Cover image of Not What You Think with Zacha Rosen
Social Sciences

Not What You Think with Zacha Rosen

Updated about 1 month ago

Social Sciences
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Prison, comics, pirates, dating, edible computers and caecilians. From Sydney's FBi Radio, we talk about the quiet ideas you haven't heard of. Yet. Subscribe on iTunes or elsewhere. [405192]

Read more

Prison, comics, pirates, dating, edible computers and caecilians. From Sydney's FBi Radio, we talk about the quiet ideas you haven't heard of. Yet. Subscribe on iTunes or elsewhere. [405192]

Cover image of Not What You Think with Zacha Rosen

Not What You Think with Zacha Rosen

Latest release on Sep 25, 2018

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

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Rank #1: 505: Quinceañeras (Gabriela Coronado) — SUPPORTER DRIVE SPECIAL

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In Mexico and across Latin America, and Australia, a quinceañera is a celebration of turning fifteen. It’s usually a party, usually for a girl and you might have seen a version of one in Jane the VirginOne Day at a Time, or even Sweet 15: Quinceañera. But there’s much more to this tradition than just pastel dresses and high heels. Though there are those, too.

Doctor Gabriela Coronado is a Mexican-Australian anthropologist whose areas include the intercultural complexities of cultures. She’s been to a few quinces.

Links for this episode:

Support FBi Radio! We got lots of options for you at

Las Rosas launches September 29th on YouTube. Follow the show on Instagram, or join them at Casula Powerhouse for the series launch on October 6th.

Adam Taub’s excellent documentary, La Quinceañera, follows one young girl and her family preparing for her quinceañera in Tijuana, Mexico. You can watch it online.

Songs from Quinceañeras:
La Cabezona — Cumbiamuffin
Son Huini — Los Hermanos Rios
Te Recuerdo Amanda — Victor Jara
La Negra Tomasa — Caifanes
Sobre Las Olas — Juventino Rosas, performed by Alondra de la Parra & Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas
Sin Un Amor — Los Panchos
La Resistencia — Nahuatl Sound System
La Petenera — Colectivo Moyolo
El Cascabel — Waiting for Guiness

Sep 25 2018



Rank #2: 504: Dinner Table Racism (Nur Alam and Yvonne Perczuk)

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People say some stupid stuff when they think they're among friends. "All Jews" are this, maybe. Or "all Muslims" are that. Do you confront casual racism when you hear it, in private places like the dinner table, from family or friends? Or do you bite your tongue?

Two Sydney women weren't sure that straight up confrontation would work all by itself, so they helped write a play that worked it. Nur Alam and Yvonne Perczuk are part of the writing collective Abe's Babes, which wrote the play The Laden Table about casual racism around Sydney's Muslim and Jewish dinner tables.

Links for this episode:

Follow Abe's Babes on Facebook to keep up with future productions of the play.
Bakehouse Theatre's production of the Laden Table has a short video of the production.
Some short explainers, if you want to know more about the Nakba and the Holocaust.

Songs from Dinner Table Racism:

Poyeyu (feat. Mariela Gerez) — Selva
Mir — Murcof
Kravchenko – Fair (Guitar Version) — Richard Patterson (Little Odessa soundtrack)
The Song From Venus — Stephin Merritt
Cornfield Chase — Hans Zimmer (Interstellar soundtrack)

Feb 09 2018



Rank #3: 503: Making a Fashion Festival in Western Sydney (Thuy Ngyuen)

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Just because you don’t see people like yourself up on stage in international fashion shows doesn’t mean you don’t want good fashion of your own. There are great designers making clothes that include Fijian design, hijabs or Vietnamese fabric. And all of those just in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Filmmaker Thuy Ngyuen made the documentary Against the Grain about the Western Sydney Fashion Festival. She also helped make the Festival happen in the first place.

Links from this episode:

Keep up to date with the Western Sydney Fashion Festival
See some of the designers we were talking about in Thuy’s short doco about the Festival, Against the Grain.
The designers mentioned in this episode were:

Songs from this episode:

2 6 4 — Body Type
No Quiero Crecer (reprise) — Eusebio
Wrench and Numbers — Jeff Russo & The Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra (Fargo Season 2 soundtrack)
We Had Coffee— Adrian Young & Ali Shaheed Muhammad (Luke Cage soundtrack)

Feb 02 2018



Rank #4: 502: Ordinary Drones (Peter Robinson)

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There are exciting drones and there are definitely scary drones. But drones have quieter things going on as well. They’re already at work doing ordinary stuff: working in agriculture, in infrastructure, filming the news.

Peter Robinson is a journalist at the ABC, and has been working on pioneering some of those moves for the organisation.

Links from this episode:

CASA’s Can I Fly There? app.
Four Corners’ water theft story, with its drone-shot footage.
The drone battery fire on board a plane at Melbourne airport.
New York Mag writer Benjamin Wallace Wells described a drone as something that can move you “back and forth between the intimate and the vast.”
Wanna buy a drone now? The Wirecutter has a guide to buying a cheapish one.

Songs from This Episode:

They Do They Don’t — Jack Johnson
Homesick — Pavrov Stellar
La Kebradita — Mexican Institute of Sound
S.T.A.Y. — Hans Zimmer (Interstellar soundtrack)
Lovely Raquel — Thomas Newman (Shawshank Redemption soundtrack)

Jan 26 2018



Rank #5: 501: Peace Journalism (Zainab Abdul-Nabi)

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War in the news is kind of hard to watch. Conflict gets presented like sports — two sides: one wins, one loses. Advocates of peace journalism think that war can be covered better than this. And, by reporting more to us than just a zero-sum game, it can offer ways of dealing with conflict that aren’t just about violence and who’s committing it.

Zainab Abdul-Nabi is a former journalist who’s especially interested in using peace journalism to look at Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Bahrain pro-democracy uprising in 2011, during the “Arab Spring”. 

Links from this episode:

Zainab’s article looking at Bahrain’s uprising through the lens of Peace Journalism.

Jay Rosen’s original piece on how some journalists seem to want to become political insiders.

If want to know even more about peace journalism, the Peace Talks Radio podcast has a deeper dive.

Jan 19 2018



Rank #6: 408: Midwives, Doctors and Rabbits (Amelia Dale)

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Almost three hundred years ago, a woman called Mary Toft was interrogated a bunch of doctors in London. She was interrogated after having given birth to a litter of rabbits. Or so she claimed.

But, in that era, one of the strangest things about the case wasn’t just the rabbits: it was that doctors — “male midwives” — were muscling into the giving birth business.

Amelia Dale teaches at Sydney University and talked about Toft in her PhD thesis.

Links from this episode:

Learn more about Mary Toft here, or listen to the BBC’s take on her story.

What Hogarth print where? William Hogarth was a visual satirist, who made fun of the scandal around Toft with this engraving:

Songs from Midwives, Doctors and Rabbits:

Ojos Del Sol — Y La Bamba
Akogare — Super Magic Hats
Copza Luca — Adrian Simionescu and Orchestre Marin Ioan (Gajo Dilo soundtrack)
Slip Away — Kim Boekbinder

Oct 27 2016



Rank #7: 407: The Milky Way is Disappearing (Angel Lopez-Sanchez)

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There’s this thing that’s disappearing in cities across the world: the entire Milky Way. Light pollution means that more and more people can’t see our own galaxy in the sky. A view which used to be a fundamental human experience.

Angel Lopez-Sanchez is an astronomer at the the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and Macquarie University who knows what we’re missing and what we can do about it.

Links from this episode:

Angel’s blog, the Lined Wolf and his post on light pollution.

Find a good piece of dark sky to find the Milky Way on with the Dark Sky Map.

Or read about Australia’s recently-declared, first Dark Sky Park.

Songs from this episode:
Human Orchestra — Mark Bradshaw (Bright Star soundtrack)
As You Wish — stackhat
Still Unbeaten Life — Gang of Youths
Chi Glow — Fishing
Honest — Little Earthquake
Lux Aeterna — Clytus Gottwold (2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack)

Oct 21 2016



Rank #8: 406: Telling One Frog From Another (Jodi Rowley)

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It's not just that there are a lot of different kinds of amphibians. There are a lot of different kinds of frogs. Some fight, some bark, some sing. we have a lot to learn from this (often) threated variety of amphibians. Not just about how frogs work, but also for human benefit as well.

Jodi Rowley curator of amphibian and reptile conservation biology for the Australian Museum and the University of New South Wales. She knows frogs.

Links from this episode:

Jodi has SO MANY FROGS on her website.

You can hear more frog calls on the Australian Museum website. There's more about singing frogsmissing frogs or vampire frogs there, as well.

This is one of Jodi's pictures of a caecilian.

The Amphibians of the World online reference.

The lowdown on Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

Songs from this episode:
No Hablo Español — Fea
Batonga — Angelique Kidjo
I've Got a Fang — They Might Be Giants
Say Sun — Y La Bamba
Orca — Y La Bamba
Pure & Easy — The Dining Rooms (Six Feet Under soundtrack)

Oct 14 2016



Rank #9: 405: How to Close All of Italy's Asylums if You're a Basaglia (John Foot)

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In 1978, Italy passed a law to shut down its Asylums. The asylums were ageing, horrfying institutions that weren’t so great at looking after people. Two people at the centre of the change were Franco Basaglia and his wife, Franca Ongaro Basaglia. 

Historian John Foot accidentally discovered this story at a documentary screening, and wrote a book on them. He explains why what they did is such a big thing.

Links from this episode:

John’s book is available in all the places.

The documentary that moved John was called San Clemente, by  Raymond Depardon and Sophie Ristelhueber.

If you’re interested in how this ‘deinstutionalisation’ works with current mental health services, one of the best round ups is from the US (covering their system, but similar dilemmas). Of course, it’s by John Oliver.

Songs from How to Close All of Italy’s Asylums:
The Solist in the Living Room — Cold War Kids
La Strada — Nino Rota
8 1/2 — Nino Rota
Paris Mood — Tom Waits

Oct 06 2016



Rank #10: 404: Reading What Spies Write About You (Lars Rutz)

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Lars Rutz grew up in the East Berlin bohemian scene in communist Germany in the 80s. Like a lot of people in the East, he wanted to leave. But East Germany was a police state, with an ever-present spy agency, the Stasi.

What is it like to try to escape a place like that? And what is it like to read what the spies wrote about you, years later?

Links from this episode:

The Stasi really did have a library of smells.

Snowden really did have a statue in Berlin, along with Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Though they started in Berlin, the three statues are part of an art project, Anything to Say, which is touring the world.

Lars' lawyer was Wolfgang Vogel, who was the other lawyer in Bridge of Spies. (Not the one played by Tom Hanks.)

Lars was suggested, accidentally, by Cassie Findlay. Much of this story was originally presented by Lars at a talk for the Australian Society of Archivists.

Songs in this episode:
Love is Blindness — Jack White (Great Gatsby soundtrack)
Brain Retractor — Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
10 Sola Gratia (Part 2) — SQÜRL (Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack)
La Valse Des Vieux Os — Yann Tiersan (Amelia soundtrack)
Engel — Laurent Pettigrand (Faraway, So Close! soundtrack)
Martha's Dream — Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Oily Night — Tom Waits
Chasing Down Sadness — Michael Giacchino (Inside Out soundtrack)
Song For Jesse — Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Os Quindins De Ya Ya — Stanley Black (Strictly Ballroom soundtrack)
Drive Away — Thomas Newman (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events soundtrack)

Sep 29 2016