Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program.
PAUL FARBER, HOST: In a moment of reckoning and reimagining for monuments…
PROTESTORS: Take them down! Take them down!
PF: … Why do millions of people every year from around the world visit Philly’s Rocky Statue?
MONTAGE OF VOICES:
This is like our pilgrimage.
There’s always a line here of people wanting to take pictures.
I think that it’s beautiful.
We’re from Boston, Mass.
Philadelphia, very close to here.
PF: This is The Statue, a new podcast from WHYY Digital Studios, about the monument to Rocky Balboa, patron saint of the underdog.
ROCKY BALBOA: I can’t believe this has happened.
PF: I’m your host, Paul Farber. Join us as we take on big questions about monuments.
Like, who do we remember? And who do we forget?
MALEEK JACKSON: Smokin’ Joe was a favorite in the gym. He loved entertaining.
AMARI JOHNSON: The fact is that this is someone who really never received the recognition that he deserved for his talents.
PF: What do we learn about ourselves through our public symbols?
DANIELLE NOLEN: It’s important for young Black women and girls to see themselves represented in, like, a statue.
PF: And how did this movie prop, this artwork, come to represent an entire city?
GARRETT BROWN: Sly went for an almost cartoon-like representation of his musculature. What’s next? The Oscar Mayer Wiener, you know?
PF: From Philly to Hollywood and beyond, we’re going on a six-part journey to explore the biography of the Rocky Statue, where life imitates art.
CROWD: We love you Rock!
RB: I love youse too!
PF: This is The Statue. Find us wherever you get your podcasts.