The Europeans is a moderately amusing podcast hosted by Katy Lee, a reporter in Paris, and Dominic Kraemer, an opera singer in Amsterdam. Every week we ring each other up to talk about what’s been going on around the continent — and we ring up all kinds of interesting people in other countries to find out what’s been happening where they are.
This isn’t just a podcast about politics, though there’ll be plenty of that. We also talk about artists and musicians and other people who are doing interesting cultural stuff around Europe, and what’s been making people laugh from Italy to Finland.
If you’re looking for a Europe-themed podcast that’s about more than just Brexit, you’ve come to the right place.
“This podcast is a miracle! Has everything I miss in German all-white-male-gravitas podcasts. A celebration of European diversity, committed to create optimistic vibes.” – Marian, Germany
Our music is by the ace composer Jim Barne. We love him.
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This week, the need for more buzz around Europe: the bee kind, and the excitement kind. Our very special guest to round off the year (and keep Katy company while Dominic was rolling around on the floor) is the Dutch writer Joris Luyendijk, who despite having been named Bad News reporter for De Correspondent has more hope than you might think for this continent as we roll into 2019. Trigger warning: there’s a mention or two of the b-word as we talk about why Europe ain’t so boring and the mysteries of the British psyche. Plus: Powerfrauen; an all-too-human robot, and the fight to save our pollinators.
Thank you so much for listening in 2018! We’ll be back in January. In the meantime, we’d love it if you left us a review
as a Christmas present (preferably a nice one).
Bonne année, Frohes neues Jahr, and Feliz Año Nuevo!
This week on The Europeans, two passionate defences of liberty, the political and the sexual. Renowned Hungarian rights defender Márta Pardavi is on the line from Budapest to talk about what it’s like fighting with the increasingly authoritarian government of Viktor Orbán. And Paulita Pappel calls in from Berlin to chat about her work as a feminist pornographer. Plus: France’s road rage, Luxembourg’s road delight, and the greatest ever reason to uncork a bottle of wine.
Follow the work of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee here, and listen to Paulita’s brilliant podcast if you know what’s good for you.
Thanks for listening. 🇪🇺 ❤
A special show marking A WHOLE YEAR OF THE PODCAST! Extra brilliant guests are here to help us mark this very narcissistic edition of anniversary annexe/commemoration corner. Flavia Kleiner, whose Operation Libero has been waging a quietly successful war against rightwing populism in Switzerland, calls in from Zurich with some lessons for the rest of Europe. And Andrea Chalupa is here to discuss her new film Gareth Jones, about a courageous Welsh journalist’s battle to tell the truth about the famine her grandfather survived in Ukraine 85 years ago. Plus: vote-buying, espionage, and a few splashes of prosecco.
This week, the story of one of Europe’s strangest art heists keeps getting stranger; the fate of Poland’s judges keeps getting more complicated; and a teacher in one of France’s poorest towns refuses to give up on her kids. Juliette Perchais is on the line to talk about what it’s like teaching in one of her country’s toughest schools and how she traveled the world to bring back the best educational ideas out there.
Check out her website, Stories of Inspiring Teachers — it does what it says on the tin. You can also find some reporting Katy did from Grigny here.
And last but not least, your podcast recommendations for the week:
Radiolab: Tweak The Vote
Thanks for listening. 🇪🇺 ❤
A hundred years on from the end of World War I, we wanted to look at an aspect of the conflict we don’t often talk about: the role of millions of troops of colour who fought for European powers. The excellent Christian Koller, professor of modern history at Zurich University, is here to help us explore what life was like for African and Asian soldiers who were often dismissed as ‘savages’ while risking their lives for European governments.
Also: France faces its past, European conservatives face their future, and Dominic faces a lifetime of incessant church bells.
Our episode name comes from the poem by George A. Borden:
The bugle called and forth we went
To serve the crown our backs far bent,
And build what ere that must be done;
But ne’re to fire an angry gun
No heroes we no nay not one.
With deep lament we did our job
Despite the shame our manhood robbed.
We built and fixed and fixed again,
To prove our worth as proud black men
And hasten sure the Kaiser’s end.
From Scotia port to Seaford Square
Across to France the conflict there,
At Ville La Joux and Place Peronne
For God and King to right the wrong –
The number two six hundred strong.
Stripped to the waist and sweated chest
Mid-day’s reprieve much needed rest.
We dug and hauled and lifted high
From trenches deep toward the sky –
Non-fighting troops and yet we die
The peace restored the battle won
Black sweat and toil had beat the Hun.
Black blood was spilled black bodies maimed
For medals brave no black was named,
Yet proud were we our pride unshamed.
But time will bring forth other wars,
Then give to us more daring chores
That we might prove our courage strong
Preserve the right repel the wrong,
And proud we’ll sing the battle song.
You can read Christian’s fascinating research here.
Thanks for listening. 🇪🇺 ❤
This week, the story of a painting that’s been attacked with knives, chopped up, hidden in a cave from Nazis, and has probably had beer spilled on it. It also happens to be one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Our very special guest is Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum, here to explain why the Netherlands’ national museum is going to be restoring The Night Watch while the whole world watches. And from Rembrandt to race, the playright Marjorie H. Morgan is on the line from Liverpool to talk about the difference between being black in Europe and black in America.
The Europeans is supported by Are We Europe, the continent’s most beautiful magazine. Type ‘europeanspod’ for a 15% discount on your copy.
Thanks for listening! 🇪🇺 ❤