Favourite podcasts: Getting through 2020 and beyond

Favourite podcasts: Getting through 2020 and beyond

Selina Crammond

By Amplify Team Date: August 17, 2021 Tags: Podcasting

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. 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 and beyond. In this series, we ask: What podcasts are helping you get through? What podcasts are inspiring you? 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 2020-2021, share it with us at @AmplifyPodcasts on Twitter or send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.  

In Favourite Podcasts Post #9, collaborator Jason Camlot of Concordia University, shared the podcasts nourishing his passion for music, conversation, and the curiosities of sound.

In our final installment in the Favourite Podcasts 2020-2021 series, we hear from Selina Crammond, Director of Programming at DOXA our partner organization behind The Vancouver Podcast Festival. Selina sat down over Zoom with supervising producer Stacey Copeland to share some top podcast picks for documentary film lovers, political conversationalists, and those craving some philosophical insight in pandemic times.

Selina Crammond

Since starting the Vancouver Podcast Festival in 2018, we’ve been fortunate to work with some really great podcasters especially from storytelling-based podcasts, but the podcasts I personally like to listen to are the more conversational informational ones. 

One of my all-time faves I just constantly go back to is Philosophize This! with Stephen West who is a self-taught philosopher. He’s very good at distilling super complicated or sometimes intimidating philosophical ideas down to, you know, just the universal essence of what's important or intriguing. A good episode to start with might be the episode “On Moodiness” or “Kierkegaard on Anxiety”. West has only done a couple of episodes like this where he takes a theme and investigates it using a particular philosopher or series of philosophers. Especially during the current covid-19 pandemic, if people are feeling down, dealing with anxiety or the like, it can be helpful to turn to some philosophers who've spent a long, long time reframing and articulating these emotions. I find philosophy helps me take a step out of the hyper individualised anxiety bubble, zoom out and put it all into perspective a bit.

A similar listen I often turn to is the Always Already Podcast. This one's more critical theory, but it's another podcast that attempts to sort of break down or maybe not even break down, but just explore more complex ideas by philosophers, writers, and academics. It is co-hosted by a variety of voices and it's got a very DIY conversational sort of aesthetic to it, which I find charming. The early episodes are a little rough sometimes on the audio quality, but over the years they’ve gotten more of a routine down. 

These more critical theory philosophy podcasts are like taking a therapeutic break from all the day-to-day current affairs, and instead digging into a bigger picture perspective behind some of the news topics in the political podcasts I love as well. One political news podcast I tune into quite a bit, which I saw that someone else [Daniel] had listed, is Media Indigena. I really love what host and producer Rick Harp is doing. For instance, there is a great episode called “Contemplating the Consequences of Colonial Cosplay” in response to a Canadaland episode about Michelle Latimer, indigenous identity, and the politics of claiming space. I thought they handled that conversation in dialogue with Canadaland really well. 

Bonus Listen: And of course, in relation to our work here at DOXA, there are a couple of arts-based podcasts that I could list for people interested in nonfiction, documentary film. One that's quite good is Pure Nonfiction by Thom Powers. He’s a documentary film programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and a couple of other film festivals, so he has this great podcast interviewing documentary filmmakers from across the world of documentary storytelling.

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Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned in the months to come for more behind the scenes insights from the Amplify Podcast Network.