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DayOne podcast: Understanding and guiding the way water flows in Cape Town

In the face of a complex water crisis in Cape Town, two early-career researchers involved in the T-LEARNING programme have launched DayOne – a podcast created by and for Cape Town to share understanding on how water flows in the city.

The DayOne podcast aims to present the latest facts about the crisis, to start conversations around complex topics related to water, to inspire connections with water sources in the city through soundscapes, and to nourish imaginations with water-inspired artistic contributions. The series of podcasts was launched by Anna James and Sarah van Borek, who are both Cape Town-based PhD candidates in the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at Rhodes University in South Africa.

The name of the podcasts comes from a slip of the tongue – ‘day zero’ has been popularised as the term for the date when the City of Cape Town will shut off tapped water to suburbs, forcing residents to collect daily rations of water from collection points instead. One of the creators said ‘day one’ instead of ‘day zero’, and after a chuckle thought it made a fitting name for improving communication and engagement with urban water. Rather than the absence and emptyness of a day zero, day one represents an opening to sensitive awareness, to new possibilities, to hope and innovation.

The DayOne team say:

“DayOne acknowledges the city’s water challenge as one that is long-term and that requires sustainable solutions. We want to cultivate a different way of thinking about and working with water in our city. We understand the severity of the current climate change-related drought and water crisis as well as the deep inequalities that govern water flows across the city of Cape Town.”

The series aims to counter confusion and uncertainty about the changing situation by creating a platform for sharing urgent information, responding to water-related questions, and building a network of local leaders and innovators. The podcasts are multi-lingual (most episodes are available in English, Xhosa and Afrikaans), and feature people from all walks of life in Cape Town. Find out more and listen to the podcasts on the DayOne site.

In a blog over on the T-LEARNING site, James and Van Borek reflect on the process of setting up the DayOne podcast, and on understanding the podcast as participatory research through arts-based inquiry and social movement learning.


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