Radio Africa

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Radio Africa

As a final project in Prof. Drew Thompson’s course Radio Africa: Broadcasting History, and in conjunction with the Human Rights Program’s Radio Initiative, students designed a series of podcasts on a topic of historical relevance to the technological history of the radio in Africa’s colonization and decolonization.

These podcasts were then aired as part of Human Rights Radio on the Robin Hood Radio Network in the winter and spring of 2015. The episodes are available for listening on the Human Rights Radio Archive and Soundcloud.

From the Human Rights Radio webpage:

Part I: Jessica Zaccagnino- Truth Commission Radio

In her podcast, Jessica Zaccagnino ’17 examines the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (as well as it’s counterpart in Argentina) and explores how truth and national imaginings can be broadcast by political figures.

Part II: Eimile Joyce- Robben Island: Communication during Incarceration

Eimile Joyce ’15 takes us back in time to the infamous Robben Island Prison in South Africa, where prisoners came up with their own language to communicate in secret.

Part III: Jackson Rollings- Neo Muyanga and William Kentridge: Reconstituting History and Language through Artistic Practice 

Jackson Rollings’ ’15 piece features South African musician Neo Muyanga, who shares his thoughts on the arts in Africa. Neo visited Bard College last Fall to talk with Professor Thompson’s class and perform at Bard hall—both conversation and performance are sampled, in part, in Jackson’s podcast.

Part IV: Ilana Dodelson – Oral Tradition and the Arts in Africa

In the final quarter of our episode, Ilana Dodelson 15′ examines African oral tradition as a place where historiography and artistry collide and combine. The works of South Africa poet/visual artist Dineo Seshee Bopape and African-American visual artist Kara Walker are featured throughout.


For the full episode as broadcast on Human Rights Radio, LISTEN HERE

Drew Thomposon is Assistant Professor of Africana and Historical Studies.