This week, we’ve not only given up our counties format but we’re eschewing many of our regular features for a very special ‘The 8th’ film special.
The 8th opened this year’s Galway Film Fleadh on Tuesday, albeit in a digital capacity, but has still managed to excite both feminists and film lovers alike with both subject and style. We’re joined by the 3 co-directors Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy and Maeve O’Boyle to talk about the making of the film, releasing it in a COVID world and the films onwards journey.
This week, we delve into the world of QAnon. Una and Andrea discuss the genesis of a conspiracy turned community turned cult-like structure that has seen an increased real-life impact, from its followers running for public office in the US, to people losing family members and friends who are falling down a Q-shaped rabbit hole. Aoife Gallagher from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue joins us to talk about where QAnon came from and where it’s going. Also, in this episode, Andrea is out and about while Una remains in her bunker, a new government is formed with some very random ministers, and the Great Hotel Buffet Debate.
The overspill of people on to the streets as a result of our socialising being restricted to public space because cafes, pubs and restaurants are closed has really highlighted the lack of amenities we have in our towns and cities when the commercial providers are taken out of the mix.
Which begs the question, who is public space for (or not as the case may be) and can we enjoy it if we’re not spending money? We talk to Joan O’Connell from Streets Are For People and Green Party Cllr Claire Byrne about the seating situation as well as the anticipation around the PfG votes.
This month on BYLINE, we’re joined by one of the most vital voices in American journalism today, Sarah Kendzior.
Kendzior is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America, and her latest brilliant assessment of American carnage, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America.
Kendzior rose to fame as the urgency in her voice grew throughout 2016 when she warned about the likelihood of Donald Trump’s election win, and has since laid out – with terrifying accuracy – his kleptocratic actions since then.
She is also the co-host with Andrea Chalupa of the podcast Gaslit Nation, which you can support on Patreon.
BYLINE is our monthly series where we talk to excellent journalists reporting on the stories that matter. In this episode, we talk to Kendzior about her formative years in journalism, the power of being an outsider, the transnational crime syndicate that is the Trump administration and its hangers on, the Russian mafia, the upcoming November election, Qanon, and more.
It’s the Notorious PfG. What does it mean? What’s in there? What’s not?
Una has her reading glasses on as she runs through the Programme for Government agreed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and the Greens with now the parties and their members needing to agree that the document and coalition is worth going for.
Joining us to talk about the economic aspects of the document, is Aidan Regan, Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD.
One of the biggest talking points during this pandemic has been about the reopening of hairdressers and the greater beauty industry. Beauty is important to Irish people. But what is beauty? As beauty ideals constantly evolve and change, has our time in lockdown- staring at ourselves on zoom calls -changed our perception of how we relate to these ideals? And even if we think we reject these beauty ideals, is that a moral statement in itself?
So often the subject of beauty and its industry is overlooked by philosophers, but what greater definition of self is there than the visual one we project to the world? So we were extremely happy to be joined by Heather Widdows who is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham and Co-lead of the Beauty Demands Project and #everydaylookism activist. She is also the author of Perfect Me.
This week’s episode is about how Ireland is racist, how and why it’s up to white people to sort that out, and how constantly asking black people and people of colour to hand-hold, educate, and “help” white people do that work is part of the problem. D.I.Y.
We also discuss the impact of the Black Lives Matter protest in Dublin, the generational shift in visibility, solidarity, and anti-racist activism, how young black people and people of colour in Ireland have become the backbone of contemporary Irish pop culture, and the tensions in Insta-activism.
Una initially planned to speak with the actor Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful, Katy Keane) about the impact of lockdown on the film and television industry. A Puerto Rican New Yorker, Jonny is a rising star in television. So what happens when production stalls? But as New York became the epicentre of the covid-19 pandemic and Jonny’s family was impacted, and then the Black Lives Matter protests took hold of the city, this conversation grew into a snapshot of what it’s like to be an artist in NYC right now. It’s hot outside, and tensions are rising. Here’s Jonny’s view from Washington Heights.
Curtain twitchers, lockdown Stasi, narcs and snitches; the lockdown has caused many people to internalise surveillance, compete for social capital through rule abidance, and assert themselves by shaming others. But where does surveillance capitalism fit in all of this? Should we be worried about contact tracing apps – and not in a tinfoil hat kinda way? We’re joined by the mighty Liz Carolan to talk about tech and tracing.