Learning about feminism, abolition and other liberation movements is a lifelong project - but fortunately, resources can be found in all kinds of places. Lived experience, whether personal or listening to that of others, is crucial. Books, from academic texts to memoir or fiction, can provide essential context and provoke new ways of thinking. Zines have long been part of feminist and abolitionist traditions, and, like blogs and social networks, have been an accessible way of spreading ideas.
Podcasts are another great resource for learning more about the paths to liberation. There are many well-known feminist podcasts out there, like The Guilty Feminist Podcast (https://guiltyfeminist.com/) and Bitch Media’s Popaganda (https://www.bitchmedia.org/feminist-podcasts/popaganda), which are great listens. However, there are many other smaller podcasts that dive deeper into abolitionism and the front lines of activist work, helping people share perspectives and practical steps to fight for liberation and dismantle oppressive systems.
Rebel Steps (https://rebelsteps.com/) is an abolitionist podcast that ran from 2018 to 2020, covering topics like rent strikes, supporting incarcerated people, and mutual aid. Combining practical advice and interviews with people from anti-fascist, prison abolitionist, and anarchist groups, it’s a great introduction for people who want to start taking part in community projects. Rebel Steps is hosted on the anarchist radio and podcast network Channel Zero (https://channelzeronetwork.com/), which has dozens of other radical podcasts devoted to resistance, anti-fascism, and much more.
Similar to Rebel Steps, the podcast You Don’t Need Permission (https://tunein.com/radio/You-Dont-Need-Permission-p1354135/) uses interviews with long-term, experienced activists to explore both broad concepts and specific approaches to resistance. With episodes on tenant organising, unionising, and how to dismantle capitalism, you can learn about how anarchist movements have operated in the past and how to apply these lessons to your own activist work.
If, like me, you’re still in the early stages of learning about abolitionism, the Abolition is for Everybody podcast (http://initiatejustice.org/podcast/) is an invaluable resource. Created by the group Initiate Justice, the episodes dig into questions like “how do we take an abolitionist approach to dealing with sexual violence?” and “how do feminism and abolitionism intersect?” Season 3 is coming in January 2023, and there are plenty of episodes to catch up with before then.
Another excellent starting resource is Imagine Black Presents: Abolition Learnings (https://www.imagineblack.org/abolition-learnings-podcast), a podcast focusing on Black abolitionist movements. Their first episode, Abolition 101, introduces the concept of abolition and answers your initial questions on how this approach works.
All My Relations (https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com/) is a brilliant podcast for anyone interested in learning about indigenous representation and activism. Hosted by photographer Matika Wilbur and academic Adrienne Keene, it covers topics such as sovereignty, healing the land, cultural appropriation, and decolonisation. Its opening episode covers indigenous feminism, an aspect of feminism that is invariably sidelined by white-centric mainstream feminist movements.
The Frontline Herbalism podcast (https://solidarityapothecary.org/announcing-the-frontline-herbalism-podcast/), run by the fantastic Solidarity Apothecary (https://solidarityapothecary.org/), is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about herbal medicine and prison abolition. Hosted by Nicole Rose, a herbal medicine practitioner who has developed methods for incarcerated people to use herbal remedies while in prison, the podcast teaches you how to make various kinds of medicines with very limited resources.
These are just some of the fantastic podcasts out there being made by people working towards liberation and building a better, safer, and more equitable world. Whether you’re just starting out, or looking for the next steps for a community project, the ideas within them can be an excellent part of your toolkit. Happy listening!
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Illustration courtesy of Hannah
Alice Nuttall is a children’s and webcomic writer who spends her free time reading, knitting, and playing D&D, occasionally all at the same time.