The City of Women Podcast Launch: Stories. Women. Audio. Bangalore.

by Sahana Jose

We make podcasts, which we like to describe as being kind of like movies for your ears”, said Radhika Vishwanathan and Samyuktha Varma, co-founders of Vaaka Media, at the launch of our latest podcast, City of Women.

When Radhika and Samyuktha launched their first podcast, In the Field, a show about development, in which they featured multiple voices and their many stories, conversations with women and their relationship with work, freedom, movement, cities stayed with them. And it stayed strong. These conversations were the seeds of City of Women, a podcast about women and the absurd lengths they go to have fun and feel free in a city. And for their first season they knew the stories had to come from their home city, Bangalore.

Through several planning conversations at Vaaka Media, we knew that the heroes of our stories would be women, and the idea of the city being at the heart of the show kept surfacing. As we threw around our ideas of what we would want to listen to stories about - things like taking neighbourhood walks, exploring local hangouts, organizing community meet-ups were always highlighted in bright yellow. And we thought hard about how we would bring our excitement for those ideas and those stories to our live launch in Bangalore.

This was an experiment, a bold one for us as this was our first event. So while we weren’t sure of how it would all go, these were the things we knew our first event would need to have:

  • Open to all, public event for lovers of podcasts and lovers of good stories
  • No celebrities but definitely guest speakers who are legends in their own league
  • A kid zone at the venue (just like our office)
  • A recording booth (every person has a great story)
  • And of course, great stories!

We were overwhelmed, to say the least. :)

Over 120+ podcast lovers and story enthusiasts — many of them friends, family and colleagues — attended the launch at Bangalore International Center on March 7, 2020. We were excited to have Andaleeb Wajid, a prolific author and Anju Maudgal Kadam, a communication maestra as our guest speakers. And we were thrilled to have received encouraging feedback on the concept of City of Women. Overall, we were incredibly moved as we got to witness the idea connect with many people, both men and women from different walks of life.

We left the venue with teary eyes, sanitised palms and a bunch of stories from our recording booth and other conversations. The event validated our conviction for the need to document stories of women — everyday struggles, tiny victories, and stolen moments of fun.

You can listen to our trailer here. Our first episode will launch in April 2020, till then you can catch all the behind the scenes buzz Instagram or Twitter.

Do write to us at team@vaaka.in with your stories, ideas, messages and feedback.

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