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 4:41 PM

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Brussels--Six African women artists talk about bodies, sexuality and gender: it's not your everyday show--gathered together in the heart of the bureaucratic capital of Europe--under the rubric Body Talk at the Wiels Center of Contemporary Art. Not only are the works seductively provocative,...

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Marchons! Marchons! For Liberty and Remembrance

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 7:26 AM

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For more than 45 years, I have gone to demonstrations in support of peace and freedom, but never have I seen, felt, or heard anything like today's march in Paris, organized on two days' notice in support of free expression and as...

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Versailles: Gold & Marble Dappled by Death

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 8:14 AM

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What to do with Versailles?

Arguably this great gilded temple to the unforgiveable excess of French royalty out-glitters all its ancien regime competitors. Tapestries. Marbles. Porphyrie. Filigreed furniture. Jewels. Crystal. Parquet meant only for the softest of slippers. If you...

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Coloring Outside the Lines... A Forgotten Modern Master

(3) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 5:02 PM

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"Brotherhood of Red and Gray," 1961 Image (c) F.Deval

BORDEAUX, France -- Here on the shortest, darkest day of the year it felt like Spring while the rest of France shivered under frost. Yet inside Bourdeaux's grand Beaux Arts museum, another Spring...

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Sculpture of War's Remembrance

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 3:00 PM

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Photo courtesy of Yann Toma © 2014

Most monuments that commemorate the memory of war dwell on glory--glory won, glory lost, and the sacrifices made by the patriot sons.

As this year ends, a century after the beginning of The Great War...

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She's Beautiful When She's Angry

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 5:51 PM

It was a foggy day in San Francisco when a friend suggested I tag along to a private screening of a new film by a documentary maker I'd never heard of, Mary Dore. The subject: the birth of modern feminism. I was just exiting jet lag, an old friend was...

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Renzo Piano's Fondation Pathé: A Leaping Whale in a Tiny Pool

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 6:28 PM

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All Photos by Frank Browning

Renzo Piano, notwithstanding his Pritzker Prize, seems a gentle man as his name might suggest. He speaks in a soft voice and listens carefully to the questions posed to him. It was especially so at the inauguration...

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