Songs pervade everyday life through their production and consumption, through passive recognition. They circulate shopping centres, blare from cars, cajole us to drop coins in buskers hats, put us on hold and put us in touch.
Artists or even whole communities can represent themselves and their experiences of places through song. Koori Radio has been broadcasting music, news and views of Aboriginal Australia since 1993.
Social conflicts, tensions and political debates sometimes become struggles to control a process of representation in various media. The increasing dominance of all-encompassing corporations in the fields of entertainment, media, IT and telecommunications calls into question the existence of a distinct community separate from other sectors of our cultural economy.
A shortfall in the federal budget of $1.4 million, threatens community radio stations to maintain their current level of services in the digital broadcasting landscape.
Koori Radio is one of the community broadcasters at risk in not meeting the costs to access digital radio transmission, despite this predicament the station celebrates 20 years of operations in Redfern.
Live and Deadly – 20 Years of the Gadigal Information Service (GIS), honours two decades of community service. In association with Carriageworks, Live and Deadly is a comprehensive program that includes an art exhibition, music program and industry forum.
The exhibition incorporates community archives, social and oral histories of the Aboriginal urban meeting place.
“By piecing together these important artefacts, we are also helping to preserve these stories for today’s residents and future generations,” says Lily Shearer, General Manager.
The exhibition also highlights the critical role Koori Radio has played in providing a platform for Aboriginal singer/songwriters and musicians. The collaboration between GIS, Koori Radio and Carriageworks further entrenches a commitment to reflect the social and cultural diversity of Redfern. Taking in live performances and live broadcasts during July, a retrospective of Aboriginal pop classics, Black Vinyl with Dan Sultan and Emma Donovan as headline, supported by pop-duo Microwave and Radical Son.
Audiences remain active players in determining how new technologies are applied. In every kind of technological acronymic change from tape to CD, video to DVD, paper maps to GPS, there are two phases, the first mobility and the second, a range of responses and reactions to these processes.
We may no longer inhabit a media landscape where the ‘local’ stands for community, security and truth; part of the success of community radio such as Koori Radio is to confront the rootlessness and dilution of spirit in capital gain by developing and promoting the creativity and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. (AS)
Live and Deadly, Jun 27-Aug 1, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, Free, carriageworks.com.au
BY ANGELA STRETCH