first podcasts in Russian appeared in the 2000s (one of the pioneers, for example, was the legendary VJ MTV and radio host Vasily Strelnikov), but podcasts in Russia are experiencing a real boom right now. We spoke with the authors of popular women's podcasts about who listens to them and why it matters.
My story, your story
I'm a podcast fan. Having stumbled upon this format two and a half years ago, I keep absorbing information. In Russia, this genre is still only in its infancy. Even in America, where podcasts have been around for fifteen years, now the peak and the number of listeners is only growing. Before creating my own, I listened to Tim Ferriss's podcast about the habits and mindsets of successful people. He interviews people who have succeeded in all spheres of human activity to understand how they did it, and to learn the secrets. Listening, I understood that most people I know do not dream of success, but want to see people like them, overcoming similar life circumstances. Therefore, I decided to talk with "simple, difficult" girls.
Recently I tried to collect at least five of my favorite episodes of "My Story, Your Story", and it turned out to be difficult. Among my interlocutors there are quite famous girls, such as Alena Alekhina, a former Russian snowboard champion who broke her back, Olga Marquez, my friend, singer and founder of #SEKTA, Varya Vedeneeva is the founder of the 365done.ru checklist website. But there is also Lena Shametova, who adopted a child from an orphanage, and my sister, who talked about her five-year journey to her son. There are almost 50 stories already, and each has something of value. Recently it turned out that my dad was listening to my podcast, which was very unexpected for me. After a year of listening, he said my Russian was better. It sounds funny, but I haven't lived in a Russian-speaking country since I was twelve, so this is a compliment for me.
Recently, I recorded a series of interviews with psychologists of different directions, where I asked everyone the same questions about how to choose a therapist - now it is in editing. I want to start recording short, thematic, solo podcasts, but with all this, I will not stop telling other people's stories - there is inspiration.
Unfortunately, I do not listen to podcasts in Russian, only in English, although I still hope to start listening to my colleagues. Favorite, of course, "Tim Ferriss Podcast", "Design Matters" with Debbie Millman, "The James Altucher Show", "Where Should We Begin?" with Esther Perel.
Daria Cherkudinova, Nastya Kurgan
We conceived "NORM" as a conversation about change, necessary in order to understand how the world is changing and we are changing with it. At some point, we often began to catch ourselves thinking: “Before, I would have reacted differently to this news”, “Previously, I would not have been shocked by this text”, “We used to get to know men differently”, “We used to have fewer requirements for employers”and so on. We decided that we are interested in discussing the transformation of morality, watching how technology affects the life of society, and reflecting on whether this is good or bad (in fact, this is not good and not bad - these are norms). The main idea remained, but now we are talking not only about some new or greatly changed phenomena. We discuss various difficult and vulnerable topics - relationships with parents, dissatisfaction with their appearance, and so on - with each other and with our guests.
Dasha: I love our issues on housing and on consumption. We managed to turn not the most viral topics in the direction of the personal stories of our heroes, laugh enough during the recording and tell the audience something useful.
Nastya: I am very happy when I hear that our releases on rather intimate topics helped and were in tune with someone.Once a complete stranger in a museum recognized me by my voice and said that in a sad moment our podcast about loneliness helped him. This issue, the issue about friendship and relationships with appearance, is the most personal for me and therefore beloved.
Dasha: I find it difficult to give all the issues, the topics of which are sensitive for me. For example, it was difficult to admit that I was not 100% happy with my appearance. The mood also soured a little after recording a podcast about how people change their lives - I suddenly realized that I had never turned my destiny 180 degrees, and this somehow made me feel uneasy. One more time I went to the recording, annoyed and angry and decided on the way to buy a beer and drink right in the studio. It was not a very wise decision - it became much more difficult to freely and clearly chat into the microphone.
Nastya: My mother is our regular listener. She doesn’t like that I’m being too frank, she was still brought up in other traditions. But after one of the issues, she wrote that she was proud of me - I must say that none of my editorial or journalistic work caused such a reaction in her.
Dasha: I love the True Crime genre and just recently listened to two very cool podcasts. The first is "Death in Ice Valley" about the mysterious unidentified corpse of a woman found in Norway in the 70s. The second is the season "Monster: The Zodiac Killer" about the serial killer Zodiac. I didn't expect much from this story, because I remember Fincher's film well - it is obvious to the viewer who is to blame, despite the fact that there is no direct evidence against this person. It turned out that in the film and in the book on which it was filmed, the facts were cleverly shuffled. Documentary filmmaker Payne Lindsay conducts his investigation and finds other suspects.
Nastya: On the contrary, I hardly listen to true-crime, I don’t watch procedures, I don’t read detective stories - sometimes I just download what Dasha is especially delighted with. I love podcasts in which people try to understand themselves, their relationships with others and the world around them: Heavyweight, Reply All, Where Should We Begin? psychotherapists Esther Perel. Recently, I often listen to podcasts of "Arzamas" - it's great that they approach the format from the point of view of entertainment journalism, and not as a talk show.
Is this sex?
Alina Danilova, Maria Konstantinidi, Alina Yaskova, Senya Avchinnikov
"Is this sex?" was born out of a study assignment: Masha had been hatching the idea of a micromedia about sex for a long time, and here there was an excellent opportunity to implement it. None of us have ever really gravitated towards audio media, but Masha managed to catch the podcast trend in the air, and we got down to business. "Is this sex?" - a podcast about difficult issues related to sexuality. We call people we are interested in, debunk myths about sex and try to make sex education accessible and understandable. We believe that sex is not just body movements and biochemistry, we conceptualize sex from cultural, political, artistic and even business sides.
Masha and Alina Danilova: Our favorite episode seems to be the third. In it, we, together with our guest editor Anna Chesova (the biggest girl crush ever), discuss the difference between having sex at twenty and thirty - a very sincere, funny and honest issue. Anya is an incredibly wise woman, we really admire her. She said that “a person is a process” and that it is stupid to think in stereotypes about “sex before thirty” and “sex after thirty”, although society continues to do this. We think this is a very wise approach to ourselves and our sexuality.
Senya: With all my heart I love the Christmas rush, because usually we are preparing very seriously for the releases, we try to question our guest in detail and get the most useful, let me even say, sometimes educational content for our listeners. And here you can finally relax, just chat and fool around. We're making a podcast about sex here, you can't turn into people with serious faces!
Alina Yaskova: My favorite episode with Tatyana Nikonova: she said a lot of things that I had been thinking about for a very long time, and since I usually do not host a podcast and do not speak out, it was especially pleasant for me.
Masha: The discovery for me was that my mom listens to the podcast. We never really talked to her about sex, I was very shy. But when my mother said that she was listening and even learning something new, I began to work much more confidently, and the dialogue with my mother on this topic became better.
Alina Danilova: Because of the podcast at my main job, I unexpectedly became a person with whom you can always discuss feminism - it's funny, because I have never positioned myself as a specialist in feminism. Probably, the fact is that the topic of sex in one way or another relates to the fempovent.
Masha: My favorite podcasts right now are Spin the Pedals and Our Turn to Talk. The second one is completely new, but it attracted me instantly, because the girls there are very fervent in talking about feminism and sorting out cool cases, for example, the whole story of Brie Larson's press tour. I immediately fell in love, I hope they will continue! "Spin the pedals" is not even a podcast, but a whole audio media: there are interviews with cool people and discussions on topical topics - for example, about physicality and time management. I love to listen to him while I'm cleaning the house.
Alina Danilova: Of the new podcasts, I really love Christina Wazowski's "Am i Ghanna Die" - the travel diary of a person who is going to shoot a documentary about a death in Ghana, but does not yet know how it will turn out. This is a very living story. It is with great pleasure that I listen to Meduza's First Birth, which contains honest stories of fathers about their attitude to their children. I hardly miss KuJi Podcast yet, because I am fascinated by Andrey Konyaev's manner of reasoning. Smart people are cool.
Alina Yaskova: I hardly listen to podcasts, except perhaps Two for the Price of One. I listen to him for a million reasons, at least because an independent life in combination with shopaholism, in principle, does not allow me to stop thinking about money for a day.
Senya: I really love two English-language podcasts: "Why Oh Why" and "Everything is Alive". The first is a podcast about dating and relationships, interviews with ordinary people about love, beauty, dating and everything that we feel. And the second - also interviews, but not with people, but with everyday things that surround us every day: a can of cola, a knocked out tooth, an elevator, a bar of soap. It is recorded without a script - everything is based on improvisation and immersion in the image, trying to understand a completely different creature.
"Christina, good afternoon!" and "This is a Failure"
It's a Failure is a podcast about situations in which something went wrong. I invite very different people, public and not so, and ask them to share their stories of their failures.
For the past few years, I've been a heavy listener on podcasts and really wanted to make my own. I read somewhere that you need to make a podcast only about what you understand, but a cool format was not born. Therefore, I decided to go from the opposite and chose what was always the most difficult for me to talk about - failure. At first it was very scary: the voice trembled, I re-recorded the introduction, probably fifty times, but it was artisanal and honest and, apparently, the listeners won over and they stayed with me.
My favorite episode is an experimental one, called "Physicality". These are twelve monologues from very different people about their relationship with their own body. In general, I don’t think of my podcast as a product that “changes lives” - this is primarily an entertaining story - but, according to my inner feelings, “Corporeality” has transferred what is happening to some completely different semantic level. The episode begins with my monologue, and although my story is far from the harshest, I talked about unworked things - it was difficult and important, and sincere and I hope you hear it.
Mom listens to all my episodes, and we often discuss what she thinks - she says which of the guests she liked and who did not.I was very worried before releasing a release about sex - I knew that she would listen, and I was telling pretty frank things about myself. But everything is great - she said that it turned out very cheerful and funny.
"Christina, good afternoon!" is a podcast about podcasts. I invite the creators of my favorite Russian-language podcasts, ask about their podcast life and collect recommendations - which podcasts to subscribe to right now. I felt that podcasts were growing at a wild pace, but at the same time, the obvious idea of making a podcast about podcasts had not yet been implemented (or at least I did not know about it). I also really wanted to meet, communicate, be friends and share knowledge with other cool podcasters. Mischief managed. Three of my favorite episodes: “Brewed a Business” - the most informative; Blitz and Chips is the funniest; "Podcasts Come x It's A Failure" is the liveliest.
It was not easy for me to get my story, your story. I live in London, and the host of the podcast Lena Degtyar was in Australia. I hooked Lena at the last moment and promised that I would adjust to her, but did not take into account the time difference - eleven hours. Had to get up at 5:30 in the morning and it hurt.
I work for an English company, with my English colleagues - which is logical. They, of course, do not understand a word of Russian, but they still brag to their friends about my banners in iTunes and are generally very happy about my success.
Of the podcasts in Russian, I like Vanderlast's Podcast by Sveta Shedina, About People by Lev Pikalev and NORM by Dasha Cherkudinova and Nastya Kurgan.
Anastasia Krasilnikova, Lana Uzarashvili, Katerina Denisova
Our podcast is one of the lines of activity of the FEM TALKS project, within the framework of which we hold mini-conferences at Moscow State University on feminism issues, translate and write articles. We try to structure the podcast well and provide the listeners with a certain framework - we talk about the articles on the basis of which we draw conclusions, about the facts unknown to the general public. In general, we make a report in the form of a kind of research, diluting it with conversations, personal opinions and humor. There are definitely no feminist podcasts like ours in Russia now.
Since we have no investors and our funds are limited, it was not easy for us to record the first podcast. We even quarreled several times about how to record: at home or in the studio. It was difficult at all to understand why we are doing this, whether they will listen to us. As a result, we signed up for one microphone at one of us at home and then edited everything ourselves - when you edit, you just can't listen to your voice and you notice all the mistakes, all the problems with diction. Not everyone was happy with the quality, but overall it seems to have worked out well. True, it turned out to be very difficult not to interrupt each other and evenly distribute time for everyone - this, too, as it turned out, needs to be learned. But then we focused on our own pleasure, and we got a conversation between our friends about urban feminism - moderately chatty, moderately theoretical. It is important for us to maintain this balance and tone.
In the future, we are going to invite guests - experts on various topics to discuss some specific issues with them. We want our podcast to represent different points of view within feminism so that guests can share their knowledge and experience. When you cook for a long time in all this, it begins to seem as if you already know everything you can, but every time we communicate with other feminists, we learn something new and come to new conclusions - a podcast can become such a channel for broadcasting something new.
Lana: I love the Feminist Killjoys, PhD podcast. It seems to me that this is an ideal format: they take a topic related to feminism and leftist discourse in general, discuss it from a theoretical point of view, without overly complicating terms and constructions, and dilute it with personal stories and experiences. This podcast helped me with some issues that I could not solve in my head.At night I sometimes listen to the podcast Adwoa Aboa "Gurls Talk": I really like her voice and it is interesting to listen to different stories of women about their professional experience, self-acceptance and problems with the environment. Sometimes I watch KuJi Podcast because they have a pretty good concept: they are popular, and I'm interested in understanding what is the secret of creating such content.
Katya: Feminist Killjoys, PhD is truly the benchmark. I don't listen to a lot of podcasts, but I love this one. I listened to "The Guilty Feminist" a couple of times - very funny, but, as it seemed to me from the episodes that I listened to, it was not very informative. Another interesting podcast "Reversal Of The Muse", it's a pity that it quickly stopped coming out. In it, British performer Laura Marling interviews various musicians and composers, thus revealing the "feminine" in the field of creativity (and we know that women in art are more often viewed as a muse than as an artist).
Nastya: From Russian speakers I listen to "Blitz & Chips" - this is the first podcast that I listened to in principle, then it was still LAM. It is from him that I just have the feeling of a conversation with friends, so it is good to listen in those intervals of life when you withdraw into yourself and feel alone.
It is not simple
Podcasts fit perfectly into the scripts of your daily routine and make them look cooler. I now adore cleaning, cooking, traveling by subway or car, as this is the opportunity to play my favorite podcast - it's just that not everyone has discovered it for themselves. I tried this format when I started driving. Two hours of the road to and from the office had to be occupied with something, radio and music did not cope very well, but time flew by with podcasts. I listened to a lot of lifestyle podcasts in English - for example, "Ctrl alt =" "Del", "Millennial", "Pardon My French", "The Heart of It" - and they really charged and inspired me. I especially liked listening to people's stories: I cried, laughed at the wheel and never ceased to wonder what a powerful force audio, the voices of strangers can have.
So I realized that I wanted to do something similar, but in Russian - for those who do not have very good English. Plus, I was sure that we have no fewer heroines whose stories can inspire even more, because we have a common reality: when you go into a blizzard and listen to life in London or Los Angeles, it is somehow more difficult to transfer the experience of the hero to yourself. … Last spring, after switching to a new job, I had a professional crisis. I couldn’t continue doing what I’ve been doing for the past four years - international PR at tech companies. I made a difficult decision for myself to pause my career and went to rest, to think of who I wanted to be next. Then I finally figured out what my podcast should be about and did "It's Not Easy."
This is a podcast about finding your own business, your profession. About the courage and courage that is required for this. And also about fear, difficulties and doubts along the way. Together with the heroines of the podcast and thanks to their stories, I try to figure out how we make certain decisions, where dreams come from and where our interests are formed. What is success?
Self-realization questions - "Who am I, as a professional?", "Do I like my job?", "What will I do next?" - even before the podcast occupied the lion's share of my thoughts. At dinner with friends, we most often discussed work. The huge response of listeners to the podcast confirmed my hypothesis: at twenty or thirty years old, modern people are madly worried about this topic, everyone is looking for themselves, changing the direction of their career, doubting and wanting to find confirmation that all this is not in vain. My podcast tells the stories of those who were able to answer these questions for themselves and found a profession that makes them happy. And this is precisely what we all strive for.
I am often asked why I only interview girls - this is my deliberate choice. I believe that it is more difficult for girls to hear their real desires, to give up something, to change the vector.Professional choice is influenced by family expectations, relationship with a partner, desire for financial independence, or, conversely, fear of remaining financially vulnerable. In short, at least I always have a million emotions, thoughts, doubts and fears in my head, and therefore I want to support the girls by telling them the stories of other girls of the same kind who could. I don't want to generalize, but there is a feeling that my boyfriend friends have a different attitude to these things, they see their professional path more simply and clearly. Maybe I'm wrong.
I don't have one favorite episode, but there are those that are especially memorable. I love the graduation with Lena Degtyar for her unusual history and memories of the world of a graduate biologist. We talk a lot about how she did science, and it's incredibly interesting. The episode with the photographer Anisia Kuzmina came out very touching, we even cry in it. I love the episodes with my friends, because there we excitedly discuss a variety of topics: for example, with Lena Filippova, the founder of travel media Perito Burrito, we remember how we worked in Interview magazine.
In December, I had a special issue about female friendship, support and courage. This is a project that we did with the NNedre clothing brand and Anisia Kuzmina. I recorded the stories of 13 girls, their memories of friends, and put it all into one episode. It took three days to record, the same amount of time to listen to the material, then there was a heavy-heavy editing. The experiment was a success, and many listeners called this particular release the most sincere.
Surprisingly, the podcast has activated many of the colleagues I have ever worked with, many of which I have not interacted with for several years. People come back to my life, they say very nice things about "It's Not Easy" and almost everyone admits that the topic of changing their profession is especially relevant for them now. Two girls with whom I worked, but communicated very little, even became patrons of the podcast on Patreon - they were so hooked on the topic.
The family also listens to the podcast, at first they did not miss a single episode. The husband gives feedback on each issue. Mom, if she makes her way through an hour of conversation and does not fall asleep (I’m still trying to convince her not to listen to the podcast while sitting on the couch in the evening), she always points out where I pulled the interview coolly and where I missed it. Perhaps they are my strictest critics.
My favorite podcasts so far are Recode Decode, Without Fail, On The Line with cool interviews and characters that I'm interested in, Homecoming as a narrative fictional podcast. Recent discoveries in Russian: "Well, pa-up!", "First give birth" and the terribly funny "The dog ate the diary."
Spin the Pedals
I made a podcast almost two years ago, and then no one from my circle knew why the purple icon on the iPhone was needed. There were very few podcasts in Russian, and many of them had not been updated for a long time, so I decided to take a chance and create my own. I was driven by curiosity, fear and excitement. I didn't know what would happen in the end and if anyone would listen to me at all. It turned out that there are such people, there are many of them, and they are very “hungry”.
Spin the Pedals is a podcast about brave people and their brave deeds. My guests are people with an unusual and interesting background, work or study experience. For example, a Harvard student or a visual merchandiser. Now I am doing two rubrics. The first is interviews with guests, and I am doing the Imperfect section together with my friend Kristina Yakovlenko. This is an experimental rubric where we test different habits on ourselves, for example, daily reading or the practice of a foreign language. I plan to add one more heading, my podcast in general is a real vinaigrette from headings.
I especially remember the episode with my friends, where we discussed Valentine's Day. It was another experiment: I invited my friends home, made a risotto and turned on the microphone. I think the episode came out very lively, and I never laughed so much while working on a podcast.
Something always goes wrong, and each episode is complicated in its own way.Somewhere there are problems with the sound, somewhere the guest tells the recipe for aunt's pie and forgets to answer the question. Somewhere an unsuccessful topic, but somewhere just a bad mood. If, despite all the difficulties and obstacles, the episode turned out to be honest, sincere and useful, everything in the world can be forgiven.
I remember when I released the first episode, my mother threw off a link to it to all her colleagues, friends and subordinates with a convincing request to listen to it to the end. Then I was very touched by her support, faith in me and in my little project. Now I think that my parents do not listen to the podcast, but they regularly like all the articles, interviews and publications that come out about me or the podcast.
Probably the most important comment I got from my boyfriend's father. We were on vacation in Europe, and he decided to listen to the episode with Varya Vedeneeva in the car, in the presence of me and his family. It was difficult, I was shy and terribly nervous. Then, in the car, I received incredibly valuable advice - to find your focus and not to get distracted. I have learned my lesson and never again ask questions that are not interesting to me, or topics that are not close to me.
I really love the podcasts and audio courses that Arzamas makes. My favorites are "How to see art through the eyes of its contemporaries" and "How to understand Japan." I regularly return to the podcast "Art for Boys" by Glagolev FM, and now I listen to the podcast "Origins" about the TV series "Sex and the City", where the host is trying to figure out why this series has become so cult.
COVER: cloud7days - stock.adobe.com