STATEMENT

RADIOLONDON

ANDREA ABBATANGELO

PROJECT RADIOLONDON


“The present is the instant in which the future crumbles into the past”

Susan Sontag

(Letter to Borges)



Project RadioLondon* is my long term experimental work in which performance, teaching and media arts practices encounter and inspire each other.  The project consists of a series of sound sculptures and site specific installations which will form a gallery of biographic-portraits of artists that moved from Southern and Eastern to Northern Europe. I aim to produce a series of biographic portraits of artists who actually are living the experience of migration as a personal, social and political opportunity for both the artists but also the societies they migrate too. This is in stark contrast to popular perceptions, especially amongst Europeans, of migration as a negative phenomenon*’.  The project will provide artists from less developed countries with visibility in more affluent communities, thereby increasing their likelihood of professional success. One important manifestation of inequality is the difference in opportunity faced by domestic residents versus immigrants. The goal is to connect groups and collaborative events in physical places to a digital archive of documentation: a Web Radio that will work as a platform of empowerment and mobilization because facilitates and moves people to act together and is also a model which tends to promote long-term relationships.


Project RadioLondon position digital technology critically through creative exchanges between people, materials and contexts that seek to open up questions rather than offer technological solutions.


For me it’s important to look at how emerging art practices could survive while wars, political instability and austerity measurements are still in place, resulting to major changes within the arts; these scenarios lead to a huge gap and become limiting and restricting for lesser known artists or projects that are currently still building their audiences, to succeed.


With this project I seek to challenge the thinking that fuels the rising extremist political movements throughout Europe and the informal groups that have formed in social media over the last ten years. The increasing of nationalism and neo-fascists groups requires me to be critical and bold in addressing them openly, to speak of truth to the people of my community as well as to governments and to contrast the spread of fake news that take root easily in people who feel excluded and living in solitude. With my artistic project I have the opportunity to work with individuals and entire communities. With Project RadioLondon I intend to claim some of the historical values of social justice, internationalism, sharing, redistribution, responsibility - which at the moment seem to be clouded by the desire of the “strong leader”. In this perspective, with my project I promote a widespread leadership, an inclusive experience that involves individuals and groups of people in physical places and in digital platforms.


Project RadioLondon  will tour selected Northern cities and the countries where immigrants are coming from and the events will be free - of - charge. The artists practice proposes an alternative system of representation, which is also collaborative, based on engagement and self-cultivation. These events (workshop, lectures, exhibitions etc) will be open to local and international guests and based on my experience, I will target students, activists, artisans, scholars, musicians, writers, teachers, trade unionists, retired professionals  etc. My goal is to engage members of the communities and encouraging them to participate and collaborate in workshops focused on literature, sound, music, carpentry, art history, crafts, photography etc.

 

The platform will offer content on demand, that should be simulcast over the web with a net-cast stream. My plan for the next months is to develop the digital platform in order to convert sound registration (such as interview, readings and debates) and store it in form of the Web Radio. With  the support of the Open Society Foundation, I will collaborate with an app developer to establish an Internet based radio station accessible and free service for listeners with interests on arts, storytelling and contemporary culture.




 

*Radio London (in Italian Radio Londra) was the name used in Italy for the radio broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), starting from 27 September 1938, aimed at the populations of German-dominated continental Europe.  The idea may have come from the Italians themselves, as the Arabic-language broadcasts received from Radio Bari in southern Italy were very popular in the Middle East and North Africa, where British and French influence was predominant and where they soon acquired an attentive and interested audience in the local upper middle class.  The BBC's Italian-language broadcasts began with the Munich crisis. With the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, Radio London's broadcasts increased, reaching 4.15 hours in 1943.  The success of Radio London's broadcasts was because the British War Office, instead of managing their propaganda broadcasts directly, had entrusted them to a self-governing body, the BBC, which was already well known for its independent journalistic style, with news kept separate from comments.  Radio London's editorial staff became famous for their timeliness in transmitting information around the world, with a direct and pragmatic, typically British style.



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