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 23: Reporting India

Meena Menon is the author of three books, and her reporting career has seen her covering a broad range of topics in India, and also took her to Islamabad, Pakistan as the correspondent for The Hindu. We discuss her experiences as an Indian reporting from Pakistan and India-Pakistan relations, the suicides of tens of thousands of Indian farmers since the 1980’s and the colonial legacy of the cotton industry, the 1992-93 sectarian riots in Mumbai, and her thoughts on the upcoming general elections in India, the world’s largest democracy. You can find links to her three books below.

Latitude Adjustment is 100% listener supported. If you dig our content and our mission then swing by our new Patreon page and sign up to contribute a dollar or two (or more) a month so I can pay the bills while I make things. Thanks!

Correction: in the introduction I mistakenly stated that the Babri Mosque was located in the state of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

 
 
 
 

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 17: Trafficked to the US

Rosine Hounakey is from Togo but she was trafficked to the US at 13 years old and forced to work for free on both coasts of the US, and later into a coerced marriage until she was freed with her two young sons as the result of an ICE raid when she was 17 years old.

She then had to go through foster care in various American cities, waking up at 5am every day to take her kids to school before completing high school herself, after years with no formal education, having taught herself English along the way.

Rosine is currently pursuing an advanced degree, running her own hair salon, and raising her two sons in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We also discuss the entrepreneurial spirit of Togolese women, annoying stereotypes about Africa and Africans, tension and solidarity with the African American community, and moving forward after a deeply traumatic start at life in the US.

Be sure to check the links below for critical facts on Human Trafficking, as well as organizations that can provide immediate assistance.

 
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Episode 16: Yupik Alaskan

Yaari Walker is a member of the Yupik tribe, and originally from the town of Savoonga, on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. She now resides in Anchorage, Alaska, where, in addition to being an activist, author, and entrepreneur, she works at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Yaari has been on a journey, as a survivor of physical abuse, substance abuse, and incarceration, to recovery, writing a book, starting a business in Native medicinals, activism, and going back to college to study Psychology. We cover a lot of issues facing indigenous communities in Alaska, North America, and around the world, as well as the issue of community itself and how industrialized Western society often seems to be at odds with the values of sharing, communal responsibility, and compassion.

A warning that we talk about addiction and substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and the legacy of boarding school placement amongst the indigenous communities of North America. For those who have personally been through these traumas, or who have loved ones who have, just a note that some parts of this show may be upsetting.


 

Riiglluk Stinkweed Creations

Made in Alaska with 100% natural ingredients

A resource for history and updates

A resource for history and updates

 

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.

 
 

Episode 13: Mexico

I caught up with David Vrabo in Tijuana after his vehicle was taken away by the Mexican authorities upon crossing the border from California. We talk about pretty much everything you’d want to know about Mexico, from the stories he heard from migrant laborers while he was working as a press translator, the disappearances and mass graves scattered throughout Mexico, the complex realities of narco-trafficking and corruption in Mexican politics and law enforcement, and his 4,000 km bike ride from Mexico through Central America. We also get into the history and current events in Central America, from the caravan currently moving its way towards the US border to the legacy of US interventionism throughout the region.

My intro for this episode is longer than usual, but I think you’ll find it helpful, as I give some background on my nearly two years filming, and conducting interviews along both sides of the border with everyone from vigilante border patrollers, to sex workers in Juárez, former US law enforcement, immigrants of all documentation backgrounds, ranchers, and volunteers who leave water barrels in the desert. You can read the feature story I wrote about the beginning of The Virtual Dinner Guest Project in Juárez, back in 2011, at the link below.

And I give a speed-history lesson of the US’s role in Latin America from the Mexican-American War up through NAFTA and the Drug War, which should be a helpful resource if you want some context for today’s news headlines.

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!


“For more than fifteen years, members of Pueblo Sin Fronteras have been reaching out to the most vulnerable immigrants in the United States and to migrants and refugees on the move.”  Pueblo Sin Fronteras is the immigrant rights organization that organized the caravan currently moving from Central America to the US border. You can go to their donation page by clicking on the banner,    or here   .

“For more than fifteen years, members of Pueblo Sin Fronteras have been reaching out to the most vulnerable immigrants in the United States and to migrants and refugees on the move.”

Pueblo Sin Fronteras is the immigrant rights organization that organized the caravan currently moving from Central America to the US border. You can go to their donation page by clicking on the banner,
or here.

 

Enclave Caracol & Food Not Bombs

David is working in the kitchen here, serving migrants in Tijuana.

 
 

Episode 12: Squat the Planet founder

Matthew Derrick is the founder of Squat the Planet, an "online community for misfit travelers". Starting out as a personal travel journal StP has evolved into an online community of anarchists, travel punks, train hoppers, and people from all walks of life connected by their commitment to "travel by any means necessary". Matt and I talk about his travels and what he envisions for the future of StP. Also be sure to check out my appearance on the Squat the Planet Podcast at the link below. Be sure to catch the Squat the Planet Podcast live streaming every Sunday at 12pm Pacific Coast Time.

Check out the PDF or order a hard copy of Matt’s book, “The Anarchist’s Guide to Travel

 

My appearance on the Squat the Planet Podcast…

Episode 11: Jade Saab (part 2 of 2) Canada, Class Consciousness, Liberalism & Communism

In the second half of our conversation Jade and I talk about the politics around being a "passport baby" in Canada, and the framing of immigration and citizenship in Canadian politics. Then we dive into political philosophy, discussing classical liberalism, various forms of communism, class consciousness, and fascism, and some of the common distortions and misperceptions around these concepts. And Jade provides a reading list. Be sure to check out his TEDx talk.

And be sure to follow my interview on the Squat the Planet Podcast (below). If you miss the livestream on October 21st, at 12pm Pacific Time / 9pm Central European Time, you can still catch it later on Youtube.


Jade’s recommended reading (most of these should be available for free, or very cheap, online). You can also read his reviews of each of these books here.


”The Conquest of Bread” by Peter Kropotkin

“The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

“State and Revolution” by Vladimir Ilich Lenin

“Reform or Revolution” by Rosa Luxemburg

“The Dictatorship of the Proletariat” by Karl Kautsky

“On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill

“The Rights of Man” by Thomas Paine

“Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 

Eric’s recent appearance on the Squat the Planet podcast, talking about travels in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Europe (and busting some of the myths and media hype), establishing a nonprofit in Amsterdam, ethical travel, and travel with a purpose.

Episode 10: Jade Saab (part 1 of 2) Lebanon

I speak with Lebanese political writer, Jade Saab, about growing up in Lebanon, the country's struggle to balance institutionalized sectarianism with democracy, post colonial history, the Civil War, the 2015 garbage crisis, notions of direct democracy, and more.

Check out Eric Maddox’s interview on the Squat the Planet Podcast.

In the second half of our interview (episode 11) we'll discuss Jade's recent move to Canada, the framing of immigration in Canadian political discourse, and I try to understand how Communism and Fascism work.

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 9: Anarchist Librarian of Slab City

Cornelius Vango, is a traveler, musician, artist, and the genderqueer anarchist librarian of Slab City. Cornelius recently finished hitchhiking across Alaska with their dog Satan, and I caught up with them in Fresno, during the last segment of their long bus drive back to the Southern California desert.

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!

 
 

An online community for misfit travelers.

Episode 8: Energy Justice

Born in Sri Lanka, Shanil Samarakoon spent his early childhood in Malawi, before moving back to Sri Lanka as an adolescent, and later pursuing his undergraduate studies in Malaysia. He’s currently pursuing his PhD in Energy Justice in Australia, while bouncing between Malawi and Sri Lanka for his nonprofit work with Empower Projects, an organization he co-founded to help local communities form cooperatives and take the lead in determining their development priorities, especially around sustainable energy use and solar power. We also discuss the legacy of Sri Lanka's long civil war, contemporary politics in Australia as they relate to energy and immigration policies, and Shanil walks me through the defining principles of Energy Justice, and how we might go about assigning rights and responsibilities through this framework. Plus reflections on being introverted advocates, and using writing as a refuge and as a way to process confusion.

Empower Projects creates platforms for communities to determine their developmental priorities, create their own vision and develop action plans to address their needs and aspirations.

Our project portfolio impacts 78 villages (over 15,500 people) across Malawi and Sri Lanka.

Episode 7: Senegal and Reflections on Life in the US

Ndeye Ndao and I cover a lot of ground in this episode, from her initial impressions of American culture as a 19-year-old international student, changes in Senegal since she left to pursue her education, civil rights in the US and Senegal, the role of religion in her life and in Senegalese culture, why she wants more African Americans to visit Africa and connect to African culture, the differences between racism, bias, and passive support for racist systems, her feelings about being a woman of color and an immigrant in America today, and more.

Episode 6: From Syria to Berlin, Part 2 of 2

In this second of a two-part interview with Syrian artist and paramedic Aram AlSaed we discuss the process of his arrival in Germany, his family back in Syria, his thoughts about the use and abuse of the term "refugee" and his complex relationship with this word, and the differences in how religious identity is discussed and inhabited in Syria and in Germany. I close with some questions for you, the listener, concerning the role of religion in contemporary political culture around the world.

Stay informed…

Are You Syrious provides daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

Latitude Adjustment recommends this charity…

“We develop Innovative Education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute
Smart Aid to Syrian families, and fund Sustainable Development projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians.”