Favourite podcasts: Getting through 2020 and beyond
María Alvarez Malvido and Kendra Crowley
One of the many things podcasts do well is help us cope with the unpredictability and constant changes that life can throw our way, especially in a year like the one we just had. We turn to podcasts for companionship, to learn more about the world around us, and to distract us from doomscrolling our way into that oh-so familiar pandemic rabbit hole. Despite the reduced commuter traffic and at-home learning Covid-19 has brought into our lives, podcast listening continues to grow here in Canada and around the globe. There are a plethora of “Best of 2020” Podcast lists out there so we decided to do things a bit differently here at Amplify. Looking back at our first year as a network, we asked some of our members to reflect on the podcasts that got them through the global pandemic, revolution-filled year that was 2020. We asked: What podcasts helped you get through 2020? What are you listening to now? What are your all-time favorites?”
We hope each post will give you a glimpse into the individual team members that make up The Amplify Network. If you have a podcast that helped you get through 2020, share it with us at @AmplifyPodcasts on Twitter or send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.
María Alvarez Malvido
I can think of a variety of podcasts that got me through 2020 as companies for long solitary walks, infinite dishwashing, lonely meals, and continuous personal and collective moments of overwhelming uncertainty. But I can feel one of them as a comforting and necessary constant invitation to pause, lay down and listen, just listen. Las Raras, a documentary podcast that shares "stories of freedom" through what I feel is the most beautiful - and masterly designed - mix of soundscape and first-person testimonials.
Created in Chile, by journalist and scholar Catalina May and sound engineer Martín Cruz, Las Raras is a feminist platform for stories of people who are fighting for social change: voices and sounds that speak of migration, climate change, migration, love, gender, family, art, education...all weaved by the firm belief that the personal is political. It is a Spanish-language project with audiences from all over Latin America and the United States. Here you can find an episode with English subtitles, recorded last April 2020 at the beginning of the global call to quarantine.
As a non-fiction storytelling podcast, Las Raras is inspiring to me as a loud and carefully creative commitment to social change and social movements across territories.
Pandemic, reckoning, revolution. 2020 and the conditions of possibility for collective life have been restricted and expanded, the directives of the settler-colonial state revealed in who and what is meant to survive crisis. The For the Wild podcast has helped me navigate the anxiety and heartache of 2020, "focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism," For the Wild engages critical discourse and activism towards the world(s) we want to live in. Interviewing academics, artists, organizers, theologians, land defenders, For the Wild reminds me of other possibilities for collective life already in motion. Rooted in a deep but critical feminist ethics of care, this show recognizes all the different voices and tactics that are necessary in co-liberation work. I learn so much from this show and I am grateful for the inspiration to keep fighting for each other.
Also, on a lighter note: Thank god for Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton's America is my favourite limited series and I return to it over and over.
Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned in the months to come for more Favorite Podcasts posts from the Amplify Podcast Network.