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The Compass

Podcast The Compass
Podcast The Compass

The Compass


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  • Green energy: Transport
    Allan Little looks at the challenges we face as we wean ourselves off gas and oil to renewable sources powering our cars, trucks, ships and aeroplanes. Green transport is crucial to a net zero future, but how transparent are the supply chains bringing the world the components we need? And how green is the electricity we are using to power electric cars anyway? Cobalt and Lithium, two essential minerals crucial for electric car batteries are mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chile - and at great human and environmental cost. Transport accounts for over a third of our Carbon Dioxide emissions worldwide; there is no other option but to switch to electric vehicles. However motorists are often still sceptical about electric cars; they’re perceived to be expensive, difficult to recharge and unable to manage long distances. One of the biggest motor companies in the world, Ford, has just launched its first Electric Truck – targeting America’s blue-collar workers with this rugged, powerful, green machine. Will it work? Apart from driving, it is being marketed as offering independence and freedom from the grid; at the flick of a switch the trucks can send electricity back the other way, and can power a home for days. Image: A miner collects small chunks of cobalt inside the CDM (Congo DongFang Mining) Kasulo mine in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018 (Credit: Sebastian Meyer via Getty Images)
  • The reclaimers: The games people play
    As the former ‘British Empire Games’ draws nearer, actor and musician Kema Sikazwe finds out what the world of museums can learn from the communities, artists and curators who are struggling to reclaim global stories about their culture and identity. Kema sees photographer Vanley Burke’s new exhibition, Blood and Fire, curated with Candice Nembhard at Soho House, former home of Matthew Bolton. At the Museum and Gallery, he meets members of We Are Birmingham who have remodelled the iconic round room. With the Commonwealth Games in full swing, Kema also hears how refugees, and members of the LGBT+ communities are ensuring their voices are heard within the cultural festival accompanying the sporting events Presenter: Kema Sikazwe Producer: Will Sadler and Andy Jones A Radio Film production for BBC World Service (Photo: Choma Museum. Credit: Radio Film)
  • The reclaimers: Into the valley
    Travelling from Lusaka to the Gwembe Valley and then on to Kabwe, Kema Sikazwe hears from people living in communities where artefacts were taken. In the shadow of the Kariba Dam, Kema meets people who were forced from their land when the valley was flooded who explain how promises made at the time have not been kept. Finally, at the lead-mining site where the Broken Hill Skull was discovered in Kabwe 1921, Kema meets former workers who describe how their homes remain contaminated, more than 25 years on, the UN estimates they are among 300,000 people living on toxic ground. Producer: Andy Jones and Will Sadler A Radio Film production for BBC World Service (Photo: Kema Sikawaze stands next to the Broken Hill man skull. Credit: Radio Film)
  • The reclaimers: Return to Zambia
    Returning to Zambia for the first time since he was three years old, Kema Sikazwe continues his journey exploring the impact of colonial legacies through museum collections. Since 1972, Zambians have campaigned to reclaim the ‘Broken Hill Skull’ from Britain. Kema learns what has led to the current stalemate, as the repatriation movement gathers pace. Kema also meets Zambian creatives who are fabricating their own interpretations of history with ‘digital repatriation’ initiatives, creating new artefacts in response to stories inspired by 3D scans and photographs. (Photo: Kema Sikazwe holds up a matchbox designed using motifs inspired by Zambian objects taken from the country. Credit: Radio Film)
  • The reclaimers: Bronzes and Birmingham
    Actor and musician Kema Sikazwe is on a mission to uncover his own personal history as he leaves the UK to return to his homeland of Zambia for the first time since he was three years old. As Kema travels, he learns how museums are telling the uncomfortable stories behind some of the objects in their collection. He joins pupils from his old primary school learning why The Great North Museum in Newcastle is offering to return an ancient musical instrument to Nigeria. Arriving in Birmingham, Sara Wajid, co-director of Birmingham Museums explains how 'decolonising museums' goes way beyond returning objects. He also meets legendary photographer Vanley Burke, putting together a new exhibition with curator Candice Nembhard at the former home of a famous industrialist in Handsworth. Meeting the young members of We Are Birmingham, Kema hears how they have been challenged to transform the iconic round room at Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery, and seeks their advice on how best to approach his own forthcoming journey. Presenter: Kema Sikazwe Producer: Andy Jones and Will Sander A Radio Film production for BBC World Service (Photo: Kema holds up a coin in the Future Coin museum)

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