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Essential podcast episodes for Antidote 2019

Dominic Ellis, Susie Anderson, Justin Tam
Sydney Opera House

The podcast is the current affair tool of choice for our time-poor generation, helping us squeeze daily doses of intellectual stimulation into half hour commutes and cut-short lunch breaks.

It's also the best way to get to know the thought leaders of Antidote 2019, whose extensive podcast CVs include in-depth chats with controversial whistle-blowers, harrowing personal sagas and insider takes on the news of the day.

Here are our picks of the finest podcast episodes made by or featuring this year's line up of audio all stars.

Pod Save the People

BONUS POD with Edward Snowden

With a huge Twitter following and a key role in the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement, DeRay Mckesson had already established himself in the public eye when he got a tap on the shoulder from podcast kingmakers Crooked Media. The result was Pod Save the People, a current affairs show for activists, featuring the occasional high profile guest, such as DeRay’s whistleblower friend Ed (Snowden). The Snowden interview is personal and passionate, with two well informed activists chatting about the issues of the day, the work of Snowden and even his shortcomings as an activist – how does race fit into conversations about security and surveillance?

Listen On:

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The Moth

My Grandmother's Country by Melissa Lucashenko

“If I live to be 100, I’ll never forget the first day I visited my daughter on that ward.”

Melissa Lucashenko is a heartbreaking, yet hilarious storyteller. For The Moth, she recites the story of how she drove with her family to northern New South Wales and bought thirty acres and an old farmhouse. There, she raised Arabian horses, started writing what would become the Miles Franklin award-winning novel Too Much Lip, and walked with her daughter along the beaches of Bundjalung country – the stolen land of her grandmother. Divorce, money and mental illness eventually took Melissa on a journey from her daughter's mental ward to the hot seat in front of Eddie McGuire.

Please Explain

Now Boris Johnson has to deliver

In an era of daily news podcasts, there’s even more analysis and opinion to churn through than ever before. To make sense of this oversaturation, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age offer Please Explain, a podcast that “cuts through the noise to give insight into the stories that drive the nation” and actually gets to the heart of what’s going on in the world. Released weekly and hosted by Tory Maguire, the podcast features a slew of Fairfax’s excellent reporters going in depth on the crucial news of our time. Think of it as feature articles, audio style. Start with their most recent episode for newsworthiness, or with their Boris Johnson episode to get a feel for how they approach these big issues.

Ideas at the House

In exile, at home with Sisonke Msimang

Sisonke Msimang is a bold voice speaking to race, politics, feminism and activism. Born in exile to South African parents and raised in Zambia, Kenya and Canada before studying in the US as an undergraduate. Her family returned to South Africa after apartheid was abolished. In her memoir, Always Another Country, Msimang uses personal experiences to examine philosophical and existential questions about how race and gender can impact identity and belonging. In this podcast episode of a 2018 ANTIDOTE event she tackles the slippery definition of home. A poetic yet incisive voice in identity politics, this is an essential primer ahead of her appearance on the panel Who Gets to Speak.

Listen On:

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The Kicker

America does not know what a mass shooting looks like

Kyle Pope is the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, ‘The Voice of Journalism’, and also the host of JCR podcast The Kicker. The Kicker looks behind the curtain of the issues of the day, unpacking how and why the press present issues the way they do. Think of it like a larger scale, podcast version of Media Watch. Their latest episode (at the time of writing), has the jarring title: ‘America does not know what a mass shooting looks like’. In it, Pope speaks to John Temple, who edited a local paper at the time of the Columbine massacre, and the two critically look at the American media’s sanitisation of gun violence. It’s a powerful discussion, unpacking the increasingly formulaic and dangerous representation of mass shootings in the US.

Listen On:

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