Occupy The Airwaves 2022

Women from the South West and guests from around the world  joined us for Occupy the Airwaves on International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8 March.

We were on air from 8am to midnight on Phonic FM 106.8FM and online at phonic.fm.

Click the links in the schedule below to hear the programmes again or listen to them all here
Photo of Cathy Towers, a woman wearing a blue and black striped top and hat

Cathy Towers

This year’s provocation was ‘Freedom’. The idea was taken from a recent book On Freedom by Maggie Nelson, in which she suggests that freedom is not a one-off event, but a lifelong practice.

The idea for the theme followed our experience of working to collect stories by women activists in the South West and our work on suffrage history, which suggests clearly that women understand the ‘long haul’ of any activism. We may hope that our actions will eventually change the ideas that conflict with our own, and yes women did eventually, win the right to vote. However, it has not put an end to child poverty, to inequalities in the work place and at home, and to the fundamental rights of all human beings – for example, to protest these inequalities.

International Women’s Day is such an important annual event for us, and we were so happy to be broadcasting programmes for Occupy the Airwaves for the seventh year. Occupying the airwaves gives us an opportunity to share and introduce listeners to women with fascinating stories to tell – women from Exeter, the South West, and around the world.


Josie Sutcliffe, Natalie McGrath and Kerrie Seymour
Freedom Breakfast
Wake up with us on International Women’s Day as we broadcast live from the studio when we will be talking about our inspiration for the day as well as sharing some contributions from Jen Grove, Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno and Helen Sieroda. Accompanied of course by some fabulous tunes to ease us in to our 16hrs of women’s radio.

Gillian Taylor
The Freedom to communicate

Gillian will be talking with guests around the world about communicating in the pandemic – what we’ve learnt and what will change. Accompanied by some fabulous tunes, they will be exploring mobile journalism, the pros and cons of switching to digital for women, and talking about a mini opera commissioned by the Royal Opera House and performed at St Pancras Station.

Lizzy Humber & Sophie Lovett
Mothering and Making in a Pandemic

A vibrant mix of music and interviews with mother artists in the Mothers Who Make Devon Network, exploring the dual role of being both a parent and a creative individual and the challenges faced and experiences during the Pandemic.

Josie Sutcliffe, Natalie McGrath and Kerrie Seymour
Lunchtime Live
Join us for our second live show of the day as we share with you a mix of music and conversation and audio contributions from Jeannette Brown, Carolyn Purslow and Rona O’Donnell

Cathy Towers
Café Conversations on Freedom
Join Cathy as she shares some of her favourite tunes and talks to women about what freedom means to them, what freedom they have and want, what they have gained and lost

Ruth Mitchell, Grace Adenubi and Claire Calverley
Women Centre Stage
A rich and interesting mix of music and conversation with three women theatre makers from the South West.  Featuring extracts from exciting and fresh new work ‘Invisible other’ by Ruth Mitchell and Grace Adenubi and ‘Goldcrest’ by Claire Calverley

CoLab Resilient Women and Stellaria Media
Resilient Women
Four individually made audio pieces entitled ‘In our Shoes’, ‘A collection of songs’ ‘Thoughts on Freedom’ and ‘Oh no She isn’t! are brought together in this wonderfully unique show.  A vibrant, inspiring and creative collection of personal stories, conversations and music from CoLab’s Resilient Women

Josie Sutcliffe, Natalie McGrath and Kerrie Seymour
Tea Time Live
Grab a cuppa and join us and our live guests for our third live broadcast of the day.  Filled with music, conversation and pre-recorded contributions from Amanda Lynch and Jana Funke and an extract from Honeycomb by Natalie McGrath

Kerrie Seymour
Adventure Stories
A lively mix of tunes and chat based on real stories of courage, determination and freedom. Inspired by the book Tough Women Adventure Stories by Jenny Tough

Dreadnought South West
Our Freedom Archives
A collection of soundbites from the Occupy the Airwaves archives exploring the themes of freedom, resilience and belonging

Sharifa Hashem
If you had no fear of violence or harassment for a day what would you do?

Join Sharifa as she shares a beautifully candid collection of women’s voices exploring safety and with an inspiring soundtrack

Helen Connole
Songs of Freedom
Get your dancing shoes on for a funky mix of freedom themes tunes to bring our night to a close.