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BBC World Service - Documentary Archive

The Documentary Podcast

Download the latest documentaries Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The Documentary Podcast

  • Beyond Borders: Seeking Safety
    For over five years, British-Lebanese journalist Zahra Mackaoui has been following the stories of a group of Syrians, who have scattered across the world in search of safety. She originally met and interviewed them in the early years of the long-running civil war in Syria. Zahra travels to rural Sweden to meet Doaa al-Zemal, who survived the sinking of a boat in the Mediterranean by clinging to a piece of wood. Also in Europe, Fewaz and his family have found refuge near Bremen – and though he is grateful for Germany’s hospitality, his children are finding it difficult to integrate.

  • Amar: Alone in the world
    He was known as “the little boy who lost everything”. In 1991, Amar Kanim’s disfigured face was shown on newspaper front pages around the world, an innocent young victim of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. His entire family, it was reported, had died in a napalm attack. The British politician Emma Nicholson found him “alone in the world” during a visit to an aid camp. She took him to the UK. He was, the world assumed, an orphan. So who was the woman claiming he is her son?

  • The undercover migrant
    The extraordinary story of an undercover migrant and his ‘secret spectacles’. When Azeteng, a young man from rural Ghana, heard stories on the radio of West African migrants dying on their way to Europe, he felt compelled to act. He took what little savings he had and bought glasses with a hidden camera – his ‘secret spectacles.’ Then he put himself in the hands of people smugglers and travelled 3,000 miles on the desert migrant trail north, aiming to document the crimes of the traffickers. Along the way he saw extortion, slavery, and death in the vast stretches of the Sahara. For Assignment, reporter Joel Gunter tells the story of his journey – a journey that thousands of young Africans like him attempt each year. Producer, Josephine Casserly (Image: Azeteng's secret spectacles. Credit: BBC, taken by Joel Gunter)

  • Robots on the road
    The world’s biggest car makers and technology companies are investing billions of dollars in autonomous vehicles. They believe it is just a few years before computers with high-tech sensors do the driving for us, filling our roads with robot cars ferrying human passengers from A to B. But is a driverless future really just around the corner?

  • Bonus: 13 Minutes to the Moon
    Introducing the new podcast about how humans reached the moon. Theme music by Hans Zimmer. Search for 13 Minutes to the Moon or go to www.bbcworldservice.com/13Minutes #13MinutestotheMoon