The Runner-up Award went to Jodie Taylor from Hastings for A New Normal: Audio Diaries of Syrians in Europe. This series of audio diaries made by Syrians who have recently arrived in Europe, offering an unusually intimate insight into an experience that most will only know of through news coverage.
The £5,000 RAFA went to Tom Glasser from Tring, Hertfordshire, for Sounds Inside. In prison for the first time, many inmates are surprised to discover that they are not only cut off from the day-to-day business of the outside world, but also transported to an alien soundscape. In the company of ex-con Carl Cattermole, this programme will take the listener into a unique acoustic world. Sounds Inside will spend 24 hours inside HMP Brixton, exploring a unique soundscape, from the slamming of metal doors to the silence of the harsh Dickensian architecture. Listen to the taster material here to find out why Tom won our first-ever RAFA.
A £1,000 special prize was also awarded to writer Michelle Thomas from Bala, North Wales, for I’m Not OK, The Mental Health Podcast. This serialised podcast documentary is a journey through the world of mental health as she uncovers the common ground that unites us through our personal struggles.
In 1967, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael travelled to Cuba where he became fully aware of black people’s global struggle for freedom. Now Isis Thompson, whose family always believed they were related to him, will retrace his footsteps to understand how in these difficult times we can affect global change.
Isis Thompson is a documentary-maker from North London working in audio and film, with a passion for finding humour in the most serious subjects.
Judge Sarah Geis said: “At a time when many are experiencing fatigue about how to make the world a better place, Stokely in Cuba uses humour and a personal lens to examine issues with a historical and universal resonance.“
India’s first podcast celebrating motorcycling, the icons and legends, documenting its history through the stories told by members of the community.
Shirshendu ‘Shandy’ Banerjee has worn all the hats in radio, from being a music DJ, producer, programmer and consultant to that of the business head of a radio group. Despite a first class degree in the hotel trade, he walked away from that glittering career in the 1990s to teach himself the skills of radio. Today, after 22 years as an analogue broadcaster, he is busy exploring a new life in digital audio, kneading the content dough to bake newer breads for different communities with his friend and co-presenter Arvinder ‘Sonny’ Singh. He is based in New Delhi, India, and tells The Whickers that he owes his success this far to having a remarkably tolerant wife.
Judge Nina Garthwaite said: “The Biker Radio Rodcast offers the listener an energetic, unusual and beguiling entry into an unknown world, that of motorcycling in India. We’re revving up to hear more.”