Is this an Exercise?

Julie Shapiro

October 20, 2017 [2017 Season]

Is this an Exercise is a portrait of the first detailed visual representation of how nuclear war might devastate America. "The Day After" was shown on national TV 25 years ago, in 1983. Five adults recall powerful childhood memories of watching it, and discuss how the movie has lived on in their minds - in surprisingly vivid and strange ways.

Julie writes: 

Back in the 80's I sneak-watched a TV movie with highly disturbing content (about nuclear war) and it's been passively haunting me ever since. I discovered a lot of my friends had the same experience with this movie, and are also still lightly traumatized, so asked them all about it.

What's inspiring her in the world of radio:

I'm inspired by: the Ear Hustle team I'm so lucky to work with, the Night Vale folks/shows, Brooke Gladstone (always), still and always the Soundproof and the Third Coast team. Also! Reply All, Heavyweight, Another Round, How to Be a Girl, S-Town, Imaginary Advice, and all the Radiotopians, of course. 

Inspiration outside of audio: 

Biking to work every day, relishing OUTSIDE, books (Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders most recently blew my mind), my amazing family, the therapeutic horseback riding program I recently started volunteering at, Conversations with People Who Hate Me, the smaller moments, day to day, off-screen. 

Constellations says:

We love this casual, conversational approach to documenting memory. As listeners, we feel similar to how Julie describes herself; peeking out between our fingers to see what's at the root of our own memories, hidden in between unusual childhood associations. It's playful and jarring all at once.

Julie Shapiro is VP of Editorial at PRX and Radiotopia, and Executive Producer of Ear Hustle. From 2014-15, Julie was the executive producer of the ABC / Radio National's (RN) Creative Audio Unit. In 2000 she co-founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival, where she shaped the Festival's creative trajectory and nurtured a cross-pollinating international listening culture. Julie has taught radio to university students, presented at conferences all over the globe, and produced stories for the airwaves and podcasts in the US and beyond. She lives with her son, husband and orange cat in Arlington, MA. Follow her on TW/IG @jatomic.

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