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BLUE CARBON : A SEA STORY
Listen here: Apple Podcasts / GoLoud / Spotify
The beauty, power and wonder of the sea as told by ex-fishermen, marine ecologists and environmental activists. Producer Bairbre Flood takes to the sea with Colin Barnes, Cork Whale Watch, on an ethical whale and wildlife tour, and meets with marine biologist Shazia Waheed, lobster fisherman Kieran O’Shea, and volunteers with the Bantry Bay Protect Our Native Kelp Forest campaign, Dolf D’Hondt and Tomas O’Sullivan.
‘The kelp forests are the forest of the ocean, and they deserve to be treated with the same kind of care and with the same kind of foresight, as we do with the trees on land.’
– Tomas O’Sullivan, Bantry Bay Protect Our Kelp Forest
Niall MacAllistar of Sea Kayaking With The Seals brings us out to explore Adrigole Harbour, and Padraic Fogarty (Whittled Away: Ireland’s Vanishing Nature) of the Irish Wildlife Trust explains what can be done to help protect the seas, and why it’s vital let our oceans recover – from overfishing, pollution and the effects of climate change.
‘There is a massive shift that is needed – number one: in seeing the enormous importance that the ocean plays in our climate, as well as to individuals who enjoy the ocean every day. But also seeing that we really need to stop destroying it, day in, day out, and to allow it to recover.’
– Padraic Fogarty, IWT
Created with funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Broadcast on Newstalk on Sunday 4th Dec 2022 at 7am and Sat. 10th Dec at 9pm.
I AM NOT YOUR REFUGEE
Created with the support of the Pulitzer Center.
An openDemocracy podcast that seeks to challenge stereotypes around migration. Presented by Mahmoud Hassino with interviews by Bairbre Flood, it looks at refugee-led projects including a Syrian activist group in Athens, a photography project in Jordan, an LGBTQ+ refugee network in Türkiye and the first Spanish magazine set up by refugees.
With a title inspired by James Baldwin, ‘I Am Not Your Refugee’ offers resistance and support in the face of closed camps and isolation, Frontex and loneliness, violent pushbacks and marginalisation.
As policies across Europe become increasingly harsh, refugees are organising themselves to create pockets of solidarity and practical support. ‘I Am Not Your Refugee’ is produced by a network of Afghan, Syrian, Pakistani, Irish and Egyptian journalists, artists and activists.
EPISODE 1 – Nothing Without Us
Three community organisers across three countries: Anas in Türkiye, Safdar Salmani in Greece and Mavis Ramazani in Ireland. We explore why it’s so important refugees themselves have ownership of their organisations and support — and see how different communities experienced in forced migration help to organise themselves.
Anas is the community liaison officer with Small Projects Istanbul, Safdar Salmani is a community volunteer who works with One Happy Family and Wave of Hope for the Future in Greece (with thanks to Fionn McArthur, who interprets the conversation) and Mavis Ramazani works with MASI (the Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland).
EPISODE 2 – Media & Migration
Osama Gaweesh is an Egyptian journalist who joined the Refugee Journalism Project in the UK. He explains how the project works, and why it’s so important – not just for individual journalists, but for the quality of news and media overall. His own podcast, Untold Stories, is available wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Nasruddin Nizami, from Afghanistan, is co-founder of the online magazine Solomon, in Athens, and Mohammad Subat set up the first magazine by refugees in Spain, Baynana (which is Arabic for ‘between us’).
EPISODE 3 – Ana Surie
Mohamad Khalf has been teaching photography in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan, for many years – instilling a love of learning and creative expression in his students Ali and Mohammed Nour Al-Babisi.
They talk to Bairbre Flood about the photography exhibition Mohmamad Khalf organised in the camp, called ‘Ana Surie’ (‘I Am Syrian’) and why they are Syrian first – not refugees.
Nour Al-Hariri shares her rap music and explains why she writes about early marriage, child labour, and other issues – and why the many talented and creative women in the camp should be supported more.
EPISODE 4 – Art Here
Art and migration in Türkiye, Jordan and Ireland.
Arthereistanbul is a community space, an art centre and place where artists can create in peace. Founder Omar Berakdar and artist and curator Sherin Zeraaty talk to Bairbre Flood.
In Jordan, Syrian illustrator and painter Haya Halaw is having her first solo exhibition show in Jacaranda Gallery in Amman.
And finally in Cork, Ireland, meet artist Hina Khan, whose exhibition ‘No Seradan’ (‘No Borders’) draws on her family history of forced migration from Pakistan and her own deeply personal ideas around borders and nationalism.
EPISODE 5 – From All Over: LGBTQ+ Turkiye
Two LGBTQ refugees in Yalova, Türkiye, Mehdi and Nihal, are setting up their own group, From All Over. Bairbre Flood met them at their home to see why they need this group, and what life is like for LGBTQ refugees outside of Istanbul.
Presenter Mahmoud Hassino also shares some of his personal experiences helping to organise a Mr Gay Syria event which was documented in a film by Turkish director Ayse Toprak.
EPISODE 6 – Art, Athens, Activism
Wael Habbal started the Syrian Greek Youth Forum (the SGYF) in 2018 to advocate for human rights, to connect people together, to break stereotypes around migration, and to create their own opportunities in Athens.
He sits down with another member of SGYF – Kareem Al Kabbani – and our reporter Bairbre Flood to talk about how activism, creativity and active citizenship intersect.
EPISODE 7 – Coffee, Comedy, Music
Usman Khalid wanted to set up a coffee shop with a difference – Haven Coffee is a social enterprise, a cafe with a mission of breaking false narratives around migration.
Their Laff-Uccino comedy gigs are regular events in London, with comedians of refugee or migrant background and Kryzsia, one of the comedians involved, talks comedy, migration and accents.
From comedy in London to music on a Greek island, we head to Mythinini, Lesvos, where Bairbre meets Ramozmontana, a Saudi Arabian/Somali artist on the island, and Farhad, an Iranian musician.
SILENCE WOULD BE TREASON
BBC World Service, The Documentary Podcast
First broadcast: 15th Jan. 2022 on the BBC World Service, The Documentary
The last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa from prison in Nigeria to an Irish nun, Majella McCarron, in the run up to his execution in November 1995. Smuggled out of prison in bread baskets, they are the final testament of a man who gave everything he had in the struggle for social and ecological justice.
As Ken Saro-Wiwa continues to inspire people and movements across decades and continents, these letters form part of our living history, and give us an immediate link with the man behind the hero.
For years, Shell Oil with the backing of the Nigerian government drilled for oil in the mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta. The pollution that followed destroyed farms and rivers, and contaminated the fishing and drinking water of the Ogoni people. Ken Saro-Wiwa spearheaded the resistance to this destruction, and became an icon for social justice movements everywhere.
Nigerian environmental activist, Nnimmo Bassey describes these last letters as: ‘invaluable fragments of a living conversation’. And there is this sense of immediacy – they are a direct account of the events which led to the execution of the Ogoni 9.
These letters and poems of Ken Saro-Wiwa show him uncomfortable at becoming a disembodied, iconic figure. He plays down the martyred saviour narrative in favour of a more fluid sense of self as ‘voice’. A globally resonant voice, which still has relevance today.
Voiced by Ben Arogundade and presented by Noo Saro-Wiwa. Produced by Bairbre Flood.
View the Maynooth Library Ken Saro-Wiwa Archive here and ‘Silence Would Be Treason’, published by Daraja Press, ed. Ide Corley, Helen Fallon, and Laurence Cox is available here, and piece in openDemocracy here by Biodun Jefiyo.
NYAMA: DISHES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Tanjina Begum, Thelma Dube and Abiola show us how to make a dish from their home countries of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Lamb biryani, a beef stew and jollof rice are on the menu and the chefs share with us their knowledge of cooking, their experiences living in Direct Provision, and their hopes that things will change soon when Direct Provision is abolished.
The programme is produced by Bairbre Flood, presented by Thelma Dube, first broadcast on UCC98.3FM and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under the Sound and Vision scheme.
Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
SIGNING IN: ‘NEW IRISH’ WRITERS
LISTEN : Documentary on Newstalk – Signing In: New Irish Writers
Poets and editors from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India and South Africa give us an in-depth look at diversity in Irish writing and publishing.
Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Christie Kandiwa, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Khanyo Dlamini and Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi read their poetry of love, migration, family – and share their own unique experiences of ‘home’. They reflect on the power of language to shape identity, and the connection between writing and social change.
They explain how we could be doing better in terms of diversity in the arts in Ireland – and what kind of organisations are currently helping to shift the conversation.
Skein Press co-editor, Grainne O’Toole, and poet Jessica Traynor also share their experience of collaboration: and why it’s vital to put more support in place for writers from under-represented communities.
CREDITS: Signing In: The ‘New Irish’ Writers, is produced by Bairbre Flood and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under the Sound & Vision Scheme.
ALTERNATIVE LEARNING: THE CORK LIFE CENTRE
Producer Bairbre Flood talks to students and teachers and examines what the education system can learn from the success of this iconic Cork school.
Funded by the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland). First broadcast on UCC98.3FM
BEYOND RELIGION : ATHEISM IN IRELAND
Members of Atheist Ireland (Dublin & Cork), parents who are bringing up their children outside religion; and an ex-Muslim, ex-Hindu, and ex-Catholic speak frankly about their experiences.
Broadcast on UCC98.3FM, December 2020, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) under the Sound & Vision Scheme.
AGAINST THE WIRE
‘There are so many people there with different skills, who have a high educational background, but they are stuck there. They want to help develop their society. No one wants to come here to live here in that kind of situation,’ – Abdul, from Ghana, coordinator of the One Happy Family School on Lesvos, Greece.
We follow Irish nurse Elena Lydon who took a career break from her nursing job to volunteer with Medical Volunteers International, and who helps care for over 300 unaccompanied minors in Moria camp.
‘Against The Wire’ meets Mustapha, an interpreter with Medical Volunteers International; Jameela, a mother trying to bring up her children in the camp; Adrianna, a medic with Boat Refugee Foundation; Ahmad, a photographer with ReFocus Media Labs, and Baqir, a teenager seeking a new life of safety.
We also visit a medical clinic in Athens and talk to Catherine McMenamin (coordinator of MVI Athens) and Casandra Espinosa a former legal case worker with Khora (a Greek support organisation), to get an overview of the situation for refugees in Greece. Most of those stuck on the islands are hopeful that eventually they can move on to Athens and continue their journey.
Broadcast August 2020 and produced with the support of The Simon Cumbers Media Fund.
HIDDEN HISTORY : IRELAND & THE SLAVE TRADE
Talking to historians, academics and writers, producer Bairbre Flood traces the history of Irish involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Broadcast March 2020, funded by the BAI under the Sound & Vision Scheme.
In Ireland we’re more familiar with thinking of ourselves as the victims of history – which we were – than as active participants in colonialism. But it’s an uncomfortable fact that the Irish were also slave owners, slave traders, overseers and agents. We helped build the slave empire on behalf of Britain, France and other countries, and shared in the profits of this horrendous system over the course of several hundred years.
Interviewees include Nini Rodgers, Orla Power, Joe O’Shea, Kate Hodgson, Ebun Joseph and Lee Jenkins.
‘Ireland & The Slave Trade’ also looks at the anti-slavery movement at the time – and especially the visit of Frederick Douglass; the myth of the ‘white Irish slaves’ still doing the rounds on social media; and the growth of racism as a way of legitimising the enslavement of millions of African men, women and children.
The only Irish person recognised as Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jewish children during the Holocaust.
Broadcast May 2020 – Listen: Mary Elmes : Documentary On Newstalk Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) under the Sound & Vision Scheme.
A fascinating character for many reasons, her work during the Spanish Civil War and then in Rivesaltes Refugee Camp in the South of France are noteworthy even in themselves. But it’s for risking her life, rescuing Jewish refugees who were being sent to concentration camps that she’ll be most remembered.
Her story raises all kinds of questions about moral courage and humanitarianism – and contrasts sharply with the official policy of the Irish government during the Holocaust.
Producer Bairbre Flood talks to Ronald Friend and Charlotte Berger-Greneche (two of the people whose lives she saved), her biographers Clodagh Finn and Paddy Butler, her family, long-time Quaker researchers Bernard and Janet Wilson, Mervyn O’Driscoll (Head of History, UCC), and Heino Schonfeld of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.
It’s estimated that at least 80 children were directly saved by Mary Elmes. She never sought any attention for her actions, and her story has only recently become known.
‘She was not alone. There were a lot of people doing the same thing with her. She couldn’t do all that without other people,’ – Mary’s daughter, Caroline.
Caroline pointed out that her mother never desired recognition for her work, eschewing a saviour narrative, and acknowledging the many people who worked together to do what they could under dire circumstances.
And yet, there’s no doubt Mary Elmes was a remarkable woman – a humanitarian who ‘had a tremendous ability and persistence to do what was right,’ as her cousin, Mark Elmes puts it. ‘She stuck with it through thick and thin, and all she was concerned about were the victims.‘
LEARNING TO CHANGE IN ISRAELI & PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES
From Tamra to Tel Aviv, Nazareth to Jerusalem, I spoke to members of Mahapach-Taghir (change in Hebrew-Arabic) and Sadaka-Reut (friendship in Arabic-Hebrew), and to women from all communities, to see how they’re working on the ground in marginalised areas.
Broadcast on Newstalk 106-8FM, June 2019, listen to podcast here
‘It’s in the community, it deals with women, students and children; and it deals with Jewish and Arab, so I cannot find a more holistic way to make a change here in my society.’ – Fida Nara, the Palestinian co-director of Mahapach-Taghir
In a region renowned for conflict, these women’s struggle for community and solidarity across sectarian lines is even more remarkable. More
Supported by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund.
LIFE ON THE OUTSIDE
Three women describe their experience of Direct Provision, seeking asylum in Ireland, the threat of deportation, what it means to be Irish, and how they deal with racism.
Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) under the Sound & Vision Scheme. More
THE HUNGRY ROAD
‘I am just like you I wanna be free’ by Kate O’Shea
Home to 10,000 refugees before its eviction in 2016 – what was life like for people living in the unofficial refugee camp in Calais, France, aka ‘The Jungle’? More
Produced with the support of The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund.