Yesterday on Ujima – Films, Muslim Women & Hugos

I ended up doing a bonus show yesterday. As I had to go into Bristol for the TV appearance, and I have nothing else urgent on that day, I figured I might as well spend some time in the studio. That meant putting together a show at short notice.

The easiest way to do that is with phone interviews, though it does mean using Skype which can mean very variable quality. I badly need an alternative means of doing phone interviews, especially as the latest versions of Skype actively prevent the use of third party call recorders. (Why anyone would produce a digital phone system and now allow call recording is a mystery to me.)

Anyway, there were people I could interview. In the first hour I talked to Jake Smith of Tusko Films. Jake was the directory for Talking LGBT+ Bristol, the film about the city’s LGBT+ community that we made for Bristol Pride. I figured that if Jake and I were going to be on TV for 3 minutes in the evening, we should have a longer chat about the film as well.

I also recorded an interview with Rivers Solomon because there has been some really exciting news about their next novel project. Getting to write a novel with clipping has to be a dream come true.

The Listen Again system appears to have been fixed, so you can listen to the first hour of the show here.

I did manage to arrange one live interview. On Tuesday there was a flash mob demonstration in the city protesting Boris Johnson’s appalling comments about Muslim women. I was very pleased to have Sahar from Muslim Engagement & Development (MEND) to explain about the different types of headgear that Muslim women wear, and why they wear them. She was joined in the studio by Lisa from Stand Up to Racism.

I had half an hour to fill so I rambled on a bit about the women’s cricket, and about this year’s Hugo finalists. You can listen to the second half of the show here.

While the show is available on Listen Again I won’t put it up on the podcast. But once it has fallen off those interviews will appear there (and in the case of Rivers on Salon Futura). I will try to get an old interview or two up on the podcast in the meantime. And if anyone would like to become a patron of the podcast I would be very grateful. We only need 8 more people at $1/month to cover costs.

If you would like to know more about the Jimi Hendrix album that I was playing tracks from, you can find some details here.

The full playlist for yesterday’s show is as follows:

  • Jimi Hendrix – Jungle
  • Jimi Hendrix – Woodstock
  • clipping – The Deep
  • Bootsy Collins – May the Force be With You
  • Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up
  • Santana – Riders on the Storm
  • Janelle Monae – Sally Ride
  • Jimi Hendrix – Georgia Blues

Women’s Outlook Has a Podcast

With the Listen Again system having problems, I needed to find a new way to share the Women’s Outlook show with you. Fortunately there was a recording of the August 1st show, so I asked the station managemnt for permission to create a podcast feed and post parts of the show there. The downside of this is that I have to edit out the music and ads. The upside is that the material will stay there for as long as we pay to host the site. Management said go for it (thanks Miranda!), so we now have a podcast!

Podcast hosting is relatively inexpensive these days, but it still costs so I have added a patronage system to the site. Right now all I’m hoping to do is to get 9 people to pay $1/month because that covers the hosting costs. If we get more support we’ll have to think about what we might offer as rewards. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Right now all that I have up are the four interviews from August 1st. Yaz says they want to put some of their material up too, in in weeks where we don’t have a show I’ll start running the occasional interview from the archives. There’s some great stuff in my old shows.

Of course we have to have a Twitter feed to go with all this. I haven’t done a Facebook page yet, but will do so if there is sufficient demand.

While you can listen to the interviews I have put up by going to the podcast site (or by downloading the Podbean app to your phone or tablet), I can also embed the material here, so here goes.

First up we had Nik Jovčić-Sas playing his violin live in the studio, and talking about his LGBT+ activism. There were a few issues with sound balance along the way. It turns out it is very hard to balance sound between a backing track and the live mic when the live instrument is in the studio. I learn something about the technology each time we try something like this. Apologies to Nik for this, but I think we captured enough of his playing for you to hear how good he is.

My second guest was Helen, a newly qualfied recruit from Avon Fire & Rescue. She’s amazing: a single mother raising two daughters who has been an Olympic weight lifter and is now a firefighter. I think there’s a role for her in the next Wonder Woman movie.

Next up Molly and Helen from Women’s Adventure Expo encouraged us to get out of our comfort zines and have an adventure. I think I am a bit old for skiing to the North Pole, but I still love traveling and am looking forward to visiting Austria in December for the Worlding SF conference.

Finally the lovely Sharifa Whitney James from Bristol Ageing Better came to tell me what she’ll be doing to improve the lives of older LGBT+ folks in Bristol.

The playlist for the show, excluding Nik’s contributions which I didn’t need to edit out, was as follows:

  • Pointer Sisters – Fire
  • Fontella Bass – Rescue Me
  • Bat for Lashes – Travelling Woman
  • Minnie Ripperton – Adventures in Paradise
  • Blondie – Die Young, Stay Pretty
  • Little Feat – Old folks boogie

Heather Child Interview

The interview that I did with Heather Child back in July is no longer available on the Ujima Listen Again system, so I have posted it to Salon Futura. In it Heather and I talk about her debut novel, Everything About You. This is a near-future science fiction novel which looks at what might happen if smart digital assistants know so much about you that they know you better than you do yourself. Have a listen.

Today on Ujima – Slightly Delayed

Today’s show on Ujima was a bit frantic as we were doing some adventurous tech things. We had Nik Jovčić-Sas playing violin live in the studio, and an amazing lady firefighter on the phone. We then went on to talk about women having adventures, and about support for elderly LGBT+ people in Bristol.

This is obviously the point at which I would point you at the Listen Again pages, but something seems to be going badly wrong with the tech. It isn’t just my show that’s affected. However, my colleagues at the station are aware of the issue had have been making backup recordings.

So, I have a copy of the show, but it isn’t hosted at Ujima. That means I’m going to have to upload it to a podcast feed before you can listen to it. And before I can do that I will have to edit out the music that is under copyright.

Hopefully I will get that done at the weekend, if not before. Please bear with me.

Today on Ujima – Birthday, SF, Basketball, Nudity & Sex Work

Today was Ujima’s 10th birthday, and I was lucky enough to be presenting the first live show of the day. Thankfully I had a line-up that lived up to the occasion.

My first guest was Heather Child, a new addition to Bristol’s superb collection of science fiction and fantasy authors. Heather’s debut novel, Everything About You, is available from Orbit and is a fascinating exploration of how an AI in a smart device can get under its owner’s skin if it knows more about you than you can remember yourself.

Next up was Emma from Bristol Flyers, the local basketball club. They will be running a summer camp for girls with a view to ramping up the quality of their female teams and entering them into the national leagues. Basketball is in an interesting position in the UK. It has the third largest level of participation of any sport, but very little government funding. That’s a shame. I might find the NBA rather dull to watch, but away from the top flight the sport is a lot of fun and very cheap and easy to play.

The first hour of the show is available on Listen Again here. The Ujima website is currently being renovated so you might see it say that there are 0 minutes to play, or that there’s an issue with Flash, but if you just click on the download link it should play fine.

I kicked off the second hour with a fair amount of giggling as Tamsin Clarke and I discussed the Naked Podcast. I very much enjoyed being a guest on the show, but of course I’m very relaxed about getting naked with groups of women because I have spent so much time in saunas in Finland. We also discussed Latin American football, and Tamsin’s next theatre project.

Finally we got to the serious politics discussion of the day. In Parliament today they have been discussing further regulation of sex work. There was a big demonstration outside, of sex workers protesting about losing their livelihood. In the studio I had Angelica from the Bristol Sex Workers Collective and Amy from One25, a charity that works with street sex workers in the city. We talked about the different ways in which women can end up in the sex trade, and the best ways to help them survive and get out. I hope our politicians will listen.

The second hour of the show is available on Listen Again here. As with hour 1, you need to click on the download link.

The music for this week’s show was as follows:

  • Americans – Janelle Monae
  • Every Breath You Take – The Police
  • Sweet Georgia Brown – Brother Bones and His Shadows
  • Jam – Michael Jackson
  • Totally Nude – Talking Heads
  • Strip – Adam Ant
  • Lady Marmalade – Patti Labelle
  • Backstreet Luv – Curved Air

As you can see, most of the songs were chosen to fit with the subject under discussion. The Janelle Monae song, however, was chosen specifically because it is July 4th today. Happy Independence Day, America. Here’s hoping you keep that precious freedom.

Today on Ujima – Trans, Music, Suffragettes & Coercive Control

Today’s show started with a first for me, a live phone-in. Ben has only done one before so he did very well getting it sorted eventually. I’m very glad he did because I had a great chat with Kate O’Donnell about her show which is coming up on Friday. Tom Marshman was in the studio with us providing cover when the phone wasn’t working, and talking about his own part in the evening.

My second guest today was the amazing local singer, Ruth Royall. She has an absolutely fabulous voice, does her own production and plays a lot of the music on her recordings, and is basically just hugely talented. I got to play a brand new song that has never been heard on radio before.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

The second hour failed to record, which is annoying, because you will miss the great chat I had with Lucienne Boyce about the special day we are putting on at M Shed to celebrate 100 years of votes for (some) women. The good news is that you can still come along to the event. You can find out more on Farcebook, or download the programme here.

I will be playing hostess in the Studio Room all day, much as I do for LGBT History Month events. I’m also on the final panel which is pretty high-powered. It has belatedly occured to me that I need a costume, or at the very least a sash.

The final segment of the show featured Charlotte Gage of Bristol Zero Tolerance talking about a form of domestic abuse known as Coercive Control. Basically this is where one person in a domestic set-up tries to completely control the behaviour of another. There are various levels to it, but it can get very serious and anyone who is being victimised in this way can now seek help.

The playlist for the show was as follows:

  • I Am What I Am – Amanda Lear
  • Any Other Way – Jackie Shane
  • 4U – Ruth Royall
  • Heart on Fire – Ruth Royall
  • Wind in My Sails – Ruth Royall
  • Sister Suffragette – Glynis Johns
  • March of the Women – Ethel Smyth, perfomed by Plymouth Choir feat. Eiddwen Harrhy
  • No Man’s Woman – Sinead O’Connor
  • I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Yesterday on Ujima – Sculpture, Gender Stereotypes & Dirty Computer

Yesterday’s show was a bit thrown together due to my being in Oxford the night before, but I think I managed to make it work. That’s thanks in part to two great guests, and in part to the inimitable Janelle Monae.

My first guest was Harriet Aston who is a fellow member of a feminist SF discussion group based in Bristol. She’s a sculptor working mainly in industrial paper. She makes large figures that don’t yet move, but with enough magic might be persuaded to do so. We talked about how people view sculpture as compared to paintings, about theatre and the Greek Chorus, and about Harriet’s upcoming show at Centrespace. And because we are geeks we also talked about Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera, which is just as wonderful as everyone says it is.

You can listen to the first half of the show here.

In part two my guest was Natalie from TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality & Respect), a wonderful Bristol-based organisation that goes into schools and colleges teaching about gender stereotypes and how to resist them. TIGER has been running an art project with local young people that is going to be exhibited at Easton Community Centre for a month from the 19th. I will be one of the speakers at the launch event on the 18th. Natalie and I spent quite a bit of time talking about toxic masculinity and the need for a men’s movement to combat it. Obviously we also talked about those silly Trans Exclusionary people (who are neither Radical nor Feminist).

You can listen to the second hour of the show here.

The music for the show came entirely from Janelle Monae. I played the whole of (the clean version of) her new album, Dirty Computer. I make no apologies for that, it is all wonderful.

Yesterday on Ujima – Hate Crime, Jazz & LGBT in Africa

There were a whole pile of significant anniversaries to consider with last weeks’ show. I’m annoyed that I missed out on wishing 90th happy birthday to Maya Angelou. I did get in that it was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. But we began the show looking back on the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Alex Raikes of SARI, Bristol’s hate crime service, joined me in the studio to look at the state of hate-based crime in the UK, and specifically in Bristol, today.

To lighten the mood a little I was joined after the news by Dave Merrick of local jazz & blues group, Small Days. Dave and his colleague, Natalie Davis, have been wowing audiences around Bristol for some time now, and they have a new show coming up at the Zion Community Arts Centre in Bedminster. The show, called “Ladies First”, is dedicated to jazz divas and will feature covers of songs from the likes of Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Nina Simone.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

My third guest of the day didn’t turn up. Thankfully she’s OK. I found an apologetic email when I got home. Sometimes life gets in the way of being on the radio. Ben the Engineer and I managed to find enough content on the fly to fill in.

In the final segment I played an interview I made at the LGBT History conference in Liverpool last month. It is with Prossy Kakooza, who works with African LGBT asylum seekers in Manchester, and Frankie Edozien, who has recently written a book on LGBT life in Africa. Annoyingly the Listen Again recording cut off with about 9 minutes of the hour to go, but I have the full recording and I’m going to put it out on one of my podcast feeds.

You can listen to (most of) the second half of the show here.

The music for yesterday’s show was as follows:

  • Winston Groovy – The Stephen Lawrence Song
  • The Specials – Nelson Mandela
  • Small Days – God Bless the Child & Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • Small Days –
  • Clipping – The Deep
  • Labi Siffre – So Strong
  • Janelle Monae – Make Me Feel
  • Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog
  • Jackie Shane – Any Other Way
  • Jama – No Borders

And if you would like to hear more from Small Days there have lots of free songs on SoundCloud.

My #IWD2018 Ujima Show

A day early for International Women’s Day, I devoted most of my show yesterday to feminist issues. However, I started out in Australia by welcoming film critic, Tara Judah, to talk about Sweet Country.

Tara is from Melbourne originally, so we had a lot to talk about. However, we did our best to keep the discussion to matters of race relations in Australia. Things continue to be pretty bad there, and I very much hope that this film shines a necessary spotlight on the situation.

After the news I started playing the interviews that I had picked up at the International Women’s Day event put on by Bristol on Saturday. They included comments from Penny Gane, Eleanor Vowles, Leonie Thomas, Rosa Taggert, Sian Webb and Elizabeth Small of Ra Cultural Consultancy.

Normally I would tell you to go to the Listen Again feature for all of this, but for some reason only 10 minutes of the first hour recorded. It is still worth it for a few minutes of Tara who is an amazing guest, but the IWD interviews are not there. Thankfully I still have the originals, and I hope to post them as a podcast at some point.

The second hour kicked off with more IWD interviews featuring No More Taboo, Sandra Gordon and Alex Raikes. The singers that Alex refers to are Pitch Fight, the Bristol University a capella group, whom you can find more about here.

The African Queens project that I talked about with Sandra is a project photographic Bristol women of color cosplaying famous women from African history. It was done for Black History Month last year. You can find out more about it here.

Finally I was joined in the studio by a couple of people I met on Saturday. Charlotte Murray is a young student who was interested in finding out more about radio, to I invited her into the studio. Jane Duffus is the editor of The Women Who Built Bristol, a fabulous collection of stories about the famous, and not so famous, women from the city’s history. If you are interested in buying the book, please order it through Bristol Women’s Voice because if you do all of the proceeds go to the charity.

Thankfully the second hour recorded correctly, and you can listen to it here.

The music for the show was as follows:

  • Walking the Dog – Jackie Shane
  • Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin
  • Make me Feel – Janelle Monae
  • Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child
  • Our Day Will Come – Amy Winehouse
  • We Are Family – Sister Sledge
  • Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
  • It’s Raining Men – Weather Girls

Sadly I had to cut off Janelle after a minute or so because I did not want to bleep out the swears. Once I have a copy of the clean radio mix I will be playing that song regularly.

Yesterday on Ujima – LGBT History & Feminism

Yesterday’s show was given over mainly to previewing the LGBT History Day that is happening at M Shed on Saturday. Full details are available here.

The first hour focused on LGBT music. I talked to Darryl Bullock about his book, David Bowie Made Me Gay, and about the queer black roots of modern popular music. Then I welcomed in my Ujima colleague, Angel Mel, who talked about what is happening on the music scene in Bristol today.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

In hour two Karen Garvey and I previewed the rest of the day’s events. We also fangirled a bit over David Olusoga’s A House Through Time TV series.

Along the way I talked about the legal case underway in Trinidad and Tobago which hopes to overturn the islands’ homophobic laws. If you want to donate to the fundraiser to cover the legal costs you can do so here.

Next up I ran an interview with Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party. With Tuesday having been the actual 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, it seemed appropriate to talk about women and politics.

Of course one of the big issues for feminism in England right now (the rest of the UK seems to be avoiding most of the nonsense) is the status of trans women. Sophie, as she always does, committed to intersectionality. However, there is a TERF* event planned for Bristol this evening and I asked a couple of young trans people from Bristol University to talk about it. Quite what the TERFs want is a mystery, especially as they call their event “We Need to Talk” but won’t tell anyone where it is and don’t want any trans people involved.

You can listen to hour 2 of the show here.

The music for the show was as follows:

  • No One Knows You When You’re Down & Out – Bessie Smith
  • Hound Dog – Big Mama Thornton
  • Jailhouse Rock – Vinyl Closet
  • Only God – Sarah Hansson
  • Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard
  • Cream – Prince
  • I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

*TERF = Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, a term invented decades ago by actual radical feminists to distinguish themselves from people who are neither radical nor feminist, but claim to be both as an excuse for persecuting trans women.

Tomorrow on Ujima

In the midst of all this I still have to do my radio show. Naturally tomorrow I am devoting most of the show to LGBT History Month. I will be joined by Daryll Bullock, a local writer whose book, David Bowie Made Me Gay, has been receiving international acclaim. Darryl will be talking to me about the queer black roots of modern popular music. He’ll be followed by Ujima’s own Angel Mel who will bring us right up to date with news of the queer music scene in Bristol.

In the second hour Karen Garvey from M Shed will pop in and we’ll preview the rest of the entertainment we have planned for Saturday. If you are in Bristol there will be loads of great talks so do pop in.

I also have a short interview with Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, that I bagged when she was in Bristol on Sunday. Naturally we talked about the 100th anniversary of (some) women getting the vote, the gender pay gap and so on.

Finally I’ll be talking about plans to hold an anti-trans event in Bristol on Thursday and how the increasingly hostile media coverage of trans issues is leading to an increase in the number of hate crimes against trans people in the region.

Ujima Today – Review of 2017

My first Ujima show of the year was today, which was also the first day we were back live on air after the holidays. Indeed, I was the first live show. I marked this by being half asleep as I had been kept awake most of last night by the storms. I do wish that the Jotun would manage to hold their New Year parties on the right night.

Anyway, as I didn’t expect that anyone would want to be a guest today, and there were no back office staff on duty, I decided to make the show a look back at 2017 and re-run some old interviews.

First up was the Sarah Pinborough interview from BristolCon 2016, which was totally 2017 news because last year was the year that Sarah changed from being a moderately successful writer of dark fantasy to a global superstar. Behind Her Eyes has sold over 100,000 copies each in paperback and ebook, and has been listed as one of the 100 top selling books of all kinds in the UK last year. Well done Sarah, I’m absolutely delighted for you. Can I come and stay with you when you buy your Caribbean island? 😉

Also in the first hour I re-ran my interview with D.B. Redfern of M-Shed about Doris the Pilosaurus, because there are still parents wondering what to do with the kids between now and school starting.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

The second hour began with a look back on the women’s cricket season with triumphs both for England and for Western Storm. That included interviews with Lisa Pagett and Stafanie Taylor.

Next up I re-ran my interview with anti-FGM campaigner and WEP parliamentary candidate, Nimco Ali.

And finally there was my interview with Nalo Hopkinson at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki.

You can listen to the second hour of the show here.

The music for today’s show was inspired partly by the New Year’s Eve shows on the BBC, and partly by the trip that Kevin and I made to New Orleans back in the days when I was allowed into the USA. The connection is the very fine Trombone Shorty & New Orleans Avenue who are this year’s discovery from my watching the Jools Holland Hootenanny.

  • The Beat – Mirror in the Bathroom
  • Trombone Shorty – Here Come the Girls
  • Cedric Watson – Zydeco Paradise
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band – When the Saints Come Marching In
  • Jamil Sharif – On the Sunny Side of the Street
  • Chic – Rebels Are We
  • Liane la Havas – Midnight
  • Jamiroquai – Blow your mind

My next show will be on February 7th and will doubtless have an LGBT History focus.

Ujima Christmas Party



Those of you in or near Bristol are warmly welcomed to the Ujima Christmas Party which is taking place in Stokes Croft next Wednesday. Looking at the start time, I’m not going to be able to make it. The Ujima crowd parties late into the night and they are not starting until the time I’d need to leave to get a train home. But don’t let that stop the rest of you. It will be a great night. Plus all ticket sales go towards helping keep Ujima on air.

You can buy tickets here.

Yesterday on Ujima – Punching Nazis, Ending Violence, Mental Health

Yesterday’s radio show began with an interview with Jonathan L. Howard whose latest Carter & Lovecraft book, After the End of the World, sees our heroes transported into a world in which the Nazis won WWII. We discussed how miraculously on point such a book appears these days, and the fabulous Crisis in Earth-X crossover event which sees Supergirl, Flash, Green Arrow and friends doing their own Nazi-punching. Of course we also discussed HPL’s racism and Jonathan’s other projects, including a zombie computer game which might destroy parts of Bristol.

Next up I was joined in the studio by Charlotte Gage of Bristol Zero Tolerance. This is a great project run by Bristol Women’s Voice that aims to make the entire city free of violence against women and girls. Of course this is a bit of an uphill struggle, but at least progress is being made.

Unfortunately, thanks to the continuing squeeze on local council funding, the project (including Charlotte’s job) is currently under threat. There’s a crowdfunding campaign going on, which you can find here, but what Charlotte really needs is for some big company to step up and sponsor the project.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

Charlotte and I continued our discussion in the second hour. We talked about how hard it is these days for any charity to get the day-to-day funding it needs to keep operating. Funding bodies are always happy to sponsor one-off projects, but these typically exclude what is called “core funding”, the stuff that keeps your organization running, and often excludes any funding for staff salaries. Up until now charities have often been able to get core funding from local councils who need their expert skills, but this is all being cut. There’s a major crisis brewing here.

We also had a brief chat about trans-inclusive feminism and the difficulty of getting any sort of dialog going. There is so much going on in feminism right now with attacks on reproductive rights, the #MeToo campaign and so on. It is a huge shame that so much time and energy is being wasted on attempts to keep trans women out of feminism.

Finally on the show I talked to Levi, a young man from Bath who has been working on a project about men’s mental health. Suicide is apparently the number one killer of young men in the UK, and the theory is that much of this happens because men are socialized not to talk about their feelings, and so have no one to turn to when things get bad. I also think that one of the main cause of violence against women is that men are socialized to believe that violence is the only properly masculine way to solve any disagreement. So this is really valuable work that Levi is doing. What’s more it has resulted in a handbook being distributed to children’s mental health services all over the country. Here’s hoping the make good use of it.

Here’s the film he and his friends made:

You can listen to the second hour of the show here.

The play list for the show was as follows:

  • Bat for Lashes – Two Planets
  • Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
  • Tracy Chapman – Behind the Wall
  • Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good
  • Renaissance – The Winter Tree
  • Isaac Hayes – Winter Snow
  • Labi Siffre – Sparrow in the Storm
  • Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing

The Labi Siffre song dates from 2006 but is even more on point now. It contains this verse:

The message written on our walls
For the strong to climb : the weak must fall.
This is heresy I guess, but could the strong
perhaps learn to live with less.

Ben, my engineer, joked that I’d be mobbed on social media for playing such heretical views. It has all been quiet thus far, so maybe the world isn’t as far gone as we think.

My next show will be on January 3rd. As I doubt that I will get any guests then, it will probably just be me playing music and highlights from 2017. If anyone wants to do a pre-record interview let me know.

Yesterday on Ujima – Babbers, Gender, History & World Fantasy

Yesterday’s show began with a chat with my Ujima colleague, Gail Bowen-Huggett. Gail is a great presenter who works on a show called Babbers. It goes out in the same time slot as mine, but on a Monday, and it caters primarily to older listeners. The Babbers team is looking to recruit new members, so Gail and I had a bit of a chat about what is involved in doing radio and how much fun it is. If you are over 55 and interested in getting involved, here’s some details of the awareness day that Gail and her colleagues are running.

The second slot should have featured another Ujima colleague, Angel Mel, but poor Mel has been struck down with the Dreaded Lurgy and consequently I had to improvise for half an hour. Fortunately I can rant for Wales about trans politics, and it is Trans Awareness Week, so I had plenty to say. Mainly it was about Trans Pride South West and about the forthcoming changes to the Gender Recognition Act.

You can listen to the first half of the show here.

At 13:00 I was joined by Leonie Thomas from Bristol University. She is an expert on the history of women in radio, in particular in the early 20th Century. She was there to talk about Una Marson who was the first black woman to front a BBC show. This is the YouTube clip that Leonie and I talked about.

Finally I had an interview with GV Anderson about her success in the World Fantasy Awards. You can find her award-winning story here.

Sadly the recording appears to have cut out after 38 minutes of the final hour. You can catch all of Leonie’s interview here. The interview with GV Anderson is not all there, but it was a pre-record and I have a rather longer version that I will put on Salon Futura fairly soon.

The playlist for the show was:

  • Jamiroiquai – Cosmic Girl
  • Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
  • Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu – Q.U.E.E.N.
  • Sylvester – Mighty Real
  • Duke Ellington – It Don’t Mean a Thing
  • Maya Angelou – Stone Cold Dead in the Market
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy
  • Bat for Lashes – The Wizard

My next show will be on December 6th and will feature Jonathan L. Howard talking about his latest book, After the End of the World.

Ujima Tomorrow

As there are five Wednesday’s in this November I have volunteered to fill a gap in the schedule by doing an extra Women’s Outlook show tomorrow. I’ll be on at the usual time of Noon-14:00 and my topics this week will be:

  • How older people can get on the radio
  • Diversity in the Bristol music scene
  • A Caribbean woman presenter on the BBC during WWII
  • An interview with GV Anderson

As usual you can listen live online, and I will post the Listen Again links when I get a chance (though probably not tomorrow as I have a very busy day).

Today on Ujima – Black History, Egyptians, Menopause & Underworld Goddesses

October is a ridiculously busy month in Bristol, being both Black History Month and the time when all of the literary festivals happen. As I had devoted all of my October show to books, I decided to do something for Black History Month at the start of November. I’d only be a few hours late, after all.

So I began the show talking to my good friend, Dr. Olivette Otele of Bath Spa University, who is probably the best known black historian working in the UK. We had a great chat about a whole range of issues to do with black history, including The John Blanke Project.

That was followed up with more black history, albeit with a fantasy twist, as I welcomed local author, Justin Newland, to talk about his novel, The Genes of Isis. Justin and I managed to wander onto all sorts of topics, including the Theosophists.

Normally at this point I would direct you to the Listen Again service, but for some reason the file for the first hour of the show is only 7 minutes long. I will check with the station tomorrow, but I have an awful feeling there has been a software glitch.

The second hour began with Dr. Isabel de Salis of Bristol University talking about the Great Menopause Event. Yes, this was more taboo-busting. I have a ticket for it, and will report back in due course.

Finally on the show I welcomed Deborah Ward who is running a course on Storytelling the Underworld. Deborah and I discovered a common passion for ancient goddesses, in particular Inanna. We may have geeked out somewhat.

Thankfully hour 2 of the show recorded correctly.

The playlist for the show was as follows:

  • Eddy Grant – African Kings
  • Cedric Watson & Bijou Créole – Le Sud de la Louisiane
  • The Bangles – Walk like an Egyptian
  • Peter Gabriel – Here comes the Flood
  • Lianne la Havas – Midnight
  • Little Feat – Old Folks Boogie
  • The Herd – From the Underworld
  • The Pretenders – Hymn to Her

Because November has five Wednesdays in it, I will be doing an extra show on the 15th. In the meantime, if you are local, check out Miranda’s 2:00pm Friday show when she will be interviewing the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees.

Today on Ujima – Art, Literature, Feminist SF and Vampires

Today’s show was full on culture, starting off with the fabulous Amy Powell from Bristol Art for All, an amazing organization that looks to provide cheap or free art courses that anyone can be involved in (even a total klutz like me).

Next up we had Amy Morse from the Bristol Festival of Literature previewing all of the fabulous events they have lined up for this year. The Festival is bookended by Bristol Horror Con (on Friday 13th, naturally) and by BristolCon (on the 28th). Of particular interest will be Stories of Strong Women – Unconventional Heroines on Friday October 20th. This features not only me, but also Lucienne Boyce, Virginia Bergin, Jean Burnett and Becky Walsh.

You can listen to the first hour of the show here.

Talking of Virginia, she was my guest for the third segment of the show. Most of the discussion focused on her latest novel, Who Runs the World, which is a YA take on the classic “world without men” trope.

And finally I welcomed Anna and Orla from the Food and Theatre Company who specialize in immersive dining events. In October they will be staging Loco Lost Boys in the tunnels beneath Temple Meads station, where the audience can enjoy a fine meal and hopefully avoid becoming a tasty snack for the local vampires.

You can listen to the second hour of the show here.

It being Black History Month, I decided to have all of the music from amazing black women who are no longer with us. We did the whole gamut from Josephine Baker to Whitney Houston. Here’s the playlist:

  • Aretha Franklin – Respect
  • Josephine Baker – Blue Skies
  • Billie Holiday – These Foolish Things
  • Big Mamma Thornton – Let Your Tears Fall Baby
  • Bessie Smith – A Good Man is Hard to Find
  • Ella Fitzgerald – Everyone’s Wrong But Me
  • Memphis Minnie – Doctor Doctor Blues
  • Whitney Houston – Love Will Save the Day

On the subject of Ujima, we are running a fundraiser for disaster relief in Dominica tomorrow night at the Watershed. It is 10:00pm – 1:00am, so not the sort of time I can be in Bristol, but if you are around please consider dropping by.