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The Documentary Podcast
27 minutes | a day ago
Myanmar: The spring revolution
More than 750 people have been killed by the Myanmar military since they seized power in a coup three months ago. Mass protests demanding a return to democracy and the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been met with brutal force. Borders are closed and the internet effectively blocked. This is a story the military does not want the world to hear. But people are bravely documenting their resistance. We follow three young activists now in a fight for their future. As their options close…Can they win back democracy? Produced and presented by Rebecca Henschke with Kelvin Brown (Image: Bhone at a pro-democracy demonstration in Myanmar. Credit: BBC)
27 minutes | 3 days ago
Where is Jack Ma?
On the eve of what would have been the world's largest share listing, Ant Financial founder Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire mysteriously disappeared. Things started to go wrong for Ma after he told a room full of banking regulators that their methods were out of date and not fit for purpose. Shortly afterwards, the Chinese government cancelled the listing and Jack went silent. So what has happened to Jack Ma? Journalist Celia Hatton, who spent 15 years living and reporting in China, investigates.
51 minutes | 5 days ago
For the past seven years, Marlo has been making a podcast about life as a single mum raising her transgender daughter. In the first programme, Marlo explains why she put her daughter’s story out for the world to hear. She says she felt compelled to tell their story, and to show people that ‘we exist’.
25 minutes | 6 days ago
A second coronavirus wave is ravaging many parts of India and the health services continue to struggle. Two doctors in Delhi and Mumbai share their experiences of working under increasingly difficult circumstances. They tell us about the hurt they are feeling as they try to do their jobs and save lives. And three BBC journalists in India reveal what it’s like to report on the ground in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai as their family and friends are infected by Covid-19.
27 minutes | 8 days ago
The Battle of Palma
At the end of March, hundreds of militants linked to the Islamic State group overran a small, but strategic coastal town in northern Mozambique. The bloody surprise attack on Palma marked a significant escalation in a shadowy conflict that began in 2017 and has already driven hundreds of thousands of Mozambicans from their homes. Some of the heaviest fighting in Palma centred on a hotel where many foreign workers spent days under siege, before attempting a daring escape. Helicopters and boats were also used to try to rescue those trapped by the militants. For Assignment, Andrew Harding tells the story of Palma’s days of terror. Produced by Becky Lipscombe (Image: Mozambican soldiers on a motorbike in the streets of Palma, April 2021. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency/Joao Relvas)
28 minutes | 10 days ago
Don't log off: My life, my world
Alan Dein follows Rohan, a young Jamaican farmer over the past 12 months as he is faced by the twin challenges of drought and the pandemic.
51 minutes | 13 days ago
Dance Divas: 1988-1998
Sampling technology created new opportunities for producers but raised questions of authenticity and authorship in the industry. Some of the biggest dance music hits of the early '90s used uncredited vocals belonging to Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown and Martha Wash. After the Paradise Garage closed, New Jersey’s Zanzibar club became the breaking ground for dance music in the New York area. Abbie Adams had a record store around the corner which became Movin’ Records, introducing the world to the ‘Jersey Sound’. We also meet legendary talent scout Gladys Pizarro who co-founded Strictly Rhythm.
25 minutes | 13 days ago
Sudan has recorded only 32,000 cases of coronavirus infections and just 2,300 Covid-19 related deaths so far. It is also rolling out vaccines. But the numbers are thought to be much higher and host Nuala McGovern hears from three women living in the capital, Khartoum, about how their experiences of family and friends dying differs greatly from the official Covid-19 figures. We also return to intensive care units in the UK, US and South Africa to hear from the specialist doctors who are responsible for patients on ventilators and pain management.
28 minutes | 14 days ago
Prince belong Vanuatu
Villagers believe Prince Philip is returning to his ancestral home on their Pacific island. In a handful of villages on the island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, he has been revered as an ancestral spirit and son of their mountain god, and they have been waiting for him to return to them, either in person during his lifetime or in spirit form after his death. It is thought the religious movement started after the 1974 royal tour of the Pacific, during which the Queen and Prince Philip visited Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides.
27 minutes | 15 days ago
America’s solitary inmates
Since the pandemic struck, millions around the world have endured lockdowns, with many finding it hard to tolerate long periods indoors. But what if lockdown meant years on end spent entirely alone, in a single room, sometimes no bigger than a large elevator? In many US states, jails and prisons routinely use solitary confinement to enforce discipline and indeed, sometimes to quarantine inmates for health reasons. Officials say it’s essential to ensure safety behind bars. Prisoners can be segregated for serious and violent offences, but also for infringing minor rules. And some have spent decades in isolation, despite the United Nations defining a stretch of more than fifteen days as torture. As one of the most prominent states, New York, now moves to accept the UN limit and reform the use of segregation, Hilary Andersson meets inmates and prison staff to understand what this draconian punishment is like, and what its psychological effects can be upon those affected, who include children as young as thirteen. Produced for radio by Michael Gallagher If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this programme, you can contact help at Befrienders International: www.befrienders.org (Image: A juvenile inmate in a cell seen through the door hatch. Credit: Richard Ross)
28 minutes | 17 days ago
Don't log off: My life, my world
Alan Dein hears how the pandemic year has affected the life of 19-year-old student Mursalina in Kabul, Afghanistan. She has been studying at home online, but has become increasingly aware of the impact of Covid-19 on the city's poorest people who come knocking on her door for food donations. She also fears for the health of her father who works in a hospital. At the same time, she is keen to keep her young people's group active, promoting education and independence for women in her community.
50 minutes | 20 days ago
Dance divas: 1978-1988
We meet Yvonne Turner, Rebecca Mackenzie, Carol Cooper, Gail Sky King and Sharon White who were all Paradise Garage regulars from its opening in the late 70s. We follow their first steps in the music business, after the death of disco. But in a cut-throat music industry, many women, including Martha, had to fight to get proper credit for their work and recognition for their achievements is long overdue. Now in their 60s, we follow their remarkable stories over several decades, as underground dance music evolved from disco into house, striving for success in an environment which was often hostile to women.
24 minutes | 20 days ago
Coronavirus: Surviving isolation
The pandemic has caused many people to feel lonely and isolated. For three women, the isolation is as a result of travelling and having to quarantine in hotels on arrival - Michelle in Australia, Amanda in Indonesia and Charlotte in New Zealand. They tell host Nuala McGovern how they are passing the time and share recommendations. It’s not just people living alone who can feel isolated, of course, and three single parents from the Philippines, the United States and the UK share their experiences - both the highs and lows - of living with their children 24/7. For theatre artist Floyd in Manila, it has resulted in singing regularly with his ten year old son.
49 minutes | 20 days ago
The day I met Prince Philip
Over his seven decades of service to Queen Elizabeth the Second, to the United Kingdom, her 15 other realms, and to the Commonwealth, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, met many millions of people. They all have stories to tell about those meetings and in this special programme Winifred Robinson hears some of them. The stories reflect on the Prince’s many passions, the charities he was involved with, his commitment to individuals and causes and also his support for the Queen and the Commonwealth. We also hear about his sharp wit and sense of humour.
27 minutes | 22 days ago
Sexual healing in the Israeli military
Soldiers returning from the line of duty with injuries affecting sexual performance are universal to all militaries around the world, but Israeli psychologist Dr Ronit Aloni set about making hers the only nation that offers a unique therapeutic approach to restoring the sexuality of their troops as a matter of course: surrogate partner therapy (SPT), or sexual surrogacy. After studying the niche treatment in the US in the early nineties, Dr Aloni conducted studies, lobbied the government and met with religious leaders in order to make this therapy, considered fringe and often taboo in other nations, available to those who need it via Ministry of Defense funding. But why is Israel alone in this? The therapy is best described as traditional psychotherapy combined with intimate sexual therapy with a surrogate lover, in every form that can mean, and it was Dr Aloni’s dogged belief in its life-changing benefits for her clients that caused her to pursue provision for the troops. For Assignment, Yolande Knell tells the story of that policy through Dr Aloni’s work and her Tel Aviv clinic, the work of surrogate partner Seraphina, and two military veterans who have accessed the service: one of the first to be offered it on the Defense Ministry’s time in the late nineties, and one a conscripted young man paralysed by his injuries who after years of begging for death, says the therapy “restored his humanity.” Producer: Philip Marzouk Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: Hand being held in a gesture of comfort. Credit: PeopleImages via Getty)
27 minutes | 24 days ago
Don't log off: My life, my world
Alan Dein follows 25-year-old entrepreneur Fahad in Dhaka, Bangladesh who has to deal with the pressures of running multiple businesses during the pandemic – and has over 200 employees depending on him for their livelihoods.
24 minutes | a month ago
Coronavirus: Loss of smell and taste
The loss of smell and taste is now considered one of the major symptoms of Covid-19 and it can have a huge impact on people’s lives - especially when these senses do not return after someone has recovered from the disease. Host Nuala McGovern hears from people in Costa Rica, the US and the UK about how it has affected their lives - from coffee that has become too pungent to drink and steak that tastes metallic - to being unable to smell fresh paint or the natural scent of a child.
51 minutes | a month ago
The other caliphate
For five brutal months in 2017 the black flag of so-called Islamic State fluttered over a captured city, and thousands of lives were destroyed. But rather than Iraq or Syria, this was a reality in Marawi, in the Philippines. Anna Foster travels to the heart of a devastated community - still off-limits to most - where ruined buildings cut through with shrapnel and bullet-holes are all that’s left of a once-thriving city.
50 minutes | a month ago
HRH Prince Philip: A celebration of a life
Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was 99 years old. Tuppence Middleton presents a celebration of his life, and looks back through the BBC archive to find out more about the projects and causes to which he was dedicated.
27 minutes | a month ago
HRH Prince Philip: Links with the armed forces
Jonny Dymond looks back at Prince Philip's links with the armed forces, and his time as an officer in the Royal Navy. He tells the story of the Duke of Edinburgh's lifelong love of the sea, and his service during World War Two.
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