Thoughts 22.09.20

Lifting Barriers at Fold7


We are a curious lot. It’s one of our values because we believe endless curiosity and interest in fresh thinking will spark our creativity. We love to hear people’s stories and challenges, our FoldSchool sessions (lunch and learns) are highlights in our month, we love to explore new places (perhaps closer to home this year) and we love to enjoy podcasts, tv, books and documentaries and broaden our curious minds even more.

In the spirit of inclusivity and our pledge to help grow as employers and employees, we have been sharing recommendations twice a day (during our usual commuting hours) podcasts, tv programmes, pieces of art and poetry as an introduction to a wider spectrum of commuter and post-work stimulation.

We’ve heard from and watched worlds and lived experiences we, candidly, have not before. We’ve also heard from and watched worlds we are familiar with, and that have only re-ignited our love for these first-hand accounts and experiences.

We thought we would share a few of our favourite recommendations with you, too. The list below is a taste of what we’ve been enjoying. For more Lifting Barriers recommendations; head over to our Instagram feed:

The Pleasure Podcast
Candice Brathwaite on Black British Motherhood

Author Candice Brathwaite talks to hosts Naomi Sheldon and Anand Patel about being a British, black mother and a British, black woman – her empowerment and her eye-opening insight into the poor treatment of black women during pregnancy and labour. She is also fantastic at championing her husband (and other black men) who are challenging and destroying the absent father stereotype they so often are included in. Candice offers a really refreshing take on motherhood, status and representations of British family life.

Candice’s book; I Am Not Your Baby Mother:

Growing Up with gal-dem Podcast
Munroe Bergdorf on toxic relationships

Growing Up with gal-dem comes from the online publishing phenomenon and resource for young, black women. The limited series cover blackness, mental health, creativity, activism, friendships and toxic relationships. The interviewers clearly research all topics within an inch of their life, show empathy to their interviewees and encourage laughter.

Our recommended episode is with Munroe Bergdorf, LGBTQ+ activist, model and spokesperson. She is out-spoken in the best way possible, likeable and offers a very personal POV. The interview encourages honesty, sharing and reflects the tone of the online magazine – to speak out, to be curious, to be proud and to champion yourself.

Doing It Right with Pandora Sykes Podcast
Sinead Burke

Pandora Sykes hosts a podcast in conjunction with her first book release. Pandora interviews people that are experts in their field about their work, life, hopes, fears and trivialities; as life is made up of all these things.

In our recommended episode, Pandora interviews Sinead Burke; a disability advocate and educator who is also a fashion writer and consultant. Her life goal is to make the world more accessible and society to be more inclusive. She speaks with real heart, kindness, intelligence and throughout you’ll find yourself going ‘ohhhhhh yeahhhh!’ as she points out aspects of the world we live in that are physically not inclusive.

Another eye opening opportunity to listen to Sinead would also be her inspiring TedTalk; you’ll be thinking about it whenever you use a public bathroom, go to the supermarket or try on clothes in a shop.

Ted Talk:

Free Meek
Meek Mill

This 5 part docuseries follows rapper Meek Mill (real name Robert Rihmeek Williams) after his own incarceration and lengthy (un-just) probation period. With producers like Jay Z on board, the production value is high and access all areas into the fight Meek Mill is fighting.

The docuseries shows his advocacy for justice reform, he uses his celebrity status and platform to speak for others who don’t have a voice and challenges the systemic problem many are facing. You can feel the passion and the potency of what he (and others interviewed) stands for which makes you want to carry the torch for justice reform too. It dips in and out of a dramatisation of Meek’s misdemeanour and picks apart the prosecution’s argument for the charges and the decision of such a long probation.

Easily digestible in 30min episodes and first-hand accounts that leave you begging for more; hunker down this weekend and get stuck in – you won’t regret it.

Available on Amazon Prime:

African Renaissance; When Art Meets Power (Episode 1: Ethiopia)
Afua Hirsch

In the first of three episodes; Hirsch goes to Ethiopia to tell its history through famous figures, art, music and tragedy. From interviews with artists, performers and family members of notable people; the story of Ethiopia comes to life.

We learn more about Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 til 1974 (with a time in exile during World War 2). We hear about his unlikely companionship with suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, his affiliation with Jamaica through the religion after his name – Rastafarianism – and his fall from grace as he ignored 3 years of famine in his country leading to mass deaths of his people.

We learn of the communism that came after Selassie’s reign and although with prosperity at the beginning, what followed was the Red Terror, the killing of roughly 1 million people in the name of political regression.

Hirsch also raises a good point that the famine in the 80s that we remember through the lens of Bob Geldof and Live Aid/Band Aid is generally the image we have of Africa as a whole even now. This white lens we see Africa through often negates the modern, thriving Africa – and Ethiopia – we have in 2020.

Other episodes in the limited series are about Senegal and Kenya.