How are we using field-recordings to change the world?


by Claudia Wegener / Radio Continental Drift 1

The Radio Bag (set of tools for slow broadcast)
Lusaka Hostel Studio

'A migrant listener with a bag', introduction with one field-recording2:

What you are listening to is a bin-aural soundscape recording of a rehearsal of the Zambia Popular Theatre Alliance (ZAPOTA), an umbrella organization of hundreds of local theatre clubs and dance groups across Zambia, in the Old Independence Stadium in Lusaka. ZAPOTA was rehearsing for the opening of the Youths Sport Games in December 2012. While listening, imagine 260 young people in intense movement all around the empty stadium; drummers, contemporary and traditional dancers, acrobats, magicians… The stadium lies in the midst of Northern Lusaka’s sprawling 'compounds', high-density suburbs, Chaisa, Mandevu, Matero, Chipata… planes to the near by airport arching overhead.

Old Independence Stadium


There’s a sonic curiosity in the recording — you might have heard it… Imagine the picture again; it’s an old, empty stadium… and some loose metal placards along the ranks are vibrating with the sounds of the drums creating a vuvuzela-like sound in off-beat rhythm with the drums. The vuvuzela-like sound is not made by musicians: it’s 'made' by the place. With the bin-aural-microphones in my ears, I’m circulating around the stadium, walking in and out and in-between various fields of sound and re-verberations… like tuning-in to different air-waves…

You can hear it, the situation is very dense… the dancers are playing their drums, the vibrations from the drumbeats are 'playing' the empty stadium, I’m 'playing' the binaural microphone while walking around — or, that’s what I’m imagining… I’m not wearing headphones. I’m wearing the bin-aurals. Then, there is a situation when suddenly, you can hear a voice calling out, “Claudia, if you can stick outside the line!”3 That one was addressed to me. In my fascination with the sonic event and the act of listening, I was threatening to interfere in the 'scene' I was capturing.

Sound-recordings have long 'exposure times'. Listening takes time. Real time. Much can happen in 'the meantime'. With an open mic, you cannot easily remain the aloof 'man-behind-the-lens' who pulls the strings and sets the frame. Before you know it, you have become a protagonist in the drama of which you imagined to be the director.

This field-recording beautifully reminds us — in and as a recording — of its own crucial coordinates: a specific time in a specific locality. Real time as it unfolds. Even now, as we are listening back, we are part of it. Listening means travelling with your imagination in real time.

The drama of sound and voice in real time, and in an every-day-life situation is the 'field' of my work, or better its stage. Here, stories are written on-foot, history writing happens 'as we speak', collectively and dramatically, in dynamic call and response. When I make recordings in the street, I might even 'raise the curtain' with the opening line “I’m making recordings for a radio program, would you like to talk to me…” My recordings are often from the start and quite openly part of a local, public life; a small sonic window tells a story—implicitly, or explicitly narrative — of a particular situation, time and place. Unfortunately, though, field-recordings don’t drop back, as if by force of gravity, or technology, to the place, the life and the people, where they came from.

Which kind of strategies or, creative 'acrobatics', could allow the recordings which come very much from the midst of a public life — that is, they stand from the start under multiple author- and ownership — to return to 'the field', where they originated? so that these audio resources are owned by their authors, find use in their own communication, inspire dialog in the community and possibly, inspire even new local audio radio practice…?

Radio continental drift is an ongoing performance of such questions — and in this sense a work is only as useful or, successful as it manages to take local communities with it in the production process…

The recording you have listened to forms part of an open audio archive currently housed on a tumblr blog: THE WOMEN SING AT BOTH SIDES OF THE ZAMBEZI.4 It is one of a couple of soundscape recordings among what is otherwise a collection of spoken word and storytelling: more than seventy interviews with women in Arts, Culture and Media from Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 2012, after many months of producing a radio piece in Germany5, I took to the roads in Southern Africa to meet and listen to my sister artists, producers and storytellers… The collection of recordings is now on its way into cyberspace; and a creative media and training project of digital storytelling for women in Zimbabwe on its way into 'real time' on site...6

As for changing the world…

No one can make change. It happens; all the time… and passes unrecognized. The infrastructure for social transformation is the human sensorium. Change can come into existence if its sequences are captured, collected, archived, catalogued, and mapped over time. Change needs representation to appear — via the senses to the mind and in to society. That’s where we 'make' it. Change needs to be voiced and, pictured; its stories must be told, its histories written. Thus transcribed and packaged, 'change' enters the 'real world' like any other product of our making; and distribution by all means may come in…

As sound recordists, we have a good chance of zooming in to a process and accompany 'change'. Listening and 'change' are on an equal footage. Real time as it unfolds. This is the kind of time-space where transformation inscribes itself into matter, mind and body. The praxis of field recording places a set of meta-tools into the hands of a listener. Those are complex, animated, interfaced simulations of listening. Making recordings can teach us much about listening, even, how to listen and, how to produce it. It can allow the listener means of experimenting with listening, understanding its processes, while attempting to re-create listening for others to hear it. Such practices must come in regular, daily doses for any effects to appear — that is, for us to take note, become aware, begin transcribing, imagining and representing 'the stories' we have heard. The term sound dairies can give us a good lead in this matter.7

So far for a compressed version of my contribution to our guiding question for this symposium and, a rough conceptual framework for the real time stories I’d like to share with you now, since here is the focus of my listening attention: THE WOMEN SING AT BOTH SIDES OF THE ZAMBEZI is a project of digital storytelling: stories of change, stories for change, or better, stories to gather listeners and agency around opportunities for response, correspondence, and transformation. So, let’s get down to real time again:

In the middle of the following five-minutes piece, the poet asks: “Where are you African names? In which clouds are you buried…?”

For listeners browsing the blog, the page where the poem is housed here1, allows a quick overview of the audio-collection from Zambia and Zimbabwe along a list of names of all interviewees and is updated regularly with the links to recently uploaded recordings (in white).

Blog Page: Where are you African Names?

The poem and this page could guide a listener to one of the urging issues which drive the field-recording and online work of radio continental drift: For far too long, far too few people on the African continent have had access to the tools and skills of contemporary technology for their ongoing cultural productions and activities. Now, as we entre what’s called the 'global' information age, a vast gap of published content and multimedia resources appears, for everyone to consider and ask, why? How come…? “Where are you African names…?” Where are the books, photographs, vinyls, films, Wikipedia articles, etc. of and for African content? Why do I find little and insufficient information for my online search concerning 'Africa'? And who wrote this article on Wiki, took that movie on youtube…? More often than not, the producers and sources can be found on the Northern Hemisphere — as it is also the case for my blog and audio-archive we are looking at here.9

The Local is Global… we are used to hear today… But, how local truly is the global…?

The Black Poet, Mbizo Chiracha, also raises this question and, does it by setting it in a traditional African way of archiving culture and of 'writing' history: the recital of lists of names is a common, and often daily practice in many African cultures — the Isithakaselo of the Zulu, or the Oriki of the Yoruba.10 Names are repositories of history. They are audio-'hyperlinks' to access commonly shared stories and knowledge. They can gather a community of diverse listeners under a collective memory, from past achievements to the goals and promises of a future to come.

In fact, all archiving in any culture needs such recital in a public or a community — or otherwise, the archive hardly exists. Just think of us as we are gathered here for two days reciting and performing our little archives to each other…

The artist, playwright and chairperson of the National Arts Council Zambia, Mulenga Kapwepwe11, can sharpen the question raised by the Black Poet from the point of view of African women — for us the listeners elsewhere, who are using the blog and its archive of recordings to explore if we can zoom-in locally with our ears and imagination. A profoundly knowledgeable activist of African Culture and women’s rights, Mulenga makes a listener aware of African cultural and social practices forgotten and erased through centuries of colonialisms. She tells about African alternatives, which are possibly both, erased from the knowledge base of people locally and, unheard of on the platforms of the 'global information society'.

By comparison to visuals, much more effort is needed in publishing sound online to any effect — it takes time to listen…!

If we circulate pictures, for example on facebook (FB), we can see the 'broadcast capacity' of visuals from the responses they will immediately incite in the network. Though, it is truly frustrating to find nothing but a couple of pictures, often without any caption or information on Flickr or FB—not to mention the questionable practice in terms of ownership rights on FB…

Blog Post for the interview with Mulenga Kapwepwe

I didn’t have a picture for Mulenga’s blog post. I found one on Flickr, added the owner, Lubuto Library Project to my network contacts and wrote to the authors seeking permission for the copyrighted image to be used on our blog. Lubuto Library Project is run by an American organization. They kindly granted permission to use the image, and I’m still in correspondence now with a chairperson in the States and a couple of women personnel in the local library in Zambia, which Jane Meyers had cc-ed in her e-mail to me.

Those are the many, little steps of what I call '1-2-1 broadcast' in order to make a way for content transmitted via online-audio to also, eventually, reach listeners on the ground in Africa. I suggested to the women officers at Lubuto to possibly make the recordings available to their local community via additional off-line or on-air means, it might be a CD distribution, a listening point in the library, or by featuring clips of our recordings in a local radio show — possibly played over locally produced music. Lubuto Library, as most of the public libraries in Zambia is not yet connected to the Internet.

Mavis Moyo in her garden in Harare, 2013

Since I mention the significance of on-air broadcast for the distribution of field-recordings on the African continent here, let me also pay reference to Mavis Moyo and the Development Through Radio Project in Zimbabwe. Though, since I elaborate on it elsewhere, I shall keep this reference brief.12

The veteran broadcaster, 85-year-old Mavis Moyo, or Mai Moyo (Mother Moyo) is the mother of Development Through Radio (DTR). The project run during the 1980s and 90s facilitated through the Federation of African Media Women Zimbabwe (FAMWZ) and some of Radio 4 broadcasters at ZBC (the state broadcaster) with Mai Moyo among them as the project leader. The project entails to train the members of rural women clubs to record their regular meetings on cassette-tape radios for weekly broadcasts of ZBC Radio 4.

In the track you’ve just heard Mai Moyo relates how what became known as DTR grew from the seed of collaboration and exchange between urban and rural women, initially between the Jamuranai Women’s Club in the Harare township of Highfield and rural women from Seke South of Harare. It is this relation between women across urban-rural divides, which developed into an early precedence of participatory radio in Africa to an unprecedented scale. When the project folded towards end-90s, due to the political situation in Zimbabwe, Mai Moyo continued to spread the concept of DTR across the entire Southern African region.

"DTR Clubs - Seke receive free radios from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung", in Mavis Moyo’s handwriting on reverse. Owner: Mavis Mayo, Photo by: Calvin Dondo, 1990s
Wikimedia-Link: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Women...

DTR is an important historical reference for my work as radio continental drift in Africa, just as much as for any new initiative on the continent in community and participatory radio and, of course a precursor to study and consider in terms of our local plans in Zimbabwe for a training- and digital storytelling project with women.13

Achievements like these by African Women have hardly any presence in the 'global information age'; this counts for Mai Moyo and DTR, as much as for most of the women I’ve interviewed. I launched a page for Mavis Moyo and DTR on Wikipedia on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 2013.14 The article carries now some threatening notes by Wikipedia editors of the need to 'wiki-fy' it — though, so far, it has not been touched much nor been removed. I regularly circulate the link to this page with an urging call-out to editors and writers — especially in Zimbabwe — to help updating, detailing and 'wiki-fying' my start-up article.15 However, looking at the online stats of my field-recordings, I noticed that the recordings with Mai Moyo rank high in the lists.16

The following recording takes us to rural women in Northern Zimbabwe:

Janet Mwiinde and Luyando Muyalali in Binga; Janet listening to her recordings; November 2012

The recording was made in the BaTonga Museum in Binga in front of a large Nyaminyami sculpture, a snake symbolizing the Zambezi, the life source — also in terms of history and culture — of the Tonga people who were displaced from their ancestral land by colonial developer during the construction of the Kariba Dam in the 1950.17

We made these recordings with the young BaTonga woman Luyando Muyalali, who interviews her aunt Janet Mwiinde about female initiation rites among the Tonga people in front of related artifacts in the local museum.

Luyando was writing a research paper about the subject, and had asked me to accompany her with my recorder. I gave a CD copy of the footage recording to Luyando as audio resource for her writing. Several DVD copies of my entire audio recordings remained in Binga with local organizations.18 These simple means of audio-distribution via CDs are what I often refer to as 'hard-cover radio'. It is still widely practiced in Africa today.19 Projects like DTR — perhaps with an additional emphasis on inter-generational dialogue — could continue today with women like Janet and Luyando with much benefit to the rural communities like Binga, for example in terms of archiving local cultural heritage by using contemporary digital technology and, raising awareness about cultural identity among the young generations in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Linda Mudimba (standing) during a Monday meeting at the Baselwizi Office in Binga. A group of young international volunteers is also participating; November 2012

Luyando Muyalali and Linda Mudimba are now students of African languages and culture. They are affiliated to the Basilwizi Trust in Binga, where they come from. Basilwizi is a cultural advocacy organization representing the communities of the Zambezi valley. In their interviews, Luyando and Linda highlight the issue of neglect and ignorance of their own cultural heritage among the young people. And, as Linda mentions in her recording, it is to be credited to the long-standing efforts and diligent local work of the Basilwizi people, that today, young people in Binga are again knowing, questioning and valuing their culture.

Loss of culture and identity is in fact not only a concern for minority tribes like the BaTonga in Zimbabwe. Due to the successive histories of colonialisms, their missionaries, school masters and security guards, African culture carries a stigma of 'backwardness' and 'Bantuism', especially among the post-independence generations.

The cultural activist Ruvimbo Tenga in Harare confirms the historical trauma and common social amnesia poignantly in her interview…

The playlist of clips from Lusaka and Harare was already uploaded on soundcloud during my journey in 2012 and, shared off-line via CD handouts and i-pod listening. Additionally, I left mp3-copies of my entire archive of interviews from Zambia and Zimbabwe in the countries with some of the main organizations I was in touch with during my journey.20 Prior to interview recordings, I often let my interviewees listen to parts of the playlist and many of the women confirmed to me later in conversation that the listening put them in a good place to then tell their own story as if in response.


In order to maximize the chance for potential listeners finding these audio resources, clips and footage are shared on various free online platforms, archives and networks, like archive.org, soundcloud, some community or artists platforms, various blogs and via FB. Though, if we look for example at the stats for the playlists on soundcloud, we’ll again find that over 70% of the listeners are at home in the Northern Hemisphere. To reach local audiences, the content needs off-line circulation via CDs and DVDs where at best, the recordings would become a soundtrack to visuals and could be shared on home DVD-players.21 Or, the field-recordings need to travel to listeners via on-air transmissions by national or local broadcasters — if there are and, they’d be open to suggestions — for example, as mentioned earlier by DJ-remixing spoken word audio over locally popular music.

Petronella, DJ at JoyFM Lusaka with poet Chipogo during the broadcast of „Soul Tuesday“ in December 2012

Petronella Kalimbwe, a young DJ with Joy FM Lusaka was happy to pick up the chance of testing different ways of radio making. In July 2012, I had introduced some local poets to Petronella by playing recordings with them to her. She invited Yvonne Sichuwa aka Winter and Peter Nawa, both from BitterSweet Poetry Zambia to her regular radio show The Dose. When I returned to Lusaka in December, Petronella had established a fortnightly on-air poetry show Soul Tuesday to much success and listeners’ call-ins. With the numerous recordings of Zimbabwe poets, I had made in the meantime, we premiered an on-air encounter of Zimbabwe and Zambian poets on-air over Lusaka.22

Joy FM broadcast (Audio / archive.org-Playlist mit 6 Titeln)

Through her research, lectures, books and films like Zimbabwe Township Music, Joyce Jenje Makwenda contributes to the task of returning forgotten cultural heritage to her community.  

Joyce Jenje Makwenda in her Collection, 2013. Photo by: Nyasha Mudimbu

In many African countries, women have traditionally been custodians of culture, yet Joyce is probably one of the rare examples of a woman collector and archivist on the continent with an amazing multimedia library gathered over years of dedicated listening work.23 Artists like Joyce can and will lead a way in an African revolution to come in the fields of collecting and archiving, by developing new practices rooted in an African oral tradition. 

There are many recordings in our collection, in which interviewees are, so to say, uploading their archive of local knowledge in to the recording by listing cultural practices and their meanings, or by re-telling the 'archived content' of a traditional festival; the recordings with Janet in Binga, or with the BaTonga artist Esnart Mweemba just across the Zambezi/ Kariba Lake are such examples…

Esnart Mweemba (Audio / archive.org-Playlist mit 8 Titeln)

Esnart Mweemba in her studio at the Harmony farm near Monze, Zambia, November 2012

It is from the point of view of oral heritage, that we may gauge the immense potential of field-recordings for the people, the contemporary artists and the continuing cultural practice of both, rural and urban communities on the continent.

Online archiving and distribution of audio-radio or, audio-visual content remains an avenue yet to be explored and exploited on the African continent.24 So far, for many different reasons, that rarely happens. One crucial factor, I’ve already touched upon implicitly earlier is that in cultures which are deeply rooted in oral traditions, the place of the archive is–traditionally — the moment of its shared recital in a communal event, in ceremonies, in the recital of praise names, storytelling, and dramatic seasonal festivals in which, so to say, the entire archive of a community or a people gets collectively recited and performed.

When I present the Zambezi women’s project and play recordings in events or workshops, I notice again and again with amazement how much the field-recordings can assist listeners’ imagination to travel — and this even in to daily-life situations far apart from their own walks of life and experiences. What adds crucial information here for a listener is the 'ambient' sound: how a certain place and moment in time 'radiate' in the recording.

Jazz singer, Dudu Manhenga und Mbira star, Chiwoniso during „Sistaz Open Mic“ at Book Cafe Harare, August 2012
During „Sistaz Open Mic“ at Book Cafe Harare, Dudu’s sister Uzah as MC, September 2012

Let me zoom-in here to one of the recordings from our online audio-archive a bit further: it is an excerpt from the interview recording with the late Mbira-star Chiwoniso Maraire. The recording was made in the Book Café in Harare, a vibrant urban hub and meeting point for local artists, and Chi’s favorite hang-out. She was often present at the Sistas Open Mic events, supporting the younger women artists. Quite a few of my Harare recordings were made here.25  

Time and place are both co-ordinates, which speak in a recording. We might not always understand what is being said, but we might well hear the weight of its significance in a voice, which speaks, and the ambience might appear like a musical contra-point to the speaker. In the recordings with Chiwoniso, the music 'in the background' is quite prominent, yes, but it’s a particular music, the sounds of Mbira (the thumb piano), which is Sis Chi’s instrument. I don’t know exactly the songs that are played or, which lyrics might resonate here but what I can hear is that the music filters more and more into our conversation, and its rhythm imprints itself on it, and on us. I can hear Chi tuning-in, streaming with music and rhythm… and on the contra-point of these sounds, she relates much of her spiritual connection to the Mbira…

How to access and perceive these kinds of audio-information, we 21st century 'information-junkies' have little time and occasion practicing. 'Background sounds' are an underrated database, even — or especially — in my field of practice, which, in many ways, can be said to draw on Oral History methodology. What is lacking in a time of online knowledge as 'information' seems to be the attention, awareness and practice of our imaginative capacities, which are especially triggered and active when we are listening.

With our eyes on the birds-eye view of a map, our imagination already has to be alert, for us to engage in a process of decoding and transcribing two-dimensional representation, mentally comparing it with a memory we might have of a particular place on the map. Perhaps, accessing field-recordings via a sound-map can assist in activating our 'sleeping' capacity to open the narrow focus of hearing words as abstract information, and pay attention to the 'ambience', to the many different ways, how an environment may speak in a recording. While browsing field-recordings on a sound-map, we are 'literally' taking our imagination on a journey of listening…

All Africa Sound Map, Zambezi Region

These considerations are based on my more recent experiments with archiving and circulating recordings also on a sound-map. Since July 2013, I’ve been linking the footage-tracks of the recordings you have heard here mainly in clips to the sound-maps on aporee radio (aporee.org). The participatory online radio project is developed and maintained by Berlin artist Udo Noll who, since 2007 is inviting global listeners to upload field-recordings directly to the place on the global map from which they originated. An open 'user-project' on aporee maps gathers the field-recordings from Zambia and Zimbabwe in a special collection, the All Africa Sound Map.26

“Place African Art and Culture on the Global Map!” with this call-out, the All Africa Sound Map invites contributions of local recordings from online listeners — and especially 'from our sista artists and storytellers in Africa and across the globe'.

A metaphor mentioned several times in my text here — that of placing 'Africa' on the map of the global information age and, doing so in the voices of the people from the continent themselves has found a poignant visual representation in the global sound map and, an interactive global listening practice while using it.27

Ultimately, it is in the hands of African people themselves that the tools of field-recordings and practices of digital storytelling will serve as an effective leaver for them to re-discover the multiple forms of literacies in their societies, and to collectively excavate their oral heritage as a 'sound' foundation for its continuation in contemporary forms. In touch with their oral heritage and contemporary ICTs on a wider community level as is currently the case, Africa could lead a way in fresh forms of a collective production of Media and, of History. It could make us, or the citizens of a future 'global information society' justly richer in our shared knowledge, resources and productions.

Artists from Europe can contribute to the task of a more balanced, globally shared, multimedia knowledge pool; be it, by creating audio responses or re-mixes for local artists’ projects in African countries, by offering radio and on-air opportunities to African artists or initiatives, by donating interactive designs to a project or organization on the continent or, by sharing parts of our production archives on-line — especially if these contain field-recordings from Africa.

_____

 

On-line sites

both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com

aporee.org/maps/projects/all-africa-sound-map

www.facebook.com/groups/506668076047173

www.radiocontinentaldrift.wordpress.com

soundcloud.com/radio-continental-drift

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavis_Moyo

 

Notes

1 The article is an updated version of my contribution to SOUND DIARIES 2013, and thus, I’m using the symposiums title here. Organized by Felicity Ford and Paul Whitty of SARU (Sonic Art Research Unit), Oxford Brookes University, 3rd - 4th June 2013 www.sound-diaries.co.uk

2 My article correspond here to the format of the conference at SARU where the presenters were invited to introduce themselves with one field-recording and a story how this particular recording was significant to their practice. As will unfold in the article, it is a very suitable introduction for me as “a migrant listener with a bag”: To begin by listening is at the very core of my practice as radio continental drift. www.radiocontinentaldrift.wordpress.com

3 It’s Mary Mutinta Manzole, co-founding director of ZAPOTA who’s calling me back here (about 2 minutes into the track). Later that day, we also recorded an interview with Mary; see: archive.org/details/Voices_from_Lusaka_111

4 The blog: both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com functions as a portal to the online audio-archive based at archive.org: archive.org/details/radiocontinentaldrift

5 FREEWAY MAINSTREAM produced for Studio of Acoustic Arts/ WDR 3 in Cologne is “remixing” the stories of young African expats in Germany.

6 In the meantime, I’ve been in Zambia and Zimbabwe again, September 2013 – February 2014. Here my concern was mainly to re-visit the women interviewees and their organization on the ground, tell and show them on my laptop, what had been happening with their recordings now in “cyberspace”; and to explore together, how they might be using these resources and integrate them in meaningful ways in their ongoing work and daily life. The training and digital storytelling project for women remains on the agenda, though, as yet, apart from a couple of one-off workshops unrealized.

7 In my workshops, I often emphasize on the subjectivity of listening and recording, which also resounds in the term “sound diaries”: sound recordings, I’d say, always “picture” or transcribe an act of an authored listening.

8 Link to page: both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/where-are-you. The page has by now a more poignant representation containing audio-links to a global sound-map, the aporee radio project, to which I’ll refer at the end of the article. radiocontinentaldrift.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/all-africa-sound-map-2

9 The Nigerian radio engineer Tunde Adegbola, who’s also active in the field of speech technology in order to make way for African indigenous languages into the “global information age”, tackles the wider global context of the issue and warns of the effects of the commercialization of information and knowledge, he says: “if informational capitalism is not balanced by the need for cultural diversity and environmental integrity, we are on the way to a global mono-culture based on homogenized content for education, information and entertainment… and globalization would be yet another wave of colonialism…”. From, ‘Explanatory Notes on Content, Media and Language Issues’; until recently, the text was for download via Tunde’s webpage www.alt-i.org/index.php.

10 The Isithakazelo or the Oriki are known in the Northern Hemisphere as Praise-Names. They are, in fact, often elaborate poems, containing lists of ancestral names, historical events, acts and achievements. In celebrations and festivals, they are preformed musically, often to the beat of the drum.

11 Here a link to Mulenga Kapwepwe’s blog post: both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/post/49302441254/mulenga-kapwepwe. For listeners further reference the blog also houses a list of the entire collection of recordings both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/interviews2012; as well as a list of contacts and further links to all interviewees listed under the organizations to which they belong: both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/links.
For information about the National Art Council of Zambia see: www.zamlii.org/zm/legislation/consolidated-act/170

12 Claudia Wegener: Everyone a Listener - Everyone a Producer! in: documentation of the international symposium "Radio as Art – Concepts, Spaces, Practices: Radio Art between Media Reality and Art Reception", June 5-7, 2014, presented by Centre for Artists’ Publication, Bremen / Universität Bremen / Universität zu Köln.

13 In my interviews and conversations, I found that residues of DTR are still alive in local communities and projects, both in Zambia and in Zimbabwe, though unfortunately, rarely practiced today. This is also due to a necessary update and link of the DTR project to contemporary technology. I elaborate on this need and its possibilities in my article in “Everyone a Listener - Everyone a Producer!”, see footnote 12.

14 Wikipedia article, Mavis Moyo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mavis_Moyo

15 I would also like to extend this call-out now to my valued readers of this article. A general call for Wikipedia articles on African women is included on the blog, here: both-sides-of-the-zambezi.tumblr.com/producers

16 See for example the stats of the radio continental drift portal on archive.org: archive.org/details/radiocontinentaldrift

17 For readers to picture the local situation: imagine villages in Binga, which you can only reach after several hours on a four-wheel-drive; many don’t have electricity, often phone signals are weak or don’t reach at all. Radio signals of the state-broadcaster ZBC don’t reach here; so even the rare broadcasts of ZBC in ChiTonga are of no benefit to people in Binga. Community radio stations have so far not been granted licenses in Zimbabwe. Old newspapers are a desired item and will be read from the first to the last line by many. Since summer 2013, a Zambian community radio station broadcasting in ChiTonga—these are the Zambian cousins of the BaTonga in Binga—is transmitting into Zimbabwe from across the lake. The transmissions of Zongwe Community Radio are the results of the consorted efforts of Basilwizi Trust and the Austrian Zimbabwe Friendship Association. www.basilwizi.org; www.mulonga.net; www.servus.at/argezim

18 For an organization specifically working with the rural women in Binga, please see and hear about ZUBO Trust: http://www.zubo.org; recording with Abbigal Muleya, together with Rosemary Cumanzala, she is one of the leading organizers of ZUBO: http://archive.org/details/Voices_from_Binga_52

19 see also the notes to “hard-cover radio” in my article "Everyone a Listener - Everyone a Producer!", see footnote 12.

20 Further to the organizations in Binga already mentioned above, these are: Pamberi Trust/ Book Café in Harare; Ibhayisikopo Film Project in Bulawayo; Tusimpe Catholic Mission in Binga; Arts Council Zambia and Zambia Media Women Association in Lusaka.

21 Examples here are radio continental drift’s low-fy “road movies” shared via youtube. www.youtube.com/user/AnEarOnTheGround?feature=mhum  

22 In order to contextualize the online presentation of the numerous recordings, to link the international artists to their poetry recordings, the Lusaka radio show and, to each other, I had set up a multimedia page on “Creative Africa Network” (CAN), which was, until recently, a platform with multiple-user-access for artists from Africa and the diasporas. The page “Expanded Broadcast and Poetic Transmission” was one of many multimedia pages, which I had created on CAN since 2010. In my contribution to the SOUND DIARIES symposium, I was still using the CAN pages during my talk. In June 2014, the global business supporting the site suddenly dropped it, without prior notice to users, nor any other public statements or explanations.

23 Even successful cultural producers like Joyce Jenje Makwenda have little presence in the “global” information society. After years of struggle, Joyce is building an online portal to her collection since May 2014. See: www.joycejenjearchives.co.zw  

24 There are only a few, quite recent, cutting-edge examples of online archiving and distribution in Zimbabwe, who’s audience range and accessibility is still likely to be limited. Examples are the online magazine “Her Zimbabwe” (mainly text-based); or “Chat263” (multimedia; archived on youtube and soundcloud). SW Radio Africa has a beautifully maintained, rich podcast archive; though this station is based in London and broadcasts into the country on short wave, every day 7-9 pm.

25 For a “moving” insight into the “Sistaz Open Mic” events at Book Café see: youtu.be/HuAayNoDg2k?list=LL8LGl3j1Y99EKE2bhBGIhzw

26 Udo Noll was a fellow presenter at the SOUND DIARIES symposium, where we talked about the possibility of linking the women’s recordings from Zambia and Zimbabwe to aporee maps. A multimedia article on Felicity Fords online journal “The Domestic Soundscape” publishes a conversation between myself and Felicity about the possible benefits of archiving and circulating, especially recordings with women on the sound maps of radio aporee. Find the article published in Sept. 2013 here: thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress/?p=5422

27 The aporee radio project is a versatile and continuously developing online radio project including a stream and other tools and facilities for “new practices related to sound/art and radio”; see also: aporee.org/maps/info. For a recent conference at ZKM in Karlsruhe, where Udo Noll was also presenting, I discussed the possible uses and benefits of the sound maps and radio tools on aporee further—especially in terms of inter-active archiving and participatory radio projects on the African continent. “My City, My Sounds” Dec. 2014; video recordings of the talks will be published online at http://zkm.de/en/event/2014/12/my-city-my-sounds

 

Photos (if not otherwise stated): Claudia Wegener