September 2014


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The Guna won their land from the Panamanian government after a revolution in 1925 and have been managing it communally ever since. Here Marcos Ramirez (center) directs members of the Yarsuisuit Collective as they weed a plot that they cultivate in the forest. Photo by Bear Guerra.

Like many of the world’s indigenous groups, Panama’s Guna people are facing formidable challenges: the impacts of climate change, encroaching outside influences, and a younger generation that’s drifting away from its roots.

Yet their situation is not nearly as dire as it might be. One reason is their communal system of forest management, which is emerging as a model of conservation and the sustainable use of resources.

Homelands’ Bear Guerra and Ruxandra Guidi spent time with the Guna this summer and teamed up on a photo essay and article for the environmental magazine Ensia.

What was the most important invention in human history? The printing press? Antibiotics? Nope, says Alan Weisman in this talk from TEDxSitka. And he has a couple of simple ideas for how to undo its damage.

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Charles Bowden, 1945-2014.

Journalist and author Charles Bowden died on August 30. Homelands’ Alan Weisman describes an outsized man with an outsized personality in a remembrance on the blog of Orion Magazine. Alan writes:

“Should you aspire to write yourself, absolutely do read him, but don’t try to imitate him. You can’t. No one could. But learn from his fearless commitment to saying exactly what needed to be said… Let me rephrase that: Chuck Bowden wasn’t fearless. He was scared plenty — but he had the courage to never turn away, regardless.”

 

 

 

"Getting usable tape from a three-person, two-language conversation can be a culturally, linguistically, emotionally, and ergonomically complicated business," says Jonathan Miller.

Jonathan Miller interviews marathoner Selena Kosgei and her mother in western Kenya. “Getting usable tape from a three-person, two-language conversation can be a culturally, linguistically, emotionally, and ergonomically complicated business,” he writes on Transom.org.

More than 1 billion people in the world speak English. You could interview one of them every day for 30,000 years and still not exhaust your supply. So why worry about translating foreign-language voices for the radio?

Homelands’ Jonathan Miller tackles this and other thorny questions in the latest “Thoughts on Translation” column on the public radio website Transom.org. Previous contributors were independent producer Ann Heppermann and NPR East Africa correspondent (and honorary Homelander) Gregory Warner.

Musician Teodoro Cuevas waits for business in LA's Mariachi Plaza. Photo by Emmanuel Martinez/Neon Tommy.

Musician Teodoro Cuevas waits for business in LA’s Mariachi Plaza. Photo by Emmanuel Martinez/Neon Tommy.

In 24 Hours: A Day in the Working Life, 12 Los Angeles-area workers – including a stripper, deli waitress, bus driver, metal scrapper, and bathroom attendant – take us inside their workplaces to show us what they do and why they do it. 

The Labor Day special aired on public radio stations around the country yesterday. It was reported by graduate students at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC as part of a course taught by Homelands’ Sandy Tolan and Karen Lowe of the web and radio project Bending Borders.

Karen is an old friend of Homelands; as an editor for Marketplace, she worked on many of the profiles in our WORKING series.

24 Hours is a co-production of Homelands Productions, Bending Borders, and the USC Annenberg School. It is distributed by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).