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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Radio Communities: The Other Side of The Electronic Divide

Transom features this conversation from November 2006 at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at New School for Social Research, between activists and artists about radio as a community tool in emerging countries. Panelists included Pete Tridish, founder, Prometheus Radio Project; William H. Siemering, President, Developing Radio Partners; Khin Phyu Htway, student, The New School and contributor to Voice of America, Burmese Service; Gregory Whitehead, writer and artist. There is also an mp3 of an opening Whitehead performance.

Transom describes the conversation this way:
Using radio to create community, creating community radio. Why expect radio to do this? It's malleable, anonymous, inexpensive to build, easy to transmit and receive, relatively speaking, even when the simple act of owning the box is punishable by an indefinite jail term. Radio is always possible. It is the link between local community and the global community. Radio creates a dimension in which various communities can meet, exchange, discuss and develop ideas, transforming the way we define notions of geography and public space. What political, cultural and humanitarian goals can be served by this medium exclusively? How does radio function as a tool for shared information? We started with a presentation from Gregory Whitehead called, "Here Comes Everybody" and then moved to a panel discussion. The panel, and audience of fifty, focused on different ways of using radio as a kind of glue for creating community both here and abroad.

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