Forest 404 – BBC Radio 4: I am not the biggest fan of audio drama, although I do have a couple of regular exceptions to the rule such as The Truth and Everything is Alive. Here’s another exception. BBC describes it as immersive sci-fi drama with unique soundscapes and accompanying talks. The story is set in a future with no trees and the protagonist’s job is to delete the excessive bytes of data irresponsibly created by the humans of ‘the slow times’ (us!). The storyline is whatever you call the audio equivalent of a page turner. Each episode is then accompanied by a short talk (<10 mins) from an of expert about some aspect of nature and humans. Then there’s also a nature soundscape for each episode.
We Don’t Say That – Rough Translation: This episode describes some fascinating linguistic issues relating to how the French language describes blackness (as in people who are black). And introduces some particularly admirable people out to change the French language for the better.
The Chinese Surveillance State – The Daily: This two part episode gives a good overview into the crazy shit that has been rolled out in China over the past ten or so years. The first part focuses on Kashgar, a mostly Uyghur city in Xinjiang, in the far north west of China. Security was already pretty intense when I went to Kashgar in 2011. Now it sounds dystopian. The second part tell the story of a family torn apart by the ‘reeducation camps’ where Uyghurs are being sent en masse. Warning these episodes are quite harrowing.