Favourite podcasts: Getting through 2020 and beyond
There are a plethora of “Best of 2020” Podcast lists out there so here at Amplify we decided to do things a bit differently. 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?”
In Favorite Podcasts post #1, Amplify podcasters María Alvarez Malvido and Kendra Cowley discussed the role podcasts play in helping us navigate the anxiety and heartache of pandemic times. Podcasts that bring us into the centre of activist discourse, and others that act as “a comforting and necessary constant invitation to pause, lay down and listen, just listen”.
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.
Next up in our Favourite Podcasts series, we hear from Amplify co-director and podcaster Hannah McGregor.
The podcast that got me through 2020
Like many people who live alone, my already-substantial podcast listening increased in 2020. Podcasts keep me company when I first wake up, are a backdrop to cooking and cleaning, accompany me on my daily walks, and lull me to sleep at the end of the day. I could write an ode to each of the dozens of podcasts that fill my feed, but for the purposes of this post, I want to point to one in particular.
Sandy & Nora Talk Politics was started in 2018 by activist and Black Lives Matter Toronto founder Sandy Hudson and writer and community organizer Nora Loreto, long time friends with their roots in campus organizing. Like many podcasts, the premise is simple: each week they get together to have a free-form conversation about the topics of the day, with a focus on Canadian news and media. They’ve covered everything from the unbearable whiteness of Canadian media to the challenges of measuring victories in activism to finding optimism at the end of 2020. What sets this show apart from many others, and has made it a chart-topping success in Canada, is the hosts’ activist roots. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge of vital protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality, and the global rise of right-wing authoritarianism, 2020 was a year so full of bad news that it often left me feeling overwhelmed and powerless. Each episode of Sandy & Nora Talk Politics is embedded in the activist belief that we can and must act, accompanied by a concrete focus on the kinds of actions people are currently taking. This podcast is the best of what independent media creation has to offer, highlighting voices that are too radical for Canada’s mainstream media and building a community (as their successful Patreon models) hungry to hear new and different perspectives.
Keep your eyes pulled and your ears tuned in the months to come for more Favorite Podcasts posts from the Amplify Podcast Network.