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Podcast title Interview4Obama
Website URL http://www.cyberears.com/index...
Description MadamaAmbi interviews activists, feminists, womanists, thinkers & people with compelling life stories. I also do readings, poetry, song, drama & comedy when the mood strikes...

I began podcasting during the 2008 presidential campaign interviewing supporters of Barack Obama, thus the name Interview4Obama. Visit the blog: madamaambi.blogspot.com
Updated Fri, 27 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Image Interview4Obama
Category Society & Culture
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Episodes

1. Boy Meets Streets--Steven
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Description: At age 14, Steven Roberts found everything he wanted working as a prostitute on the streets of Los Angeles. This is not an interview for voyeurs, but rather Steven's recounting of vivid memories and stories of his initiation into the life, how he felt about sex work and being a part of what he experienced as an ''amazing'' lifestyle.This interview was recorded January 2012 and is 38 minutes long.

2. FeministCommunityWorker--Nailasada
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Description: Nailasada Alidina takes her feminism to the streets by working in a Montreal community center for South Asian girls & women. I talked with her about teaching boundaries, SlutWalk, Occupy Montreal, violence against girls & women, bad parenting, kids on leashes, cultural relativism and the many ways safety determines who we are and how we live.

3. GuerrillaGirls ON TOUR
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Description: I caught up with GUERRILLA GIRLS ON TOUR at Rollins College, where they were in residence for the Rollins Feminist Forum, and talked with them about their ''outrageous activist plays'' and street theatre.

4. Power Over Life & Death
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Description: This podcast is a reading of excerpts from the book, The Sacrament of Abortion, by Ginette Paris. The author is a pagan and has an analysis of abortion that, whether or not you agree with it, will make you think about who gets to decide the most fundamental issue of living on this planet--who will live, who will die.

5. Kabul in Winter--Ann Jones
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Description: To mark the 10th anniversary of the United States' invasion of Afghanistan, I read excerpts from Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan, by Ann Jones, published 2006.Jones spent four years in Kabul working in humanitarian aid--this is her report. She is the author of eight books, an authority on women and violence, and her work has been published by The New York Times and The Nation.

6. PoemCast: The Layers
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Description: This is a reading of The Layers, a poem by Stanley Kunitz, who was U.S. Poet Laureate in 2000. His distinguished career is not why I've chosen to record this poem--it has very personal meaning to me.

7. TraumaReporter--Scott Johnson
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Description: Scott Johnson is currently the Violence Reporting Fellow for the Oakland Tribune. The past twelve years he worked as foreign correspondent for Newsweek and was the chief of its Africa Bureau from 2007 until its close in 2009. He spent most of the preceding decade reporting from the Middle East, covering wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was Baghdad bureau chief for two years during the height of the insurgency from 2005 to 2007.

8. FeministPlatform-A Powered Woman
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Description: This is a reading of the Feminist Platform submitted to the 2008 Democratic Convention by Feminists for Obama.

9. Lysistrata Scene Two--RUMBLE!
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Description: At Lysistrata's command, armed women have taken over the Acropolis, while the Chorus of Old Women faces off with the Chorus of Old Men, hurling sexist and suggestive invective at each other. Is there going to be a rumble on the road to peace? The stalwart representatives of law and order arrive to put down the insurgency and to put women back in their proper place, but Lysistrata and her comrades stand their ground.

10. RadicalDoula-Miriam Zoila Prez
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Description: Miriam Zoila Prez is a writer, blogger and reproductive justice activist. She works with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and is an Editor at Feministing. She was trained as a doula in 2004 and her blog is RadicalDoula.com.

I spoke with Miriam about being a radical doula, an abortion doula, reproductive justice and the Too Many Aborted billboard campaign.


11. Lysistrata Scene One--SEX STRIKE!
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Description: Lysistrata's brilliant plan to unite the women of individual Greek city-states in a sex strike proves a hard sell...to the women themselves...

12. SEX STRIKE! Intro to Lysistrata
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Description: The country is always at war. The men are always away on military campaign or they come back having died a ''glorious death.'' What's a woman to do? Lysistrata, Uber-Ancient-Greek-Activist, calls women to join her in a sex strike until desperation brings the men to their...senses.Lysistrata is the third and last of Aristophanes' peace plays, says translator Alan H. Sommerstein in his preface to the play: it was ''conceived at a time when Athens was going through the most desperate crisis she had known since the Persian War.'' As I say in this introduction to the play, although I've known about Lysistrata for decades, I'd always assumed it was a fairly grave play. Don't get me wrong--I prefer Greek tragedy to many forms of spectacle currently on Broadway! But Lysistrata is a bawdy comedy and, although one could argue that women would never achieve the solidarity necessary to carry off an effective sex strike, Aristophanes nails human foibles and stereotypes as recognizable to a 21st Century listener as to the audience of its first production in 411 B.C.Stay tuned for the reading of LYSISTRATA.

13. YidHop: O Patriarchy
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Description: A hip-hopish scream of frustration, a full-throated protest and an African drumming backbeat...with my signature Yiddish accent.

Drumming from African Tribal Music & Dances: Recorded Live, released by Legacy International. Lyrics & vocals by MadamaAmbi.

14. Feminism & Trauma
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Description: The American Psychological Association is sponsoring a Blog Party to mark Mental Health Month. This podcast is a reading from Judith Lewis Herman's book Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence--from domestic abuse to political terror. In this Chapter, titled A Forgotten History, Herman discusses how the women's movement brought violence against women into public awareness and put it on the trauma spectrum. Today, as a result of feminist activism, we recognize that rape, domestic violence and incest result in post-traumatic stress disorder.

15. Roots of Collective Bargaining
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Description: ''The boss is hurrying the life out of me.''Rose Cohen and her father immigrated from Czarist Russia to the tenements of New York City, working exhausting schedules under harsh conditions to survive and to send for the rest of the family. In this podcast, I read an excerpt from Rose Cohen's book, Out of the Shadow: A Russian Jewish Girlhood on the Lower East Side, published in 1918. She tells of her first days as a child worker in a garment sweatshop.My First Job by Rose Cohen is taken from Out of the Sweatshop: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy, edited by Leon Stein, published in 1977.

16. Abortion Underground II-JANE
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Description: ''In the public discourse the fetus has been elevated to an equal status with a living, breathing human being. More and more, women are viewed as the enemy of children, requiring the State's intervention to protect their developing children from them. But, in reality, women still conceive, nurture, give birth to and, in most cases, are the primary caregivers of children. Women are being reduced, once again, to the incubators of future generations with total responsibility but no power. That is the same oppressive view that the women's movement sought to challenge. It is not just abortion, but women's power to control their destinies that is at stake.''

These words were written in 1995 by Laura Kaplan, who was a member of Jane, the underground abortion service that developed in Chicago before abortion was legalized in Roe v. Wade. In her book, The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, Kaplan narrates an age-old story replayed in the context of the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The story reminds us that abortion has been and will always be a decision ''rooted in the concrete conditions'' of a woman's life. ''She will weigh her decision and then try to act on it. This is what women have always done, irrespective of the law or even of the risks to their own lives.''

In this podcast, I connect The Story of Jane to the current abortion battles, and then read excerpts of Kaplan's introduction to this riveting and relevant story for all women.

17. Abortion Underground I
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Description: What happens to poor women of color when abortion is a political football. This podcast is a reading of an article that ran in The New York Times on January 22, 2011, the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.

18. Social Media circa 1882
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Description: Goodbye, cursive!
Last week a friend with young children in the public schools said ''Did you know they're not teaching cursive in school anymore? How are my kids going to sign their names?'' We scratched our heads--we didn't know. A few days after this, when my husband was going through boxes of his family's photos, documents and artifacts, he found a small leather book that had belonged to his great-grandfather. Its aging, delicate pages were filled with poems and wishes to be remembered, all in cursive styles from days gone by. Listen to these poems and heartfelt demonstrations of friendship read aloud. You can also visit http://madamaambi.blogspot.com to see cursive styles from the late 1800's.

19. Reading Roe v. Wade/PartTwo
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Description: The second and final half of the Supreme Court's landmark decision finding that the right of privacy applies to a woman's right to abortion.

20. Reading Roe v. Wade/PartOne
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Description: On the eve of the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, I realized that I had never read the full, original decision. In this podcast, I read aloud the opinion of the Court, which inquires into, ''and in this opinion place some emphasis upon, medical and medical-legal history and what that history reveals about man's attitude toward the abortion procedure over the centuries.'' Justice Blackmun discusses ''Ancient Attitudes, The Hippocratic Oath, The common law, The English statutory law, The American law, The position of the American Medical Association, and The position of the American Public Health Association.'' I discovered many fascinating insights into the underpinnings of the current abortion battles still raging in 2011. Part Two to follow in the next day or so.

21. RealityBitesBack-JennPozner
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Description: Jennifer Pozner comes out swinging as she takes aim at the ''Reality TV'' industry and its ever-growing universe of so-called ''harmless'' shows in her book REALITY BITES BACK: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, published by Seal Press. Pozner uncovers sexism, racism, classism, stereotyping, violence against women, phony psychological help and what really drives the content of TV we passively consume for entertainment. This is an important book, fun to read, and what Library Journal has determined ''an essential read.'' Pozner's research and analysis are mind-blowing, but you really have to hear Jennifer Pozner in person to understand the passion and knife-sharp wit she brings to her work.

22. VOTE TODAY--A Ditty
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Description: A singable little song especially for Election Day.

23. GloriaFeldt-NoExcuses
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Description: Gloria Feldt, former CEO of Planned Parenthood and now a stumper/speaker/social-media activist and teacher, says ''You've Come a Long Way, Maybe.'' In the prologue to her new book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, she signs on to Ellen Goodman's grade of ''Incomplete'' for the revolution.

24. A Domestic Abuse Survivor's Story
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Description: Patty Sherman says that she ''escaped'' her abusive marriage in 2000. In June of this year, 2010, she passed the ninth anniversary of her freedom, healing process and the recovery of her self. Patty speaks out to educate the public because she knows that it's hard, if not impossible, to understand how it happens and how hard it is to leave an abusive marriage unless you have either lived through it or you have done intentional research about the pathologies that drive husbands to control and berate their wives.In this interview we discuss how it's possible for an educated and skilled woman to fear her husband, to lose her confidence or the right to discuss dysfunctional dynamics in their marriage and to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In hindsight, Patty has come to understand some of the warning signs of the cycle of abuse and the traps victims can fall into, such as believing that ''I had let it happen to me.'' Through therapy and self-education, she now knows she didn't deserve the abuse she received. Patty hopes that by speaking out she can help other victims realize that there is nothing they did to bring abuse upon themselves, nothing they can do to mollify a husband's need to control them, keeping them fearful and dehumanized, why it's hard to leave and how it's possible to get help.

25. Mother of Imprisoned Hiker in Iran
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Description: NOTE: It has now been over 1 year since the three hikers were imprisoned. Today is 9/11/10, when Iran was to have released Sarah due to her medical needs. The latest news is that this will not happen, as her ''legal'' case has not been resolved. It's fair to say that whatever comes out of Iran may or may not be reliable or truthful, but one thing is true: Sarah, Josh & Shane are still in prison.

The following is description from when it was ten and a half months ago.Ten and a half months ago, Iran imprisoned three Americans for allegedly crossing from Kurdistan Iraq into Iran illegally. Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer & Josh Fattal are students of the world, voices of global consciousness, travelers, writers & activists. You can help get Sarah, Shane & Josh out of prison by listening to this interview & passing it on to your social networks.

26. FemClassicsofYesteryear--MaryDaly
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Description: This is a voice collage of short readings from Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation, written by Mary Daly, published in 1973 by Beacon Press, Boston.

27. IntimatePoliticsBettinaAptheker
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Description: My interview with professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz about her memoir Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel.Recorded August 2009

28. Dirty Voting--Brent Turner
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Description: ''The closer you look, the dirtier it gets,'' says Brent Turner, activist with the Open Voting Consortium, www.openvoting.org.

Today is Election Day! Do you know where your vote WENT? Originally a civil rights activist, Brent has been ringing the alarm about the very systems in place that the average voter naively assumes make a fair, just and unmanipulated tabulation of the most basic cornerstone of democracy: voting.

The piece of the puzzle most vulnerable is the software used to count our votes. Who manufactures it? Who knows how to manipulate it? How can there be public oversight of the final tabulations if the computers doing the counting are programmed secretly?

DON'T GET CYNICAL. GET MAD.
Recorded April 2009.

29. D.C. Awakening-Jen
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Description: Jen Nedeau blogs about Women's Rights at Change.org. She's not a seasoned feminist who has it all figured out in fact, her feminist awakening began only a year ago. But she understands that women of her generation have grown up with a dangerous sense of equality that does not sync with real-world politics. This interview was recorded in March of 2009.

30. Mysterioso-Rachel
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Description: Interview with Rachel Blum, recorded April 11, 2009, roughly a year since she began transitioning from living as a man to living as a woman. Although there is much to say about the issues presented in a story like Rachel's, I find that I am profoundly moved by what Rachel has shared with me, and can only frame this conversation with music that expresses my feelings. Very brief selections from a live recording of La Traviata with Alfredo Kraus and Maria Callas are included in this podcast.

31. WomanistMusings-Renee
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Description: This interview was recorded March 10, 2009. The woman behind the blog, Womanist Musings, talks with Madama about parenting as a radical act, womanism as opposed to feminism, a social hierarchy of bodies, and the many forms of privilege that she consistently writes about on her blog. Always thinking critically, Renee also discusses her thoughts on victimology and how women must exercise power creatively and productively.

32. Born Feminist--Veronica Arreola
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Description: WAM! Bang! Blogher! Born with an innate sense of fairness, Veronica organized her first protest in 2nd grade and by the time she was in high school knew she was feminist. Veronica is ubiquitous in the blogosphere as well as speaking at conferences this year, and our conversation covers her work in reproductive justice, the marketing of mommyblogging and her work on legislation in her home state of Illinois. This is a woman who was born knowing that she wasn't going to let other people decide what she could tackle...

33. Adele Nieves SPEAK!
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Description: ''SPEAK! is a group of women of color media makers. With contributions from all over the U.S., these recordings are testimonials of struggle, hope, and love. Proceeds of this album will go towards funding single mothers traveling to the 2009 Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI.'' (from the album liner notes)

Here is my interview with Adele Nieves, who produced the album as well as contributed its first track. This CD packs a punch, and you're welcome, you needed that. Powerful, lyrical, musical, beautiful, angry, strong and vulnerable, Adele Nieves and the women of SPEAK! are not sitting around waiting to be granted a seat at the table. They have discovered themselves. So, if you're ready to shut up, sit down and listen to radical women of color media makers, you can buy the CD at www.speakmediacollective.com.

The interview opens with Adele reading her piece, Why Do You Speak?, and our conversation ends with a taste of Wishful Thinking by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Watch for this poem set to music to be released as a single on iTunes! You will want it and you will want to give it to every woman you know.


34. SongofMyself-Track 5
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Description: Madama reads sections 12, 13, 14 & 15 of Walt Whitman's poem, Song of Myself. With an introduction...

35. SongofMyself-Track 4
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Description: With an introduction to get you in the mood...

36. SongofMyself-Track 3
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Description: Madama talks about smacking into art and reads sections 6, 7 and 8 as she poems her way to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

37. SongofMyself-Track 2
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Description: Madama reads sections 3, 4 and 5. There is no intro or outro, just the raw poem. This is Track 2 of Poem-ing to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

38. SongofMyself-Track 1
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Description: Madama reads Walt Whitman's poem, Song of Myself, a long poem in 51 sections, as a way of poem-ing herself to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She will finish recording the last section on January 20, 2009. The poet of democracy first published Song of Myself around 1855. More about Whitman on Interview4Obama website.