Human Rights Radio

Episode 11: Radio Africa, part 2 “Agitating Radio” (58 min. 31 secs)

*This episode originally aired on the Robin Hood Radio Network on Friday, March 27th, 2015*

Radio Africa, part 2: “AGITATING RADIO”

In this episode—the second installment in the four-part Radio Africa series—students from Professor Thompson’s class explore how the radio and other media platforms allow broadcasters to agitate for change, educate themselves and others, and in even incite violence. This is Agitating Radio.

Part 1: Internet Activism and the West African Diaspora 

Clayton Kaledin ’15 begins our episode with a piece centered around the Ebola Crisis—specifically, the reaction and response of African Diaspora Communities living in America and the use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to combat misinformation and tackle paranoia. Liberian Radio Broadcaster Agnes Umunna, founder of Straight from the Heart, shares her thoughts on social media and community activism.

References and bibliography:

“Ebola in America: NYC Doctor Tests Positive.” Video file. Youtube. Posted by ABC News, October 24, 2014. Accessed December 14, 2014.

 Frost, Diane. “Diasporan West African Communities: The Kru in Freetown and Liverpool.” Review of African Political Economy 29, no. 92 (June 2002): 285-300. Accessed October 14, 2014.

Gidda, Mirren. “Ebola Outbreak: Liberian Survivors Struggle for Acceptance.” BBC News. Last modified October 15, 2014. Accessed December 14, 2014.

Goodnough, Abby. “Countering Fear of Ebola with Education Where West Africans Live in U.S.” New York Times (New York, NY), October 2, 2014, U.S. Accessed October 14, 2014.

Hu, Winnie, and Nate Schweber. “Ebola Outbreak Hits Home for New York’s West African Immigrants.”New York Times (New York, NY), August 5, 2014, N.Y./Region. Accessed October 14, 2014.

“Liberian Population on Staten Island Concerned about Discrimination in Wake of Ebola Scare.” Video file, 1:37. Youtube. Posted by CBS New York, October 17, 2014. Accessed November 4, 2014.

Liberians in NYC. Home Page. Liberians in NYC: Official Facebook Page. Last modified 12 14, 2014. Accessed October 14, 2014. NYC/202973791143.

Ngwainmbi, Emmanuel K. “Africa in the Global Infosupermarket: Perspectives and Prospects.”Journal of Black Studies 30, no. 4 (March 2000): 534-52. Accessed October 14, 2014.

Pettit, Jethro, Juan Francisco Salazar, and Alfonso Gumucio Dagron. “Citizens’ Media and Communication.” Development in Practice 19, no. 4/5 (June 2009). Accessed October 14, 2014.

“Proof Ebola Is a Conspiracy.” Video file, 36:28. Youtube. Posted by Steven Bancarz, October 29, 2014. Accessed December 14, 2014.

 SILCA. Home Page. Staten Island Liberian Community Association (SILCA). Accessed November 1, 2014. SILCA/155773541146676.

 Umeora, Odidika, Nkechi Bridget Emma-Echiegu, Maryjoanne Chinyem Umeora, and Nnennaya Ajayi. “Ebola Viral Disease in Nigeria: The Panic and Cultural Threat.” African Journal of Medicine and Health Services 13, no. 1 (August 25, 2014): 1-5. Accessed November 4, 2014. doi:10.4103/2384-5589.139434.

Part 2:  A Voice of Authority

Simone Leitner ’15 examines the overlap between innocuous pop-stardom and dangerous political power by juxtaposing Ace of Base’s 1994 pop hit “The Sign” and Rwandan singer-songwriter Simon Bikindi‘s “I Hate These Hutus”. Leitner explores the authority of the voice, investigating the relationship between what we hear and what we feel, and how the voice is rendered and authorized by mediating technologies, in this particular instance the radio.

References and bibliography:

Bikindi, Simon. Nanga Abahutu (I Hate These Hutus). Simon Bikindi. 1994. MP3. “Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1994.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. Dec. 2014.

Crowd Noise Sound Effect. N.d. Youtube. Web. 2014.

Desforges, Alison. Mcneil, Donald G. “Killer Songs.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16    Mar. 2002. Web. Dec. 2014.

Ekberg, Ulf, Jonas Berggren, Malin Berggren, and Jenny Berggren. The Sign. Ace of Base. 1994. CD.

Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families:        Stories from Rwanda. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998. Print.

 Sound Pollution. Double Click. 2010. Youtube. Web. 2014.

The Prosecutor v. Simon Bikindi, Case No. ICTR-01-72-T – Judgement and Sentence – 2 December        2008. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2 Dec. 2008. UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, n.d. Web.

Vokes, Richard. “Charisma, Creativity, and Cosmopolitanism: A Perspective on the Power of the New     Radio Broadcasting in Uganda and Rwanda.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13.4 (2007): 805-24. Web. 

Part 3: Pirate Radio in South Africa

Caley Cross ’16 turns our attention to South Africa, where pirate radio stations such as Radio Freedom, founded in 1963, proved integral to the fight against Apartheid. From the ’60s to the end of Apartheid rule in 1994, these radio stations helped foster a revolutionary community at a time when the suppression of independent media was rampant.

References and bibliography:

“About.” Bushradio 895 FM. July 7, 2008. Accessed December 2, 2014.

Ashby, Nicholas. “In Defiance of Thought Control; Capital Radio 604 Set the Compasses for Those in Search of Alternatives.” The-Sunday-Independent-South-Africa, December 13, 2009. Accessed December 3, 2014. Detail&pid=558&highlight.

“CAPITAL RADIO 604.” CAPITAL RADIO 604. Accessed December 3, 2014.

“Capital Radio Is Still Riding the Wave.” The M&G Online. Accessed December 5, 2014.

“Doc-In-Progress Charts The Story Of South African Anti-Apartheid Pirate Radio Station Capital 604.” Shadow and Act. Accessed December 14, 2014.

“Radio Freedom: A History of South African Underground Radio-Blog.” The Appendix Combined. Accessed December 4, 2014.

“Radio Freedom: Voice of the African National – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic.” AllMusic. Accessed December 7, 2014.

“Restrictions on the Media | South African History Online.” Restrictions on the Media | South African History Online. Accessed December 2, 2014.

 “TRANSFORMATIONS.” TRANSFORMATIONS. Accessed December 14, 2014.

Part 4:  Where is the Voice of Zimbabwe?

Carly Cohen ’16 takes us to Zimbabwe, where the oppressive regime of Robert Mugabe has made it nearly impossible for radio broadcasters to work independently. Where is the voice of Zimbabwe? According to Cohen, the voice of the people is being broadcast through social media with increasing frequency.

References and bibliography:

ABC News (Australia). “Artist Faces Prison for Insulting Robert Mugabe.” Youtube. N.p.,           n.d. Web. 25 May 2011. Artist Owen Maseko

Admire Mare “New media, pirate radio and the creative appropriation of technology in     Zimbabwe: case of Radio Voice of the People.” Journal of African Cultural Studies,         Vol. 25, No. 1, Special Issue: New Media Entrepreneurs and Changing Styles of    Public Communication in Africa (March 2013), pp. 30-41 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Article Stable URL:

 Alberta. “Bomb Destroys Radio Station: Station was Critical of Government: Tensions Rise in Zimbabwe.” Edmonta Journal [Harare, Zimbabwe] 30 august 2002, World, Pg. A4: 623

Baba Jukwa. “(Community).” N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014. < pages/Baba-Jukwa/507656539289306>.

<Dlamini, MrRicbass, ed. “EQUIPE ZIMBABWE.” Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2010.<>.

 Dlamini, Nkosana. “Repeating History in Zim Radio Listenership.” Radio Voice of the People. Radio VOP, n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. <>.

 Oscar, Amon Myimbili. Voice of America and the Zimbabwe Crisis. Ann Arbor: UMI Microform, 2008. Print. Mashiri, Clifford Chitupa. “Zimbabwe in No Hurry to Reform the Media Before Elections.” SW Radio Africa: The Independent Voice of Zimbabwe. SW Radio Africa, n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2012 <>.

Malone, Andrew. “EXCLUSIVE: Notorious British Criminal and Millionaire Slum Landlord Nicholas van Hoogstraten is Bankrolling Mugabe’s ruthless wife ‘Gucci Grace’ to be the World’s First Female Dictator.” Mail Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.<>.  Video on page “Moment Grace Mugabe is Declared Secretary for Women’s Affairs”

 Sahara TV presenter Adola. “Comedian Makes Fun of Grace Mugabe.” Nehanda TV. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct  2014. <          grace-mugabe-phd/>.

 Viomak Protest Music. “Music – BABA VAEDWARD -Zimbabwe Music.” Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014. <>.

Viomak Protest Music. “Viomak Music -GONORIYA (Gonorrhoea)- Zimbabwe Protest Music Music.” Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <>

Featured Image URL:


Mapping Emptiness, by Cosmic Analog Ensemble

“retreat” and “art shadow” by electronic artist Snacs (Josh Abromovici ’15).

Instrumental, by Marc Dtwo.

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