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The Conversation

The Conversation

Podcast The Conversation
Podcast The Conversation

The Conversation


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  • Diamonds transforming women’s lives
    While synonymous with status and romance, diamonds have also been linked to controversy, colonialism and conflict. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women whose lives have been shaped and transformed by the diamond industry in Botswana and Namibia. Anna Marie Johnson was paralysed at the age of eight. Reliant on a wheelchair, she missed out on completing her education. She's found a new lease of life and renewed ambition as part of a diverse workforce at Andre Messika in Windhoek, Namibia. Naseem Lahri is the first woman, and the first female citizen of Botswana, to run a diamond mine in the country. She says she's a product of diamond mining through the funding the industry puts into education in her country and that she's delighted to be part of the process giving back to the local community. Produced by Jane Thurlow (Image: (L) Anna Marie Johnson, credit Natural Diamond Council. (R) Naseem Lahri, credit Lucara Diamond.)
  • Gambling my life away: Stories of addiction and recovery
    An increasing number of women have become addicted to gambling in recent years, and experts fear the current cost of living crisis could put even more women at risk. Sandra Adell is a professor of literature in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of a memoir, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen, and she is currently working on a book about the impact of gambling on underprivileged communities in the US called And Then The Casinos Came: Narratives of Gambling and Loss. For Lisa Walker, gambling has always been a recreational activity. She started at the age of seven, playing cards for pennies with her dad, and she continued throughout her twenties. But winning £127,000 at a game of poker led her to develop a severe addiction that left her broke and homeless. She is now a community outreach worker with the UK charity Betknowmore and she leads New Beginnings, a project supporting women who struggle with gambling. Producer: Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Sandra Adell, courtesy Sandra Adell. (R) Lisa Walker, courtesy Lisa Walker)
  • Powered by women: Solar energy changing lives
    What role are women playing in providing solar power and ensuring that vulnerable communities have access to cheaper and cleaner energy? Kim Chakanetsa talks to an electrical engineer working in the US and Nicaragua, and a Nigerian entrepreneur. Anna Bautista is vice president of construction at GRID Alternatives, a large non-profit solar company that works with low-income communities across America and in Nicaragua. Her career as an electrical engineer started in the private sector where she worked as a site supervisor, trainer, and design and installation technician on residential and commercial PV (photovoltaic) projects. Olasimbo Sojinrin is the chief operating officer of Solar Sisters, an enterprise selling solar powered lamps and electrical appliances to women living in off-grid communities across Africa. Growing up in Nigeria, her life was dictated by power outages, so she decided to empower other women by finding sustainable and affordable solutions to the energy problem. Producer: Jane Thurlow (Image: (L) Anna Bautista, courtesy Anna Bautista. (R) Olasimbo Sojinrin, courtesy Olasimbo Sojinrin)
  • Women leading a revolution in astronomy
    Kim Chakanetsa discusses the wonders of the sky with two world-renowned astronomers. Dr Ewine van Dishoeck is a Dutch astronomer and chemist who has been involved with the development of the James Webb Telescope, the largest optical telescope in space. A professor of molecular astrophysics at the University of Leiden, her work in researching the potential existence of water in space could help find answers to the biggest questions, including whether life is possible on other planets. Dr Catherine Cesarsky is an Argentinian and French astronomer. Her research in astrophysics has included the composition of galactic cosmic rays and how stars are formed. As president of the Square Kilometre Array telescope project she’s directing an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope. Produced by Emily Naylor and Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Dr Ewine van Dishoeck, credit Katinka Baehr. (R) Dr Catherine Cesarsky, credit EPFL/SKACH/Severin Bigler.)
  • Women DJs
    After lockdowns, gig cancelations and a long and painful period for those in the industry, this year has seen the return of a full festival season around the world and millions of people have been making the most of it partying and dancing in vast crowds to live music and DJ-sets. Beatriz de la Pava is joined by two female DJ/producers from Denmark and Colombia to talk about creating a sound and vibe that brings thousands of people to dance as one. Rosa Pistola is hard to miss. Hailing from Colombia yet dubbed the Madonna of Mexico City, she mixes high energy reggaeton and sensual ballads to encapsulate the soundscape of her adopted city. Her mission is to celebrate the sounds of the Latin underground with the entire world, including Fabric in London on the 9th of December. Manda Moor is a Danish-Filipino DJ and producer based in Paris. Her productions and DJ sets are somewhere between techno and house and she’s spent much of her summer performing on the party-island of Ibiza. Produced by Jane Thurlow

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