Friday, Jun 2 at 10:00 am – Sunday, Jun 4 at 5:00 pm
With lead instructor Christina Dunbar-Hester and guests Allan Gomez, Anayansi Diaz-Cortes, Sylvia Ryerson, Tom Roe, Ed Marszewski and Tom Tenney
Celebrate clandestine radio and learn to use alternative radio forms to resist, restore and build community in this three-day immersive workshop!
How can radio be used to resist social injustice? How can it be used to build and strengthen local and transnational communities? How can it be used to penetrate prison walls and cross national or cultural borders? In this three-day intensive, you will learn the skills, tools and artistry of radio for community building and activism. The workshop will cover how to establish a DIY radio station, how to target and impact a community, and how to select the best format to reach your community. Guests will share impactful storytelling, interviewing and editing techniques and will discuss the artistry of live and recorded broadcast. Participants will also learn about the history of pirate radio and FCC regulations in the United States.
During the weekend intensive, you will have the opportunity to participate in a live FM broadcast and the chance to create your own DIY internet radio station. You will also be able to get feedback on a work-in-progress radio show.
Led by Christina Dunbar-Hester of USC’s Annenberg School of Communication — author of Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest and Politics in FM Radio Activism — and featuring guests from the Prometheus Radio Project, Appalshop, Wave Farm and Radio Free Brooklyn, this workshop will give participants the skills needed to embark on their own radio activism and community building projects. Participants need not have extensive radio experience to attend. Those interested in podcasting, online or terrestrial radio are all encouraged to apply!
Open to everyone. We are looking for radio producers, podcasters, station managers, activists, sound storytellers and others interested in learning how to use the tools of clandestine radio to build community. All lovers of radio welcome! Those with a desire to expand their low-power, diy, freeform and internet radio skills to resist oppression and strengthen persecuted communities are encouraged to apply.
Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience and audio project (it would be great if you have a project in progress that you would present to the group during the work-in-progress critique sessions), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).
$295 early bird registration by May 19th at 5PM.
$350 regular registration.
The deposit is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until May 19th. After May 19th, the fee is non-refundable.
In order to keep costs down, this workshop is b-y-o-m, bring your own laptop. Radio equipment is not required, but iPhones or other handheld recording equipment is welcomed. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their own computers or other equipment.
To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via PayPal. Course fees are not refundable or transferable, and any withdrawals will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.
In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.
Friday, June 2 – 10:00a - 5:00p
Building Resilient Communities through Radio
Day one will explore how radio is being used to strengthen and unite communities. Whether a farmworker organization sharing rights information or a storytelling project documenting community history, radio can be an important tool to resist social injustice. Today’s sessions will introduce the contemporary radio landscape and discuss the practical ways radio can be engaged as a tool of activism and resilience.
AM: Allan Gomez — Program director and station support at the Prometheus Radio Project
In this session, Allan will share his experiences working with farmworker and international community radio stations. He will discuss the practical tools needed to establish a station and strategies for using radio for activist and community organizing.
PM: Anayansi Diaz-Cortes — Producer and creator of Club America and KCRW’s Sonic Trace
Anayansi’s session will explore how to use radio as a community storytelling tool. She will talk about ways to engage communities and how to create high-quality impactful stories. Participants will learn storytelling, interview and editing techniques to help people tell stories “in their own words.”
Saturday, June 3 – 10:00a - 5:00p
Resistance + the Art of Pirate Radio
Day two will expand on the use of radio to build resilient communities by exploring radio’s capacity to cross borders and penetrate walls. Radio can be used to maintain personal, familial and communal connections across prison walls, and it can be used to create intimacy across the cars, kitchens and bedrooms of strangers. Today’s sessions will introduce the history of pirate radio and will explore the skills needed to harness the border-crossing intimacy and artistry of microradio forms.
AM: Sylvia Ryerson — Producer of Restorative Radio and co-host of Appalshop’s Calls From Home
This session will explore radio as a community response to mass incarceration. Producer Sylvia Ryerson will share audio clips and a short documentary on Appalshop’s Calls from Home program, which sends messages over the radio from family members to their relatives incarcerated in rural Appalachia. As a producer and co-host of the show for four years, Sylvia will discuss the program’s history and structure. She will also share from her current project Restorative Radio, working with families to create audio postcards for their loved ones incarcerated far from home. The session will delve into the challenges and possibilities of using radio to penetrate prison walls.
PM: Tom Roe — Co-founder of free103point9 and current artistic director at Wave Farm
Wave Farm Artistic Director Tom Roe will discuss the history of pirate radio in the United States and New York City, and current trends in microradio and FCC enforcement. Audiences interested in pirate radio or arts-applications for microradio can tune in to a former New York City pirate, now helping to run the full-power FM station WGXC in upstate New York.
This session will broadcast live on WGXC 90.7-FM.
Sunday, June 4 – 10:00a - 5:00p
Radio Resistors: DIY Radio Creation + Transmission
Day three will focus on the practical skills needed to create your own DIY radio station. Whether online or terrestrial, live or recorded — each radio station and show demands careful and creative planning. Today’s sessions will walk you through the process of choosing the right content and technology to achieve your goals.
AM: Ed Marszewski — Director of Chicago’s Lumpen Radio WLPN
Current director of Lumpen Radio (WLPN) in Chicago will discuss what is takes to setup and operate a community radio station.
PM: Tom Tenney — Author of The DIY Internet Radio Cookbook and co-founder of Radio Free Brooklyn
With new digital technologies evolving at a breakneck pace, myriad opportunities emerge that allow average citizens to build their own DIY media outlets and add their voices to a global conversation. However, with each new advancement, we must be vigilant that certain attributes that made the “old” technologies unique are not lost in the process. In this presentation, media educator and Radio Free Brooklyn co-founder Tom Tenney will discuss methodologies utilized in leveraging the powers of both new and old media to create a DIY radio network that best serves the goals of creating community, advancing civic dialogue at a local level, promoting media education and literacy, and shaping a freeform platform for artistic expression.
Some of the topics that to be discussed in this forum include:
* Specific tools needed to create an online DIY radio network
* How time-shifting has displaced “liveness” in broadcasting, and why this matters
* Ways in which learning to build DIY networks facilitates the ability to analyze and understand a complex media landscape.
* How artistic communities can utilize a freeform DIY radio to create a counterpoint to traditional performance platforms
During the final hour, each participant will have the opportunity to create their own DIY Internet radio station and their first broadcast. If you wish to participate in this portion of the presentation, please be sure to bring a laptop!
Each day follows this general structure, with some minor variations and substitutions:
Warm up, inspiring references
Presentation by guest speaker
Share / Discussion / Exercise
Presentation by guest speaker
Workshop Exercise + Critique
Christina Dunbar-Hester is an ethnographer who studies the intersection of technical practice and political engagement. She is the author of Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism (MIT Press, 2014). This book examines activism to promote local community radio even in a “digital” age. It was selected as the co-winner of the 2014 McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communications Technology Research. Dunbar-Hester is Assistant Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Her current research centers on advocacy to address diversity issues in open technology communities like hackerspaces and open source software. She holds a Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. Prior to joining USC Annenberg, she taught in Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University, where she was also affiliated faculty in Women’s & Gender Studies. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Andrew J. Mellon Humanities Project, the Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology & Society.
A native of Ecuador, Allan Gomez was a founding member of Chicago-based volunteer group Radios Populares (RaPo), which traveled throughout North and South America to help build community radio stations, present workshops, and provide tech and organizational support to women’s health groups, indigenous schools, farmers’ movements and teacher’s unions among others. Prior to his arrival in Philadelphia, he spent two years in a conflict zone in rural Colombia providing logistical support to health training initiatives, facilitating community organizing, as well as coordinating appropriate technology and solar installations in the region. He enjoys sharing food, experiences, excitement, rage, blame and credit where its due. He is currently Station Support and Program Director at the Prometheus Radio Project and Operations Manager for Philadelphia’s Bike Share System.
Anayansi Diaz-Cortes is an award-winning independent producer in the U.S. and Mexico. She is currently developing Club America, a radio show and podcast about belonging and identity in the US. As part of AIR’s Localore initiative, she moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2012 to work with KCRW to create the documentary and transmedia series Sonic Trace. Her work has aired on PRI’s The World, NPR’s All Things Considered, KCRW’s To the Point, This American Life, Unfictional, Radio Ambulante and Pop-Up Magazine.
Sylvia Ryerson is an independent radio producer, sound artist, journalist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. For nearly a decade her work has probed the overlapping crises of mass incarceration, rural poverty, and environmental destruction. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, Here and Now, The Takeaway, The Marshall Project, Transom.org, and spotlighted by the Third Coast International Audio Festival. From 2010-2015, she worked at the award-winning media arts center Appalshop, in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. There she led the production of Calls from Home, a nationally recognized radio program broadcasting messages from family members to their loved ones incarcerated in rural Appalachia. Sylvia currently produces The Runner’s World Show, a podcast from Runner’s World Magazine, and Restorative Radio, a project working with families that have relatives incarcerated far from home to create “audio postcards” that are broadcast on rural radio stations to reach their loved ones in prison and a general listening audience.
Tom Roe co-founded free103point9, in 1997 as a microradio artist collective in Brooklyn, New York. Today, he serves as the Artistic Director of Wave Farm (formerly known as free103point9). Roe lead Wave Farm’s efforts to establish WGXC 90.7-FM, an FCC-licensed full-power non-commercial FM radio station, serving New York’s Upper Hudson Valley since 2011, and currently manages the over 60 hours a week of Transmission Arts and Experimental Sounds programming on the station. He has frequently lectured about how to perform with transmitters and the history of radio performance and microcasting at venues such as Columbia University, Brown University, Brooklyn College, Flux Factory, The Kitchen, NYU’s ITP Program, Kids Discover Radio in East Harlem, Grassroots Media Conference at The New School, RPI University in Troy, among others. A sound transmission artist, Roe has exhibited widely both in the United States and internationally, performing with transmitters and receivers using multiple bands (FM, CB, walkie-talkie), as well as prepared CDs, vinyl records, and various electronics. He has also written about music for The Wire, Signal to Noise, and The New York Post.
Ed Marszewski is the a co-founder of Lumpen Magazine, a 25 year old free circulation magazine based in Chicago. He is the Director of Public Media Institute, which programs the space the Co-Prosperity Sphere, and is the Director of Chicago’s newest low power FM radio station, Lumpen Radio (WLPN-LP, 105.5fm) in Chicago. Ed has worked with thousands of activists, artists and cultural workers of all stripes on festivals, exhibitions, workshops, public art projects, conferences, radio and television programs and more. Visit: publicmediainstutute.org, lumpenradio.com, and lumpenmagazine.org for examples of the projects he is currently working on.
Tom Tenney is the co-founder and Program Director at Radio Free Brooklyn, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to give a global voice to local artists, residents, community organizers and other non-profit institutions by providing a commercial-free freeform Internet Radio platform. From 2010-2014, he was the director of the RE/Mixed Media Festival, an annual NYC-based event celebrating remixing, mashups, copyright reform, and fair use in the arts. As an artist focusing on radio and sound, his pieces have been heard on PRX Remix Radio, GMFE Sound Experience in Chicago, Toronto’s 2011 Deep Wireless Festival and Streaming Festival, Sixth Edition. Tom received his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School in 2013 and has since been a guest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, an adjunct Media Studies Professor at Hofstra University, and currently teaches in the Media Arts Department at New Jersey City University. His publications include The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, The DIY Internet Radio Cookbook, and numerous magazine and newspaper articles focused on art and technology, many of which can be found on his website, tomtenney.com.
This event is being recorded for future broadcast on Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley.