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Radio Atlas

Radio Atlas is an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world. A place to hear inventive documentaries, dramas and works of sound art that have been made in languages you don’t necessarily speak.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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When I Touched the Ground

A woman tells the story of her own birth. By Nyurpaya Kaika Burton and Caddie Brain (2019) Nyurpaya was born deep in the desert of Central Australia. Her mother travelled hundreds of miles barefoot before giving birth alone at a massive desert mesa called Atila – a place which became her spiritual country. Nyurpaya Kaika Burton is a respected and revered senior artist, educator, storyteller and cultural leader. She is also one of the few remaining poetic speakers of Pitjantjatjara, a traditional Indigenous language of Central Australia’s remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. There were once more than 400 traditional languages spoken across the Australian continent, but only around 13 are still spoken by children – all threatened by policies restricting Aboriginal people from speaking their languages and the ongoing forces of colonisation. At the age of 70, she decided to share this deeply personal story of her birth, revealing, for the first time, the traditional birthing methods that have helped define her cultural life. Telling this story is part of her continuous work to protect her ancient culture, and to ensure that future generations can speak the language it lives in. The soundscape is binaural, specifically recorded on the country of Nyurpaya’s birth, in one of the most remote parts of Australia. Therefore the piece is best experienced through headphones. Produced by Nyurpaya Kaika Burton Sound, editing and co-production by Caddie Brain Translation: Linda Rive Producing organisation: Tjala Arts Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Ara Irititja. With thanks also to Third Coast International Audio Festival where it was presented in 2019.

15mins

23 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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From the Mouths of Babes and Drunkards

A documentary-fairytale set at Christmas.Produced by Kristin Heien for NRK P2 Radio Documentary (20th December 2015)

35mins

13 Dec 2017

Rank #2

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My Dad, The Supernova

An astronomer’s daughter ventures into his past – exploring the universe inside his head as his words and memories begin to leave him.Produced by Maartje Duin for VPRO (22nd October 2015)

15mins

18 Oct 2017

Rank #3

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Requiem from a Cemetery

Everyone in this story is dead. Everyone except its storyteller, Bengt Bok. As he walks around a cemetery, the voices of people he’s interviewed in the past emerge from the earth.Produced by Bengt Bok for Sveriges Radio (2016)

46mins

20 Sep 2017

Rank #4

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Robbery

A dynamic sonic portrait of the 2001 crisis in Argentina. The sound artist Joaquín Cófreces explores how a society becomes an accomplice to its own misfortune. Produced by Joaquín Cófreces for FM La Tribu (2005) ‘Robbery’ won the second prize in the feature category at the Bienal de Radio Mexico in 2006 as well as the EBU’s Ake Blomstrom award.

27mins

9 Aug 2017

Rank #5

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Ladies of the Manor

Vicious fights and tender memories play out against the backdrop of a crumbling stately home – eavesdrop on scenes from a marriage of convenience.Produced by Eva Roither for Ö1 (May 2011)Winner of the Prix Europa, 2011 and the feature-award at Stiftung Radio Basel.

54mins

9 May 2018

Rank #6

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Summer Rain

Motherly love, loss and falling… a personal feature from Nanna Hauge Kristensen.Produced by Nanna Hauge Kristensen (2017).This feature won first prize at the P1 Shortdox competition in 2017.

3mins

28 Mar 2018

Rank #7

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Camp Sisterhood

By Charlotte Rouault and Benoît Bories for ARTE Radio (2013) “If we didn’t look after ourselves, we were done for…” Three former inmates of the Brens women’s concentration camp, who were detained from 1942-44, recall their experiences.

28mins

13 Jun 2018

Rank #8

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Price of Secrecy

A series about unspoken secrets. By Zoha Zokaei (2019) Price of Secrecy is a fictionalised podcast series that addresses some of the legal, social, cultural and familial constraints that contribute to the silence around the issue of child sexual abuse in Iran. At the heart of the series is the question – ‘why, as members of society, are we failing to listen to the victims of child sexual abuse?’. A question that takes the responsibility of breaking the silence away from the victim and introduces it as a social responsibility. Zoha Zokaei is an Anglo-Iranian artist, academic and PhD researcher currently living and working in London. She holds an MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Sussex where she was awarded a CHASE scholarship. Her research interests include the following areas: ethics of representation (particularly representing the pain of the other), decentring and problematizing voice, practice as research, storytelling for social change and tactical media. Price of Secrecy was supported by CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England). You can find further episodes and information at the project website: price-of-secrecy.com

28mins

15 Aug 2019

Rank #9

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Stairway to Heaven, in Boxer Shorts

A tender goodnight when the morning is uncertain.Produced by Eva Moeraert (2016)Winner of the 2017 HearSay Festival ‘Celebrate’ GanBéarla Award and the 2016 Korte Golf Radio Prize. In remembrance of Bernard De Rycke, with special thanks to Bernard and his wife Machteld Van Vlaenderen.

3mins

28 Feb 2018

Rank #10

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On Top

An audio meditation on falling.Produced by Maria Dønvang (2017)Winner of the 2017 HearSay Festival ‘Create’ GanBéarla Award and Best Radio / Sound Art Award.

6mins

30 May 2018

Rank #11

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The Last Act

An operatic love story in its final act. Produced by Sindre Leganger for NRK (16th October 2016) Freddie Bagron, a retired opera singer, is preparing for an important performance – an act of love for his terminally ill wife, Turid. The doctors tell him Turid’s cancer is incurable but in Freddie’s mind, Turid is recovering.

26mins

14 Feb 2018

Rank #12

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Blindfold Yourself

An impressionistic documentary about strangers meeting in darkness. Produced by Jiri Slavicinsky for Czech Radio (February 2017) Blindfold Yourself was shortlisted for the 2017 HearSay Festival ‘Celebrate’ GanBéarla Award. It was recorded in November 2016, at the Hug workshop/performance, organized by British composer Verity Standen and the Prague association Voicescope.

7mins

10 Jan 2018

Rank #13

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Papa, We’re in Syria

In February 2015, Joachim Gerhard has reached the city of Elbeyli on the border between Turkey and Syria and stands within sight of Kobane, a city under fire. He shouts in despair into his phone. He is trying to persuade his two sons Mike (18) and Klaus (25) to come back to Germany with him. For the last time but one, the 51-year-old hears their voices – distorted and hysterical. Soon afterwards a video appears – Mike and Klaus pose with an automatic rifle under a black Daesh flag and declare their father an enemy. Nevertheless, Joachim does not give up on his sons. By Christian Lerch for rbb (November 2016) The voice messages from the father and the Gerhard brothers, and the video, are all original material. Papa, We’re in Syria won the Prix Europa for Best European Radio Documentary in 2017.

54mins

27 Dec 2017

Rank #14

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Can He Have a Dog?

A woman tries to meet someone.By Lotta Erikson for Sveriges Radio (1996)Recorded in the pre-internet dating days, Lotta Erikson searches for a partner through telephone contact agencies.Lotta Erikson has been a freelance for the Swedish radio (SR) and Swedish national television (SVT) in various forms since 1992, making around 15 radio documentaries and several TV-documentaries. Her productions have been presented at festivals and have won awards. In recent years she has written scripts for both feature films and TV-series, including the TV series The Hunt for a Killer, for SVT-drama with director Mikael Marcimain. Lotta Erikson has also made several sound art installations, written stage plays, radio dramas and a book about the human voice “The Alphabet of the Voice”. Translation by Klara Erikson

20mins

24 Jul 2019

Rank #15

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Junkies in the Country

An immersive look at the lives of drug addicts in the French countryside. Moving between young women struggling to loosen the grip of heroin on their lives and the people employed to help treat them, arrest them and monitor them.Produced by Mehdi Ahoudig for ARTE Radio (2014)Winner of the Prix Europa for Best Radio Documentary in 2015.

39mins

4 Oct 2017

Rank #16

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Everyday Something Disappears

What remains when we start to disappear? Resounding with music, humour and humanity this feature blends the story of a pianist documenting his own decline and the residents of a care home near the Dutch border of Essen. Musically interweaving reality and fiction we dive into the internal world of people who feel that they are beginning to lose themselves.Produced by Luc Haekens and Edwin Brys for VRT (1993)

37mins

1 Nov 2017

Rank #17

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Mum Here

A montage of mothers trying to reach their children. Produced by Mathilde Guermonprez for ARTE Radio (2015)

4mins

6 Sep 2017

Rank #18

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Still Swimming

Waves of memory, the story of a light going out – an exploration of love, loss and parallel worlds. Produced by Þorgerður E. Sigurðardóttir for RANA/Radiophonic Narration (2009) Þorgerður E. Sigurðardóttir takes us into the story of Sigrún, an Icelandic woman reliving memories of loss and love, searching for solitude in her house by the sea. Occasionally we get a glimpse into a different world that we didn’t know existed… Still Swimming was produced as part of RANA/Radiophonic Narration, a practice based education in sound narrative and radio feature making, aimed at professionals working from remote and small societies in the north. It was broadcast on RÚV in 2009. Consultance & mix: Rikke Houd

28mins

23 Aug 2017

Rank #19

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Wait

Intimacy and distance between lovers in a late night conversation.Produced by Sayre Quevedo (2017)

13mins

29 Nov 2017

Rank #20