Do you know your neighbours?

I have recently made a new podcast for New Internationalist on the FAN network…

Nearly two years ago my partner persuaded me to go with him to a FAN meeting in Cardiff. He had stumbled across the group through work but had become hooked. I wasn’t keen to give up some of my Saturday morning but decided to give it a go eventually and was glad I did.

Friends And Neighbours (FAN) groups began as a network of people making a difference through the power of conversation. When fear and anger towards the ‘stranger’ next door is often promoted by politicians and the mainstream media, FAN successful brings people together, not through some kind of top-down ‘cohesion’ exercise but through community run groups which just ask people to talk on a subject for five minutes. Nothing more.

Although FAN began in Cardiff, the idea has now spread as far as Pakistan, all with the same structure and principles. For this podcast I spoke to FAN fans in England, Wales and Pakistan.

Podcast: Why is housing in such a state?

April’s New Internationalist podcast looks at the state of shelter – from Europe to the Philippines.

My most recent New Internationalist podcast features co-editor Dinyar Godrej in the Netherlands and Iris Gonzales in the Philippines.

Dinyar Godrej chatted with me about the causes of the global housing crisis, ‘generation rent’ and a worldwide wave of homelessness – as well as the need to rethink the dream of property ownership.

I also spoke to regular New Internationalist contributor Iris Gonzales who discusses the forced, and often violent, evictions of the residents of informal settlements in the Philippines. She explained what can happen to these displaced communities once they are removed, and how people are taking direct action for better housing rights.

If you’re interested in any of the issues around housing, why not take a listen here at the New Internationalist website?

PODCAST: 40 years of New Internationalist

The latest New Internationalist podcast…

In this episode I chat to Chris Brazier, New Internationalist’s longest serving co-editor (he’s been at the mag since 1984!) about 40 years of New Internationalist and the progress (and lack of) the world has made in that time. Is the idea of ‘development’ well and truly dead?

Listen to the podcast here at the New Internationalist website and find out more about the latest magazine, ‘What has development done for me?

The power of we: Young activists, revolutionary healthcare and the Saleh Family

October was a busy month at newint.org – here’s some of the content I’ve written or produced…

‘The power of we – My post for Blog Action Day 2012: why I think collective action and internationalism are as important as ever.

Natasha Makengo from Save the Congo and Shukri Sultan from Hands Off Somalia – As part of our blog series celebrating young activists I interviewed Natasha and Shukri about how they got involved in campaigning and what inspires them to keep going.

November’s podcast features Professor John Kirk on Cuba’s revolutionary healthcare system. I asked him about Cuba’s foreign medical missions, how they run universal free healthcare at home and spoke to him about some of the criticisms.

And lastly, I wrote a post about my friend Shrouk’s family who had fled Egypt five years ago because of their abusive father with prominent state connections. They had been taken from their home in the early hours of the morning and were eventually sent back to Eqypt despite a massive campaign to keep them in Wales. The campaign to Save the Saleh Family continues – find out more at the Facebook page.

Youth activism, cross-border feminism and climate justice

My latest offerings from the New Internationalist website…

Podcast: Jody McIntyre on youth activism – As part of the lead up to October’s youth issue I made a podcast featuring an interview with guest-editor Jody McIntyre.

‘We were wrong to think the environment could wait’ – Interview with Lidy Nacpil, the inspiring Filipino economic and climate justice campaigner who started out as a student activist against the Marcos regime.

The dos and don’ts of cross border feminism – Last weekend I went to UK Feminista’s Summer School for a day and caught this session on building global solidarity.

Right, I’m off for a little holiday to Gent, Belgium now. Looking forward to catching up on some reading on the bus journey – am finally going to get through Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere – better late than never!

New Internationalist podcast

Finally posting about the podcasts I’ve started making at New Internationalist.

The first one, for the September issue of New Internationalist, is on the legalization of drugs. In it I speak to Vanessa Baird, NI co-editor about why she thinks the war on drugs isn’t working.

You can listen to the podcast here. Read more about September’s New Internationalist here.

Today I spoke to Jody McIntyre for October’s episode on youth activism. Here’s a video taster for October’s issue – Youth rising: why apathy is not an option.

Ctrl.Alt.Shift: Episode 2

My final big project with Ctrl.Alt.Shift is Ctrl.Alt.Shift: Edpisode 2. In a follow up to our podcast on gender equality for International Women’s Day in March this one is all about Climate Change & the Environment. We explore the topic through debate, music, spoken word and comments from some of the people across the world who are already being effected by Climate Change.

Check out the article on the Ctrl.Alt.Shift site here or go straight to listen to the podcast at SOAS Radio here.

Thanks to the team for working so hard to get it done and, of course, to the excellent SOAS Radio for hosting it.

Any feedback welcome!