What We're Listening To - April 2017

Our favourite episodes this month: 

1. Here I Am and Here Be Danger


This is one of my all time favourite radio pieces. I listen to it at least twice a month and it always reminds me of how emotionally potent radio can be. It isn’t a narrative piece similar to what we make at Kerning Cultures, or even to the majority of podcasts I listen to. But I love it because it articulates feelings that are really difficult to put into words.

For further listening, the producer – Annie McEwen of Radiolab – speaks about her process in interviews here, and at the end of the Strangers episode that broadcast it, above.

2. Offshore: Season 1


This show challenges the view of Hawaii as a multicultural utopia by dissecting two well known cases in which a local Hawaiian was murdered by a white non-Hawaiian in a position of power. The first case is from 1932, the second from 2011, and through telling those stories, producer Jessica Terrell dives into Hawaiian history (which is super fascinating), and the island’s complex race relations. One thing I love so much about podcasts is that as the space grows, we’re getting to hear more of these really intimate portraits of places that wouldn’t usually be on our radar. That’s what was great about Offshore first season for me.

For further listening, check out Jessica’s interview with The Big Listen in this episode (the same episode which our founders Hebah and Razan were featured on!)

3. Every Little Thing Episode 1: The Hide Rug of the Plant World


Did you ever wonder what goes into choosing the plants for your office? Yeah, no, me neither. But it’s actually fascinating, or at least this episode makes it fascinating. The idea behind Gimlet’s new podcast is to investigate the minutiae of everyday life, to take you down rabbit holes you never knew existed. I’m (still) pining the loss of Mystery Show, and this might be the antidote to that.

4. First Day Back: Season 2


Firstly, this show is really heavy. I’m not going to explain the story here because I don’t want to spoil how unexpectedly intimate and deep it gets. I suppose it’s a true crime podcast – a genre I’m not typically a fan of – but it’s more than that. It’s surprising and confusing and upsetting all at the same time, but thoroughly reported and – for better or for worse – radically empathetic. I’ll let you make your own mind up about it.

5. Millennial Episode #40: One Way Ticket


And lastly for this month, a show from independent producer Megan Tan, who started Millennial a couple of years ago and has since joined the Radiotopia family. Essentially, she tells stories about millennials, and in this episode looks at how a man living in Portland, Maine helped to bring a young woman stranded in Iraq by the US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban to US to join her family.

Signing off, 

Alex Atack