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PODCAST ANALYSIS: ‘Give Up Shoes and Go Barefoot – Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World‘

‘Give Up Shoes and Go Barefoot – Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

This is a podcast where we hear Anthony Gormley talking about his idea to change the world through dispensing shoes and walking barefoot. Gormley himself had given up wearing shoes for a year and walked with his bare feet everywhere he went and even getting kicked out of The National Gallery for not wearing shoes. Currently he alternates days where he wears no shoes one day and boots the next for practicality. His reasoning behind why he thinks everyone should give up shoes is that it creates a solidarity with those who don’t have the choice whether or not to wear shoes and our feet can connect with our brains to become amazing perceptual instruments. He talks about how walking barefoot allows us to engage with the weather, time, temperature and all the different surfaces and textures of our world as well as all being able to stand as one person against the Earth. We also hear from other speakers in this podcast talking about how practical this solution is, issues with dog poo and being able to negotiate with the environment. We also hear how we think we are outside observers of nature however we are defined by these interactions we have with the earth. We also hear one speaker’s story of gifting some nice shoes to some mountain guides at Kilimanjaro and them selling them off in the market to continue wearing their worn and ripped shoes.


The structure of the podcast is as follows: Gormley pitches his 60-second idea to change the world, the main speaker asks him questions relevant to his idea and then invites two specialist speakers to talk about their opinions on the idea and their personal experiences consecutively.


The only sounds in the podcast was the BBC intro, underlying music for the 60 second ‘pitch’ segment and the voices of the speakers.


Although the topic was slightly bizarre, I did find the podcast insightful. I do think that all the speakers raised some very interesting points on the benefits of going barefoot and how not only would it make us at one with the earth and our natural self but that it creates a sense of unity with those around the world who are stuck living in difficult environments. Overall this short podcast was very engaging through the use of prompting questions and personal anecdotes given by each speaker. The tone was mostly humorous and light-hearted which appeals to listeners and by each speaker giving their full opinions on the subject at a time it made the podcast easy to follow.