Radio Atlas is an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world. It is a place to hear inventive documentaries, dramas, and works of sound art that have been made in languages that you don’t necessarily speak. The project received a Special Commendation at the Prix Europa in 2016, and has been featured at film and audio festivals around the world. Radio Atlas has now become a podcast.
Eleanor McDowall runs the Radio Atlas website. She is a series producer for “Short Cuts” which is described as “short documentaries and adventures in sound”. It is on BBC Radio 4. Eleanor McDowall also is a senior producer at Falling Tree Productions (an independent radio production company.)
Podcasts are audio based. Some podcasters do live shows, put the audio out as a podcast episode, and post the video on YouTube. People often listen to podcasts while doing something else (like commuting, housework, or exercising). Radio Atlas requires listeners to read subtitles – unless they happen to speak the language that the story was written in.
How does that work? Radio Atlas episodes are presented in video format. The audio is the focus, and is in a language other than English. Listeners can read English subtitles as the story is being told.
This is a unique way to do a podcast. It is probably the only way the Radio Atlas podcast could work. It provides an experience that one cannot get from listening a typical podcast while doing the dishes. You must sit down and pay attention to the Radio Atlas podcast without multitasking. It requires you to be mentally present, and to immerse yourself into each episode.
— Radio Atlas (@radioatlas) July 12, 2017