The F Word is a new podcast series that examines the complex, messy, gripping subject of forgiveness.

In each episode Marina Cantacuzino, a journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project, talks to a guest who despite having experienced great pain or trauma in their life has found a way through.

Some have forgiven those who’ve harmed them, others are grappling with forgiving themselves. Not everyone is able to forgive. Not everyone has made complete peace with their past.

But all those featured on the show display a strength that has grown out of vulnerability and they all bear witness to the human search for meaning.

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25th November 2020

Episode 6: Lis Cashin on guilt, shame and self-forgiveness

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Lis Cashin who as a child caused a fatal accident which cast an irreversible shadow over her life. Marina talks to her about trauma, self-forgiveness and finding meaning in pain.

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11th November 2020

Episode 5: Zak Ebrahim on being radicalised by his father, learning tolerance and the meaning of forgiveness in relation to extremist ideologies

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Zak Ebrahim. When Zak was seven, his father shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defence League, Rabbi Meir Kahane and later was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Zak’s story is one of transforming his past and learning to reject bigotry and hate.

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28th October 2020

Episode 4: Jacob Dunne on vulnerability and facing the true impact of his crime through meeting the mother of the man he killed

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Jacob Dunne who aged 18 was convicted of manslaughter for killing a man with a single punch. This episode tells the story of Jacob’s gradual rehabilitation and the vital role played by the parents of the man he killed – James Hodgkinson.

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14th October 2020

Episode 3: Joan Scourfield on facing the man who killed her son and the profound impact of restorative justice

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Joan Scourfield, the mother of James who in 2011 was killed when a young man called, Jacob Dunne, threw a fatal punch in an unprovoked attack in Nottingham, England. A few years later Joan and her then husband David came face-to-face with Jacob in a restorative justice meeting.

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30th September 2020

Episode 2: Bjørn Ihler on the power of personal storytelling and why it’s important not to dehumanize terrorists

Marina Cantacuzino talks to 29-year-old Bjørn Ihler, a writer, filmmaker and ‘peace activist’ from Norway. Bjørn is a survivor of the attack on Utøya Island in July 2011 when far-right extremist Anders Breivik killed 69 people and injured many more. Bjørn’s expertise lies in countering extremist narratives, as well as deconstructing their propaganda.

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30th September 2020

Episode 1: Stephanie Cassatly on rage and the gift of remorse

Marina Cantacuzino talks to Stephanie Cassatly, a writer, teacher, mother and wife from Florida. When Stephanie was 18, her mother was shot and killed in a convenience store robbery in New Orleans, changing every preconceived notion she had about the world and what it meant to feel safe.

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Podcast Host

Marina Cantacuzino is an award-winning journalist who has worked for most British mainstream publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph and Hello magazine.

In 2003, in response to the invasion of Iraq, she embarked on a personal project collecting stories of people who had lived through trauma and injustice, and sought forgiveness rather than revenge. As a result Marina founded The Forgiveness Project and started speaking widely about forgiveness and restorative storytelling.


The music for our show was generously produced by Cuzino – @_cuzino and the artwork by Thea Bryant – @__bythea.

A big thank you to Pat Bird for typing up the transcripts.

Join The F Word Podcast Facebook Group

This Facebook community exists solely to discuss ideas and issues that arise from The F Word Podcast series.

We hope that this group can help to cultivate hope and resilience after harm and trauma, and foster understanding around concepts of compassion, empathy and forgiveness.

We also hope it will help you connect with people who can present new perspectives to difficult issues.

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