Empire with Danny Dorling

Empire with Danny Dorling

This week Katherine and Paul welcome the incredible social geographer Danny Dorling. Join us as we don our breathing apparatus and dive deep, deep down into all sorts of topics including the British Empire, inequality, brexit and pandemics.

Danny’s huge brain is our guide in contemplating a more honest understanding of Britain’s history and position in the world. He challenges us to confront why we, as a country, often think we’re somehow special and different to other countries. 

When Danny spoke at Greenbelt last year, he spoke about Brexit. We managed to catch up with him in June to talk about all the latest B-word antics, as well as the odds on a second lockdown. Meanwhile Katherine and Paul tackle their own demons as they react to some less-than-positive feedback in which Greenbelt was compared, obviously, to the antichrist.

As always, you can find links, resources and episode timestamps (for all you skippers out there) below.



Danny Dorling is a professor at the University of Oxford and has lived all his life in England. To try to counter his myopic worldview, in 2006, Danny started working with a group of researchers on a project to remap the world (www.worldmapper.org). He has published with many colleagues more than a dozen books on issues related to social inequalities in Britain and several hundred journal papers.
Twitter: @dannydorling
Facebook: @dorlingdanny



‘What’s So Funny About Brexit?’ by Danny Dorling https://bit.ly/gbtv-brexit 

Pussy Riot in residence https://www.greenbelt.org.uk/artists/pussy-riot-in-residence/  

‘SLOWDOWN’ by Danny Dorling http://www.dannydorling.org/books/SLOWDOWN/

Rhodes Must Fall, the removal of a Cecil Rhodes statue in Oxford https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_Must_Fall



Add education on diversity and racism to all school curriculums: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/323808

Making the UK education curriculum more inclusive of BAME history: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/323961

Teach Britain’s colonial past as part of the UK’s compulsory curriculum: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/324092

There are several ongoing petitions about race and equality more widely, which you can view here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions?state=open&topic=race-and-equality



‘What’s So Funny About Brexit?’
Audio: https://bit.ly/gbtalk-brexit
Video (with subtitles): https://bit.ly/gbtv-brexit 

‘Peak Inequality and Food Bank Use’ https://bit.ly/gbtalk-foodbank 


00:00 – Welcome to Somewhere To Believe In
00:30 – Katherine and Paul catch up
01:40 – Reactions to Somewhere To Believe In
03:08 – Messages from listeners
04:30 – Katherine and Paul’s favourite Greenbelt Festival moments
07:25 – Introducing Danny Dorling and his work
08:00 – Danny joins the conversation
08:19 – Danny on lockdown
09:20 – Danny on Greenbelt and Brexit
11:46 – Danny on the British Empire and Brexit
12:45 – Talk Snippet from #GB19 ‘What’s So Funny About Brexit?’
23:21 – Danny on pandemics and kindness
26:50 – Danny on a hopeful future
29:00 – Danny on the second peak of covid-19
32:38 – Danny on “Make Britain Great Again”
34:50 – Danny on the fall of the British Empire
36:20 – Danny on colonial monuments and statues
37:13 – Danny on his new book ‘Slow Down’
40:00 – Danny on spending and what really matters
42:14 – Danny on inequality
44:46 – Danny’s recommendations
48:00 – Katherine and Paul reflect on the conversation with Danny
53:18 – Coming up in next week’s episode
53:58 – How to get in touch with us
55:24 – Thank you’s


A huge thanks to the Greenbelt Volunteer Talks Team for all their hard work on editing this episode. Our podcast music is ‘I Can Change’ by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.