Complex Cities, Compelling Stories

A new Cityscapes Magazine podcast series featuring stories that explore the complexities of life and the impact of dynamic change in contemporary cities, from a global South perspective

The City Show, presented by Tau Tavengwa, of Cityscapes Magazine and Dhashen Moodley, a veteran of South African public radio, launches on 4 May 2021.

A massive urban transition is happening across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. It’s dynamic; it’s messy and unpredictable. It is re-shaping how people live and will, in no small terms, define the future of humanity and the world. In conversations with residents, experts and others living in these cities, each episode of this new podcast tells how people living in places where most of the world’s population live are adapting.

The first season will take listeners to Cape Town, Mumbai, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Beirut and Tijuana. Each episode introduces us to new individuals and a story that provides unique perspectives on the impact and meaning of the multiple changes taking place all at once in their city or neighbourhood.

“We are not looking for new stories,” says Tavengwa. “Instead, we are re-visiting stories that we think are often reported with little nuance and will dig into them to see what we find beneath the headlines and what we can learn from it. We hope each episode can provide a different way of understanding the places we will visit. The local perspective and the personal stories matter to us. That’s what Dhashen and I are interested in presenting. Not everything has to be at this big, massive scale”, he adds

Tau Tavengwa

Season 1, consisting of six episodes, launches 4 May followed by the release of a new episode every second week.

The pilot episode focuses on the Bo Kaap in Cape Town, South Africa. An anti-gentrification drive has united residents of the small, largely homogeneous Cape-Malay Muslim neighbourhood in the city’s centre. That is the story we have always heard. There are contesting views on what the neighbourhood’s struggle to retain its authenticity means. The episode looks at this.

The City Show is a co-production of Cityscapes Magazine and The Radio Workshop in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in conjunction with the African Centre for Cities. It is part of the Complexities project, a multi-year investigation on the difficulty of achieving successful urban intervention in growing cities across the global South.

  • Subscribe or listen to The City Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher