August Update

August is here and that means three things: We’re all warm, we’re all busy, and we’re all having far too much Summer fun. Let’s check in with Jill and Julia to ask them about what they have going on and lined up in their podcatcher.

Hello from both Berlin and California!

Jill is home for a summer visit, so Julia’s holding down the Bear Radio fort back in Neukolln. We saw some of you dear readers at the wonderful PodFest, which took place on July 16 + 17! It was so great seeing the thriving Berlin podcasting community come together, and hats off to Dan Stern of Radio Spaetkauf and the whole team (including Alice O’Brien!) for putting on a fantastic festival. At PodFest, Julia hosted a podcasting 101 workshop for a packed room of students. It was great seeing so many new faces in the audience! 

Also at Podfest, we resurrected our flagship improv comedy podcast, What’s The Mate with a brand new live episode! Julia was joined by the talented musical improv group Jam Sandwich, and the live studio audience heard tales of lead smelting in a WG kitchen, testing the limits of the 100ml liquid rule on flights, and much more. If you missed the live show, you can listen to the recording here

We also published a brand new episode of URSA on August 2nd! To kick off the episode, Jill & Julia discussed Monkeypox and the latest climate change news in Europe. Local podcast Another Berlin shared a piece about the city’s squatters and The Bittersweet Life shared their European listeners’ favorite sounds (such as the call to prayer during Ramadan in Casablanca). Jane Silver of ExBerliner shared her favorite pizza joints in the city, and Lola’s Digital Editor (and Bear Radio Newsletter Manager!) Alice O’Brien filled in for Jonny Tiernan to talk all about Germany’s upcoming festivals, where to go for the best views of the August meteor shower, and much more. 

We’re gearing up for Autumn, when we’ll be bringing you new episodes of URSA, What’s The Mate, and all of our other great Bear Radio podcasts. We hope you’ve all had a wonderful, relaxing and refreshing summer!

Jill’s Podcast Recommendation

Stolen: Surviving St. Michaels 

In Canada, the Residential schools were a network of 139 boarding schools for the country’s Indiginous peoples to assimilate them to ‘western’ and Christian society. They were funded by the Canadian government and administered by Christian churches. The teachers, nuns and priests who ran the schools ripped children away from their families, abused and tortured them, and even killed them and buried them in unmarked graves on school grounds. The last Canadian Residential school closed in 1998, and many survivors of the Residential schools are still living today. 

In Stolen, Cree journalist Connie Walker investigates a story told to her by her brother about their late father, a survivor of a Canadian Residential school called St. Michaels in British Columbia. Connie’s brother tells her about how their father, a police officer, pulled over a car one night on duty. Coincidentally, the driver was actually the priest that had abused him during his time at the school. Their father beat up the priest, and left the scene. While the priest never tried to press charges for assault, the incident affected their father for the rest of his life. 

Throughout the series, Connie works to solve the mystery of who the priest was, and where he is now, and to confront him for the abuse he inflicted on the children at the residential school. Connie speaks with family, friends, elders and others about their own personal experiences at Residential schools, and how the abuse they endured has shattered communities and families for generations. This podcast is, in my opinion, one of the most important series to come out in 2022, and I encourage everyone to listen. 

Julia’s Podcast Recommendation

It’s Lit! [Unabridged] produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios.

I’ve genuinely been struggling to find “happy” podcasts ie. not about men with second families, murder, or the resurgance of rightwing extremism… so I was delighted when I was recommended It’s Lit! [Unabridged]. Admittedly it’s not entirely all happy, all the time, but it’s about books and features conversations with noted authors about their work, critical discussions about influential novels, and also the issues that relate to books and literature. The show is a spin off of the YouTube series It’s Lit! and is hosted by Princess Weekes, a YouTuber, Assistant Editor at the Geek Girl Pop Culture Site, The Mary Sue. Past guests include Ibi Ziboi, Mikki Kendall and more, and what I really appreciate is that there is a total lack of usual book club snobbiness – the conversations cover what a lot of ‘traditional’ circles leave out, like why BIPOC readers and authors are so often excluded from the conversation or why diverse young adult fiction is so important (and not something you should hide as a guilty pleasure!). It’s not just standard novels, it’s graphic novels and manga and comics too. Go give it a listen! 

%d bloggers like this: