The People’s Airwaves
The people of Bush Radio and Radio Nazariya on the culture and challenges of community radios
The advent of community radio can be traced back to Bolivia in the 1940s – where it was first introduced as a means to offer media access to union members and their families during a labour strike in the country. In other parts of the world, its predecessors took many forms. For instance, audio interventions like ham radios helped broadcast messages to freedom fighters in India while the fabled pirate radios of the UK forged the music scene of the country. The functioning of community radios becomes even more important in today’s globalised media environment – allowing individuals, groups, and communities to tell their own stories and share experiences. From sensitising people to electoral processes, development issues and environmental justice to platforming hyperlocal artists and indigenous sound cultures, community radio stations are operated, owned and influenced by the communities they serve.
Even as community radios respond to very localised concerns and contexts, the social, political and cultural discourses they enable echo in places beyond national borders. Recognising these solidarities, we bring together community radios that speak on a grassroots level to understand the importance and various contexts of these stations. Join Dr Ram Bhat in conversation with the people of Radio Nazariya and Bush Radio as they share their experience of setting up, running and sustaining these projects.
This event is part of MAP’s series Beyond Borders. This August and September, MAP commemorates the 75th year of India’s independence, with events around the theme Beyond Borders. Over the next two months, we explore and critique the concept of borders via multiple registers – history, geography, identity, and migration. Witness global practitioners and experts in conversation with each other, reimagining the meaning and significance of borders. Join us as we blur the boundaries between different genres and media, and explore people and spaces that transgress imagined borders.
Darmyan Singh RanaAdditional Director at Drishti Media (Radio Nazariya)
Darmyan did his M.A. in Sociology from Garhwal University, Uttarakhand. He is working with Drishti since March 2010, during this period he has worked as a media trainer in more than 10 radio Stations and more than 20 video units in different locations in the country. He has more than 18 years of experience in audio video productions, project management, program planning and execution. He has trained over 1000 grassroots communicators in communication and training skills across the country. Darmyan has been the lead trainer for the UNICEF- Community Radio initiatives in Lalitpur, Shivpuri, East Singbhum and Purulia, GIZ pro soil and wetland management and bio-diversity video training program in Ahmednagar and Yavatmal in Maharastra, Mandla in M.P, Bhitarkanika in Odisha, Point Calimere in Tamil Nadu, Pong Dam and Renukaji in Himachal Pradesh. Currently, he leads Drishti in its day-to-day functions.
Dr Ram BhatPresident, AMARC Asia Pacific
Dr Ram Bhat is a co-founder of Maraa, a media and arts collective in Bangalore, and currently the president of AMARC Asia Pacific, a network of community broadcasters. He is a visiting fellow at the Media and Communications Department of the London School of Economics and a post-doctoral fellow at the International Centre for Advanced Studies. His research and work are focused on themes of community media, communications infrastructure and disinformation.
Adrian LouwProgramme Integrator, Bush Radio
Adrian Louw is Programme Integrator for Africa’s oldest community radio station project, Bush Radio. He has been involved with the station on various levels since 1994, and also served as the media liaison to the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
He holds a national diploma in journalism from the Cape Town University of Technology and is a fellow of the Salzburg Seminar in Media Ethics. He has received training in media, management and training from Sveriges Radio in Sweden, and Voice of America, as well as attended the Deutsche Welle Training Academy in Germany. Louw has also presented training courses for UNESCO, and various radio stations on the continent and shared his 28 years of programme production and management skills with organisations.
Louw currently focuses on developing new media talent and using technology to aid grassroots development, civic participation and social change. Cape Town, South Africa, is home for Adrian, where he grew up as the son of factory workers in a neighbourhood called Kensington, an area created by the apartheid government’s racist policies in the 1950s.