Podcast

Episode 41: The Fulani People, Conflict in Mali (2 of 2)

For this second half of our conversation we discuss the ongoing inter-communal violence in Central Mali, the features of Jihadist movements in the region, the prospects and barriers to peace, and the regional and geopolitical implications of these factors and why you should take notice of what's happening in the Sahel. 

Dougoukolo Ba-Konare is a clinical psychologist and teacher of Fula Language and Societies at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris, and a founding member of Kisal (an organization working on the promotion of human rights in the Sahel. 

 
 
 

Episode 40: The Fulani People, A Culture of the Sahel (1 of 2)

The Fulani are an ethnic group of around 40 million people who inhabit Africa’s Sahel region, the transitional biozone that spans the African continent from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and where the sands of the Sahara gradually give way to the savanna of central Africa. Traditionally a pastoral nomadic culture, they have long experienced tensions in some of the communities they call home, and are often treated as outsiders. Some of these conflicts have made international headlines recently, most notably in central Mali, where Jihadist groups and a lack of governmental authority have left communities vulnerable, and where competition for resources and mistrust have brought them into bloody conflict with other tribal groups.

This first of a two-part conversation about the Fulani people offers some compelling insights into how Jihadist groups are able to gain traction in isolated communities, and a more local perspective on global security issues that are traditionally given from a European or American perspective.


Dougoukolo Ba-Konare is a clinical psychologist and teacher of Fula Language and Societies at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris, and a founding member of Kisal (an organization working on the promotion of human rights in the Sahel. 


 
 
 

Episode 39: Afghanistan - Living With the US Occupation

Basir Bita spent his childhood as a refugee in Iran and moved back to Afghanistan in 2003, which means he has spent his entire adult life living under the US occupation. He currently lives in Kabul where he works as a peace activist and as a consultant monitoring and evaluating risk factors for corruption. We discuss the current peace talks between the US and the Taliban, and what he has learned talking to people from across Afghanistan’s ethnically diverse society.


Also be sure to check out our previous conversation with Abdoul Saboor who fled Afghanistan after threats from the Taliban and attacks on his family. His overland odyssey through Iran, Turkey, Eastern Europe and across the Balkans, to finally claim asylum in France, is one of the more remarkable stories I’ve encountered anywhere, and should put the ordeals of many Afghan refugees into a more human perspective.

 
 
 
 
 

Episode 37: 95 Years Old & On Hunger Strike

Sally-Alice Thompson is a World War 2 veteran, a peace activist, a New Mexico resident, and at 95 years old she just started her first hunger strike to bring an end to US sanctions and to US support for sieges that are pushing children into starvation and depriving populations of their basic needs.

 
 
Learn More About Sally-Alice’s Hunger Strike, Sign the Petition, and Learn How You Can Join Her

Learn More About Sally-Alice’s Hunger Strike, Sign the Petition, and Learn How You Can Join Her

 

Get informed about some of the topics discussed in this week’s show but checking out our previous interviews with local people…

Episode 36: Sudan- Massacre in Khartoum (Part 2 of 2)

This segment of our two-part interview with Dahlia Al Roubi was recorded on Tuesday, June 4th, the day after the current government crackdown began against protestors in Khartoum. As of this episode roughly 100 people have been killed by government forces, with reports that scores of bodies have been dumped into the Nile. As of June 6th, Sudan’s membership in the African Union has been revoked. Sudan’s military council has suspended talks with protestors and unilaterally called for elections to be held within 9 months.

The forces spearheading this apparent massacre appear to be the RSF or “Rapid Support Forces”, led by Mohamed "Hemeti" Hamdan Dagalo. The RSF are a re-branded iteration of the Janjaweed militias that were charged with carrying out the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. They’ve since been absorbed into the Sudanese military structure and given the stamp of governmental legitimacy, but they are essentially trained for one purpose and it appears that this purpose has now been turned on the protestors and the people of Khartoum. Incidentally the RSF forces are also being used as mercenaries by the Saudis in their war on Yemen.


 
 
 
 

Episode 35: Sudan: Women in Revolution (1 of 2)

For this first part of a two-part conversation, we talk to Sudanese activist Dahlia Al Roubi about what it was like growing up under the regime of recently deposed dictator Omar Al Bashir, how the current revolution swept Sudan, starting in December of last year, the challenges of weighing the purity of revolutionary principles against the practical constraints of time and competing interests, and about the role of women who took a leading role in the street protests but who now appear to be left out of the negotiations.

Dahlia and I recorded this first part of our interview on May 21st, before the current wave of violence was unleashed by the transitional military government on protestors and civilians in Khartoum. However we decided to include this conversation to claim some small space in the historical record, a space for what the Sudanese people were aspiring to as recently as Sunday evening. And we’re including it as a reminder that Syria also had this moment, and Egypt as well, and that while violence and a return to despotism might define the moment it’s important to ask ourselves where Western governments positioned themselves during the grassroots efforts to push these countries towards freedom.

Part two of our discussion provides a short update about the violence that has been unleashed by government forces in recent days, in particularly the RSF (Rapid Support Forces) formerly known as the Janjaweed.


 
 
 
 

Episode 33: Bringing Palestine to the US

Faisel Saleh was born the 11th of 11 children in the West Bank town of El Bireh after his parents fled from their home in Salama (near Tel Aviv) during the 1948 war. Those events created the state of Israel and what 700,000 Palestinians and their millions of descendants refer to as “The Nakba”, or the catastrophe. Faisal came to the US in 1969 to pursue his education, later becoming a successful entrepreneur. Last year he founded the Palestine Museum US, in Woodbridge, Connecticut, the first museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

In addition to providing a space to share and preserve the culture for Palestinian Americans, Palestinians of the global diaspora, and for Palestinians in Palestine, it’s also a space for non-Palestinians who create art or commentary about the community and its history.


But to talk about the art, culture, and history of Palestine and its people opens the door to a much wider conversation about the current conditions of the community, and in particular the circumstances of Palestinian refugees, and of those who have been enduring more than a decade of life under siege in the Gaza Strip and 52 years of Israeli military occupation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Episode 26: Western Sahara

Western Sahara is one of the world's forgotten occupations.

In 1975 Spain ended its nearly century-long colonization of Spanish Sahara, leaving the territory to be overtaken by Moroccan and Mauritanian forces. Under the leadership of the POLISARIO Front the Sahrawis continued their guerilla war for self determination. In 1979 Mauritania withdrew and Morocco moved in to claim the rest of the territory now known as Western Sahara. The war continued until 1991, until a UN-brokered ceasefire with the promise of a referendum on independence for Western Sahara that never came. Morocco continues to occupy Western Sahara, transferring its citizens to the territory and extracting its resources under the protection of France’s protective veto in the UN. Meanwhile the Sahrawi community either lives under a brutally oppressive police state in occupied Western Sahara, or on the other side of the wall, a 2,700 kilometer barrier that Morocco constructed, which forms the de-facto border, splits Western Sahara in half, annexes most of the economically valuable land, and which forms the second longest wall on earth.

Mahfud Mohamed Lamin is one of approximately 170,000 Sahrawi refugees who are stuck on the other side of that wall in the harsh desert of Western Algeria. He was was born in 1991, the very same year that saw an end to the 16-year war between the the Sahrawis and the Moroccan government. But the following 28 years have not seen an end to the conflict, or the referendum that was promised to his people.

Latitude Adjustment is 100% listener supported. If you agree that we need more independent media that prioritizes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions then please support us with a monthly donation through our Patreon page. Thanks!

 
 
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Western Sahara Resource Watch

Western Sahara Resource Watch

Episode 25: Researching Sex Work

Kimberly Walters completed her PhD research in India, and her current project focuses on humanitarian interventions into the lives of women who sell sex in South India. We examine the competing narratives, political interests, and funding priorities that distinguish campaigns for the rights of sex workers from those that focus on abolition and rehabilitation. And we discuss how some of the very institutions which are supposed to be rescuing women from trafficking end up incarcerating, exploiting, and oppressing them further. This episode is a must listen no matter your level of familiarity with this subject, as supporters can find themselves unwittingly funding organizations and policies that contribute to the abuse and stigmatization of women across the Global South.

Latitude Adjustment is 100% listener supported. If you agree that we need more independent media that prioritizes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions then please support us with a monthly donation through our Patreon page. Thanks!

 
 
Global Alliance Against the Traffic in Women

Global Alliance Against the Traffic in Women

 

Articles by Kimberly Walters:

 

Additional Reading:

”Human Trafficking & Contemporary Slavery”, by Ronald Weitzer

 

Episode 24: Muslim in America & Refugees

Isra Chaker is a force of nature, and we were lucky to get a few minutes to interrupt her whirlwind of advocacy, public speaking, and campaign organizing on issues ranging from Islamophobia and bullying, to refugees and asylum seekers, to the so-called “Muslim Ban” imposed by the current US administration. We talk about her experiences growing up as a Muslim in the US in the aftermath of September 11, and how she confronted the bullying she faced in school and the role this played in setting her on her current path. We also discuss her campaign to highlight the lives and the challenges faced by asylum seekers by renting out Donald Trump’s childhood home on AirBnB, the curriculum that she helped to develop for thousands of US schools to teach young kids about the experiences of Muslims and refugees, and her recent trip to visit refugee camps in Jordan for Oxfam USA.

Stream our show below, or subscribe through iTunes, Spotify, and most platforms for Android. And support independent media that promotes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions by contributing through our Patreon page today.

Photo credits: Isra Chaker

 
 
 
 
 

Episode 22: Traditional Survival Skills

“Know more. Carry less.” That’s the philosophy behind the Boulder Outdoor Survival School where Eli Loomis teaches traditional and primitive survival skills (the knowledge and techniques used by indigenous peoples as opposed to military-style training). For its most intense course BOSS takes students out on a 28-day trek through the Utah desert, where they learn to forage and survive with little more than a knife and a blanket. Eli also spent two seasons conducting marine biology research in Antarctica. When he’s not immersed in extreme outdoor environments Eli teaches university courses in Biology and Ecology in Washington State.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

 

Eli suggests that you read: “Practice of the Wild“, by Gary Snyder

And watch:

 

Episode 21: Anonymous in Iran

We hear a lot about Iran in the Western press and from Western politicians, but we rarely hear from the Iranian people. Our guest lives in Tehran where she works as a documentary photographer.

We agreed to keep her identity private in order to allow for a more open discussion about Iran and its relationship to the world, and we closed our conversation with a question from our guest:

”“How responsible do you feel about the situation in Iran right now? And what do you think you can do about it?”

If you would like to answer this question you can do so by using the hashtag:

#LatitudeAdjustmentPodcast_Iran

and tagging our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Links to those accounts can be found here on the website. You can also visit our accounts and simply leave your answers in comments.

It’s time that we as citizens step forward and start a conversation where our governments have failed.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!


 
 
 
 

Episode 20: The Catalonia Crisis

Hola, de España! This is the first episode I’ve produced from a country where I’m actually located, and my first in-person interview for the podcast, though this show focusses on the independence movement up north in Catalonia (I’m currently in Valencia).

Txell Donyate is a linguist who speaks Italian, French, English, Spanish, Catalan… and Finnish. And while she’s lived in Barcelona since 2014, she’s originally from the Comunidad Valenciana just to the south of Catalonia, and offers a unique outsider/ insider perspective on the independence movement.

This episode attempts to lend some historical and personal perspective to the current political situation. And if you’ve been wanting to know more about modern Spanish history you may find the speed history lesson at the beginning to be helpful.

Be sure to check out some recommended reading below, if you want to learn more about the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and contemporary Spanish history and society.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

 

Episode 19: No Name Kitchen

Bruno Morán is from Asturias, Spain, and is a co-founder of No Name Kitchen, an NGO that provides food, sleeping bags, basic necessities, and a community space for refugees in transit along the Serbian and Bosnian borders with Croatia.

In addition to providing basic services, No Name Kitchen has also become a primary point of contact for those who have been pushed back from the Croatian border, and as a result the organization has found itself involved in documenting and sharing the growing number of reported abuses by the Croatian border police against those who are seeking to cross into the EU, people who have no legal means of registering themselves in bordering countries.

In this episode we cover what is happening on the ground, the practical challenges of running a small front line organization, and some advice on how you can get involved in global events in your community.


Photo credit clockwise from top left: image 1 No Name Kitchen; images 2-4 Maria Feck, No Name Kitchen, Šid, Serbia.

 
 

Episode 18: Escape from Afghanistan to France

Abdul is a photographer from Afghanistan, where he worked with the US military before having to flee the country after death threats from the Taliban. What followed was an overland odyssey across Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans, and back and forth across the EU, until he was able to claim asylum in France, where he currently lives. Along the way he endured prison, forced labor, beatings, deportations, and kidnapping. His is one of the more remarkable stories of resilience that I have come across in my years of traveling and working in the Middle East and anywhere else in the world.

We were connected by the people at No Name Kitchen, a Spanish NGO that provides food, sleeping bags and supplies, and a community space for the growing numbers of refugees stuck in Serbia and more recently in Bosnia.

Episode 15: Wheelchair World Travel

Cory Lee started Curb Free With Cory Lee, a travel blog for people who use wheelchairs and for people with accessibility needs. So far he's been to six continents and tours as a public speaker. Aside from accessible travel, we talk about Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the importance of self-advocacy, educating the public about wheelchair access, working for Obama's inaugural committee, navigating the complex relationships with caregivers, college life, riding a specially adapted camel, what cities are great for wheelchair access (Sydney, Helsinki, and Washington, DC are at the top), and more.

And, we’ve just launched a Patreon page for Latitude Adjustment podcast. The show will remain free to the public, but if you find value in it then please consider supporting us with a dollar or more per month to help make our efforts sustainable. And remember to tell your friends about us! Thank you for your support!

(Photos are from Curb Free With Cory Lee)

(My research notes for SMA were taken from SMA News Today, Counsyl, and National Institute of Health)

 
 

Episode 14: Environmental Journalism

April Reese is an environmental journalist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, though her reporting has taken her all over the US and for a long stint in Australia, where she traveled clear around the continent. Her writing has been published in Nature, Scientific American, Smithsonian, Discover, and she recently published a massive piece covering the top science policy issue in every state (plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC) for Popular Science.

Among many topics discussed, April explains the challenges of maintaining professional distance when reporting on issues that impact all life on earth, and we discuss why it seems to be so difficult to get people to care about the one issue that matters more than anything else... the environment.

Plus her aunt's 1970’s nature show for kids, Hodgepodge Lodge.