Real/Symbol Podcast
9th December 2021


a podcast about land, displacement and resistance

REAL/SYMBOL is a three part podcast and zine that explores land, gentrification and displacement in Shieldfield and how the work of SAW and our partners at Dwellbeing are examples of community resistance. It is produced SAW’s former director Alison Merritt Smith as part of her William Leech Research Fellowship in practical theology.

The first episode is called ‘Even The Trees are Being Displaced’. It weaves conversations with Shieldfield residents alongside sociologists, artists, theologians and activists about the emotional effects of development on people’s everyday lives and sense of self and how this causes not just physical displacement but also emotional and spiritual displacement. It also explores how Christians can wrestle with Christian theology’s complicity in processes of displacement.

Contributors to this episode include Shieldfield residents: Ken, Val, Sharon, Mahamat, Haley, Sheryl, John, Ronnie, Julia, and Hannah, as well as contributions from Loretta Lees, Chris Jones, Willie James Jennings, Darren McGarvey, Alastair McIntosh and SAW’s very own Lydia Hiorns, Gemma Herries and Alison Wilkinson. You can subscribe, listen and review the podcasts on AppleGoogle and Spotify!


To accompany the podcast, there are beautiful limited edition risograph zines. Each zine (designed by Benji Spence) contains quotes, poetry, photography, writing and design which compliment the themes of each episode. They are designed to give more food for thought on the themes of each episode and help you hold the space a little longer.  To receive a copy of the zines get in touch with Alison – alisonmerrittsmith[at] You can read the pdf version of the first issue of zine here. For more info about the project, go to

View a PDF version of the Real/Symbol zine, Issue 1