Iceland: What Happened Next?The Documentary Podcast add
Iceland is a small island nation of just 340,000 people, but at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, it was the scene of one of the biggest banking collapses in history.
Ten years on the economy has recovered, thanks to the millions of tourists who now visit every year. But what scars have been left on this close-knit island nation’s collective psyche?
Edwin Lane speaks to the Icelanders hit hardest by the crisis, the small-town chief of police charged with pursuing the errant bankers, the new wave of Icelandic politicians agitating for change, and the Icelanders who fear that the lessons of the past haven’t been learned.
Chile - Sexual Abuse, Secrets and LiesThe Documentary Podcast add
Dark secrets of Chile's Catholic Church - one of South America's devout congregations
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Lasting FameThe Documentary Podcast add
Editor David Cannadine takes us behind the scenes at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) to examine why this late Victorian institution, with thousands upon thousands of detailed and vivid entries about the great and the good, is still relevant in the internet age. We hear the processes by which candidates are selected for inclusion, how the style and content have changed over the years, and why, in a period which tries to look beyond the praise of famous men and women, there is still a place for a publication that unashamedly does just that.
The New World Of ReproductionThe Documentary Podcast add
Krupa Padhy examines where we have got to after 40 years of IVF. In England, she visits a family made up of white British parents and their three boys, plus a ‘snow baby’: created during an IVF cycle for her Indian-American genetic parents, but adopted as an embryo by her birth family. She hears from ethicists and law makers from around the world about how countries have struggled to adapt to new technological realities, and discovers stories that challenge ideas of what IVF is for, like that of an Indian woman who used her dead son’s sperm to create grandchildren.
Nevada’s Brothels Face the AxeThe Documentary Podcast add
In parts of Nevada, prostitution is legal - the only such state in the US. The 'live and let live' mentality is a hangover from the gold rush days; in certain counties, brothels have been officially licensed since 1971.
Today, no fewer than seven of them are owned by one man: Dennis Hof, a gun-toting restaurateur, entrepreneur and reality TV star. He calls himself the 'Trump from Pahrump', after a town where he recently won the Republican primaries for the Nevada State Legislature.
Now, though, there is a backlash from religious and social activists, who have managed to get a referendum on the ballot during this November’s mid-term elections. Voters in Lyon County will be asked if the legal brothels there should be allowed to continue to operate.
Ultimately, the campaigners aim to end legal sex work across the whole state. They say it is an exploitative, abusive trade, and prevents other businesses from investing in the area. But some sex workers are worried that a ban could push them onto the streets, where they would face potential danger.
Lucy Ash talks to Dennis Hof, the women who work for him, and those who are pushing for change.
Producer: Mike Gallagher
Image: Dennis Hof poses outside the Moonlite BunnyRanch (Credit: Reuters)
Conflict ComedyThe Documentary Podcast add
How has comedy helped Northern Ireland cope with conflict and move on?
-- An atheist is driving in Belfast and he gets stopped by a paramilitary road block. A paramilitary walks up to the window and asks him "Catholic or Protestant?" The atheists looks at him and says "well I'm an atheist" The paramilitary nods "Ah okay, but are you a Catholic or a Protestant atheist?" --
Northern Ireland is renowned for its friendliness and sense of humour but after 40 years of violence how do you keep laughing? The conflict has brought out a very particular brand of humour unique to the country, much darker than the Irish humour and sharper than the Scottish.
Comedian Diona Doherty (star of Derry Girls and Soft Border Patrol) finds out what comedy can tell us about healing in conflict and what young people think of the future of NI post Brexit and without a government.
Speaking with stars of the past and future she hears how the jokes have changed even if some of the issues haven’t. Along with her former comedy partner Jordan Dunbar they set out to find the man with the darkest sense of humour in Belfast.
How has comedy evolved and what can it tell us about how to live in a country without a government?
Uganda's Prison FarmsThe Documentary Podcast add
'He was using prisoners like oxen for ploughing for his own gain'. An ex-convict in Uganda recalls the prison officer in charge of the prison farm he worked on. Uganda has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in Africa. It also has one of the continent’s most developed systems of prison labour.
Ed Butler reports from Uganda where most of the country’s 54,000 inmates are now serving an economic purpose, working for the benefit of an elite collection of private farmers and other business interests – even though half of them have not been convicted of any crime. He speaks to current and former prisoners to find out how the system works, and asks: is the country breaking its international pledges on prisoner treatment?
Presented and produced by Ed Butler.
(Image: Prisoners at Patongo Prison, Uganda. Credit: David Brunetti)
Neighbourhood: The Battle for the Future of LagosThe Documentary Podcast add
The story of one of the most ambitious, privatised cities in West Africa, which involves dredging up millions of tons of sand to build 10 square kilometres of land off the coast of Lagos. Reporters Katie Jane Fernelius and Ishan Thakore look at Eko Atlantic City, a city with its own private electricity, water supply and sewage system that works to make Lagos the Dubai of Africa, and fight coastal erosion. But the construction of the city displaced the residents and patrons of what remained of Bar Beach, a neighbourhood that is tangled up in the history of Lagos. At one time it was a popular destination for Sunday picnics, the setting for variety television shows, a place where criminals were publicly executed by firing squad and is still a place of worship for Pentecostal Nigerians. Bar Beach had been eroded by the ocean for years – the small area that remained was nevertheless home to tens of thousands who lived on plank houses on the water. In 2008, with one day’s notice, residents say police evicted them with tear gas and fire. That same year, a famous developer broke ground on Eko Atlantic City. The developers claim that they offer a vision for the future of Lagos. But those evicted, who are among the 14 million urban poor in the African megacity, worry that they won’t be included in that future.
The Life and Times of Senator John McCainThe Documentary Podcast add
Few American politicians have carved such a distinctive career as the late John McCain, the Republican Senator for Arizona. Anthony Zurcher, the BBC's North America reporter, looks back at his life, including his military service, during which he endured five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and his two unsuccessful bids for the American presidency. He also examines how McCain gained a reputation as a political maverick, and inflicted one of the most high-profile policy defeats of Donald Trump's presidency to date.
Featuring interviews with political journalist and author Elizabeth Drew, political adviser Mark McKinnon, and Brooke Buchanan, Sen. McCain's former press secretary and communications director.
BesiegedThe Documentary Podcast add
Over the last seven years as many as a million people in Syria lived under siege, 400,000 of them in Eastern Ghouta alone. Some were trapped for more than four years of bombardment, sniping and near starvation. The walls that stopped them fleeing also prevented many of their stories leaking to the outside world. They could not leave and journalists, along with aid workers and human rights groups, could not get in. Over recent years, Mike Thomson has been using internet links and social media to get inside these isolated and often forgotten places. He has garnered compelling and moving interviews with residents in some of the hardest to reach places. We hear from long besieged Daraya, Eastern Ghouta, and IS surrounded Yarmouk to Eastern Aleppo, Madaya, Homs and Raqqa. With great fortitude and bravery many people told Mike their stories as bombs shook the walls around them. The result is extraordinary picture of everyday life in some of the most frightening and devastated places on earth. Yet amid the grim accounts of death, loss and destruction are inspiring examples of resilience, courage and hope. Most of these besieged areas have now been overrun and evacuated, but this programme ensures that what they went through will not be forgotten.
The Benefits of NakednessThe Documentary Podcast add
Some people just love to be naked in public. Dr Keon West travels far and wide to speak to those who enjoy taking their clothes off to find out why they do it, and what the benefits – and disadvantages – might be. His work showed that those of us who are naked in public are more likely to be happier not just with our bodies, but also with our lives more generally.
'Gone to Foreign' from JamaicaThe Documentary Podcast add
When someone in Jamaica emigrates to the UK, it is said they have 'gone to foreign'. Over the past 70 years several hundred thousand Jamaicans have done this, following in the footsteps of the so-called 'Windrush generation' who first arrived in Britain in the late 1940s. But the spirit of adventure and optimism those early pioneers bought with them has changed over the years and a recent political scandal now finds some of them unwanted and rejected by Britain. Following changes to immigration law and failing to comply with citizenship requirements, they have been designated illegal immigrants. On returning from holiday in the Caribbean, some of the children of the Windrush generation (now in their 50s and 60s) have been refused entry back to Britain, and others have been deported from Britain back to the Caribbean. For Crossing Continents, Colin Grant travels to Jamaica to meet two men who, despite having lived in the UK for decades, working and paying taxes, find themselves in limbo, trapped and unable to return to the place they call home. What happens when you are stranded in a place you were never really familiar with, an island which you have little memory of, and may not have returned to for half a century? Grant hears of their endeavour to return to the UK and how they have struggled to keep up hope in the face of a very painful and public rejection.
Colin Grant reporting and producing.
(Image: West Indian mother keeps the rain off her child with an umbrella, as they depart the Spanish passenger vessel Montserrat at Southampton docks Oct 1961 / Credit: Press Association)
Neighbourhood: How a Garden GrowsThe Documentary Podcast add
Lowell has seen better days. Once a bustling mill town, in the 1920s and 30s it was hit hard by broad shifts in manufacturing that rocked the northeast United States. In the decades since, an influx of immigrants from all over the world has moved in, making Lowell a vibrant place to live despite the departure of industry. However, it remains a largely low-income city, and in the past few years an effort to address urban access to fresh food has brought community gardens to some of the poorest neighbourhoods.
Leonard Bernstein and MeThe Documentary Podcast add
Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein is perhaps the most influential American musician of all time. A champion of cultural inclusivity, he tore down musical barriers to declare the symphony hall open to all and offered the classical music world a dynamic new model of what a maestro could be. As a conductor he achieved early worldwide acclaim, as a composer his work defied genre divisions and brought him popular and critical success, notably with his most well-known work West Side Story. As an educator, he opened up the world of classical music to generations of American children through his long running series of television lectures. On the centenary of his birth, musician and broadcaster Jon Tolansky meets the people who continue to be inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s all-embracing approach to music and life.
Not Making Babies in South KoreaThe Documentary Podcast add
Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin finds out who's not doing it - and why.
Producer: John Murphy Presenter: Simon Maybin.
(Image: South Korean school children in class with teacher. Copyright: BBC)
Neighbourhood: At Conscience PointThe Documentary Podcast add
The Hamptons in the East End of Long Island, New York, is the playground of the super-rich, the epicentre of a luxury property boom, with developers scheming for any scrap of land on which to make millions. Meanwhile the original inhabitants of this beautiful peninsula, the Shinnecock Indians, find themselves pushed to a point of near extinction, squeezed onto a tiny 1000-acre reservation. Over hundreds of years the Shinnecock have seen their ancient burial grounds ploughed up unceremoniously for the widening of roads, golf courses and new mansions.
Where are You Going? SeoulThe Documentary Podcast add
Catherine Carr travels to the South Korean city of Seoul and invites passers-by to stop for a moment and answer one question - Where are you going? She meets a Korean-American who regrets her decision to move to Seoul – a place her parents call ‘Hell City’ - to a wannabe author with a dark past. And she talks to a political refugee stuck in a passport-less limbo, and a couple in love, who simply cannot live together.
Mo Salah: Football is LifeThe Documentary Podcast add
The Liverpool and Egypt footballer Mo Salah became a phenomenon last season; breaking records and winning almost every award going in the English Premier League. In his adopted city of Liverpool, football fans of different faith, nationality and club allegiance describe how Salah has broken down the boundaries that divide them. Reporter Nick Garnett travels from the back-streets surrounding Liverpool’s stadium at Anfield to the Pyramids of Egypt to uncover how Salah’s exploits off the pitch may even eclipse his achievements on it.
Euthanasia - Aurelia's StoryThe Documentary Podcast add
In January, Aurelia Brouwers – a 29 year old Dutch woman, with a history of severe mental illness – lay down on her bed to die. She had been declared eligible for euthanasia a month earlier - Dutch law permits the ending of a life where there is, ‘unbearable suffering’ without hope of relief. Aurelia’s death provoked an outpouring on social media, and widespread discussion within the Netherlands… What if a death wish is part of someone’s illness? And does someone with serious mental health challenges have the capacity to make a decision about their own demise? These are questions now being debated in the Netherlands as a result of Aurelia’s death. Crossing Continents features recordings of Aurelia made in the two weeks before she died, hears from some of the friends closest to her, and explores the complex terrain of euthanasia for people with psychiatric problems in Holland.
Reported and produced by Linda Pressly.
(Image: Aurelia Brouwers. Credit: RTL Nieuws, Sander Paulus)
Neighbourhood: We Might as Well be FinnishThe Documentary Podcast add
How has Finland been shaped by its two very different neighbours, Sweden and Russia? These days, Finland is considered to be one of the best governed, least corrupt, most educated nations in the world. It has even earned itself the title of 'World’s Happiest Country'. Yet the self-deprecating Finns have long seen Finland as a scrappy underdog wedged between two much bigger countries, Sweden and Russia. How has this Nordic nation has been profoundly shaped by its two much bigger - and very different - neighbours?