Mountain rescue volunteers are a rare breed: they’re on call 24/7, ready to risk their lives to save hikers and skiers who get stuck on the mountains. Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who lead perilous rescue missions in Canada and in the UK.
Kirsty Pallas is a mountaineering and climbing instructor based in Scotland. In 2014 she joined the Oban Mountain Rescue Team, where she’s a callout manager and a training officer. She’s also the founder of Our Shared Outdoors, an organisation set up to tackle and change the lack of diversity in the outdoors and promote underrepresented groups.
Kayla Brolly is an emergency room nurse and a crew member with North Shore Rescue, the busiest volunteer search and rescue organisation in Canada. She’s been involved in countless rescue operations in the popular hiking and skiing mountains north of Vancouver. In December 2017, whilst taking part in a delicate rescue mission on a steep slope, she suffered a severe head injury.
Produced by Alice Gioia for BBC World Service.
Women curating culture
Men run most of world's cultural institutions, but in recent years more women have been given top jobs at leading galleries and museums. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women from Australia and Germany about the importance of getting a woman's view on what's worth displaying and history worth preserving.
Margot Neale Ngawagurrawa is an Aboriginal Australian curator and one of the world's leading experts on Aboriginal history and culture. She's Head Indigenous Curator at the National Museum Australia and has spent seven years bringing together historical and cultural stories of the Aboriginal peoples which till now have only existed in oral form. The resulting exhibition, Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters is now on a global tour – and in Plymouth, UK till the end of February 2022.
Dr Stephanie Rosenthal has been director of Gropius Bau in Berlin, Germany since 2018. She studied art history and her work since then has focused on contemporary art and performance. The Gropius Bau has recently tackled the subjects of humanity’s relationship to nature, exploitative extraction processes and ‘how plants practice politics’.
Produced by Jane Thurlow
(Image: (L) Stephanie Rosenthal, credit Mathias Voelzke. (R) Margot Neale Ngawagurrawa, courtesy Margot Neale Ngawagurrawa. Background: Maruku Arts by Niningka Lewis.)
Women in sound
Sound is everywhere around us: from blockbuster Hollywood films to live music events, from broadcasting the news to speaking with astronauts in space. For every broadcast, big or small, there are engineers and sound designers working behind the scenes to make sure you get the highest audio quality possible. Kim Chakanetsa explores the world of audio production with two of the best in this field.
Nina Hartstone is a supervising sound editor based in the UK. Over the course of her career Nina has received some of the industry’s highest awards - including an Oscar and a BAFTA Award for the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in 2019. She is also known for her work on the films Gravity, Cats and An Education.
Alexandria Perryman is a live broadcast engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, where she supports astronauts with all-things audio: from helping them communicate with mission control to facilitating media interviews. She won an Emmy Award for her work on the coverage of SpaceX’s Demonstration Mission 1 – the first orbital test of the Dragon 2 spacecraft.
Produced by Alice Gioia. Sound editing by Sue Maillot.
(Image: (L) Alexandria Perryman, credit Norah Moran/NASA. (R) Nina Hartstone, credit Getty Images. The background image is the waveform of the opening six seconds of an episode of The Conversation.)
Women in the chocolate business
Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women who are making chocolate production both more sustainable and equitable.
Vicki Bain is a South African chocolatier from Johannesburg who blends Belgian chocolate with the finest local and fresh African ingredients. Five years ago, Vicki left her job in environmental consulting to learn the craft of artisan chocolate making in Brussels. Her company, Chocoloza, is staffed only by women and has environmental and social concerns at its core.
Treena Tecson from the Philippines is a professional chocolate taster and tree-to-bar chocolate maker. In 2017, Treena used her social media account to document the art and science of chocolate making. What started as a hobby soon turned into a small business - True Chocolate PH - and now Treena is also involved in cacao farming and post-harvest processing.
Produced by Emily Naylor and Alice Gioia
(Image: (L) Vicki Bain. (R) Treena Tecson, courtesy of Treena Tecson.)
Musical child prodigies
Very few people in the world are blessed with exceptional musical talent that is apparent from an early age. What is childhood like in the spotlight, especially as a young woman? To find out, Kim Chakanetsa meets two musicians whose careers began when they were children.
Tosin Jegede was a child singing sensation in Nigeria in the 1980s. She released her first solo album in 1985 when just five years old, and went on to release two more before her teenage years. From hiding from adoring fans, flying all over the country to perform and singing in front of Nelson Mandela, her childhood was anything but ordinary and she had to cope with publicity which went well beyond her music and its performance.
Twenty-year-old Sujari Britt is a classical cellist from the United States. She began learning the instrument at the age of four, having already studied the violin and the piano. A year later, Sujari started performing in a professional capacity with her sibling trio. By the time she was eight, she had played at the White House for President Obama. Sujari has performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, and with reputable orchestras in Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA.
Produced by Emily Naylor and Jane Thurlow
(Image: (L) Tosin Jegede, credit Tosin Jegede. (R) Sujari Britt, credit Jamie Jung.)