Eleanor McDowall of 'Radio Atlas' on translating podcasts
The art of translation is a beautiful thing. Without it, many of the world's most beloved novels, poems and films might not be accessible to you.
But how do you translate a podcast?
Our guest curator this week has an answer to that question. Eleanor McDowall is the creator of Radio Atlas. It takes radio documentaries from all over the world, in many different languages, and sets them to videos with English subtitles.
Just like watching a subtitled international film — you can enjoy and appreciate audio in languages you don't necessarily understand.
Eleanor joined us from a studio in England to talk about her work and curated this episode with some of her favourite podcasts. You can find her picks below.
Podcasts featured this week:
Imaginary Advice: Imaginary Advice is a sketchpad for new ideas and new ways of telling stories. Some stories are true, some are fiction, some are closer to audio essays. Most episodes end up being a blend of all three. All episodes are written, produced and presented by British writer and performer Ross Sutherland.
Hope Chest: This episode of Hope Chest is "a new essay written at SPACE on Ryder Farm's Family Residency in July 2018. A week-long artist's residency for parents and their children, SPACE on Ryder Farm affords families that ever-elusive commodity that's so difficult for many artists to find, post-parenting: time. While there, Stacia writes to Story about how the culmination of her academic and professional decisions to date have led her to face some harsh realities of late."
The View From Somewhere: "'Objectivity is dead, and I'm okay with it.' That's what public radio journalist Lewis Raven Wallace wrote in a blog post just after Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration. Wallace called on other journalists to stand up to Trump's racism and transphobia. His employer, Marketplace, fired him for this post—on this episode, he talks to producer Ramona Martinez and journalism historian David Mindich about what he's learned since."
Animal Meditations: "Animal Meditations is a series of guided meditations designed to take listeners inside the experience of wild animals in their habitat. The subjective experience of these animals is impossible for us to truly comprehend. It is particularly difficult when their physical, sensory, or mental capacities differ greatly from our own — such as with bats, insects, or whales. But the sincere imaginative exercise of placing our consciousness within their experience can be illuminating. It is not only calming, but creates a deeper appreciation for other beings and reduces the primacy of our own anxieties and fears. In this episode we enter the world of humpback whales."
Have You Heard George's Podcast? "A young teacher's daily struggles provide the backdrop for this harrowing reflection on the Grenfell Tower tragedy. In a move from journalism to drama, George departs with the documentary-style narration of previous episodes to deliver a heart-wrenching story of resilience and neglect in London's inner city. Enlisting the help of rising star Jade Alleyne, poet Sophia Thakur as well as his own brothers, Freddie, Michael and Kenny Mpanga, George introduces a small universe of characters whose witty exchanges offer insight into their respective environments."