Home Alone | Issue No. 44

Researchers have found that loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. This week, we ease into the winter of our distanced pent, and take a long, hard look at being alone.

After that, we’re taking a break, to figure out how holidays work this year, and ring in 2021 safely and sound. We’ll be back at the end of February, with plenty more to say on the way things are, new people for you to meet, and new stories to tell. Until then, thanks for sticking with us throughout the pandemonium, and keeping us company when we needed a friend. It’s been a long four years, a long ten months, a long string of episodes, and a long December. But there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last… 

“Organized Loneliness”
By Shirin Barghi 

Scholar Samantha Rose Hill grew up lonely and spent the better part of her life looking for community and looking for connection. “I lived in an amusement park, I joined a cult, I converted through different religions..I was determined to escape loneliness and then I realized that it’s not going away. Loneliness is with me and no community can fix that.”  
In this episode, she tells us more about organized loneliness, which is a political form of loneliness, and how it could make people susceptible to totalitarianism.

“Solitary Confinement”
By Emily Boghossian 

In June 2020, almost a year after the death of Layleen Polanco in solitary confinement in Rikers Island, Mayor Bill DeBlasio made a public promise to end solitary confinement in New York City jails. The City Board of Correction was expected to vote on a plan in October, but the year is almost over, and the group has yet to produce their list of recommendations. Meanwhile, advocates working on the city and state level to end punitive isolation are working on their own plan. One of these activists, Victor Pate, tells us more.

"Isolated Together"
By Gretchen Burger

Encounters with Brooklynites who have traded the pandemic isolation of the city for the companionship of friends and family elsewhere- to learn about their new environments, what they miss about their lives in the city, and when they're planning to come back.

“The Unlonely Project”
By Shirin Barghi

Dr. Jeremy Nobel is a physician and faculty member of the Harvard Medical School. He is also the founder of the Unlonely Project, which aims to increase awareness about loneliness and its toxicity, reduce stigma, and design programs that can address it. In this episode we learn more about the project, and how it’s making a difference in the era of social isolation. 

“Sober Quarantine”
By Shaina Feinberg & Sachar Mathias

Ten months into quarantine, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Shaina Feinberg realizes that the anxiety and isolation feels strangely familiar.  At home with her husband and son, she reflects on the moment, seven years ago, when her husband Chris got sober, and draws parallels between then and now.


“Griffin’s World” was produced by Emily Boghossian, Taylor Cook, and Lauren Germain. Brooklyn USA’s “Messages From Over Here” are produced by Voltron.

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See you on the other side, in Brooklyn, USA.

Brooklyn, USA is produced by Sachar Mathias, Emily Boghossian, Shirin Barghi, Khyriel Palmer, Mayumi Sato, and Charlie Hoxie.

For more information on this and all BRIC Radio podcasts, visit www.bricartsmedia.org/radio.