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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.
ManasProgramme Coordinator, Radio Nazariya 107.8FM
Manas (He/Him) is an artist based in Ahmedabad. He started his journey as a radio host and is currently associated with Radio Nazariya 107.8FM, a community media organisation as a programme coordinator for their flagship programme Shaharnama, which is a community arts and media fellowship project. Manas is also a member of Nathi Nonsense, a collective of young citizens creating dialogue around socio-political issues. He also dabbles in audio, audiovisual, graphic, textual and textural mediums of expression.
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.