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The Documentary Podcast podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

 

#300

Women in Iran

Iran has voted for a new president and BBC Persian Service presenter, Rana Rahimpour, hears from different women in conversation on what life is like in the country. Three young women, including one 17-year-old, join Rana to discuss their fears, frustrations and hopes for the future. A pharmacist and doctor share their experiences in two hospitals after the country underwent a fourth wave of infections. They describe the long days and the financial challenges in the health sector, including the relatively low pay. Rana is also joined by two of her colleagues from BBC Persian to discuss the difficulties of reporting on your homeland from thousands of miles away in London. ... Read more

19 Jun 2021

24 MINS

24:11

19 Jun 2021


#299

Syria’s decade of conflict: The many colours of Raqqa

Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country. In the final programme from the season Lina hears from BBC foreign correspondent Tim Whewell who spoke to Abood Hamam, perhaps the only photojournalist to have worked under every major force in Syria's war - and lived to tell the tale. At the start of the uprising he was head of photography for the state news agency, SANA, taking official shots of President Assad and his wife Asma by day - and secretly filming opposition attacks by night. Later he defected and returned to his home town, Raqqa, where various rebel groups were competing for control. Other journalists fled when the terrorists of so-called Islamic State (IS) took over, but Abood stayed - and was asked by IS to film its victory parade. He sent pictures of life under IS to agencies all over the world - using a pseudonym. As the bombing campaign by the anti-IS coalition intensified, Abood moved away - but returned later to record the heartbreaking destruction - but also the slow return of life, and colour, to the streets. For months, he roamed through the ruins with his camera, seeing himself as ”the guardian of the city." Raqqa's future is still very uncertain, but Abood now wants everyone to see his pictures, which he posts on Facebook, and know his real name. He hopes the colours he's showing will tempt the thousands of families who've fled Raqqa to return home, and rebuild their lives, and their city. Producer: Mohamad Chreyteh Sound mix: James Beard Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: Children running in Raqqa, 2019. Credit: Abood Hamam) ... Read more

17 Jun 2021

27 MINS

27:01

17 Jun 2021


#298

Guru: Living a lie

For the last year, BBC journalist and passionate yoga teacher Ishleen Kaur has been investigating allegations of sexual and emotional abuse at the heart of an organisation she once called home. Fellow practitioners share with her their stories of cruelty, rape and even the sexual assault of a child - but she wasn't prepared for what she uncovered next. Ishleen takes us on a deeply personal journey into the dark legacy which haunts Sivananda Yoga, one of the world’s most revered yoga schools. ... Read more

15 Jun 2021

26 MINS

26:41

15 Jun 2021


#297

When Kissinger went to China

In July 1971, Kissinger, then US National Security Advisor, made a clandestine visit to the People’s Republic of China – then America’s sworn enemy. At the time China was isolated from the outside world amidst the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. America was looking for a way out of the Vietnam war. Both countries had had no contact for over 20 years. The 48-hour mission paved the way for President Richard Nixon’s historic handshake with Chairman Mao a few months later. It changed the geometry of the Cold War. So what has happened since Kissinger stepped on Chinese soil in that summer half a century ago? How did we get to where we are today? ... Read more

12 Jun 2021

50 MINS

50:29

12 Jun 2021


#296

Life in Iran

As Iran prepares to hold its presidential election to select a replacement for Hassan Rouhani, BBC Persian presenter Rana Rahimpour brings together Iranians, both in the country and living abroad, to hear about their lives and thoughts. Three young Iranians discuss what it’s like to live in a country where many people want to leave and need two jobs to make ends meet. Plus two sisters - one in London and the other still living in Iran with their parents - discuss the emotional difficulties of separation. ... Read more

12 Jun 2021

23 MINS

23:57

12 Jun 2021


#295

Syria’s decade of conflict: Islamic State’s most wanted

Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country. This week Chloe Hadjimatheou tells the astonishing story of a group of young men from Raqqa, Syria, who chose to resist the so-called Islamic State, which occupied their city in 2014 and made it the capital of their ‘Caliphate’. These extraordinary activists risked everything to oppose ISIS; several were killed, or had family members murdered. ISIS put a bounty on the resistance leaders’ heads forcing them to go into hiding. But the group continued its work, under the banner Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. Chloe met the group’s founders, who were organising undercover activists in Raqqa from the relative safety of other countries. As reporter Chloe Hadjimatheou tells Lina, despite the passing of the years these men are still in hiding from the militants who occupied their city in 2014. (Photo: Four activists from the group working under the banner Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently) ... Read more

10 Jun 2021

27 MINS

27:10

10 Jun 2021


#294

Being mum

Are children always better off in a two-parent family? Ateira Griffin, daughter of a single mother and the director of non-profit organisation that supports black single mothers and their daughters, explores what it is like for a family to be headed by a mum without a dad, a family structure that is on the rise in her native United States. In fact children in single mum households account for half of all African-American kids growing up in America and Ateira explores the context for this historically and in terms of contemporary social policy. ... Read more

08 Jun 2021

27 MINS

27:27

08 Jun 2021


#293

Bonus: The Lazarus Heist Episode 1

Introducing our new original podcast. Here’s episode 1: Hacking Hollywood. A movie, Kim Jong-un and a devastating cyber attack. The story of the Sony hack. How the Lazarus Group hackers caused mayhem. And this is just the beginning…Search for The Lazarus Heist wherever you get your podcasts. #LazarusHeist ... Read more

05 Jun 2021

34 MINS

34:20

05 Jun 2021


#292

Introducing: The Lazarus Heist

Hacking Hollywood and the billion-dollar plot. Hear all about our new original podcast. Search for The Lazarus Heist wherever you find your podcasts. #LazarusHeist ... Read more

05 Jun 2021

03 MINS

03:01

05 Jun 2021


#291

Coronavirus: The Olympics

The Olympic Games now look certain to go ahead in Japan in July. However, some people in the country are against holding the event, as it tackles a fourth wave of coronavirus cases, low vaccination and the extension of a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas. Two doctors in Tokyo share their observations, experiences and concerns. As some countries, including Japan, struggle to vaccinate older members of their populations, host Nuala McGovern also hears from two 12-year-olds in Canada and the United States. They were among the first children in the world to receive a Covid vaccine. ... Read more

05 Jun 2021

23 MINS

23:51

05 Jun 2021


#290

Syria’s decade of conflict: Syria's secret library

Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the 10 years of civil war in her country. This week an extraordinary story from 2016, reported by Mike Thomson, about a secret library stored in the basement of a crumbling house in the besieged Syrian town of Darayya. The library was home to thousands of books rescued from bombed-out buildings by local volunteers, who daily braved snipers and shells to fill its shelves. In the town gripped by hunger and death after three years without food aid, Mike Thomson revealed how this literary sanctuary proved a lifeline to a community shattered by war. And now, 10 years on, Mike brings Lina up to date on the fate of some of those volunteers. Produced by Michael Gallagher and additional research and translation by Mariam El Khalaf. (Image: 14 year-old Chief Librarian Amjad in the Secret Library, Credit: Daraya Council Media Team) ... Read more

03 Jun 2021

27 MINS

27:12

03 Jun 2021


#289

Globalisation in reverse

Globalisation is about open trade, open doors and open borders. It is the way that Asia has grown its economy for the better part of the last half century. But the pandemic and tensions between the US and China have seen globalisation go into reverse - with many now saying it hasn’t benefited everyone. One of the biggest beneficiaries of globalisation has been Singapore. But the city-state is now an increasingly lonely voice calling for economies to stay open. It is being forced to reinvent itself and find new ways to grow its trade dependent and global economy. What lessons does Singapore have for the rest of us? Join Karishma Vaswani as she explores that question and many others in a wide-ranging interview with Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong ... Read more

01 Jun 2021

27 MINS

27:17

01 Jun 2021


#288

The Tulsa tragedy that shamed America

Alvin Hall tells the story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in US history. In the early 20th Century, Tulsa was a wild west town which became a boom city. But the oil capital of the world was also home to the thriving and prosperous district of Greenwood - nicknamed 'Black Wall Street' by Booker T Washington - because it was a mecca for Black entrepreneurs. On 30 May, a young Black shoe shiner Dick Rowland, was wrongly accused of attacking a white elevator operator Sarah Paige (the girl later recanted her story). This was the trigger, on 31 May and 1 June, for an armed white mob to loot and burn Greenwood, in a violent 16-hour attack. Many estimate up to 300 Black citizens were killed. Over 1200 homes were destroyed, every church, hotel, shop, and business was completely wiped off the map. ... Read more

29 May 2021

50 MINS

50:14

29 May 2021


#287

Hip-hop and healing: Commemorating Tulsa

A century ago, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in US history took place - the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Greenwood was a prosperous and thriving district, nicknamed 'Black Wall Street' because it was a mecca for Black entrepreneurs and businesses. Dick Rowland, was wrongly accused of attacking a white girl in an elevator - a charge she would quickly recant. But after a sensationalist newspaper report, a mob gathered outside the courthouse. Violence broke out, many of the white mob were deputised and given arms. During the evening of 31 May 1921 and 1 June, 35 square blocks of Greenwood were looted and burned to the ground. Jerica D Wortham is an author, poet, and publisher, born and raised in Greenwood. Jerica invites us to witness how the community is marking the centennial. ... Read more

29 May 2021

50 MINS

50:39

29 May 2021


#286

Coronavirus: Getting Covid after vaccination

Vaccines are seen as a way out of the coronavirus pandemic; a way to stop transmission and have fewer patients in hospital. Host Nuala McGovern shares different experiences of vaccination and hospitalisation. For some who have been vaccinated, infection is still possible, but hospitalisation is expected to be less likely. Two guests describe their reactions to getting a positive test, after having Covid jabs, and how the virus affected them. We consider too those who are hesitant about the Covid vaccine, despite the dangers of catching the disease. ... Read more

29 May 2021

23 MINS

23:42

29 May 2021


#285

Syria’s decade of conflict: The battered champions of Aleppo

Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country. This week she introduces Tim Whewell’s programme from 2016 about what happened to a local football team in Aleppo province in the early years of the civil war: A fuzzy team photo from the 1980s sent Tim on a journey to track down the football players in the picture; the men who were once the champions of Aleppo province. Mare’a, their small hometown in northern Syria, had by then become a war zone - bombed by the Assad regime, besieged by Islamic State, even subjected to a mustard gas attack. And the civil war had torn through what was once a close knit band of friends - some had become pro-rebel, some pro-regime. They were scattered across Syria and beyond, some were fighting near Mare'a, some were living in refugee camps abroad. In this moving story about how war fractures and divides a community, Tim hears about the ordeals the men had suffered since they won that football cup and asks whether they could ever be reunited? At the end of the programme, Lina catches up with Tim to find out what’s happened to the team members since 2016. (Image: Mare’a’s cup-winning football team, 1983. Credit: Mare'a football team’s archive) ... Read more

27 May 2021

27 MINS

27:07

27 May 2021


#284

Reaching back to Hands Across America

On 25 May 1986, 6.5 million people did the impossible; they joined hands to form the world’s longest human chain, from New York to Los Angeles. But far from being a simple stunt, Hands Across America was raising money to fight hunger and homelessness in the world’s richest country. Did it succeed? Aleks Krotoski was 11 years old when she stood in the sunshine between her mother and a stranger and held their hands for those 15 minutes 35 years ago. She speaks with the organisers, the people who participated, and the people who received the donations, and discovers that Hands Across America didn’t just feed the hungry, but led the social networking revolution as well. ... Read more

25 May 2021

27 MINS

27:04

25 May 2021


#283

Vaccinating the world

Now that scientists have created a Covid-19 vaccine in record time, the race is on to vaccinate the world. Public health professor Devi Sridhar follows the journey of the Covid vaccine from factory to arm as she goes behind the scenes of the rollout. Speaking to health leaders, politicians and experts, we see how the world is responding and look at how long it might take to vaccinate enough people. ... Read more

22 May 2021

50 MINS

50:11

22 May 2021


#282

Gagarin and the lost Moon

On 12 April 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became an explorer like none other before him, going faster and further than any human in history, into what had always been the impenetrable and infinite unknown. Raised in poverty during the World War Two, the one-time foundry worker and a citizen of the Soviet Union became the first human to fly above the Earth. Dr Kevin Fong tells the story of how 27-year-old Yuri Gagarin came to launch a new chapter in the history of exploration and follows the cosmonaut’s one hour flight around the Earth. ... Read more

22 May 2021

1 HR 01 MINS

1:01:25

22 May 2021


#281

Israel and Gaza

After 11 days of conflict, a ceasefire has been agreed between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The violence in that time killed more than 250 people, most of them in Gaza. During this past week, host Nuala McGovern has been hearing conversations from both Palestinians and Israelis about what it has been like to be living under bombardment. They talk about their lives and hopes for the future. ... Read more

22 May 2021

23 MINS

23:08

22 May 2021