Episodes about #politics
WE'RE BACK, with a new look for a new season. This week we're catching up on the summer's Italian drama and tackling the delicate question of Nazi relatives. And we're heading to Görlitz, on the German-Polish border, to find out why why so many voters in eastern Germany are putting their faith in the far-right AfD.
What does it mean to be black in Europe? This week's guest Johny Pitts went on a five-month journey around the continent, interviewing black Europeans and exploring his own identity. The result is his brilliant new book, 'Afropean: Notes from Black Europe', which makes the case for a community that crosses borders. Also this week: the role of railways in the Holocaust; whether or not we should talk about Merkel; and a strange reward for good behaviour.
This week, the increasingly worrying politics of a country with one of the most complicated governments in the world. We're talking to the Bosnian journalist Aleksandar Brezar about troubles that go ignored all too often in Europe and wartime scars that have yet to heal. We're also talking about European countries' varying approaches to regulating what women do with their bodies, and a transatlantic romance that has stood the test of time.
After the week it's been, we could all do with a break from the present. This week, we're venturing into Europe past -- about six thousand years ago, to a time when mysterious stone structures were springing up all around the continent. Today we call them megaliths, and there's a lot we still don't know about them. But one woman has been on a quest to work out how these extraordinary monuments spread around Europe. Archaeologist Bettina Schulz Paulsson is on the line from Gothenburg to talk about how early Europeans were exchanging knowledge and culture a good few millennia before the EU was invented. Also: a reverse art heist, a blow for the anti-vaxxers , and how to say no to big business.
This week The Europeans are heading underground to the nearest bunker. Julie McDowall, Cold War writer and expert on all things atomic, is on the line from Glasgow to talk about how different countries in Europe planned for nuclear war and what it’s like to visit Chernobyl, three decades after the disaster. We also talk about the woman shaking up Estonian politics, questionable ethics in Italian opera, and Slovenian sandwiches.
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.
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.
This week we're talking about a couple of journeys. Greece has gone from the depths of despair to something a little less like despair; Nick Malkoutzis of Macropolis (@NickMalkoutzis) is on the line from Athens to explain. And Frenchman Fabrice Pothier is here to tell us about his fun (?) 700-kilometre cycle from Foie Gras country to Santander, hoping to learn a thing or two about Europe. Also: an artistic mishap, virulent success, and a discordant initative by Berlin transport authorities.
This week, something a little different: Deborah Cole, a Berlin-based reporter since 1995, reads us her beautiful piece about the race to collect the memories of elderly Germans who lived through some of the most tumultuous events in modern history. Follow Deborah on Twitter @doberah, she's our favourite person tweeting from Merkel Land.
Also: an airborne mishap, an ingenious Spaniard, and irony, Slovenian-style, explained with the help of the brilliant Aljaž Pengov Bitenc (aka @pengovsky).
We couldn't have two more different interviews for you this week: we're talking anti-Semitism in Germany and the art of remaining zen on a beach in Scotland.
After two German rappers sparked national outrage with lyrics about the Holocaust, Human Rights Watch Germany's chief Wenzel Michalski is on the line to talk about his all too personal experience of Europe's rising anti-Semitism problem.
Why throw stones when you can turn them into art instead? Scottish photographer Andy Buchanan brings us the weird, wonderful and unexpectedly hilarious story of the European Stone Stacking Championships.
Plus, Macron Does America and Bulgaria Does It Wrong. And why not stick around and Take A Chance On Dominic's happy ending this week?
A treasure-themed episode for you this week: the natural treasures of Poland's ancient Białowieża forest, hidden treasures in rural France, and buried treasure on a German island. Dominic's been chatting to Agata Szafraniuk of environmental lawyers ClientEarth about their battle with the Polish government to protect Białowieża, one of the few remaining patches of the primeval forest that covered Europe 10,000 years ago. Also heading into the countryside are Parisian podcaster Oliver Gee of The Earful Tower fame and his fiancee Lina Nordin, on a quest to discover the real France through a heart-shaped (awwwwww) tour of the country.
Plus: Strict Belgian gyms, 10th century bling and a bitcoin heist.
We've got two birthdays to celebrate this week. Independent Kosovo is officially 10, and your host Dominic Kraemer is officially old. Congrats to both!
As Kosovo marks 10 years since declaring independence from Serbia, we give our man in the Balkans Andrew MacDowall a call to explain the challenges that lie ahead for Europe's youngest country. Meanwhile, Katy's been huddling under a duvet in Paris with a cold this week -- a great excuse to obsess over the Winter Olympics, not least that amazing Scottish invention, curling. Team Finland's Oona Kauste is on the line all the way from South Korea with a staunch defence of the sport against allegations that it 'looks weird', and how she manages to juggle the Olympics with her career as a hairdresser and make-up artist.
Plus: out and proud LGBT Olympians, happy news for German commuters, and political truth, Dutch-style. Oh, and a mysterious Finnish tongue-twister. Anyone that solves the mystery gets a gold medal of their very own.
Hello from Paris and Amsterdam! Since we’ve seen a huge rise in listeners this week (welcome!) we’re in a giving mood, so we’re talking about organ donation. As countries across Europe weigh up how to save the most lives, transplant ethicist Greg Moorlock is on the line from Birmingham, England to discuss why Spain sees so many more donations than Germany and whether or not the Netherlands should make giving up our kidneys an ‘opt-out’ affair. And Ania Jakubek in Warsaw is back to explain what’s going on with Poland’s new Holocaust law.
Plus: a good (ish) week for Angela Merkel, and a bad one for French fashion designer Christian Louboutin and his famous red-soled shoes.