Episode 19: Surviving the Unimaginable w/ Christine McAlister

Christine has endured one of the most horrible and traumatic experiences that I can imagine, and yet, her retelling of the experience and how it changed her is admirable and profound. This is courage, strength, and power in the face of adversity and it’s what I love to learn about from people who have really been through some of life’s toughest lessons.  

What happens when the worst thing that you think could ever happen to you, actually happens? How do you make sense of life when you are faced with the greatest loss?

This is a story about pain and loss, but it’s also about growth, authenticity and how Christine took her greatest loss and transformed her life.  

You can find Christine’s work at www.lifewithpassion.com

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin. 

In this episode you heard songs by The Space Where She Was from the album How to Play Dead.

Episode 18: Accepting Life and Self in Chronic Illness w/ Lisa Spears

Lisa was an ambitious 20-something working for the United Nations when a sudden and chronic illness became debilitating, leaving her unable to work. This the story of facing her illness, a shocking diagnosis, and her ability to let go of expectations of life and self. It’s a story about losing loved ones, forgiveness, and self-compassion. It’s about coming to terms with death and how she redefined a meaningful life.

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin. 

This episode included music by Miss Kenichi.

Episode 17: The Truth Changes Everything w/ Tim Maas

Our guest Tim, shares semi-anonymously about his experiences with an unexpected pregnancy, as a new father, and a truth about his life that changed everything. It’s a story that reminds us how to move forward through life’s challenges, and how to face the most impossible decisions without regret. 

No one’s life turns out perfect. Nothing works out exactly the way that we’ve planned or expected, but the question is what we do with our mistakes, or those moments that force us into difficult decisions, or different paths.  There are so many experiences in life that can injure us, leave us weaker, scared or less. Like Tim said, everyone reacts differently. Some people suffer a tragedy or loss and never really recover. Others are still able to see beauty and possibility and grateful for what they’ve had.

This is an episode is about life turns and those unforeseen, unexpected challenges. Betrayals and loss. The real-life concoction of beauty and pain, the way that many of our experiences of love, can also have a shadow.

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin. 

In this episode you the songs, “Your Shattered Outline” and “The Memory Changes Every Time I Remember,” by The Space Where She Was.

Also, “Different Angles” by the artist, Ketsa with rights from the Free Music Archive. 


Episode 16: Reclaiming the Voice After Emotional Abuse w/ Reema Zaman

The relationships we inhabit can shape and define us, and how we see ourselves. Who we choose to love and let love us matters, because in the wrong hands, we may suffer from neglect, abuse, oppression, and even, the total loss of self. One of the most difficult decisions is to know when someone we love is no longer serving us, or worse, actually causing us harm. What does it take to break away, and how do we know when to do it?

This is a story about love, but also co-dependency and the very complicated nature of emotional abuse. But more, it’s a story about how one woman used her own oppression to find her voice.

My guest today is Reema Zaman. Reema is an award-winning writer, visual artist, actress and speaker, and the author of the memoir I Am Yours. She is from Bangladesh and immigrated to New York When she was 18. When she was 25, she fell in love and married into a relationship that shifted the direction of her life. She writes and talks about what it is like to fall into emotional abuse as well as how to find your voice when you come out of the darkness.

More about Reema:

The 2018 Oregon Literary Arts’ Writer of Color Fellow, Reema Zaman is an award-winning writer, actress, speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir I AM YOURSI Am Yours debuted on the Powell’s Bestseller list, alongside Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming. Born in Bangladesh and raised in Thailand, Reema’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Vogue, The Guardian, Salon, Guernica, Shape, and elsewhere. Reema has the honor of partnering with the International Rescue Committee and Girls Inc. to serve key causes and empower the next generation of leaders. As the only Reema Zaman in the world, she is easy to find on social media. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter and learn more at reemazaman.com.

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English-speaking podcast network of Berlin.

Music for this episode was provided by Miss Kenichi 

Episode 15: Lessons of Oppression and Injustice w/ Naniso Tswai

Naniso shares his experience growing up in the generation following Apartheid and describes the difference between institutionalized and systemic racism versus other forms of covert oppression. We talk about a particular instance where he was physically assaulted and detained at an airport and how the attack figures into his consciousness, as a thought leader and in how he interacts with the world.

The way that we see ourselves in the world begins with our family, where are we in the pecking order. As we grow up, we learn more about who we are and where we come from. Even as children, we internalize our individuality through the subtext and organization of our communities and in the context of other social constructions like gender, ethnicity, and nationality. Consciously and unconsciously, how we see ourselves is shaped by how we fit into the world. But, what happens when your identity, the way you see yourself is shaken beyond your control, how do you reckon with this realization- maybe you aren’t who you thought you were? Or maybe the way the world sees you is not the way you’ve always seen yourself.

Naniso was born a few hundred kilometers north of Johannesburg, South Africa in the homelands or rural villages established during Apartheid. We talked about his early life and what it was like growing up in the generations during and after Apartheid and the difference between systemic and institutionalized oppression versus covert racism.

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin. 

Music for this episode was provided by Miss Kenichi

And the song “What She Thought of Herself,” by The Space Where She Was.

Episode 14: Why Fortune and Fame are Never Enough w/ Tania Lacy

Tania Lacy was a famous Australian television personality during the 80s and early 90s before she got fired for hijacking the station in protest. Losing her job led to a loss of identity and a reckoning with her own sense of self. This is a story about her height as a celebrity and the fall into obscurity and heroin addiction. This is a story about Tania’s ballet accident that ruined her dance career, her transition into  choreography and Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” video and her rise as a television star and woman in comedy. We talk about why fortune and fame are never enough, how to forgive ourselves, and why strength and power must come from within. 

Episode 13: Finding Light in the Dark with Justin Evans

Why are some of us capable of changing our lives and finding the right path while others get lost along the way? What influence does mental illness play in our ability to recover? How do we navigate our way out of broken homes, addiction, and family mental illness?

This episode features Justin Evans host of The Peripheral and co-host of The Generation Why. He is is widely considered one of the pioneers in the true crime podcast genre and has a compelling personal history involving recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction/drug dealing. We talked about his family history of mental illness and addiction, the loss of his brother, his personal decision to break away from his past and his family, and how he paved his own way.  

Episode 12: Shedding the Armor with Hannah Graves

Tattoos, piercings, punk rock, rockabilly- the look and the subculture can have a hard-shell appearance, but what about those individuals underneath? What is the relationship between subculture and individual identity? Is there a correlation between mental health and extreme tattooing? How do subcultures give us strength and armor, and at what point are we lost to ideology? Is there a false security in our fight for belonging?

This is one woman’s journey–how she found hope, strength and security in a subculture, while also learning to shed the armor and uncover her own truth and find an authentic direction for herself. This episode deals with mental health, including anxiety and depression, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide, loss, and recovery.

Episode 11: Making Birth Visible with Carmen Winant

I want to start at the beginning, with birth. This episode is about birth stories, the challenge of birth, motherhood and parenthood, and the potential of discovery in this process.  In the first part, I will share my own story about a traumatic birth, my experience in the silence around birth, and the feeling that, though it is universal, it can be a solitary and isolating experience. I sought out the visual artist and writer, Carmen Winant, to talk about her work, My Birth, the powerful installation at the MOMA, the missing and misrepresentations of birth in cultural representations, as well as the challenges in the transition into motherhood. In addition to birth, we also talked about feminism in motherhood, and the potential for political action around these specific women’s issues, birth, and parenting.

For more information about Carmen Winant here is a link to her website: carmenwinant.com

A few mentions. About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin.

Music for this episode was provided by Miss Kenichi.

Intro to Season 2

Here is a little teaser I’ve recorded for Season 2. I’ve decided to approach the podcast a bit differently this season. Mostly the format will stay the same, but I’m looking to dig a little deeper into authenticity, in my own voice, in my interviews, and in the production process. This season we will be featuring a diverse number of guests who have faced darkness including relationships and love, parenting, illness and near death experiences, addiction recovery, social conflict, and more…

Subscribe now and stay tuned for new episodes beginning December 10.