The Commute is a podcast for South Africans, at home and across the world, who are interested in ideas and questions and what they might mean for South Africa. Hosted by me, Jessica van Onselen, it’s a great way to keep your ears company during your taxi/ car/ aeroplane/ bicycle/ train commute. And if your commute is longer – listen to several in a row! Designed to provide a high value explainer from experts, The Commute gives you, the smart South African, the big ideas in small bites. Series 1 available right here, or subscribe on iTunes.
Episode 5: The idea of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ push
Xi Jinping, President of China, just got the go ahead to become president for life when his party abolished term limits. Who is Xi? Should South Africa worry about all those lovely loans it took from China? And what is the not-exactly-well-named “One Belt One Road” initiative announced in 2017? Jessica talks to Cobus van Staden, co-host of the awesome China-Africa Podcast. who explains it all. The links Cobus mentions in this show are: the South African Institute of International Affairs China reporting and the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University. You can listen to the China Africa podcast here: http://www.chinaafricaproject.com
Episode 4: The idea of a (functional?) Arts Ministry
Sometimes it feels like South Africa’s Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) is a big nothing-burger. But given South Africa’s extraordinary artistic talent pool (Trevor Noah, Black Coffee, Dada Masilo, Andile Ndlovu, Zanele Muholi etc etc etc), why do they seem to suck? Jessica talks to acclaimed playwright Mike van Graan to see if this is a fair assessment, and what the problems might be.
Episode 3: The idea of Bitcoin
South Africa topped the charts in 2017 for Google searches for the word ‘Bitcoin’. What is Bitcoin? Why is everyone so excited about cryptocurrencies? Will I be able to buy my groceries at Woolies using Bitcoin soon? Jessica speaks to Claire Ingram Bogusz to learn more about this amazing new world. You can visit Claire’s website at www.clairebogusz.com The links Claire mentions in the interview are: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/09/a-decentralized-web-would-give-power-back-to-the-people-online/ and https://news.earn.com/thoughts-on-tokens-436109aabcbe And Claire recommends this great online course on how Bitcoin and Cryptos work.
Episode 2: The idea of Vladimir Putin
We know Vladimir Putin likes to pose shirtless while hunting bears, and that he and Donald Trump have something special going on, but how much we do know about the man himself? Jessica van Onselen continues her conversation with Professor Irina Filatova about Putin and South Africa. The books mentioned in this show are: – ANC: The view from Moscow (1999) by Vladimir Shubin and – The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era (2013) by Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson.
Episode 1: The idea of the USSR & the ANC
It’s Episode 1 of this brand new South African podcast, the Commute! We all know vaguely that the Soviet Union supported the ANC under Apartheid, and many of the USSR’s ideas from the 60s and 70s still permeate ANC’s big policy ideas. Jessica van Onselen talks to Professor Irina Filatova about Russian South African relations under Apartheid, and the traces we can see of it today. The books mentioned in this show are: – ANC: The view from Moscow (1999) by Vladimir Shubin – The Hidden Thread: Russia and South Africa in the Soviet Era (2013) by Irina Filatova and Apollon Davidson.