September 21, 2020No Comments

Belarus Protests: An Interview

Please note this interview was recorded in August 2020.

"Uchadi", or "Go away" -- these are the chants echoing through the streets of Belarus almost every day for the past month. The people are protesting against their leader of 26 years, Alekrandr Lukashenko, who's been accused of manipulating the outcome of the presidential election on 9th August. Official results have granted him a sixth term in office, but the Belarusian people are not buying it and are protesting against electoral fraud.

Since August, people have hit the streets every day to show their dissatisfaction and the government hasn’t shied away from using violence to keep them quiet. In vain.

34-year old Olya from Minsk has been protesting regularly since the presidential election results have been revealed. She is employed in the IT industry, leading a team of business analysts.

IT is an important and developing sector in Belarus, bringing the country significant revenue in foreign currency.

Olya is giving us an inside look into what's been going on in the country and shares her hopes and dreams for the future. I hope you enjoy.

June 14, 2020No Comments

The Isolation Series: The End

It’s been a while since my last isolation series show and while I’d received some wonderful recordings in the last month, unfortunately due to personal reasons I was unable to dedicate the time that I needed to continue with this audio project. Regardless, I still wanted to say thank you to everyone who submitted stories and shared their thoughts on the lockdown with me, thank you to all the listeners for taking the time to connect and write messages to me. They’ve all been very much appreciated.

In the last few weeks, many of the lockdown measures have been lifted and step by step things have been going back to normal. Berlin is quickly coming back to life, it’s like the entire city has woken up from its winter’s rest. It feels good to see the streets fill up with laughter again. That’s the Berlin I was hoping to meet, that’s the Berlin I had imagined – energetic, vibrant and blooming.

And yet, it still feels wrong to me not to wrap up the isolation series with one last submission. That’s why I’d like to share with you the monologue by Lois Down from Scotland. Her story very much feels like a new beginning. She takes a look back on what the last few months have meant to us internally and how they’ve changed the way we perceive life. It sparks positivity for what’s yet to come, which is why it’s a perfect way to end this series. Thank you for everyone who listened, on to the show. This is Lois Downs, I hope you enjoy.

April 26, 2020No Comments

The Isolation Series: Part III

You'll hear from Charlotte in Edinburgh, Scotland, Katharina, an Austrian in Washington, D.C. who works for the International Monetary Fund and Raquel in Andorra, whose grandfather sadly passed away during the Coronavirus pandemic. Music by Chris Haugen.

Listen to Part I here.

Listen to Part II here.

April 21, 2020No Comments

The Isolation Series: Part II

In the second part of the Isolation Series you'll here from Mica from Wales, Moriah, an American living in Madrid and Daniel, an American in Montevideo, Uruguay.

April 13, 2020No Comments

The Isolation Series: Part I

It’s my fifth week in lockdown here in Berlin and I’ve been thinking a lot about my family. My parents who are in Austria have been self-isolating for over a month now. My stepdad hasn’t left the house once because he is part of the group who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus. They are still lucky to have a garden to enjoy the warm days of spring which so many people don’t. Some of my family members live in Russia and my 82-year-old grandmother resides in Belarus, a country whose leader, despite urgent requests to issue a self-Isolation rule, does not even acknowledge the pandemic as an issue in any way. I also have friends all over the globe who are expats and are far away from their loved ones, some are even on different continents.

What is The Isolation Series about?

In the last few weeks I’ve been receiving recordings from people around the world. They’ve been sharing their thoughts on the situation in their country of residence, their daily fears but also the many moments of gratitude that they have been feeling during these strange times. The one thing I’ve learnt while recording stories for this project is that home is so much more than a physical place. It is a feeling, it’s the people we love, it’s the freedom we feel, its the things that we do that make us happy. It’s highly personal. I wonder how these unprecedented circumstances impact our sense of belonging? Have we been forced to redefine it? What does HOME even mean during this global crisis?

In the first episode you'll hear stories from Diane, a Canadian freelancer living in Edinburgh,
Katherine, an American writer in Germany,
Sophie, a British journalist in New York who’s been reporting on the pandemic daily,
& Christiane, a communications specialist from Telfs, Austria who’s been isolated alone in her flat.
This is Stories from Isolation Part I. I hope you enjoy.

March 16, 2020No Comments

Up High with Kaine Francesco

We've been going through some hectic times these last few weeks due to the corona virus pandemic 🌎. Hospitals are overwhelmed with the growing amount of patients, the Berlin streets seem deserted, pubs and clubs are closing, tubes are empty, more people work from home and for whatever reason, there is a shortage of toilet paper in the supermarkets. While I'm trying to make sense out of this madness myself, I'm hoping to brighten up your day today by sharing Kaine Francesco's story. I met Kaine during my master's in London a few years ago. He is an independent musician and songwriter, his debut album Up High was released in 2018, last year his new EP The Channel came out. Among many things, in this episode Kaine speaks about growing up in England and in France, how different female musicians influenced his songwriting and what it takes to create an album. His story might inspire those who have a creative idea or a dream, but don't know where to start or how to bring it to life. Kaine guides you through his process of becoming a musician, from writing down songs, recording them to actually performing them on stage and hearing them being played on the radio. But I think the most important thing I took away from our conversation is that no matter what obstacles life throws along your way, even if you question your worth as an artist at one point, the most important thing is to keep creating art and doing what you love. It all works out in the end. Because HOME, as always, is being authentically, unapologetically you. I hope you enjoy.

February 24, 2020No Comments

Through the Lens of: Justin Moya Montenegro

In 2012 I spent six months in Costa Rica doing voluntary service at my local school. I haven’t been back to the country since, but I still think back filled with nostalgia. I remember the warmth of the ticos, the thick hot air and the rich greenness at every corner. One time this February I spoke on the phone to one of my former students, the 20-year-old Justin, who aspires to become a big name in fashion photography. We stayed in touch over the years, so I called him up one evening to do an interview. We spoke about many things…How his bicultural background influences his work, why he thinks art is not valued in Costa Rica, why he should have followed his gut when choosing a career and how despite his struggle with mental health he never stopped doing art. This is the first time that Justin and I see and talk to each other in almost a decade. A situation that is doomed to be awkward…or is it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. You'll have to listen to figure it out. I hope you enjoy.

December 24, 2019No Comments

Silver Lining

This show features Elke Schilling, the founder of Berlin's Silbernetz hotline for people over 60 who are feeling lonely and need someone to talk to. We talk the traumatic experience that inspired Schilling to launch this initiative, the stigma of age and loneliness as well as the main reasons why people call the hotline. This Christmas, Silbernetz launches for the whole of Germany - they are available from 24.12 - 1.1.2020, 24/7 under the phone number: 0800 4 70 80 90.

Music by E's Jammy Jams.

October 25, 2019No Comments

Between Two Islands

The show "Between Two Islands" features the Irish writer, teacher and musician Bronagh Slevin. I interviewed Bronagh on a secluded, little beach in a small Sicilian town called Milazzo, where we spent the entire afternoon talking about the wonderful adventures of her life whilst listening to the sounds of waves in the background.

Bronagh began her story by sharing personal details about growing up during The Troubles, her early desire to travel, which was propelled by her love for languages, and feeling a strong connection to water wherever she goes. Bronagh also tells how it takes balls to live in Sicily and reveals the key to finding your own place in a male-dominated mindset of the island. In spite of her initial struggle to adapt, she feels more at home in Sicily than ever. How did she manage to move past her loneliness? And why is Sicily Italy at its most for her? Make sure to listen until the end to find out.

This conversation was incredibly interesting and enriching. I emailed Bronagh after reading an article of hers online, she wrote back, and there we were: recording her story on a beach in the north-east of Sicily. I hope you enjoy. I surely did. Music by Bronagh Slevin.

October 4, 2019No Comments

That Girl

A show about the Viennese singer Syannah. The 22-year-old speaks about self-doubt, how self-development courses helped her to go after her dream and the unrealistic expectations women face in the music industry. I sat down with the young songwriter to find out how she overcame her fears and societal expectations to achieve her goal. Besides, she shares why authenticity and being honest with her audience is what she wants to be remembered as, why Rachel Platten is her hero and how being on stage is the closest she's ever felt to being at home.

Music credits: Syannah
Photo credit: Tobias Dellit

July 24, 2019No Comments

No Home Like You

A story about a woman's struggle with bulimia and learning to define her self-worth by something other than her weight.

Music by Chris Haugen.

Where to find me?
Website: www.whatyoucallhome.com
Instagram: @veronika_lukashevich_

July 10, 2019No Comments

Music to My Ears

This is a show about Viennese saxophonist Georg Palmanshofer and his musical journey. He shares his story of finding home in music and on stage.

Music by Spectre Saxophone Quartet and Georg Palmanshofer
Photos by Spectre quartet / siavash talebi

June 12, 2019No Comments

Vini e Panini or It’s the Little Things

A show about what it means to be a traveller today, and how human connection is the ultimate definition of home. Music by Josh Kirsch, Media Right Productions.

June 5, 2019No Comments

A Change of Heart

Happy pride month! This is a story about a woman falling in love with another woman for the first time, and coming out at age 24. Music by The Mini Vandals and Density & Time.

Where to find me?
Website: www.whatyoucallhome.com
Instagram: @nikimclovin

May 29, 2019No Comments

My Place in the World

This is a show about finding your place in the world and defining identity on your own terms.

Music by Chris Haugen, The Grey Room & Ann Annie.

May 22, 2019No Comments

The Summer You Died

What does losing a parent feel like? This is a show about loss and dealing with grief.

Music by Lish Grooves and Aaron Kenny.

May 8, 2019No Comments

Taking Chances

What is it like to be in a long distance relationship? A show about taking chances on moving countries for love.

Music by Ann Annie, E Jammy Jams, Chris Haugen and Dan Lebowitz.

May 1, 2019No Comments

Memories

What does it feel like to lose the person you call home? This is a show about heartbreak.

April 24, 2019No Comments

Starting Over

Nina was 18 when her mother left her father and moved out of their family home. This is a story about a mother-daughter relationship.

Music by Peter Körber and Chris Haugen.

April 17, 2019No Comments

A Journey to Self-Love

A show about learning to love our bodies and why yoga feels like home. I speak to my friend Nathalie about her journey to self-love.

Music by Jesse Gallagher.

April 10, 2019No Comments

Impressions from a foreign Homeland

A story about going back to where you come from after 14 years. Born in Belarus, I moved to Austria with my mother when I had just turned 13. This is a story about the inevitable, which is our human urge to belong.

Music by Peter Körber and Chris Haugen.

What You Call Home is an audio series, exploring the meaning of home through personal memoirs of people like you & me. This project shows that no matter where we come from, we all yearn to belong, be understood as we are & have the freedom to express ourselves in a personal way.

 

What You Call Home is an audio series, exploring the meaning of home through personal memoirs of people like you and me.