Episode 24 – Everybody wants to leave, but they can’t.

On this episode;

Mike and Frey talk about the end of the Syrian ceasefire. Did it work? Did we think it would work? Did it work better than we thought it would? Who was it between again? Now who’s fighting who? Which one’s are committing war crimes? What happens now? We ask all these questions, and barely answer any of them.

Mike visits the exhibition War on Wall with photography from the Syrian Conflict displayed on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. While there, he speaks about the conflict and the future of Syria with friends of the podcast Ansam Jassem, academic and expert on social movements within refugee groups, and Mohammed Shoaib, activist from Raqqa.

(Also at this event was a live-link with Ibrahim, a member of the Syrian Civil Defense, the White Helmets; some of the bravest people in the world. Next episode we will have that conversation.)

With all this Syria talk of late, it can be easy to forget it’s not the only troubled country in the region. Sophie has been speaking with Friederike Regel, Iraq Project Coordinator for the Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer Berlin (go on, try to say it) or BZFO. They talk about Kurdistan, corruption, financial crises and everything else putting pressure on refugees in Iraq. Pay close attention to how Friederike’s organisation works, hiring Iraqi professionals as opposed to just shipping over their own.

Frey speaks with Alice Thomas from Refugees International on the worsening droughts and political instability in Zimbabwe. Climate Change is only going to displace more and more people in the future, we need to have a plan in place. We don’t as yet.

And finally, Francoise Hollande wins our “Captain State the Obvious” award for the week, Donald Trump Jr gets his skittles in a twist, and one of Mike’s favourite TV shows (not the Simpsons) clashes with one of Frey’s (not the Simpsons).

Check out the War on Wall Exhibition: www.waronwall.org/

Read Alice Thomas’ report for Refugees International on Zimbabwe’s future
and climate displacement: www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/20…8/zimbabwe

And learn more about the BZFO’s work in Iraq: www.bzfo.de/global/iraq.html

Thank you to Ansam Jassem, Mohammed Shoaib, Friederike Regel and Alice Thomas.

Episode 23 – We were hoping to have a better life, but now we are in Nauru.

On this Episode:

We take our first look at the horrors of the Nauru detention facilities, and the continuing trainwreck that is Australia’s asylum policy.

Mike speaks with Abdalaziz Alhamza, an activist and co-founder of Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently, on their tireless work to report on life in Daesh’s stronghold.

And Frey speaks with Mir, a founder of Boys of Bangladesh, on living as a gay man in Dhaka, and losing friends to Islamist violence. There are many reasons why people seek asylum, it’s not just war.

Episode 22 – People are dying every day, every minute, because of us.


On this Episode:

Sophie, Frey and Mike discuss police militarisation in London and new Anti-Terror laws in Germany;

Frey speaks with Eros Rrodhe of Migrate UK, on the position for EU migrants currently living in post-Brexit Britain;

Sophie speaks with Dr. Leyla Dakhli, at a screening of the new film Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea), about Lampedusa: the first glimpse of Europe for many asylum seekers;

And finally, a Chinese man finds himself in the middle of the German asylum system, and go Team Refugee!

Thank you to Dr. Leyla Dakhli and Eros Rrodhe of Migrate UK.

Episode 21 – The Five Walls.


On this episode:

Sophie Pornschlegel explains the formation of the latest neo-Nazi party in Germany;

Frey Lindsay and journalist Jinan Rahma speak with Dr. Imran Awan of Birmingham City University, about the Five Walls of Islamophobia on social media;

Sophie, Frey, and Mike Meehall Wood take a look at startup culture, and one startup in particular that is bringing together changemakers, disruptifiers, and imagineerers to bootstrap the problem statement that is the Migrant Crisis;

Frey speaks with Saeed Alaktaa, a Syrian refugee in Brazil, who teaches Arabic through Skype;

And finally, Mike Meehall Wood tells us about his mostly-refugees football team’s five minutes of fame (and why he hopes he’s not included).

Thank you to Dr. Imran Awan, Aline Sara at NaTakallam, Saeed Alakkta, and special thanks to Jinan Rahma.

Episode 19 – It is happening again.


This episode was recorded last week, before 52% of British people voted “out”.  This episode should in hindsight be named “Before the Bregret”. Still in disbelief about this idiotic result, and waiting for Britain to simmer in splendid irrelevance in the coming years (and take the future of millions of young Brits who will have to get married to Continentals), it’s still quite entertaining to listen to us being hopeful & optimistic. Oh well. 

So on this week’s episode: Mike and Sophie are talking Brexit, EU and Thatcher (playing to their strengths), and Tony Burke, Assistant Secretary General of Unite the Union, makes a final case for Remain.

Frey checks in with Jens Pagotto, Head of Mission for the Médecins Sans Frontières‎ rescue boat Aquarius, who are saving lives every day in the Mediterranean.

Maddy Crowther from Waging Peace joins us in the studio to talk about the status of Sudanese refugees living in Calais, and the message of hope they brought with them.

And finally, we return to the Moria prison riot, and Frey has a modest suggestion to improve the situation for refugees in Greece (SPOILER ALERT: It’s “Don’t lock them up like criminals.”)

This episode features the song ‘Um Al Yatama’ (‘Mother of Orphans’), sung by Sudanese singer Shurooq Abu el Nas, with lyrics written by Sudan’s ‘People’s Poet’ Mahjoub Sherif and music by Hamza Suleiman, two former political prisoners. You can find more of Shurooq’s music on YouTube.

Thank you to Jens Pagotto, Tony Burke, Maddy Crowther, Sonja Miley, Ayesha Kelker, and the inmates at Moria detention center.

Episode 18 – Talking Turkey


Yes, that’s what we’re calling it. On this episode, we take a wide view on the deal between Turkey and the EU. If you don’t know what deal I’m talking about, go read this Guardian primer, written by Patrick Kingsley. Patrick will be joining us on the show, specifically to talk about the 13 Syrian migrants sent back to Turkey by mistake.

We also have a lot of other guests, to take you through various aspects of this deal. Boris Cheshirkov at UNHCR reports from on the ground in Lesvos, Vincenzo Scarpetta of OpenEurope analyses the politics of the deal within the EU, and Gulsah Yurdakul gives the perspective from Ankara.

Mike Noyes at ActionAid knocks back the idea that this deal can just call itself legal and make it so, Sara Tesorieri at Oxfam makes their case against the deal, and then Steve Symonds at Amnesty brings it home with the most bemusing twist in the history of the crisis.

Also look out for legal analysis from our very own Mike Meehall Wood (Sophie is away this week).

Episode 17 – There is no queue to jump.

On this episode:

Mike and Frey get sick of talking about Erdogan and EU refugee admission stats, so they mix it up completely and talk instead about EU budget allocation.

Meanwhile, Matt Cook speaks with Sandrine Tiller at Médecins Sans Frontières, on their decision not to take part in the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

And finally, in the first part of our Lesbos special, we go to the Moria detention facility, to see the effects and consequences of the Turkey-EU deal up close.

Episode 16 – Borders, borders, and more borders.

On this week’s episode, Mike and Sophie speak with Producer Matt Cook about political goings on in Europe, and reflect on some of the things we saw in Greece, including a hotel occupied for refugees in Athens.

Frey has been speaking with Petra Hueck at ICMC on the background deals Europe is making with African countries to make it harder for migrants and refugees to make their way north, and finally, My Big Fat Greek Wedding: The Migrant Crisis Edition.

Episode 13 – Sackdoof, feige und verklemmt.


On this episode, we’ve been looking at some of the fallout from the Turkey/EU Deal, as migrants’ rights continue to be degraded at speed. Sophie Pornschlegel returns, and has found the latest (and most bewildering) border closure yet.

UK Labour MP and Shadow Foreign Minister Fabian Hamilton explains his party’s stance on migration. We take a step back from Southern Europe to take a look at some issues of EU Politics that could, in their own way, have a big impact on refugees.

And finally, Euronews’ Insiders reporter Valérie Gauriat joins us to describe how the mafia have been making a fortune on refugees in Sicily. You can see her original story here: www.euronews.com/2016/04/08/miser…ception-swindle/.

This episode also welcomes Producer Matthew Cook. Hi Matt.