Human Rights Radio

Episode 20: Radio Africa – Media, Perception, Memory (58 min. 30 sec.)

*This episode originally aired on the Robin Hood Radio Network on Friday, October 27th, 2016*

Radio Africa, part I: “Media, Perception, and Memory”

The episode is the first of a two-part collaborative series. These two episodes of Human Right Radio feature the works of several Bard students who participated in Professor Drew Thompson’s “Radio Africa: Broadcasting History” class in the spring of 2016. This class explores the “technological history of the radio in Africa to explore histories of political activism, leisure, cultural production and entertainment across Sub-Saharan Africa from colonial to present times.” In this episode, you will be hearing four audio essays that explore a range of topics related to the theme “Media, Perception, and Memory.”

Part One. This first sound piece is by Ken Winfield, which takes the listener on a soundscape of city spaces. The compilation and editing together of the sounds create a narrative that moves the listener fluidly through each space. The piece evokes the texture in sounds often overlooked in daily lives, but also brings them together in a cacophony of layered dissonance.

  • All audio was recorded and edited by Ken Winfield.

Part Two. In the second audio essay, you’ll hear Aurora Case delve into the issue of radio credibility and “NPR voice,” linking these notions to privilege and accessibility.

  • Wayne, Teddy. “‘NPR Voice’ Has Taken Over the Airwaves.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Oct. 2015. Web. <>.
  • Songs featured include:
    Yo La Tengo covering The Modern Lovers, Danny Brown, News Radio Intro, They Might Be Giants, Barry Mann, The Kinks, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

Part Three. Next, Suki Sekula investigates the manipulability of storytelling and the unreliability of an author. She juxtaposes two separate narrations of the same story to compare them. To do this, she records two separate recounting of the story of her first night at Bard.

  • Songs featured included: “Nuclear Si” by Aviator DRO. Other audio was recorded and edited by Suki Sekula or downloaded from a free sound domain.

Part Four. In the last piece, Brent Rhode’s podcast challenges the listener to engage their visual imagination with their auditory senses. In the piece, he plays three revolutionary songs from the Apartheid and asks three different participants what they see when they hear each song. Brandt explores the uniqueness of each person’s relationship to music on both a personal and historical level.

  • Songs featured include: “Mandela” by Amandla Welele, “Unsquare Dance” by Dave Brubeck, “Khaluweza” by Miriam Makeba, and “Storm Music” by Gil-Scott Heron.

Introduction and Preview Music: “Cler Achel” by Tinariwen. 

(image credit: Oskar Fischinger, Kreise (Circles), 1933-34 (film still). 35mm, color, sound; 2 min. © Center for Visual Music)


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