I love it when a book leads you to read another book, like how Northanger Abbey introduced me to The Mysteries of Udolpho.
When a fictional character reads, I need to know what they’re reading and I don’t think much of authors who don’t mention the title of the book their protagonist is enjoying (or not). Isn’t that a missed opportunity to reveal something about the character?
But then this post wasn’t supposed to be about books. I was actually thinking about podcasts.
I listen to shows about how all kinds of subjects, but my main areas of interest are books, art, race, gender and body politics. Often, the guests on these shows have podcasts of their own and that keeps my list growing.
One of my regular listens is Bitchmedia’s podcast, which incorporates Popoganda (45 minutes of in-depth exploration of various topics) and Backtalk (conversation about pop culture news). A recent episode of Popoganda introduced me to Soleil Ho, a chef who co-hosts my new favourite podcast, Racist Sandwich.
Racist Sandwich focuses on food and how it relates to gender, race and class. I’ve been listening to random episodes, and topics discussed by Ho and her co-host, Zahir Janmohamed have, so far, included eating disorders; the politics of food photography; and lifestyle veganism vs political veganism.
I’m liking how the podcast is making me think about food and food culture in ways I’ve never considered before. For example, how, in food photography, Asian food (or any kind of food that is not European or Western) is presented and framed: it is often dressed up; it is exoticised; it is shown in a way that is aimed to be most appealing to white audiences, and this usually misrepresents the food, its history and even its appearance.