I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 9-16 September 2022

Witness History (BBC) Leading up to the bicentenary of independence in Brasil, Witness History has a series of three short episodes about Brazilian history. The murder that shocked Brazil looks at the 2002 murder and torture of investigative journalist Tim Lopes by a drug gang in Rio de Janeiro. The episode features an interview with Lopes’ son in 2014. A second episode looks at the capital of Brasil, Brasilia. It was designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer and opened in 1960 (even newer than Canberra and a lot weirder). Building of Brasilia features an interview with Osorio Machado, an engineer who worked on the city’s construction.

The History Listen (ABC) Fanny Smith: The ‘genocide survivor’ whose voice will echo through the ages If you asked most people who the last Tasmanian aboriginal was, the answer would be Trugannini. But Fanny Cochrane Smith, who died in 1905 proudly proclaimed that she was the last Tasmanian Aborigine. In 1899, twenty-three years after Trugannini’s death, she recorded songs and language for the Royal Society of Tasmania, the oldest voice recordings made by an Aboriginal person and added to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2017. In this episode, you can hear the recordings and interviews with her great, great grand-daughter, who along with other Palawa people, was encouraged by Michael Mansell to see themselves as a ‘people’ rather than ‘descendants’. Well worth listening to.

99% Invisible Who-ever thought that a dingbat was a THING? For the 500th episode of 99% invisible, they embark on a three part series on Vernacular architecture. So what’s a dingbat?- it’s one of those two or three storey apartment buildings with parking underneath, apparently very popular in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s. They also look at A-frame houses in Vermont, and the phenomenon of the front porch in houses in the South, which can be used as the site for story-telling but also a barrier to stoop people (especially black people) entering your (white) house.

The Documentary (BBC) Samburu: The fight against child marriage looks at the Samburu county, in northern Kenya, where it is normal for girls as young as 11 to be married, often to men more than three times their age. To add to the trauma, the day before the wedding the girl undergoes genital mutilation. Josephine Kulea, is a remarkable Samburu woman on a quest to stop these practices deeply embedded in her culture. Interestingly, they take the girls away for a few years, give them an education, then return them to their villages once the impetus for a child marriage (and the early delivery of cattle in exchange) has passed

Conversations (ABC) Richard Fidler really is a very good interviewer. The Fall of Kabul through Andrew Quilty’s Lens is an interview with photographer Andrew Quilty, who returned to Afghanistan as the US, UK and Australian troops withdrew. It’s a really thoughtful, articulate, raw interview- and it makes me want to read his book August in Kabul.

4 responses to “I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 9-16 September 2022

  1. I used to have a video of Fanny Cochrane-Smith’s recording on my blog, in the review of Tasmanian Aborigines, a History since 1803 by Lyndall Ryan, but it must have been removed from YouTube. I’ll listen to the podcast to hear it again, thanks.

  2. PS the back streets in East St Kilda are full of dingbats!

  3. No, only ever heard it used as an insult, as in He’s a dingbat!
    In East St Kilda (around Inkerman St, Westbury St) there was a lot of development in the 60s and 70s and they built those awful cheap flats, two and three storeys, with space for car parking at ground level.
    When I came back from Seymour after The Ex had finished his National Service in the 70s, I went looking for a rental, and they were in my price range. Those central stairwells stank of cats and worse, and it was very dispiriting after having had a house. I still count myself very lucky that it occurred to the agent to show us 36 Glenhuntly Rd, Elwood: a 3 br flat above what is now the Turtle Cafe, for only $20 p/w! It didn’t have a garden or anywhere to park a car, but I didn’t hesitate because it was gorgeous and we loved it there. We parked the car at a nearby petrol station and we dried the washing with the sea breeze in front of the open bay windows. (And that’s how we saved up a deposit for our own house… I used to buy a bond at the bank for $20 every payday until we had enough.)

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