How can infrastructure be criminal? How does a mine, an electricity grid, a prison or a factory, become a perpetrator of violence, insecurity and threat? Material Crimes tries to answer these questions. Each episode investigates a different, discrete piece of infrastructure, tracing its global - often colonial - connections across time and space. They show us how the physical sites of everyday life are intimately linked to networks of private and public actors that inflict violence on spaces and communities often living on the margins. The series also shines a spotlight on the movements people have built to reveal and challenge the infrastructural crimes that harm them.

Season 1 is currently broadcasting and Season 2 is under production. 

︎︎︎ About the Project
︎︎︎ A Guide to Making an Episode

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Podcast Description:

Material Crimes is what happens when ‘true crime’ meets ‘academic research.’ Like a detective, each episode’s narrator follows the trail of a different infrastructural crime, grounded in a specific site, with its own particular history. But whether the focus is an electricity grid, a prison, a trainline or a mine, in a neighbourhood in London, South Africa’s urban slums, or a military base in Cuba, contributors explain how infrastructures maintain and perpetuate uneven and violent systems of conquest, resource extraction and profit-making.  As a whole, the series takes a deep dive into the material crimes that shape the lives of colonised, racialised and marginalised communities everywhere, and how they are mobilising for different, liberationist futures. 

Countless voices have gone into the making of this series. Every episode is told by a different narrator, each with a deeply personal connection to the infrastructural crime they describe. Across the series you’ll also hear from a host of incredible academics and activists who help unravel the infrastructural crimes - and struggles for justice - spotlighted in the series. After each episode, Chantelle and Tissot chat with the narrator about what they learned in making the episode and what they hope to share with the world by contributing to the series.

Team/Behind the podcast:

Maia Holtermann Entwistle (LSE) and Sharri Plonski (QMUL) are the series’ co-directors. They are both scholars of colonialism, infrastructure, race, and resistance, with a regional focus on the Middle East.

Surviving Society Podcast - the series’ hosts, co-producers and intellectual collaborators - is an audio and digital resource contributing to the systemic change needed in education, working with a huge array of creative folks and interlocutors. Hosted by Chantelle J Lewis & Tissot Regis and executive produced by George (Adders) Ofori-Addo, the podcast is a dialogical tool of resistance embedded in the politics of representation, liberation, and equity. The Surviving Society podcast currently hosts over 150 episodes focused on scholarship, activism, and community organising.

Bronte Dow and Surviving Society’s George (Adders) Ofori-Addo are the sound editors behind this first season of the series. Bronte is an artist, sound engineer and filmmaker, currently working at Novara Media. In addition to his role as executive producer with Surviving Society, Adders is an award-winning audio-producer. He has worked on numerous productions including BBC 5 Live’sTailenders and BBC1 xtra - Smartphones, and the podcasts of Echo Chamber, The world is ours, to name a few.

Queen Mary University of London:

Surviving Society Podcast:
Material Crimes  is currently co-funded by the Surviving Society Podcast and the School of Politics and International Relations, the Global Politics Unbound Research Cluster and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Queen Mary University of London

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