300 episodes

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The Documentary Podcast BBC

    • News
    • 4.4 • 19 Ratings

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

    Syria’s decade of conflict: The many colours of Raqqa

    Syria’s decade of conflict: The many colours of Raqqa

    Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country.

    In the final programme from the season Lina hears from BBC foreign correspondent Tim Whewell who spoke to Abood Hamam, perhaps the only photojournalist to have worked under every major force in Syria's war - and lived to tell the tale. At the start of the uprising he was head of photography for the state news agency, SANA, taking official shots of President Assad and his wife Asma by day - and secretly filming opposition attacks by night. Later he defected and returned to his home town, Raqqa, where various rebel groups were competing for control. Other journalists fled when the terrorists of so-called Islamic State (IS) took over, but Abood stayed - and was asked by IS to film its victory parade. He sent pictures of life under IS to agencies all over the world - using a pseudonym. As the bombing campaign by the anti-IS coalition intensified, Abood moved away - but returned later to record the heartbreaking destruction - but also the slow return of life, and colour, to the streets. For months, he roamed through the ruins with his camera, seeing himself as ”the guardian of the city." Raqqa's future is still very uncertain, but Abood now wants everyone to see his pictures, which he posts on Facebook, and know his real name. He hopes the colours he's showing will tempt the thousands of families who've fled Raqqa to return home, and rebuild their lives, and their city.

    Producer: Mohamad Chreyteh
    Sound mix: James Beard
    Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
    Editor: Bridget Harney

    (Image: Children running in Raqqa, 2019. Credit: Abood Hamam)

    • 27 min
    Guru: Living a lie

    Guru: Living a lie

    For the last year, BBC journalist and passionate yoga teacher Ishleen Kaur has been investigating allegations of sexual and emotional abuse at the heart of an organisation she once called home. Fellow practitioners share with her their stories of cruelty, rape and even the sexual assault of a child - but she wasn't prepared for what she uncovered next. Ishleen takes us on a deeply personal journey into the dark legacy which haunts Sivananda Yoga, one of the world’s most revered yoga schools.

    • 26 min
    When Kissinger went to China

    When Kissinger went to China

    In July 1971, Kissinger, then US National Security Advisor, made a clandestine visit to the People’s Republic of China – then America’s sworn enemy. At the time China was isolated from the outside world amidst the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. America was looking for a way out of the Vietnam war. Both countries had had no contact for over 20 years. The 48-hour mission paved the way for President Richard Nixon’s historic handshake with Chairman Mao a few months later. It changed the geometry of the Cold War. So what has happened since Kissinger stepped on Chinese soil in that summer half a century ago? How did we get to where we are today?

    • 50 min
    Life in Iran

    Life in Iran

    As Iran prepares to hold its presidential election to select a replacement for Hassan Rouhani, BBC Persian presenter Rana Rahimpour brings together Iranians, both in the country and living abroad, to hear about their lives and thoughts. Three young Iranians discuss what it’s like to live in a country where many people want to leave and need two jobs to make ends meet. Plus two sisters - one in London and the other still living in Iran with their parents - discuss the emotional difficulties of separation.

    • 23 min
    Syria’s decade of conflict: Islamic State’s most wanted

    Syria’s decade of conflict: Islamic State’s most wanted

    Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country.

    This week Chloe Hadjimatheou tells the astonishing story of a group of young men from Raqqa, Syria, who chose to resist the so-called Islamic State, which occupied their city in 2014 and made it the capital of their ‘Caliphate’. These extraordinary activists risked everything to oppose ISIS; several were killed, or had family members murdered. ISIS put a bounty on the resistance leaders’ heads forcing them to go into hiding. But the group continued its work, under the banner Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. Chloe met the group’s founders, who were organising undercover activists in Raqqa from the relative safety of other countries.

    As reporter Chloe Hadjimatheou tells Lina, despite the passing of the years these men are still in hiding from the militants who occupied their city in 2014.

    (Photo: Four activists from the group working under the banner Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently)

    • 27 min
    Being mum

    Being mum

    Are children always better off in a two-parent family? Ateira Griffin, daughter of a single mother and the director of non-profit organisation that supports black single mothers and their daughters, explores what it is like for a family to be headed by a mum without a dad, a family structure that is on the rise in her native United States. In fact children in single mum households account for half of all African-American kids growing up in America and Ateira explores the context for this historically and in terms of contemporary social policy.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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