24 Apr Madeira – community radio in the making in Curral das Freiras
In the last months, the Grassroots Radio team in Madeira has been doing a lot of activities in Curral das Freiras, a civil parish of about 2000 inhabitants in the centre of Madeira and location of one of our grassroots radio stations. Let’s see together some examples of what can happen when such a small community of people has the possibility of creating a community radio station.
There were meetings in which the president of the parish, teachers, representatives of local associations and community members took part. The local librarian started to list a considerable amount of program ideas related to her activity, such as telling stories about popular tradition and interviews with the elders to discover the area through their personal experiences. The president of the parish proposed transmissions concerning tips on civil protection. A teacher of the primary school imagined the parents listening to some activities of their children through the radio.
Meanwhile, the microstation and antenna were assembled on the top of the mountain to stream the transmission. The researchers of the project were invited to take part in one of the main events of the community, the Chestnut Festival, where they could gather and stream live interviews with the locals together with the traditional Mass. Here, the priest presented to the audience “the Curral’s community radio” and invited the project team to broadcast also the traditional Christmas mass for the elderly and the sick, together with a theatrical performance made by the young people of the community. During these events, new local people expressed their interest in collaborating with the radio.
The project’s team was present also during the 229th anniversary of the Parish foundation. The lesson of a professor on the peculiarities of the local dialect, the meeting with the farmers about the diseases of the chestnut trees and the theatrical sketches made by the elderly associations were all recorded on the mobile phones in order to be broadcasted as soon as the new license is available.
This is what happens in Curral das Freiras, where Grassroots Radio was licensed to broadcast from October to December and is now waiting for a new green light from the regulator — ANACOM. Meanwhile, we have been working together, researchers and communities, thinking about original contents, organising the programs schedule, finding new volunteers.
Let’s not forget that a European project like Grassroots Radio is made of local fieldwork but also of global dissemination: at the beginning of April, for instance, Chris Csikszentmihalyi and Stefan Candea were at the , a critical gathering for journalists and transparency, in Perugia, Italy. There they presented various work in bottom-up technology for openness and transparency, including the Grassroots Radio project.
And that’s all from Madeira for now. Thanks for staying with us.