Podcasts to listen to this summer

From the stealing habits of the British Empire, to digital welfare, environmental activism and First Nations resilience, here are the best podcasts we listened to this year (aka the soundtrack to our lockdown walks.)

Anytime, Amnesty

Okay maybe we’re a little biased, but put this super-easy and clever listen at the top of your catch-up list. Melbourne-based activists Fin & Anita host this 4-part series from those who are on the front lines, whilst offering you advice on how you can create change. Episode 2, in conversation with Dr Simon Bradshaw from the Climate Council is a highlight.

No White Saviors Podcast 

You’re probably familiar with No White Saviors’ powerful Instagram account, that has amassed over 900k followers. Lead by a majority female, majority African team of professionals based in Kampala, Uganda, the corresponding podcast expands the conversations the group have sparked on social media and on the ground.

Stuff the British stole

Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. In this fun and clever series, Marc Fennel selects one artefact and tells the story of where it came from, and where it is now – like how the Parthenon Marbles endured bribes, court cases and some extremely dodgy deals before ending up in the British museum.

Power, people and planet with Kumi Naidoo

In each episode Kumi is joined by activists, artists and community leaders who are dismantling our broken system – and building something better in its place. Hear their stories. Learn what has kept them fighting. Find out how we all can make a difference.

Couzin 2 Couzin by Digi Youth Arts

Curated by Alethea Beetson, COUZIN 2 COUZIN connects Indigenous musicians and community from so-called Australia and so-called Canada to share songs and yarn about music, their influences, inspirations and experiences.

Black Magic Woman by Mundanara Bayles

Hosted by Mundanara Bayles, the Black Magic Woman Podcast is an uplifting and conversational style program. Featuring mainly First Nations people from Australia and around the world, their stories highlight the diversity amongst First Nations peoples everywhere. 

Intersectionality Matters!

Intersectionality Matters! is a podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw – an American civil rights advocate, leading scholar of critical race theory, and the person responsible for coining the term ‘intersectionality’ 30 years ago.

Conscious Chatter

For sustainable fashion through a human rights lens, go no further than the Conscious Chatter podcast. It opens the door to conversations about our clothing and the layers of stories, meaning and potential impact connected to what we wear. Their six part series ‘The Root’ provides historical and cultural context when it comes to race relations and larger systems of inequality, and how they impact current traditional and sustainable fashion agendas.

Frontier War Stories by Boe Spearim

Gamilaraay & Kooma man Boe Spearim hosts this important show that is dedicated to truth-telling a side of Australia that has been left out of the history books. In each episode Boe chats to different guests – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – about research, books and oral histories, which document the first 140 years of conflict and resistance.

7am by Schwartz Media

While you should definitely listen to this conversation between Osman Faruqi and Eilish Gilligan discussing Taylor Swift’s Red album, this year we’ve heralded 7am’s thorough yet concise reporting on important human rights issues that cover everything from the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan to #MarchForJustice and Australia’s shameful treatment of refugees, as well as interviews that put those with lived experience at the centre of their storytelling. Hosted by Ruby Jones, there’s 636 episodes to catch up on, but some of our favourites include: The government’s war on charities, The fight to end Indigenous deaths in custody, Who polices the police?, “I was a staffer, and so was my perpetrator”, Behrouz Boochani on the detainees we forgot and a climate scientist offers us hope.