Fi Glover presents the Sunday edition of Radio 4's series capturing the nation in conversation: in today's programme, we meet 19 year old Afshan, who has left her traditional Muslim home in Manchester for university in London, and her mother, Flavia, who is unhappy that her daughter also seems to have left behind all plans for an arranged marriage. And from Radio Merseyside, a conversation through bars - not prison bars but those of an enclosed convent. Here brother and sister Peter and Mary, priest and nun, discuss their lives and religious vocations. And the producer who recorded this extraordinary Listening Project encounter gives his personal account of the meeting.
The Listening Project is a new initiative for Radio 4 that aims to offer a sort of snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation - they're not BBC interviews, and that's an important difference - lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Many of the long conversations are being archived by the British Library which they will use to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can upload your own conversations or just learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject
Producer Marya Burgess.