The Sobremesa Podcast

An English-speaking podcast about Spain

Spanish culture, progressive politics, and society*

*Sorry, No tapas bars or flamenco here

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Recent Posts

Episode 41: Exhuming Franco with Sebastiaan Faber

The Sobremesa Podcast has slowed down for August like the rest of Spain. But here is some summer listening for you, no matter where you are! Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College, joins me to discuss his latest book Exhuming Franco What is left of Francisco Franco’s legacy in Spain today? Franco […]

EPISDOE 40: The Future of Unidas Podemos

Sorry this episode is a bit late but I have covid! Recorded two weeks ago, Nerea Fernández Cordero, Co-coordinadora at IU Exterior (Izquierda Unida), and political journalist Eoghan Gilmartin join me to discuss the coalition party called Unidas Podemos.  We talk about how it came to be and where it goes from here that their […]

Catalan Political Prisoners Get a Pardon With Andrew Dowling

Following last weeks news on the pardon of the 9 Catalan political prisoners, jailed following the referendum in 2017,  I discuss the issue with Andrew Dowling, a lecturer in Catalan and Spanish history.  If you want to hear more about this issue, take a listen to our previous episodes on the matter.

Nazi Germany and Spain with Dr Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío

Dr Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrío, a lecturer and researcher from Manchester Metropolitan University, joins me to discuss the relationship between Nazi Germany and Spain before, during and after WW2. Her research involves looking at how Nazi propaganda inside Spain which influenced the country’s foreign and domestic policy during the time. We also discuss the concept of neutral […]

#4MAYO Madrid Elections: an after-thought

With a 75% participation rate, the PP and Isabel Ayuso take 65 seats in the Madrid Comunidad elections, four short of a majority. She will need an abstention from Vox to become president, and is also likely to negotiate a confidence on supply agreement with them. Ayuso has eaten Cuidudanos alive and kept Vox at […]

The Treatment of Sexual Minorities in the Late-Francoist Period with Sonia Cuesta Maniar

Sonia Cuesta Maniar joins me to discuss the treatment of sexual minorities by the Spanish state during the late period of the Francoist dictatorship. Sonia Cuesta Maniar is a doctoral research student at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the relationship between Francoist repressive practices and accelerating socio-political change in the […]

Gender Violence with Dr Deborah Madden

Feminism is huge movement in Spain, but why? Gender violence is a polemical topic in Spain. Dr Deborah Madden joins me to discuss how, in recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of rape that have brought about needed reforms to the Spanish law. This, along with a number of femicides in the country, […]

Spanish Feminism with Elia Romera Figueroa

In recent years feminism has boomed in countries such as Argentina and Mexico. Likewise, in Europe the movement has been most active in the south, mainly in Italy and Spain. Since 2018, when the first massively followed International Women Strike took place, the movement hasn´t stop growing, and its effects are beginning to be felt. […]

Spanish Start Ups with Joe Haslam

The Spanish government recently announced 11 billion euros for small, medium sized companies in the hard-hit tourism sector. Will it be enough? And what is the direction for the Spanish economy? In the longer term, Spain has seen the need to reform its economy as the current model, heavily reliant on tourism, is unreliable. Many […]

Catalan Politics 101 with Andrew Dowling

On Sunday the 14th February 2021, Catalonia will go to the polls, this time to elect a regional government. This is the second regional election since the October 2017 independence referendum. The first in December 2017 was called by then Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in that election the biggest party Cuidudanos won the most seats […]

The Rise of Vox and Spanish Nationalism

Here is the second part of my interview with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo. Here we talk the rise in very visible raising of Spanish nationalism and how this also went alongside the rise of far right party Vox. To read Vicente’s report check out the link below:

Spanish municipalism with Vicente Rubio-Pueyo

Vicente Rubio-Pueyo is a Spanish academic based in New York and member of Minim, a municipalism observatory. He sat down with me to discuss modern day Spanish municipalism and the effect it has had on politics and the cities it governed. For further details on how the municipalism started in Spain, listen to my […]

Territorial Politics in Spain with Caroline Gray

When you first move to Spain you soon realise there are more than two national parties. Since the financial crash in 2008, regional politics have become a big matter (once again) in Spanish politics. The current coalition government has made them a key part of their program. How did this come about? For one thing, […]

15-M, Ten Years On: In conversation with Cristina Flesher Fominaya on her recent book Democracy Reloaded: Inside Spain’s Political Laboratory from 15-M to Podemos

Events in America last week only remind us that democracy is fragile. Whilst the 90’s and the early 2000’s might seem like the ‘norm’, it was actually a bit of a red herring. We should try to remember that democracy has always been fragile and prone to crisis and threat. To use the worn-out Winston […]

Brexit Special: One Remainer, One Leaver. Both Live in Spain

In this one-off special episode, I discuss brexit with two Brits that live in Spain. One voted leave and the other voted remain. Here is why. Richard Thompson lives in Sant Joan in Mallorca. He is a business owner and local town councillor with Assemblea per Sant Joan. We talk about voting remain and the […]

After The Fall: An Interview with Tobias Buck

Here I got to interview author and former Financial Times Spain correspondent Tobias Buck. After The Fall: Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New Spain is Tobias’ book documenting the country’s political, societal and economic response to the 2008 financial crisis and the territorial crisis that followed. You can get a copy here and […]

The History of Anarchism in Spain with Danny and Jim from the ABC Podcast

In this two-part episode, I spoke with Danny and Jim from the Anarchist Book Club Podcast. We go all the way from the meaning of anarchism and its founding in Spain to its current state today. I learnt loads talking with both the guys. Please make sure you take a listen to their podcast, The […]

Spain’s new budget with EOGHAN GILMARTIN and TOMMY GREENE

“Spain’s Left Is Winning the Battle for Welfare — But Not the War on Neoliberalism” This is the name of Eoghan and Tommy’s new article available at Here we discuss their take on Spain’s first budget since Rajoy. We discuss where Podemos is making gains and where the PSOE and EU are too. I […]

A New Image of Spain?: a Podcast Crossover with Paul Burge from When in Spain

CROSSOVER TIME!! The Sobremesa Podcast has teamed up with the When in Spain podcast. Paul Burge has been running his podcast for the last 2 years and covers a whole range of things related to Spain. From pueblos to Hemmingway, it is all in there. Here I interviewed Paul about tourism and the image of […]

Left Populism in Spain and the USA with Jorge Tamames

In this episode of the Sobremesa podcast, I chat with journalist and political researcher Jorge Tamames about the history and current state of populism in the USA and Spain. Jorge’s book ‘For The People: Left Populism in Spain and the US’ concentrates on left wing populism in both countries. Here he explains the conditions that […]

The History of the Housing Crisis and the birth of the PAH movement with Sophie Gonick

This week the Sobremesa Podcast talks with Sophie Gonick from New York University about her up and coming book: Dispossession and Dissent. We talk about how she documented the birth of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), and she also explains the housing crisis that went with […]

Doctor, Doctor give me some news… 19/10/2020

In this episode of the Sobremesa Podcast, I talk to an old friend about an ongoing problem. Doctors in Spain are threatening to strike from the 28th of October over a new law passed by the government. This law is to help increase the number of staff. So, what is the problem? Find out here […]

The Dina Case with Tommy Greene

This week saw the end of the political jousting between the central government and the Madrid regional government. This reached a climax on Friday with Madrid being under a state of alarm. Further court developments this week threaten to eat away at the coalition government’s sense of legitimacy. This forms part of a larger ongoing […]

Back in Lockdown: Interviews with Sara Soto and Simon Hunter

Madrid has been placed in (partial) lockdown once again. In this episode I explore how this come about in two very different interviews. Firstly, I speak with Sara Soto, Secretary of the Young Socialists of Vallecas. Here we talk about the response to lockdown on the 18th September and the effects it has had over […]

Pandemic Politics: an Interview with Eoghan Gilmartin

This week Eoghan Gilmartin joins me. As a political journalist based in Madrid, he has been covering the stories as they have unfolded. Here we talk about the more immediate stories of the day, such as the management of the virus in Madrid and the future for Spanish politics. Later, we then explore how this […]

The New Democratic Memory Law: a Discussion with Tom Wardle

In 2007, the Spanish government passed the historical memory law to address issues from the country’s past. Since then the law has been starved of funding and criticised as not going far enough regarding victims’ rights.

The new coalition government has put forward a new law named the Democratic Memory. This law will look at exhumations of mass graves, education, prosecutions, the removal of honors and medals that go against democracy and the Valley of the Fallen.
Tom Wardle joined me to discuss the proposals.

Diada, The National Day of Catalonia: an Interview with Alícia Hernàndez Grande

In this special edition of Sobremesa, I interview researcher and Phd candidate Alícia Hernàndez Grande.

Here she explains the history behind the independence movement, and Diada, the national day of Catalonia. She also shares her observations from the 2017 referendum and where the Catalan identity comes from.

The National Spanish Identity: an Interview with Professor Sandie Holguin

In this episode I interview cultural and intellectual historian Professor Sandie Holguin, where we talk about the historical construction of the national Spanish identity. She is also the author of Flamenco Nation: The Construction of the Spanish National Identity. You can get a copy of the book here or on Amazon. At the beginning of […]

Spain’s Memory Wars: an Interview with Tom Wardle

This week’s episode falls on the anniversary of Federico Garcia Lorca’s murder by the fascist forces during the Spanish Civil war. I took this opportunity to change the podcasts format this week to interview Tom Wardle, a researcher and historian who is currently completing his PhD on historical memory activism here in Spain. Take a […]

Where is Juan Carlos?

Where is Juan Carlos? This is the question on everybody’s lips. In this episode I talk to Spanish Historian Tom Wardle about Juan Carlos the first and his role in the Spanish Transition. I also look at some previous referendums that have been held in Spain, and what the current state of affairs might mean […]

Covid, the King and I

No Confidence motions, jealous partners and a naughty King.

Welcome to Sobremesa!

Covid Comeback

Cases are up but so is testing, and each region is doing its own thing with track and trace, some better than others. Taking a look at the whole picture is worth it to get an idea of where the country stands, but treating it as one big problem is probably not the answer. What do you think the government will do next?

The EU Flashes the Cash

In this episode I look at how the historic deal came to be and how it might affect the politics in Spain. I also talk about the junior doctors strike and Fernando Simon going surfing? #Sobremesa

Who is Fernando Simón?

This week, I put out a tweet asking if would people be interested in this sort podcast? And someone said yes, but just don’t make another podcast. So, what I’d like people to do is tweet on the hashtag #SOBREMESA and then I will read out the tweets next week. I think someone that hasn’t […]


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