The Dark Room
Episode #128 - Dr. Harriet Fraad - Capitalism and Loneliness

Episode #128 - Dr. Harriet Fraad - Capitalism and Loneliness

November 18, 2022

Paul talks with Dr. Harriet Fraad—activist, psychotherapist and author—about the much under-discussed connection between capitalism and loneliness. Though in recent years there has been a great deal of work within mainstream media, such as popular magazines and news articles, on the “loneliness epidemic”—the pervasive sense of our being disconnected from one another and the emotionally difficulty of this—seldom does such media implicate larger political economic structures, as producing the epidemic itself.

In contrast Dr. Fraad invites us to look at how capitalism, particularly with a focus on demoralizing forms of wage labour, keeps us isolated and apart. In turn, community is undermined and people do not feel cared about. Dr. Fraad and Paul, on a positive note, explore how this can be overcome when we—together—challenge capitalism and work to create a cooperative, harmonious and ultimately healthier society. 

Learn more about Dr. Fraad here, as well as watch her insightful Democracy At Work videos (part of the “Capitalism Hits Home” series) here. 

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Restivo 

Music - Paul Salvatori

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 6): In Conversation with Michael Lynk

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 6): In Conversation with Michael Lynk

July 26, 2022

Paul talks with Michael Lynk, law professor and former United Nations Special Rapporteur (2016 – 2022) on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967. Michael, citing formative experiences in his own life, shares how he first became involved in issues of Palestinian justice, the way--using legal and human rights frameworks as Rapporteur--he was able to determine Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people and what is incumbent on us, fellow members of the international community, to challenge and overturn that.

Learn more about Michael here.

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Paul Salvatori

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 5): In Conversation with Rebecca Stein

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 5): In Conversation with Rebecca Stein

March 22, 2022

Paul talks with Duke University professor and cultural anthropologist, Rebecca Stein, about her insightful work on the ways in which activists are using social and digital media to challenge, resist and expose the crimes of the Israeli state against Palestinians, as well as the challenges they face from the state itself—committed to distorting or manipulating actual documentary footage—to deny the crimes themselves. As Rebecca reveals, the state's military and often with the support of the larger Israeli society ultimately do so to further achieve violent colonial and imperialistic ends, the unsufferable costs of which are endured by Palestinians daily. 

This is the fourth episode of The Dark Room's "Palestine in Perspective" series, which from here on in (with possible exceptions) be available in audio format only. 

Learn more about Professor Stein here, including her most recent book Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine.

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Paul Salvatori

 

Episode #127 - Henry Giroux - Fighting Oppression through Education

Episode #127 - Henry Giroux - Fighting Oppression through Education

February 10, 2022

Paul talks to well-known political educator, author and writer, Henry Giroux, about the value of radical education and how it empowers learners to critique, resist and challenge various forms of oppression—from racism and poverty to classism and sexism. For Henry this involves rejecting conventional educational models, often found in public education, that primarily train or condition students to “succeed” in the neoliberal marketplace. Instead Henry offers insight into how education, in the spirit of Paolo Freire’s (a mentor to and seminal influence on Henry) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, can be much more profound. Through dialogue that interrogates the structures under which they live, it is a formidable means by which students can reimagine society—grounded in care and mutuality rather than crude individualism and competition—while acting collectively to realize it. 

Learn more about Henry, including access to his work here.

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Paul Salvatori

Episode #126 - Rose Catalano - Strength and Values for Leadership

Episode #126 - Rose Catalano - Strength and Values for Leadership

December 21, 2021

Paul talks with Toronto-based author and seasoned entrepreneur, Rose Catalano, about her journey into and through non-fiction writing.

Immigrating from Italy at a young age, Rose shares what it was like growing up in Toronto while having to contend unfair gender expectations against women, how she overcame them (in significant part with guidance and encouragement from her grandmother) and, finally, went on to become a successful business owner—where she, again, would have to battle pervasive sexism in a field not welcoming to women.

Much of what has allowed Rose to surmount difficult life challenges is a strong set of values, allowing her to remain courageous and resilient. She explores this further in her latest book, It’s Not My Fault: Reclaiming Leadership and Values, where she invites readers to become a socially responsible and positive force for change.  

Learn more about Rose and purchase her books here.

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CREDITS

Producer – Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host – Dr. Paul Salvatori

Music – “Down Days” (David Renda)

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 4): In Conversation with David Miller

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 4): In Conversation with David Miller

October 19, 2021

Paul talks with UK scholar, David Miller, about recently losing his position University of Bristol—as a professor of political sociology—for being critical of the Israeli state. Connecting this to his work, David shares how a powerful lobby, comprised of various groups and working closely with the, have been successful in framing such criticism as “anti-Semitism.” In fact, this has been an unfair charge leveled against him by the lobby and played a significant role in his being fired. Finally, Miller discusses how the lobby purposely obscures or directs attention away from Israel’s state-sanctioned racism, reflected in its oppressive laws and violence against Palestinians, while falsely presenting the state—through public relations and other effective techniques—as a democracy.

Follow David on Twitter and view the petition to help reinstate him at the University of Bristol here

You may also watch the video version of this episode either on YouTube or Facebook.  

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 3): In Conversation with Gideon Levy

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 3): In Conversation with Gideon Levy

September 23, 2021

Paul talks with well-known, Gideon Levy, about his courageous (and award-winning) work--exposing the criminal violence of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people--the extent to which efforts exist to undermine this within Israeli civil society itself and how the international community can help end the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Watch the video of the full discussion, of which this episode is the audio, on YouTube.

Follow and receive updates on Gideon’s journalism through his Haaretz page, where he regularly publishes insightful articles on the plight of the Palestinian people.

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 2): In Conversation with Richard Falk

Palestine in Perspective (Episode 2): In Conversation with Richard Falk

August 22, 2021

Paul talks with Richard Falk, Professor of International Law and Practice, Emeritus (Princeton University) and prolific human rights author, about his experience as former United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”, the parallels between former South African and current Israel apartheid—oppressing the Palestinian people—and Israel’s attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the upcoming (September 2021)and fourth UN anti-racism conference in New York City.  

Learn more about Richard at richardfalk.org and his recently published memoir discussed in the episode, Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim, here. Finally, video of the discussion, for which this episode is the audio can be seen here.

Palestine in Perspective: In Conversation with Ilan Pappe

Palestine in Perspective: In Conversation with Ilan Pappe

August 3, 2021

This is the audio of the recent video interview, sharing the title of this podcast episode. 

In the interview, Paul speaks with renowned Israeli historian and activist, Ilan Pappe, on the history of Palestine, the ongoing attempt by Israel to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people (within and outside the illegally occupied Palestinian territories by the state) and, finally, how Israel has been relatively successful in avoiding prosecution for crimes against humanity, including major public relations campaigns—branding it as “progressive” and “democratic.” Ilan sheds light on how such branding is now being undermined by independent and social media, exposing the darker and inhumane side of Israel, while also galvanizing international support for the Palestinian struggle for justice.

Learn more about Ilan Pappe here

Episode #125 - Fr. Dwight Longenecker - Evil in Us

Episode #125 - Fr. Dwight Longenecker - Evil in Us

July 26, 2021

Paul talks with American writer, Catholic priest and thinker, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, about evil, pride and selfishness. Reflecting ideas in his recent book, Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness, Fr. Dwight elucidates the dark side of our humanity, providing difficult though important insight into how dishonesty underlies the three and the dangerous consequences, for both ourselves and others, where we fail to confront it. Being a genuinely good person, as Fr. Dwight shows, is much harder than simply appearing to say and do the right things, even where that might gain us praise from others and allow us to “get ahead” in the world.

Learn more about Fr. Dwight here.   

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Paul Salvatori

Episode #124 - Vijay Prashad - The Injustice of Poverty

Episode #124 - Vijay Prashad - The Injustice of Poverty

June 13, 2021

Paul talks with Indian historian, journalist and intellectual, Vijay Prashad, about poverty, its totalizing character—in so far as it affects people’s whole realm of life, rather than their material circumstances alone—and how neoliberalism has accelerated the spread of poverty worldwide. Before the end of the discussion, Vijay share why progressive taxation, instead of philanthropy that tends to favour the already well-off, is but one responsible approach to undermining poverty.

Learn more about Vijay and his engaging political journalism here.

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CREDITS

Producer - Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Paul Salvatori

Episode #123 - Catherine Liu - The Sanctimony of the Professional Managerial Class

Episode #123 - Catherine Liu - The Sanctimony of the Professional Managerial Class

April 13, 2021

Dr. Paul talks with Dr. Catherine Liu, professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California Irvine and socialist cultural critic, about her recent book, Virtue Hoarders: The Case Against the Professional Managerial Classcommonly referred to as the “PMC.” Drawing from the book, Catherine reveals how the PMC—from academics to social workers—have become the educated elite of modern capitalist society.

Though the class presents itself as being a defender of human rights, Catherine contends how this is largely illusory and obscures both their self-serving interests, including the consolidation of power and wealth, as well their rejection of the poor and working class. Finally, speaking to socialism’s potential to challenge this, the episode invites us to ask: how can popular struggle be achieved to create a more fair and just society, where all—and not only select classes like the PMC—can live materially comfortable and dignified lives?

Learn more about Catherine here.

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Photo - Los Angeles Review of Books

 

 

Episode #122 - Carlos Cruz Mosquera: Street Gangs and the Danger of “Positive Thinking”

Episode #122 - Carlos Cruz Mosquera: Street Gangs and the Danger of “Positive Thinking”

February 2, 2021

Dr. Paul Salvatori talks with socialist activist and scholar, Carlos Cruz Mosquera, about how “positive thinking”, as often found in popular self-help books, is a distraction from and counterproductive to fighting oppressive capitalist society. Drawing from his own experience as a former gang member and, later, motivational speaker, Carlos shares why radical political education is necessary to empower youth, especially those who—deprived by capitalist society of meaningful socio-economic opportunities—are prone to engaging in criminality.   

Read Carlos’ engaging article, “I’m a former gang member and I’m done peddling positivity”, and one of the focuses of this episode here. Also learn more about Anticonquista, a socialist publication focusing on the Latin American and Caribbean diaspora and which Carlos is co-editor, here.  

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

 

Education Outside the System (Part 3) : Dean Spade on Mutual Aid and Learning through Activism

Education Outside the System (Part 3) : Dean Spade on Mutual Aid and Learning through Activism

January 24, 2021

In this three-part feature, honouring the UN International Day of Education, Dr. Paul Salvatori—alongside podcasts guests—explores the nature of genuine learning, how it can happen outside the conventional educational system and ways it is both empowering for both the individual and community.

In the feature’s first discussion, Dr. Paul talks with Irish professor, Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons, about the value of “community education”, while addressing how it, as a force for social and political change—has unfortunately been undermined by “professionals”—disconnected from the grassroots level. In the feature’s second discussion, Dr. Paul talks with American educational researcher and critic, Alfie Kohn, about the problem of “rewards” in the school system and how that both reinforces obedience to authority and discourages independent learning. Finally, in the third discussion of the feature, Dr. Paul talks with American activist, author and lawyer, Dean Spade, about the value and potential to learn from one another through mutual aid, based on consensus-building, and that operates outside traditional systems of power.

Learn more about each of the three guests of this feature, including their recent work and publications by clicking on their names:

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Education Outside the System (Part 2) : Alfie Kohn on the Troubling Conformity in Schools

Education Outside the System (Part 2) : Alfie Kohn on the Troubling Conformity in Schools

January 24, 2021

In this three-part feature, honouring the UN International Day of Education, Dr. Paul Salvatori—alongside podcasts guests—explores the nature of genuine learning, how it can happen outside the conventional educational system and ways it is both empowering for both the individual and community.

In the feature’s first discussion, Dr. Paul talks with Irish professor, Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons, about the value of “community education”, while addressing how it, as a force for social and political change—has unfortunately been undermined by “professionals”—disconnected from the grassroots level. In the feature’s second discussion, Dr. Paul talks with American educational researcher and critic, Alfie Kohn, about the problem of “rewards” in the school system and how that both reinforces obedience to authority and discourages independent learning. Finally, in the third discussion of the feature, Dr. Paul talks with American activist, author and lawyer, Dean Spade, about the value and potential to learn from one another through mutual aid, based on consensus-building, and that operates outside traditional systems of power.

Learn more about each of the three guests of this feature, including their recent work and publications by clicking on their names:

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Education Outside the System (Part 1) : Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons on Community Education

Education Outside the System (Part 1) : Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons on Community Education

January 24, 2021

In this three-part feature, honouring the UN International Day of Education, Dr. Paul Salvatori—alongside podcasts guests—explores the nature of genuine learning, how it can happen outside the conventional educational system and ways it is both empowering for both the individual and community.

In the feature’s first discussion, Dr. Paul talks with Irish professor, Dr. Camilla Fitzsimons, about the value of “community education”, while addressing how it, as a force for social and political change—has unfortunately been undermined by “professionals”—disconnected from the grassroots level. In the feature’s second discussion, Dr. Paul talks with American educational researcher and critic, Alfie Kohn, about the problem of “rewards” in the school system and how that both reinforces obedience to authority and discourages independent learning. Finally, in the third discussion of the feature, Dr. Paul talks with American activist, author and lawyer, Dean Spade, about the value and potential to learn from one another through mutual aid, based on consensus-building, and that operates outside traditional systems of power.

Learn more about each of the three guests of this feature, including their recent work and publications by clicking on their names:

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Update

Update

January 22, 2021

Some interesting episodes to look out before the end of this month, starting this Sunday. 

Coping with COVID: Call for Guests

Coping with COVID: Call for Guests

May 18, 2020

How are you coping with COVID-19? Is there a personal story, related to that, you'd like share--from dealing with isolation and loneliness to fears over the pandemic itself--that might help others amid this difficult time?

If so, Dr. Paul would love to talk with you about the possibility of being a guest on The Dark Room. He can be reached at paulsalvatori@sympatico.ca 

 

Episode #121 - Fourth Annual Maria Salvatori Mother’s Day Special: Exploring motherhood and the troubling practice of skin lightening with Professor Nikki Khanna

Episode #121 - Fourth Annual Maria Salvatori Mother’s Day Special: Exploring motherhood and the troubling practice of skin lightening with Professor Nikki Khanna

May 11, 2020

The idea that a mother's "love" made do more harm than good is certainly a difficult one, especially when that love reflects a prevalent cultural norms. 

Addressing this, Dr. Paul speaks with Professor Nikki Khanna (University of Virginia) about how mothers within the Asian-American community, as much of elsewhere in the non-Western world, influence or pressure their daughters to physically lighten their skin.

It's also one of the main themes in Professor Khanna's recent book, Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism, where she--and the voices of several Asian American female authors--illuminate the big business of skin lightening products and how, through propaganda-like imagery and advertising, it perpetuates the racist myth that the whiter you are, the more "value" you have as a person. 

Learn more about Professor Khanna here. You may also purchase Whiter here.

Special thanks to journalist and social justice advocate, Ayesha Khan, for her guidance in the preparation of this episode.

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Episode #120 - Exploring the unsettling rise of “influencer” culture with Tatum Dooley

Episode #120 - Exploring the unsettling rise of “influencer” culture with Tatum Dooley

April 27, 2020

Have you been persuaded by an “influencer”? Do you really know?

Dr. Paul talks to Toronto-based journalist and art curator, Tatum Dooley, about the rise of influencers, namely popular individuals online selling what appears to be a “natural” or “ordinary” part of their lives, and how they are pairing—through agencies like Toronto’s #paid—to with trendy brands to strategically push their products.   

Bearing on the power of images and art, the discussion explores how ethical influencer marketing is and to what extent audiences can make informed choices as to whether to buy from them, thereby having the opportunity to resist the allure of advertising. 

Learn more about Tatum here.

You can also read her engaging pieces, discussed in this episode, on influencer culture at The Walrus (“We’ll All Be Social Media Sell Outs Soon”) and  Real Life (“Cost of Simplicity”).

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CREDITS

Producer - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Writer & Host - Dr. Paul Salvatori

Sound Editor - Peter Bull

Music - Dr. Paul Salvatori

 

 

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