November 13: The black soldier’s lament

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. 🇪🇺 ❤

November 6: Watching Over The Night Watch

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! 🇪🇺 ❤

October 30: Everyone’s free to vote (and wear sunscreen)

This week: freedom. Freedom to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom to attempt a robbery in Belgium even when you’re not quite sure how robberies work. Dominic’s been at the European Parliament’s liaison office in Berlin chatting to Frank Piplat and Christopher Lade about what makes these elections different, and Sally Eshun is here from Are We Europe to talk about hate speech on both sides of the Atlantic. Also: naughty Italians, balloon sticks, and the beauty of toilets.

Check out the episode on Anchor here.

Are you, like Katy, lacking inspiration when it comes to the European elections? Check out thistimeimvoting.eu for a few ideas.

Read Sally’s article at areweeurope.com — and if you believe in the power of print, type ‘europeanspod’ for a 15% discount on your copy of the continent’s most beautiful magazine.

The Europeans is supported by Future Europe, a podcast from the European Investment Bank. Check it out here.

Thanks for listening. 🇪🇺 ❤

 

October 23: Big continent, mini episode

This week on The Europeans: bacteria, cathedral thinking, and a Spanish drug lord who got too cocky. We’re guest-less this week due to illness so this is a mini-show, but we wanted to drop by and say a quick gutentag.

We’ll be back with a fully-sized episode next week. Thanks so much for listening.

The Europeans is supported by Future Europe, a podcast from the European Investment Bank. Check it out here.

And we’re supported by Are We Europe! Type ‘europeanspod’ for a 15% discount on your copy of the continent’s most beautiful magazine at areweeurope.com.

🇪🇺 ❤

October 16: The Unlucky Passport

Whether you’re a European passport-holder or not, so much in life is determined by the paper we carry in our pockets. Our guest this week is the Yemeni photographer Thana Faroq, whose brilliant project The Passport explores what it’s like to hold a so-called ‘unlucky’ passport. Her work is on show in New York right now, but she’s not allowed to travel from her home in the Netherlands to see it with her own eyes.

Also this week, Bram Hilkens is here to delve into the continent’s hip-hop scene, Katy and Dominic have been gallivanting in Berlin (stand by on Instagram for romantic photos), and Greece has been lightening the load for its donkeys.

The Europeans is supported by Future Europe, a podcast from the European Investment Bank. Check it out here.

And we’re supported by Are We Europe! Type ‘europeanspod’ for a 15% discount on your copy of the continent’s most beautiful magazine at www.areweeurope.com.

Thanks for listening.

October 9: Macedo, Macedon’t

What’s in a name? A lot, if you’re Macedonia. Emil Atanasovski is here to talk us through one of the most confusing questions in the Balkans, thank god. Transatlantic movie man Kevin Sachs is on the line to explain why Netflix is about to get a lot more European, with his tips for stylish German television thrown in for free. Plus bears, trains, and ancient weapons, we’ve got it all this week.

The Europeans is supported by Future Europe, a podcast from the European Investment Bank. Check it out here.

And we’re supported by Are We Europe! Type “europeanspod” for a 15% discount on your copy of the continent’s most beautiful magazine.

Thanks for listening.

October 2: Wall, Rocket, Bottle, Horse

This week a tiny horse made a grand entrance to Europe, and one of France’s finest singers took his final bow. RIP Charles Aznavour, trailblazer and source of the most embarassing story of Dominic’s life (listen til the end). Our guest this week is Monique Van den Abbeel, a Belgian campaigner for the visually impaired who is soon to be welcoming Europe’s first guide horse into her home in Bruges. Yes, this is a thing, and we are very excited about it.

In Week 2 of our partnership with Are We Europe we also chat to co-editor Alexander Hurst about being an American on the continent. Check out the magazine’s latest issue here.

Also: a space race, a non-existent wall, and a message from the past.