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The Family Tree

When podcast producer Dave Pickering is approached by his dad with a mystery from the life of a long-forgotten friend, he decides to investigate it in the only way he knows how: by having conversations. Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared. In a series of 12 episodes, Dave tries to uncover this mystery through conversations with Mark’s family and friends. As he gets to know them, his questions lead to more questions… the mystery runs deeper than anyone imagined. The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.
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Now displaying: 2019
Oct 8, 2019

In the final episode of the show, Dave and his brother go to visit their dad to say hello, and also to say goodbye: endings are more complex than a simple full stop.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Oct 1, 2019

In the last Cutting of Season 3, Dave reflects on accountability and forgiveness, and considers the best ways to end things by asking some big questions. We hear from past guests, new guests and listeners to the show, who talk about how they approach these issues. We also hear from Dave's partner, Jen, about how she has experienced the making of The Family Tree, and are introduced to a song written for the end of show by Martin Zaltz Austwick.

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

This episode forms a kind of trilogy with these two previous Cuttings:

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-6-the-big-questions/

http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-2-cuttings-5-saying-goodbye/

Find our Guests!

Martin Zaltz Austwick: Pale BirdSong by Song

Alex Iantaffi: Gender Stories Podcast

Tanaka MhishiTanaka’s work around sexual violenceThe Consent Collective

Oliver Thorn: Philosophy Tube

Dr. Alice Tarbuck

Dr Cathy Elliott

Kevin Allison: RISK!

Jenny Adamthwaite

Dr Robert Poole

Dr. Alexander Cummins

Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad


 

Sep 17, 2019

Dave talks to Mark about his role in the trauma his family has experienced, and reflects on the importance of accountability and justice.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Sep 10, 2019

Family is about more than blood. Dave continues rounding up the end of Season 3 by catching up with the extended family.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Sep 3, 2019

As Season 3 starts to come to a close, Dave catches up with the Sullivan family to find out how they’re all doing and what the future holds for them.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Aug 20, 2019

In the fifth Cutting of Season 3, Dave considers different elements of identity. He talks to Scout Pup about furries and puppies, and speaks to Alex Iantaffi about genograms, intergenerational trauma and mind plasticity. The episode features more clips from the Meg-John and Justin podcast, which consider hierarchies of love and relationships.

CONTENT NOTE: trauma, holocaust, genocide and intimate partner violence.

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

Find our Guests!

Alex Iantaffi: http://www.alexiantaffi.com/

Gender Stories Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/gender-stories/id1353717550

Meg-John and Justin (podcast, book, zines): https://megjohnandjustin.com/

Meg-John Barker (writing, zines):  https://www.rewriting-the-rules.com/

Justin Hancock’s sex and relationship education for young people: Bish

https://www.bishuk.com

https://bishtraining.com/

Life Isn’t Binary by Meg-John Barker and Alex Iantaffi:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Isnt-Binary-Beyond-Between/dp/1785924796

 

Aug 13, 2019

With no need to hide anymore and a firm plan for her future, Violita is finally ready to tell Dave exactly what happened when she became a liminal person.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Aug 6, 2019

Sam is back from Australia, and eager to update listeners on their new life. They introduce their friend, Tee, and Dave witnesses a new kind of liminal lifestyle.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jul 30, 2019

Dave catches up with Ben and Kora, who discuss how things are working out for them in their new life as Ben, Kora, Nathan and jaguar.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jul 16, 2019

In the fourth Cutting of Season 3, Dave considers different forms of and approaches to therapy; talks to poet, playwright and performer, Tanaka Mhishi about consent, masculinity and recovering from trauma; and plays some clips from the Meg-John and Justin podcast, which consider social and personal scripts, staying with our feelings, and power.

CONTENT NOTE: rape, sexual assault, suicidal ideation, mental health issues, racism, violence, trauma

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

Find our Guests!

Tanaka Mhishi: https://tanakamhishi.co.uk/

Tanaka’s work around sexual violence: https://www.angles.org.uk/profiles/tanaka-mhishi/

The Consent Collective: https://www.consentcollective.com/

Meg-John and Justin (podcast, book, zines): https://megjohnandjustin.com/

Meg-John Barker (writing, zines):  https://www.rewriting-the-rules.com/

Justin Hancock’s sex and relationship education for young people: Bish

https://www.bishuk.com

https://bishtraining.com/

Tanaka’s episode of Getting Better Acquainted: https://soundcloud.com/gettingbetteracquainted/gba-347-tanaka-mhishi

Jul 9, 2019

Dear Listeners,

The conversation I’m sharing with you today is the first conversation I recorded with Melanie after her escapades with Ellie. I don’t mind telling you that I found the whole experience extremely distressing, and it was important to me that I communicated this to her. I was a little more confrontational than I generally like to be, but I think Melanie and I both feel that our friendship has benefitted from frank and open discussion. Please don’t judge her too harshly. We are all navigating this situation the best we can, and while, in many ways Melanie and I are something more than human, we are also only human.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jul 2, 2019

Dear Listeners,

Mark was a very dear friend of mine a long time ago, and his friendship with the tree is also rooted deep in my consciousness. I do find it very difficult to reconcile this with my feelings about his actions, particularly now I have come to get to know Melanie better. In the conversation I’m sharing with you today, I had the opportunity to talk to him about his decision to change into her, and about his feelings about having multiple conciousnesses within him. I found the conversation quite difficult at times, but ultimately, I think it was valuable, and I hope you will find it of use if you too are struggling with a changeling experience.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jun 25, 2019

After Jane’s conversation with Mark, the recorder is left on, and accidentally captures Nathan meeting his father for the first time since his return.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jun 18, 2019

Mark visits Jane, who finally gets to confront him about the effect his decision has had on their family.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Jun 11, 2019

After meeting Ellie, Melanie is open to the idea of allowing Mark to the surface. Along with Ben, Kora, Melissa and Shajahan, she and Dave return to Goldsmith’s to attempt to bring Mark back.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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May 28, 2019

In the third Cutting of Season 3, Dave talks to Philosophy Tube’s Oliver Thorn, witchcraft scholar Dr. Alice Tarbuck, and historian Dr Robert Poole about the history, philosophy and ideology of persecution. Dave also considers how the legacy of Lancaster Castle, his own family tree, and an excellent twitter thread by Dr Clare Askew fit within idea that ‘we are the heirs of the witch hunters.’

This episode follows on from the last Cutting, which looked at Magic –  http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-3-cuttings-2-magic/ – and is a companion piece to this Cuttings episode from Season 2: http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-2-cuttings-2-systems-and-structures/

Zoe Prosser, who gives a reading in this episode, was a guest in this Cuttings episode from Season 1: http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-5-fantasies-and-conspiracies/

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

Find our Guests!

Oliver Thorn: Twitter - @OllyThorn, @Philosophy Tube  Philosophy Tube - https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube

The video featured in this episode is Witchcraft, Gender & Marxism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmk47kh7fiE

Dr. Alice Tarbuck - https://alicetarbuck.net/

https://twitter.com/atarbuck

Dr Clare Askew: https://twitter.com/OneNightStanzas

The twitter thread featured in the episode is this one: https://twitter.com/onenightstanzas/status/1049601689089728512

Dr Robert Poole: https://www.uclan.ac.uk/staff_profiles/dr_robert_poole.php

The book focused on in this episode is The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Wonderful-Discovery-Witches-Lancaster/dp/1874181780

May 21, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hardly know how to present this episode to you. I thought about telling you all about it, but I think you may find some value in experiencing the surprise the way that Melanie and I did in this conversation. I would like to reassure you all, though, that I am very much alive and well, so please don’t be concerned about anything like that. Goodness me, what a strange world we find ourselves in.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

May 12, 2019

In the second part of a very personal part of the story for Dave, he visits his dad for the first time since he began his changing journey.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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May 7, 2019

In the first part of a very personal part of the story for Dave, he talks to his dad, who plans to become a changeling.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Apr 23, 2019

In the second Cutting of Season 3, Dave talks to Dr. Alexander Cummins and Dr. Alice Tarbuck about magic and its role in society from the past to the present. And the creators of The Boy Who Hasn’t Lived, CJ Bruce and Arlie Adlington, discuss their families’ perceptions of magic as they were growing up, as Arlie prepares to introduce CJ to the Harry Potter series.

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

Find our Guests!

Dr. Alexander Cummins - http://www.alexandercummins.com/

Dr. Alice Tarbuck - https://alicetarbuck.net/

CJ & Arlie on The Boy Who Hasn’t Lived - http://www.theboywhohasntlived.com/

Apr 16, 2019

Following an enigmatic voice message, Dave facilitates a meeting between Nathan and Nigel. It’s the first time they’ve seen each other since Nathan’s change, and they have a lot of catching up to do.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Apr 9, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hope my last recording was of some help to some of you. I find myself frequently revisiting Azariah’s thoughtful advice. Every good answer leads to a new question in my experience, but I trust in God to guide us towards a path that is right. I may have believed that They had only one path for us at one time, but I feel that things may be very much more complicated than that.

Melanie and I have taken the decision to begin recording our conversations again, and this is what I have to share with you this week. I hope that you may find it interesting, and that it may help those in need.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Apr 2, 2019

Following a message from Skarbek, Dave meets up with her on Gallions Hill. What she has to tell him is the information that encouraged the Sullivan family to continue recording The Family Tree. In this conversation, Dave learns both encouraging developments and some tragic news.

The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Mar 26, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hope this finds you well. It truly is a pleasure to be writing to you again, and I’m delighted to be able to connect with you through The Family Tree.

It perhaps won’t surprise you to learn that I have faced many challenges since David and I had our little excursion to St James’s Park to visit the oak tree. I find I am quite changed, and I don’t mind telling you, I’ve found it rather difficult to process some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had since I became a changeling, or a liminal person, as David likes to call us now.

David very kindly put me in touch with his friend Azariah, a fellow man of the cloth, and with him I talked through some of the difficulties I’m having. I found his counsel to be very valuable, and I want to share our conversation with you, with the hope that it may serve to help others as much as it helped me.

Yours Faithfully,

Philip

P.S. My parishioners have often preferred to address me as ‘Reverend Beech’, or simply ‘Beech’. I think it has allowed them a separation from me that they’ve found useful, and over time, I’ve found myself thinking of myself that way too. But I think I would like to try being a little less separate, and from here on will sign my letters to you with my Christian name, if that’s alright with you. I find it extremely poignant to see how I titled this episode; Azariah’s comfortableness with his first name while I shelter behind my surname.

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The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

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Help The Family Tree to grow by becoming a Patron.

Mar 12, 2019

In the first Cutting of Season 3, Dave talks to Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad and Philosophy Tube’s Oliver Thorn, discussing philosophical questions around transition, change and belief.

The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

Find our Guests!

Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad – publications - https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Chakravarthi+Ram-Prasad

Papers - http://lancaster.academia.edu/ChakravarthiRamPrasad

Lancaster University - http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/people/chakravarthi-ramprasad(02068fdc-a65d-4a1f-982f-659e6620190f).html

BBC Radio 4 – In Our Time - Hindu Ideas of Creation -  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03k289f

Oliver Thorn: Twitter - @OllyThorn, @Philosophy Tube  Philosophy Tube - https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube

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