Passing the Mic to the Global South! Armed Conflict, Migration, Human Rights, Anti-Corruption. Local and decolonized perspectives on the events shaping our world, through interviews with people working at the grassroots and on the front lines.
113: An Audio Diary from Gaza
46:43We have been wanting to bring you voices from inside Gaza since the very start of the current atrocities, but for what are obvious reasons this has proven to be extremely difficult, especially after Israel cut all communication lines and mobile phone networks in Gaza, in the prelude to their ground invasion. However, a student from our Palestine Podcast Academy, Shahd Safi, has managed to send me a series of daily audio diary entries detailing her experiences and her feelings in recent days. Shahd is from al Nuseirat Refugee camp in Central Gaza, a camp that has been subjected to repeated bombardments by Israel over the past few weeks. A Palestinian friend of mine, who invited me to his home in Nuseirat camp during my stay in Gaza, has lost nine family members to the airstrikes on the refugee camp in recent weeks. Shahd joins us from Rafah, in the South of Gaza, where she moved two years ago. However, the situation in Rafah is far from safe. Please visit the post for this episode at LatitudeAdjustmentPod.com for links to Shahd's recent articles documenting her experiences, links to organizations (whom we personally recommend) who working to provide relief to Palestinians, and to supplemental resources for continuing your education on this subject and to aid you in your efforts to educate your communities. You can support Latitude Adjustment Podcast by signing up to make a monthly donation to our Patreon page.
112: Colonialism in Global Public Health
1:01:03Why don’t we see more African researchers presenting at global Public Health conferences and in US and European research journals? Who determines which public health issues are prioritized in Africa? What is Public Health and “Vaccine Apartheid”? What do these insights reveal about the current state of our Public Health discourse on the global scale? It’s impossible to isolate the conversation around public health in the Global South from the topic of colonialism and anti-Blackness more generally. What’s more, while Africa and Africans continue to be presented with unique challenges and forms of discrimination, it would be a tragic oversight to assume that the factors contributing to global health disparities are limited to the African context. Insights that are applicable to Africa, are not only applicable to the Global South, and to minority populations in the Global North more generally, but these insights frequently map out the grounds and the various avenues for solidarity amongst similarly impacted populations and all people looking to dismantle oppressive structures. Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). She holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and a Master of Science in Community Health and Health Management from the University of Heidelberg. Prior to her graduate studies, Catherine studied medicine at Makerere University, Kampala, after which she worked as a medical officer in Western Uganda for three years. In 2018, Catherine was elected as a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and in 2019, she was selected as a Joep Lange Chair at the University of Amsterdam; a position in which she investigates chronic disease management in African countries. She is the co-director of the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), a program that seeks to build and strengthen the capacity of African research leaders and has trained more than 230 PhD fellows in eight African universities. Support independent and in-depth coverage of the underreported issues that shape our world, by supporting Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon today!
111: Death and Corruption in the Shadows - The Global Arms Trade
1:29:08While the global arms industry may only account for about one percent of global trade, it’s important to note what that one percent actually buys. Beyond the price tags on the weapons themselves, arms and arms sales have a tremendous impact on all other aspects of global trade, and on relations between trade partners and competitors. This week's episode is a collaboration between journalist Paul Cochrane and Latitude Adjustment Podcast. Our guest, Andrew Feinstein, is the author of the best-selling book, "The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade", published in 2011. In his review Noam Chomsky writes, "This shocking expose unveils a shadow world of corruption, greed, slaughter, and other horrors, tawdry and gruesome in its criminality. It must be brought to a quick and final end". Shadow World was turned into an award winning documentary film, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. Andrew currently resides in the UK with his wife and children, and much of his current work is focused on Shadow World Investigations, an investigative news website focused on global corruption, often involving, but not limited to, the global arms trade. Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast's coverage of underreportedhuman rights issues around the world by signing up for a monthly donation through our Patreon account, today!
110: Solidarity Rising for Western Sahara
1:19:52In 1975 Spain formally ended its colonization of "Spanish Sahara", but instead of ceding control to the indigenous Sahrawi population Spain instead handed the keys to its former colony to the Moroccan regime. For nearly 50 years the Sahrawi people of illegally occupied Western Sahara have been subjected to a brutal regime of settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, resource-theft, and the violent suppression of all dissent including the systematic use of rape and torture by the Moroccan authorities. Meanwhile, more than 170,000 Sahrawi refugees have been left to languish in refugee camps in the harsh desert of Western Algeria, separated from Western Sahara by the second longest wall in the world, with 75% of their food aid having been cut in the past year by the World Food Program. All of this while the world largely turns away, content to purchase cheap phosphates and fish that have been pillaged from Sahrawi territory by Morocco. Using its veto in the UN, France has rendered MINURSO effectively useless, making it the only UN peacekeeping force in the world without a mandate to report on human rights. More recently the US, Spain, and Israel have chosen to break with decades of international consensus and to legitimize Morocco's illegal occupation. For a quick speed-history lesson of the Sahrawi struggle, be sure to listen to the short podcast that immediately precedes this episode: "Africa's Last Colony". Swedish activists Sanna Ghotbi and Benjamin Ladraa combine to make Solidarity Rising. Having left Sweden on their bicycles on May 15th, 2022, Solidarity Rising is their initiative to cycle around the world while educating the public about the oppression of the Sahrawi people and to mobilize Morocco's allies to change their policies. Support our independent reporting on the world's underrported human rights issues by signing up for a monthly contribution to Latitude Adjustment Podcast on our Patreon page!
Africa's Last Colony - Understanding Western Sahara
15:38Where is Western Sahara? What is Western Sahara? Is it a country? Who lives there? If you find yourself unable to answer any of these questions, or if you want a resource that will help you to quickly explain the history and the current political realities around Africa's last colony to your friends and to your community, this short episode was created for you. Latitude Adjustment Podcast is also working on plans to complete a multimedia documentary series, working on the ground with Sahrawi refugees in Western Algeria, and in collaboration two former guests of the show. You can find more information on that developing project on our website, at LastAfricanColony.com
109: The American Roots of African Homophobia
1:21:42What we are seeing now in the US, with the rollback of so many progressive victories, and with the passage of bigoted legislation towards sexual minorities, is in many ways the final stage of a decades-long strategy by violent strains of American Christian Evangelism. That strategy has seen Africa used as a testing ground in an ideological war against sexual minorities. And that war has returned home with a vengeance; newly emboldened, with more support, and with a more focused strategic vision. Reverend Doctor Kapya Kaoma is an Anglican priest from Zambia, a human rights activist, and one of the central figures in the documentary film, “God Loves Uganda”. Kapya is also a researcher, and the author of several books, including “American Culture Warriors in Africa”, “Christianity, Globalization, and Protective Homophobia.” He has testified before the US Congress, US State Department, and the United Nations. Though he has also focused on Environmental Ethics, much of his research and advocacy work focuses on the targeting of the LGBTQIA community in Africa and the Christian Evangelical and Catholic roots of this persecution. See below for links to organizations in Africa that are in need of your support for their work on the front lines. Free Block 13 (Kenya) SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda) Transbantu Association (Zambia) Support our independent human rights journalism by supporting Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon today!
108: Assad's "Human Slaughterhouse" - Surviving Sednaya
1:05:19Omar Alshogre is currently 28 years old. He was first arrested at 15 for attending a protest against the Al Assad regime, and was arrested a total of 11 times between 2011 and 2013. His last arrest, in 2012, along with the arrests of two of his cousins, led to his incarceration in the Branch 215 military intelligence detention center for 21 months, where he experienced torture on a daily basis. In 2014 he was transferred to Sednaya prison, where he experienced even more brutal forms of torture, and where prisoners were subjected to summary execution for talking without permission. During his period of incarceration, Omar was also forced to remove the bodies of prisoners and to mark their foreheads for identification. Many of the systematic abuses of Syria’s Al Assad regime have been visually documented in the 2014 Syria Detainee Report, or the Caesar Report. Caesar is the alias for a photographer with the Syrian Military police who worked in secret with a Syrian opposition group to leak graphic images of the torture, starvation, and murder of prisoners at the hands of the al Assad regime. The report documents "the systematic killing of more than 11,000 detainees by the Syrian government in one region during the Syrian Civil War over a two and half year period from March 2011 to August 2013". Human Rights Watch spent six months investigating the authenticity of the photographic evidence and concluded that it was genuine. Signed into law by President Trump in 2019, the Caesar Act, or Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, is a set of sanctions against the Al Assad regime for war crimes against the Syrian civilian population. After suspending Syria from the Arab League for 12 years, last month the Arab League voted unanimously to readmit Syria’s Al Assad regime. Omar Alshogre is a public speaker and human rights advocate, who endured three years of unjust imprisonment and torture in Syria before being smuggled out and brought to safety. Currently, he serves as the Director of Detainees Affairs for the Syrian Emergency Task Force and the spokesperson for Atrocities Tracker, dedicating himself to the critical cause of advocating for the release of those unjustly detained. Omar has spoken before the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, and presented his insights at several world-renowned universities, organizations, and news outlets including Harvard, Georgetown, CNN, and Aljazeera. Episode 27: Assil Alnaser - Protestor. Prisoner. Student. Syrian Woman Episode 65: Nour Qurmosh - On the Ground in Idlib, Syria Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon!
107: Understanding the War in Sudan
1:14:01On April 15th war broke out in Sudan. The fighting between the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group and the Sudanese army has devastated Khartoum, spread across the country, and an estimated 1,800 people have lost their lives, with hundreds of thousands displaced. Dalia AbdelMoniem joins us from the UK, where she has been living since fleeing the war in April, after a missile struck her home. Dalia is a former journalist who moved back to Sudan in 2013 after living in Egypt for more than two decades. For more information about how you can help the people of Sudan you can follow the following organizations and individuals: Nazim Sirag, for Sudan advocacy updates and information about how to help. HomeTax Sudan (for donations) Jia | Juwayria Sudanese American Medical Association Hadhreen | حاضرين Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon!
106: From Kabul to Canada (2 of 2)
1:16:18This is the second of a two-part series about Basir Bita’s escape from Afghanistan after the US withdrawal in August, 2021. In this second half of his story, Basir shares his experiences getting from Pakistan to Canada, the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, the double-standards in Western moralizing, and navigating the prejudices and stereotypes that refugees often face. Be sure to listen to part one, about the fall of Kabul and about his family’s escape from Afghanistan after the US withdrawal in August of 2021. Also be sure to listen to our interview with Afghan photographer and interpreter Abdul Saboor, who escaped overland to France. And our field reports and interviews with refugees in Greece. And support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon!
105: Abandoned in Afghanistan (1 of 2)
1:30:02On August 30th 2021, the US and its coalition partners ended their nearly twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan. Two weeks before they left, the Taliban swept across the country taking major urban centers, including Kabul. As embassies were abandoned, and as Afghans government officials fled the country, those Afghan citizens who had worked with the occupying forces faced the very real prospect of execution by the Taliban as collaborators. Yet, just Afghan interpreters had been abandoned in years past, many were left behind when the last US flight left the country. Now they, and the millions of Afghans who never had any hope of being evacuated to begin with, were left to scramble for their survival. Basir Bita last appeared on Latitude Adjustment Podcast just two weeks before the Taliban takeover of Kabul, and a month before US and international forces left the country. Though he and his family had been issued a visa for his work with the Canadian government, they were left behind. This episode is the first of a two-part series in which Basir recounts what happened next. This is the first of a two-part episode. Also, be sure to listen to our last episode with Basir, before the fall of Kabul.Our interview with Afghan photographer and interpreter Abdul Saboor, who escaped over land to France. And our field reports and interviews with refugees in Greece. Support Latitude Adjustment Podcast on Patreon!