Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay


Piya Chattopadhyay says goodbye to Out in the Open

As Out in the Open draws to a close, host Piya Chattopadhyay reflects on the purpose and impact of her CBC Radio program.

Closing Time

After four years on the air, Out in the Open is coming to a close. For its final edition, Piya revisits highlights from some of the stories that illuminate what the show set out to accomplish.

Piya Chattopadhyay to host Sunday mornings on CBC Radio

Piya Chattopadhyay will be the new host of Sunday mornings on CBC Radio One, beginning in September. CBC announced Monday that Chattopadhyay and the show's team will develop a new format, maintaining the focus on in-depth interviews and documentary storytelling.

What multiple near-death experiences taught this woman about how to live

Mary Elizabeth Williams was diagnosed with melanoma, and expected to die. A few years later, her daughter nearly died of sepsis. She speaks with host Piya Chattopadhyay about how those health scares gave her a deep appreciation for the small things in life, and led her to reframe death from a matter of loss, to a natural part of life.

Feminista Jones doesn't think you're an ally

Activist, writer and social worker Feminista Jones doesn’t like the term 'ally'. Instead, she says she wants 'co-conspirators'.

'I felt like my home kind of turned against me': Newfoundlander grapples with provincial pride and prejudice

Avi Cheema is deeply proud of her Newfoundland upbringing. But as the daughter of Indian immigrants, she's also experienced racism in the majority white province.

'It's the dementia, it's not me': How this woman finds resilience in the face of memory loss

At 58, Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She describes coping strategies she's developed to deal with her memory loss, and explains why she thinks dementia shouldn't be seen as an ending, but as the start of a new life.

TRC Honorary Witness grapples with feeling like a 'fraud' after observing testimony

Nick Noorani was chosen to be an Honorary Witness at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. His role included hearing stories of residential school survivors, first hand.

A mom learns to navigate a relationship with her child's homeless birth parents

Vanessa McGrady was overjoyed when she finally adopted a child. But her desire for an open adoption got complicated when the birth parents became homeless, and she invited them to stay with her.

Ottawa mother's quest for her late son's passwords an uncharted legal road, say experts

Maureen Henry is locked in a complex legal battle to access the passwords to her late son's digital accounts, which may hold the clues to his mysterious death. Her quest puts a spotlight on the ethical debate and uncharted legal roads surrounding digital privacy.

'They have become the new religion': Esther Perel says we expect too much from relationships

Couples therapist talks about why we fail to connect and how we can do better.

Learning to love your parents as people

When Anya Yurchyshyn’s parents died she felt overwhelming relief, until she discovered some mysterious letters that changed her life and her relationship to them forever.

Ibram X. Kendi says we are either being racist or antiracist, there is no middle ground

Author and historian Ibram X. Kendi talks about "How to Be an Antiracist", his rallying cry for all of us to reframe how we think about racism in order to remedy it. If we don't, Kendi says racism may well threaten our very existence.

'I felt very much like a bad feminist': How experiencing infertility challenged this woman's sense of self

When Katy Lindemann found out that she was infertile, she struggled to reconcile her feminism with feeling like a "failure" as a woman.

How a shock illness forced this woman to redefine herself and her closest relationships

On New Year's Day in 2013, Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard started to feel ill. Her condition rapidly worsened and less than a day later, she fell into a coma. For 11 days, she was "locked in", unable to move or speak.

David Treuer says Indigenous people are not 'perpetual sufferers stuffed into reserves'

The award-winning Ojibwe author and academic uses his writing to challenge racist stereotypes that don’t square with his reality.

Newfoundlander's house burns down during CBC Radio interview

In 2018, Piya conducted an interview with Anne Marie Hagan about her father's brutal murder, and reconciling with his killer. After she left the St. John's studio, she got a phone call, learning her house and business had burned to the ground. Initially, she vowed to rebuild. Piya catches up with her to hear whether she did, and how she so often manages to hold onto hope amid tragedy.

Why one woman initially chose to tell no one about her plan to donate a kidney

After turning 50, Leah Hager Cohen decided to donate her kidney. But initially, she chose not to tell any of her loved ones about the major surgery. She speaks with Piya about why it was so important to own the choice for herself.
Point of View

Call-out Culture: Fighting oppression or furthering divides?

"Calling out" is the act of denouncing words or actions perceived as untoward, and often prejudiced. It can happen online or in person, but making the critique publicly is the point. While some think its rise is a good thing, moving what's often silenced into the light, others see potential danger in its public nature.

'We all want to believe we would be the hero': Why one woman froze in a crisis

The bystander effect prevented Jeva Lange from helping someone who she thought was contemplating suicide.
Personal Essay

Piya Chattopadhyay reflects on the privilege of racial passing

Out in the Open host Piya Chattopadhyay's biracial, fair-skinned children have the ability to pass as white. She reflects on what that may mean for them in the future, and both the good and bad that can come with the privilege of passing.

How a psychiatry professor accidentally discovered he was a psychopath

James Fallon is determined to overcome his worst instincts.

'Confronting the truth about yourself is really hard': Rediscovering a complicated youth through adult eyes

Piper Weiss was a teenager when she along with everyone else in her Upper East Side community fell victim to the charms of Gary Wilensky, her tennis coach who would soon turn out to be a child predator.

'I just see myself as me': What DNA tests don't say about who you are

Olivia Bowden knows that her mom's an Indian immigrant to Canada and that her dad's Caucasian. She also knows that DNA, which is scientific, should not be conflated with race, a social category. And yet, as a biracial woman who's struggled with belonging, she still wanted to take a DNA test to affirm who she is.

'There was a sense of numbness': Woman finds tragic sense of triumph after unmasking her identity thief

Axton Betz-Hamilton and her family were dogged by identity theft for years. She speaks with Piya about her mission to track down who was behind it all... and the shocking discovery she made when she finally solved the mystery.