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Two Chickpeas in a Podcast, Live at the Natural History Museum

2nd Year SENSE student Ashar attended an event at the Natural History Museum in January, featuring on a podcast panel discussion on the intersection between racial and environmental justice.

On 26th January, I was invited to be a guest speaker on the podcast, “Two Chickpeas in a Podcast”, who were running a session and live episode recording at an event run by the Natural History Museum’s Explorers Programme. The podcast focused on the intersection between racial and environmental justice, and the disproportionate impact of climate change on people of colour (PoC). 

The Explorers Programme supports and encourages those from racially marginalised backgrounds into careers related to Earth, environmental and ecological sciences, highlighting that everyone deserves the right to access. The programme’s events include an annual careers conference for professionals, early career researchers and undergraduate students, a Build a Museum event for sixth form students, and family festivals revolving around the natural environment. 

The event, Explorers Night: Mind, Body, Space, ran from 6-10pm. The public were allowed to roam parts of the Natural History Museum freely to immerse themselves in experiences brought by scientists, creatives and activists exploring our relationship with nature. These address various obstacles to us enjoying nature which stem from societal perspectives and treatment of race, and other aspects of our identity. Several activities were run, including a sensory space related to the marine realm, special tours of collections, nature-related poetry, workshops and quiz games, a Talkaoke (live drop-in talk show) and a patchwork quilt collaborative art project. 

From left to right, Josh Virasami, Nikkita Beghi (podcast host), Ashar, and Natasha Beghi (podcast host), smiling while stood around a board which says ‘Two Chickpeas in a Podcast: An Explorers Night Event, #ExplorersNight’. They are stood at the base of a staircase near to the Attenborough Studio and Spirit Collection at the Natural History Museum, London.

“Two Chickpeas in a Podcast” is hosted by sisters Natasha and Nikkita Beghi from West London. The podcast explores what it means to be a British Asian in the modern day, in terms of identity and heritage. I joined Josh Virasami, an activist, artist and author involved in political and climate justice movements, on the podcast panel for the live episode. We discussed various topics including: 

  • What are the perceptions of climate migrants in the media? 
  • What would happen if UK residents had to seek refuge in other countries due to climate change? 
  • Who does the work to look at the climate crisis and how it affects PoC? 
  • How do we work through the crisis when there is an inherent hierarchy in who can publish, progress in their careers, access climate education and display information? 
  • How should activists go about looking at climate change – should we describe it as a crisis/emergency or in another manner? 
  • What can we do about climate change and can we reverse it? 

You can find links for listening to the podcast, as well as others in their series, here