Audio we love: podcast recommendations of the month

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Under the Skin – Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

Comedian and vocal social critic Russell Brand interviews former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis in his podcast Under the Skin. Varoufakis and Brand bounce ideas off each other about transcendence, alienation, and spirituality, finding merit in human connection, empathy and faith. Varoufakis makes a strong case for constructive disobedience and gives advice on what can be done tomorrow morning to achieve a more just and sustainable world. Listen to the whole episode here.

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BBC Radio 4, Reith Lectures – The Day is for the Living

Art can bring the dead back to life, argues the best-selling novelist Hilary Mantel, starting with the story of her own great-grandmother. “We sense the dead have a vital force still,” she says. “They have something to tell us, something we need to understand. Using fiction and drama, we try to gain that understanding.” Dame Hilary discusses the role that history plays in our culture. How can we understand the past, she asks, and how can we convey its nature today? Above all, she believes, we must all try to respect the past amid all its strangeness and complexity.

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BBC World Service, World Hacks – Mexico’s Cartoon Therapists

How do you get children who’re victims of emotional abuse or physical harm to open up about what’s happened to them? In Mexico a psychologist, Julia Borbolla, encourages them to have a one-to-one chat with a cartoon alien that appears on a video screen in a room near her office. What the children don’t realise is Julia hears every word of their conversation with the animated creature because she’s secretly controlling it from the room next door. She says children are more likely to reveal sensitive information to the cartoon alien than if they were face-to-face with a real person. 

London-based postgraduate student in Gender & Sexuality Studies. On the side: playing ukulele, exploring, cinema!

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