London Expat

storielibere.fm

By Cecilia Gragnani, special guest Jonny Woo, editor Gabriele Carrer | LONDON EXPAT is the comic story of the encounter between a modern migrant and London – a contemporary El Dorado craved by generations of young Italians. Millions of European citizens arrive in the British capital to realise the future they dream of.The podcast explores the long road to becoming a citizen in another country, embracing a new nationality whilst staying true to your roots, and the existential crisis that your identity faces when no country claims you as their own. From amusing miscommunications to bewildering legal technicalities, through Brexit’s threat and the latest Coronavirus emergency, Cecilia delves into the day-to-day of living in a country and a city where turning ones desires into reality becomes a titanic endeavour as the European dream of life across borders seems to slowly drift away.In her exploration Cecilia interacts with the Spirit of London, interpreted by the Drag Queen Jonny Woo, and uses as a guideline the book “Life in the UK”, an element that identifies British bureaucratic obtuseness, a compulsory read for aspiring citizens but little known even by the native English people. The story is accompanied by direct testimonies of many expats who have tried, have succeeded or have given up.Cover image by Giacomo BottoMusic by Epidemic Sound

All Episodes

by Cecilia Gragnani | In our final episode we’ll talk about commitment, to a country and a choice of life. For many people it’s through the citizenship ceremony that the journey towards full integration happens. However, over the past few years citizenship has become not just a choice but also a necessity for many Europeans in order to keep their rights. In the UK, this journey is particularly long, complex, expensive and solemn. You’ll find out through the diary of Cecilia’s ceremony and the testimonies of many Europeans who have chosen the path of naturalisation.

Oct 13

35 min 12 sec

by Cecilia Gragnani |The fifth episode goes outside London to talk about the country in its entirety and complexity, as happened to Cecilia when she toured her theatre show that inspired this podcast. We will understand the relationship between cities and outskirts and see what life has been like for many Europeans across the country, outside of London's bubble. Perhaps the United Kingdom never truly felt European. The question then becomes: why did we, acquired Brits, become so surprised by Brexit?

Sep 3

32 min 33 sec

by Cecilia Gragnani |In this episode we find Cecilia on the verge of a faith crisis: after years of living in the UK, chasing the dream of freedom, diversity and inclusivity that London represents, the events of June 2016 have left her heartbroken. London has always been the place where people felt they could be whoever they want to be, without prejudice and judgement. Will it still be like that in the future? Cecilia tries to shed a light on this matter through the testimonies of atypical religious men and women that work in communities around London. Heaven and Hell at the same time.

Apr 9

34 min 44 sec

By Cecilia Gragnani |Am I Italian? Have I become British? People who live abroad inhabit a sort of third space. In this episode we explore the feeling that many expats have described as being indefinitely suspended in between two cultures and countries, because peaceful coexistence with local communities is a daily conquest to be fought with all possible weapons, starting from irony and humour.

Feb 23

30 min 42 sec

By Cecilia Gragnani | In the second episode we explore the role of the Crown as the expression and symbol of Britain’s national identity. To help us understand the British Monarchy and the consequences Brexit might have on it, we chatted with Colin Crouch, sociologist and Emeritus Professor at Warwick University, and Grant Harrold, royal butler and etiquette expert. Because the monarchy is not just a lucrative business. If for British people the monarchy is taken for granted, for any foreigner wishing to embark on the process of naturalisation, it’s harder to grasp the concept. Especially when the process includes having to swear allegiance to the Queen in charge, her heirs and successors, from whatever part of the world someone might come from and whatever their religion might be. Cover image by Giacomo BottoMusic by Epidemic Sound

Jan 21

34 min 58 sec

By Cecilia Gragnani | In the shadow of Brexit, the first episode of LONDON EXPAT explores the reasons why many European citizens decided to venture to London in search of fortune, their expectations and desires, the drive to leave as well as the first impact when arriving in the city. It will be London itself, through the welcoming but yet unforgiving voice of a drag queen (performed by Jonny Woo), that will welcome Cecilia and her friends into their new home, sharing wisdom on how to survive and navigate the chaos and the shimmering lights of the English bubble. Through the testimonies and contributions of citizens from all over Europe we tell the story of what drives them to leave and why more than 3 million Europeans have been choosing London for decades. Cover image by Giacomo BottoMusic by Epidemic Sound

Dec 2020

30 min 19 sec

COMING SOON on Storielibere.fm – LONDON EXPAT is the comic story of the encounter between a modern migrant and London – a contemporary El Dorado for young Italians and Europeans. The podcast explores the long road to becoming a British citizen, embracing a new nationality whilst staying true to your roots, and the existential crisis that your identity faces when no country claims you as their own. Performer & British citizen Cecilia Gragnani, with the help of journalist Gabriele Carrer, will share what life in the UK looks like in Brexit times, as the European dream of life across borders slowly drifts away. In her exploration Cecilia interacts with the spirit of London, interpreted by the Drag Queen Jonny Woo, and uses as a guideline the book “Life in the UK”, a compulsory read for aspiring citizens but little known even by the native English people. The story is accompanied by direct testimonies of many expats who have tried, have succeeded or have given up.

Feb 2020

1 min 45 sec