I hear with my little ear: podcasts 24-31 March

Revolutionspodcast.com  Ah! The Mexican Revolution is finished at last. In the final episode, Mike Duncan explains that when he first had the idea of looking at revolutions, it was the Mexican Revolution that he had in mind, even though he actually dealt with several other revolutions (French, Bolivarian, 1848 etc) before he got round to Mexico. It took him 27 episodes, and he found it hard to decide when exactly the revolution finished because it didn’t quite fit the trajectory of many of the other revolutions he has dealt with. Anyway, Zapata is dead but his ideas live on; Pancho Villa is dead; it all becomes rather respectable….. and so Mike moves on to the Russian Revolution in May after a very well-deserved rest.

Conversations.(ABC) Where has Richard Fidler gone? Oh well, Hamish Macdonald is a perfectly good replacement. It was a pleasure to listen to Anton Enus’ modulated tones as he spoke about his childhood in South Africa as the ‘Cape Coloured’ son of a wrestling legend ‘The Masked Marvel’.

BBC World Documentary Podcasts. I often listen to BBC World News when I wake up in the middle of the night. They advertise their documentaries, but I’d never bothered to look for them by light of day. But they’re all here- and they’re fantastic. Sweeping the World is a poetic reflection on the act of sweeping, as it plays out across the world.  I remember when I stayed with my son in Nairobi, you could hear the sound of the housemaids sweeping the carpark outside, crouched over with a small stick broom, one hand behind their back. My former mother-in-law used to love sweeping, starting from one end of the big garden and sweeping right through to the gutter at the front. This podcast talks about sweeping in third-world countries, the role of the broom in the depiction of witchcraft, and historical brooms kept in museums.

The Minefield (ABC) Waleed Aly has received more exposure in the last fortnight after the Christchurch massacre than he’s probably ever had in his life. (For readers overseas, here is the clip from The Project that I’m referring to)

Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens present The Minefield every week on Radio National, and the podcast version has an additional twenty-odd minutes of the program. They take a current topic and complicate it no end and add words like ‘epistemological’ and ‘ontological’. I can’t decide whether I really enjoy the show or whether I just find it pretentious. But two very good episodes here: the first, after Christchurch, asks “What Does the Christchurch Shooting Demand of Us?” and the second “Why does antisemitism cut across the political spectrum?”, featuring Deborah Lipstadt (the subject of the film Denial – available on SBS On Demand [only in Australia])

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