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40 minutes | Oct 14, 2019
The idea of Geek Culture
Did you know that 71 000 people attended Comic Con Africa in Jo'burg recently? William Shatner was there! So-called “Geek Culture” or “Nerd Culture" is clearly really popular in South Africa. Excitingly, we’re also seeing the rise of local comic heroes like Kwezi and Captain South Africa (who is a woman, by the way!) and the brilliant visual artists who make them. Jessica speaks to Zaid H. Motala, self-described Geek Culture ambassador, about the world of comics, superheroes, gaming, cosplay, fantasy and science fiction. Links from this episode: Comic Con Africa https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en.html Comic Con Cape Town https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en/media-centre/2019-press-release/comic-con-cape-town.html Zaid Motala on Facebook, including some hilarious videos: https://www.facebook.com/ZHMentertainment/ Artist Bill Musuku and Captain South Africa: https://www.billmasuku.com/rm/ Kwezi Comic Books: https://www.facebook.com/Kwezicomicbook/ Ray Witcher, Illustrator and Artist http://raywhitcher.daportfolio.com ComiXology http://ComiXology.com Marvel Unlimited subscription service: https://www.marvel.com/comics/unlimited DCUniverse (but currently only available in the US, sorry): https://www.dcuniverse.com Crunchyroll for streaming anime and manga: https://www.crunchyroll.com/ Shonenjump for manga: https://www.viz.com/shonen-jump During the interview, Jessica refers to the ugly incident around the Hugo Science Fiction Awards which took place in 2015. To understand what she’s talking about, read more here: https://www.vox.com/2015/4/26/8495415/hugos-sad-puppies-controversy Listen to all episodes of The Commute podcast online by clicking here.
35 minutes | Oct 6, 2019
The idea of mapping South African emigration
Los Angeles for Justice Malala. New York for Redi Tlhabi. London for Nakhane Toure. And your Facebook feed is showing a stream of middle class South Africans moving to Australia, the UK and Ireland, right? South Africans seem to be on the move - but why don't we have the data to track this? Jessica speaks to Bernhard Smuts, developer of WhereDidWeGo.Com, a website that visualises self-reported data from South Africans as they move, either temporarily or permanently, to other countries. Resources mentioned in this show: www.wheredidwego.com https://www.facebook.com/whereDidWeGoWebSite/ The Dr Azar Jammine article on emigration Jessica discusses is here: https://www.biznews.com/global-citizen/2019/08/13/accelerated-emigration-azar-jammine and the Daily Maverick response from Daniel Buckham she notes is here: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-10-01-are-skilled-white-south-africans-really-emigrating-at-an-accelerating-rate/ and a final response from Prof Daniel Kaplan is here: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-10-03-packing-for-perth-skills-flight-is-a-reality-and-we-must-plan-for-it/ Bernhard's recommendations are: https://syntax.fm https://www.indiehackers.com Listen to all episodes of The Commute online
4 minutes | Sep 29, 2019
#PODSTRIKE! This week, the Commute is part of #PODSTRIKE, a global coalition of podcasts lending our voices to support the young people seeking to make a difference about climate change. Learn more here about climate action globally and at home in South Africa: https://globalclimatestrike.net https://www.podstrike.net Politically Aweh's Climate Change series on YouTube Meet SA's 17-year-old climate activist, Ayakha Melithafa Cartoonist Carlos Amato
36 minutes | Sep 22, 2019
The idea of cyberattacks
This is a fun one! How ready is South Africa for the new frontier of cyberattacks? The same technology that gives us social media and the ability to send text messages from our fridge is also being used for theft, extortion and election interference. Jessica speaks to Karen Allen, a Consultant at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, who is tracking Emerging Threats in Africa and their impact on human security. The books and resources mentioned in this episode are: Karen’s article on cyberattacks in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/sep/16/africa-should-not-be-too-quick-to-embrace-the-fourth-industrial-revolution The Capture (TV series) https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2019-07-24/first-trailer-released-for-bbc-ones-thriller-series-the-capture/ "The Perfect Weapon" by David E. Sanger https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/547683/the-perfect-weapon-by-david-e-sanger/9780451497901/ "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" by Shoshana Zuboff https://www.amazon.co.uk/Age-Surveillance-Capitalism-Future-Frontier/dp/1781256845 South Africa’s new Cybercrimes Bill comes into effect later in 2019 http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/bills/CyberCrimesBill2017.pdf
46 minutes | Sep 15, 2019
The idea of National Health Insurance
Yikes, the National Health Insurance bill is scaring the daylights out of South Africa’s middle class. Introduced by new(ish) Health Minister Zwele Mkhize, the bill promises to outlaw medical aids and make government the sole administrator of your healthcare by 2026. Jessica interviews Anthea Jeffery from the Institute of Race Relations, who has been tracking the NHI bill closely. ***Correction*** In this episode, Jessica states that Discovery’s operating profit for the last financial year was R9 billion. It was, in fact, R7.7 billion. Read the proposed NHI bill at this link: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201908/national-health-insurance-bill-b-11-2019.pdf
37 minutes | Sep 8, 2019
The idea of going on holiday to North Korea
North Korea for your next vacay, anyone? Jo'burger Dan Brotman has done it, travelling to the world’s least visited country in January 2019. He tells Jessica what it was like, what he saw, and why South Africans should consider being a little more adventurous when splashing out on an overseas visit. You can find Dan Brotman on Facebook if you would like to hear more about his adventures!
44 minutes | Sep 1, 2019
The idea of an IMF bailout for South Africa
Will South Africa have to go to the IMF for a bailout at some point? Where did this idea come from? What do bailouts entail anyway? And does South Africa actually need one? Jessica speaks to Africa Expert and Director of Africa Risk Consulting Tara O’Connor to learn more about the International Monetary Fund, and what we might learn from our neighbours about the potential consequences - positive and negative - of taking a loan from the IMF.
40 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
The idea of South Africa billions of years ago
You know South Africa is basically the global hotspot for ancient rocks and fossils, but you didn't know how COOL they are. Jessica interviews paleontologist (amongst other things) Dr Robyn Pickering, who is back in South Africa after a decade abroad, about the pre-historic origins of SA's gold, #FeesMustFall, being a woman in science, and that time there were cockroaches the size of Citi Golfs roaming around. The books Dr Pickering mentions are: 'Darwin's Hunch: Science, Race and the Search for Human Origins' by Christa Kuljian: https://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Hunch-Science-Search-Origins/dp/1431424250 and 'Lab Girl' by Hope Jahren: https://www.amazon.com/Lab-Girl-Hope-Jahren-ebook/dp/B010PDP31W/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=lab+girl&qid=1550059598&s=books&sr=1-1
37 minutes | Sep 4, 2018
Episode 11: The idea of the Ramaphoria hangover
It’s the last episode of Season 1, folks. But don’t be sad, because it’s a great one. Are you confused about whether the goodies or the baddies are winning in Ramaphosa’s presidency so far? Me too. The President seems constrained and the ANC resistant to economic reform. And the Deputy President scares the bejesus out of everyone except the ANC exec. Jessica speaks to political writer Carol Paton, who takes us through the Ramaphoria hangover in her characteristically sober and understated way. If you miss The Commute in the coming months, visit www.thecommute.co.za to re-listen to Season 1.
46 minutes | Aug 24, 2018
Episode 10: The idea of playfulness as a radical act
Art time! We're delving into some culture this week, and taking a break from geopolitics. Jessica speaks to the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Jemma Kahn about her latest work, the Borrow Pit, her Japanese influences, and why you're never going to make good art by just having beers with your friends and going to bed early. Visit www.jemmakahn.com for more info.
44 minutes | Jul 6, 2018
Episode 9: The idea of Making America Great Again
Donald Trump considers South Africa a sh*thole country – although to be fair he thinks America is a total sh*thole too. But he's gonna make it great again. What does having an American reality tv host in the White House mean for South Africa? Jessica speaks to Phillip van Niekerk, who is living and working in the Swamp itself, Washington DC. The statement about UN voting loyalty to America mentioned in this show can be accessed here: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/nikki-haley-names-and-shames-south-africa-for-un-v
38 minutes | Jun 12, 2018
Episode 8: The idea of Finland's lekker schooling system
We suck at reading. South Africa came bottom out of 50 countries in a recent international assessment of reading and literacy. Other than calling for a revolution (as Tracy Chapman has been urging Jessica to do), what can we do? Well, some South Africa schools have decided they're going to switch to the Finnish education system. But what IS the Finnish schooling system? Jessica speaks to Professor Hillary Janks to find out. The book mentioned in this show is Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
38 minutes | May 9, 2018
Episode 7: The idea of the North Korean Embassy in Pretoria
Counterfeit money, shipments of crack, ivory smuggling... no, this isn't a new Netflix series, it's just an average day in North Korea's underground world. And it's all happening just up the road. Jessica speaks to veteran investigative journalist Julian Rademeyer about South Africa, the DPRK, and why that North Korean restaurant in Pretoria wasn't very good. You can read the report we are discussing, "Diplomats and Deceit: North Korea's criminal activities in Africa", here: http://globalinitiative.net/diplomats-and-deceit-north-koreas-criminal-activities-in-africa/
31 minutes | May 1, 2018
Episode 6: The idea of Expropriation Without Compensation
#GiveBackTheLand! Yeah! But which land? And how? And to whom? And through which process? The EFF and the ANC want the South African Constitution changed to enable expropriation without compensation. Jessica talks to Professor Ruth Hall about how we can put actual human beings and their needs at the centre of the land debate. The books mentioned in this episode are "The Land Is Ours"; "Untitled"; and "Land Divided, Land Restored."
30 minutes | Apr 4, 2018
Episode 5: The idea of China's 'One Belt One Road' push
Xi Jinping, President of China, just got the go ahead to become president for life when his party abolished term limits. Who is Xi? Should South Africa worry about all those lovely loans it took from China? And what is the not-exactly-well-named "One Belt One Road" initiative announced in 2017? Jessica talks to Cobus van Staden, co-host of the awesome China-Africa Podcast. who explains it all. The links Cobus mentions in this show are: http://www.saiia.org.za/china?restcata=190&moduleId=534&Itemid=540 and http://www.ccs.org.za . You can listen to the China Africa podcast here: http://www.chinaafricaproject.com
31 minutes | Apr 4, 2018
Episode 4: The idea of a (functional?) Arts Ministry
Sometimes it feels like South Africa's Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) is a big nothing-burger. But given South Africa's extraordinary artistic talent pool (Trevor Noah, Black Coffee, Dada Masilo, Andile Ndlovu, Zanele Muholi etc etc etc), why do they seem to suck? Jessica talks to acclaimed playwright Mike van Graan to see if this is a fair assessment, and what the problems might be.
30 minutes | Apr 4, 2018
Episode 3: The idea of Bitcoin
South Africa topped the charts in 2017 for Google searches for the word ‘Bitcoin’. What is Bitcoin? Why is everyone so excited about cryptocurrencies? Will I be able to buy my groceries at Woolies using Bitcoin soon? Jessica speaks to Claire Ingram Bogusz to learn more about this amazing new world. You can visit Claire’s website at www.clairebogusz.com The links Claire mentions in the interview are: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/09/a-decentralized-web-would-give-power-back-to-the-people-online/ and https://news.earn.com/thoughts-on-tokens-436109aabcbe And Claire recommends this great online course on how Bitcoin and Cryptos work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOMVZXLjKYo
28 minutes | Apr 4, 2018
Episode 2: The idea of Vladimir Putin
We know Vladimir Putin likes to pose shirtless while hunting bears, and that he and Donald Trump have something special going on, but how much we do know about the man himself? Jessica van Onselen continues her conversation with Irina Filatova about Putin and South Africa. The books mentioned in this show are: - "ANC: The view from Moscow" (1999) by Vladimir Shubin and - "The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era" (2013) by Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson
42 minutes | Apr 4, 2018
Episode 1: The idea of the USSR and the ANC
It's Episode 1 of this brand new South African podcast, the Commute! We all know vaguely that the Soviet Union supported the ANC under Apartheid, and many of the USSR's ideas from the 60s and 70s still permeate ANC's big policy ideas. Jessica van Onselen talks to Professor Irina Filatova about Russian South African relations under Apartheid, and the traces we can see of it today. The books mentioned in this show are: - "ANC: The view from Moscow" (1999) by Vladimir Shubin - "The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era" (2013) by Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson
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