Memory under Construction:
Giving Voice to Forgotten Memory
Among the three sectors of communication (public, private and associative) the “associative or community radios” -the terminology varies by country- are identified as the local media, with a city mission of information and education. The radios of social communication of proximity are tools of open democratic expression, included for sectors of the population without access to the expression media; are recognized by UNESCO as key agencies in popular adult education, through formal, non-formal and informal education.
The collecting of history and its narrative is never anodyne. Radios are working for years in collecting fragments of collective history, understood in its broadest sense, not only as the “dramas of history”, and spread between those who have known it and between the youth who don’t live it.
Giving the word to those sectors to whose have been denied the building of their own narrative of the history. We consider necessary that the story is written in a collective manner and not just by the “winners”, taking out from oblivion those stories that never been counted and written. We all have a part of the story to tell.
For this, the project will provide to radios participatory learning dynamics to build the collective narration. We want to highlight the role of women, people from marginalized communities and immigrants, who have rarely been enabled to tell “their side of the story.”
The project will organize a collective reflection among the XX European radio partners and, among its outcomes, will provide them with tools: collective training, catalogue of best practices, techniques of archive, external evaluation, etc…
Associative or Community Radios in Europe have a different route in the treatment of popular education and, more specifically, in regard to the collection of evidence of collective historical memory in the service of building a non-uniform and unidirectional story. We have in common the civic values in which is based the social communication of proximity and, in this particular case, our interest in this subject understood in the context of our city mission in adult education formal, non-formal and informal.
We understand the “historical memory” in its broadest sense, not only related to the dramas of history, but also with the positive collective constructions and in search of dependable information.
However, the 4000 community radio stations in Europe have never developed a collective reflection on this aspect nor have been provided with training plans and common tools. Each one works the issue as it sees fit well, in gathering evidence and in the way they are treated, as in their archive.
In many cases, those involved in the issue are workers and, in others, volunteers, but they all have in common the passion for the subject.
We understand that the narrative of history is an important aspect of the construction of memory, in the individual’s role in it and, therefore, in forming in its three expressions.
However, this aspect is not anodyne. History has always been written by the “winners” and when it was not just so, it has been written by the sector of the population who has had access to expression. There are many neglected sectors of history which have rarely been able to build and transmit their own story: women, people from marginalized communities and immigrants, etc.
Another aspect that we would like to think about is the individual vision of each person, the relationship between individual-individual memory, collective memory construction.
Two people who have lived the same event never remember it the same way.
Community radios work in an environment of multiple levels of collaboration with historians, academics, associations working this issue, human rights defenders, etc.. It is also important to put it in this perspective of collective learning.
We understand that the appearance of oral sound files are a very important aspect in the transmission and, within them, we share the philosophy that our sound files do not belong only to radios that have collected them, but to the entire community, and must serve to the common good and be deposited in a public file.
Among the tasks that the 11 partners develop, we would highlight three related to this project:
a) The collection of oral memory of the communities involved;
b) To perform work especially among those sectors that have not had access to the word –the forgotten of the history-, which have been denied to tell;
c) The transmission of this “collective historical memory” to those who have not experienced and new generations.
This last aspect seems very important. We must generalize this need in the whole of the European community radio. We must train, educate, raise awareness among community radios in their role to be played to avoid forgetting and thus prevent some of these tragedies from recurring.
The 11 project partners want, through it, to share our best practices and, through collective training, to equip ourselves with working tools that allow us to develop a more effective work between our diverse communities (collection of testimonials, program editing , file available to the general public, etc.)
Each of us have been working in an isolated manner and this project will give us the opportunity to, in addition to analyze and reflect on our practices, to learn together and to build working instruments that, through their disclosure, may serve to whole of the European community radios.
Transmit, give the word, promote discussion, narrate, give listeners critical elements … are some of the issues that have been discussed in several previous meetings of community radios that have given rise to this project, in those organized by AMARC-Europe, representative organization of the sector at European and global levels.
More specifically, last month of January seven of the 11 project partners met in Bordeaux (France) to work on the collective construction of this project and we agreed on this previous diagnosis.
This project aims to respond to this situation and begin building an exchange of good practices and to provide ourselves with mechanisms for a job of training / education better structured.
The project has a main objective:
Diagnose the good practices of community radios in the treatment of historical memory, sharing them between partners, and provide ourselves with tools for working together: collective and individual formations on each radio, manual of good practices and radio productions from a dynamic of training / action (practice).
And has two transversal objectives:
1. – Provide ourselves with tools to collect and transmit the memory of the forgotten sectors of the history, especially women and marginalized communities and emigration. Women are always the great forgotten of the history
2. – To put in relation the formation aspects of formal, non-formal and informal; radios with subject specialists (historians and teachers) and associations working in the field the problem.
It also has the following specific objectives:
1. – The transmission of memory, an instrument of popular education and the construction of a European public memory;
2. – Exchange of good practices
3. – Construction of memory, understood as a broad concept and not just related to the dramas of the history
4. – Helping to testify to those without access to public speech (by fear, or repression, by difficulties, by marginalization, etc.)
5. – The history and its influence on the contemporary. Many things we are now living are understood in an historical perspective
6. – Archive and learn to archive. Return to public the public history, through radio instrument. Provide ourselves with tools to build file systems of public service.
7. – Language and cultural differences can be overcome and allow personal and collective enrichment
The project aims to put in relation the theoretical training of radios with practical actions (radio productions), and do it by associating teachers, historians and associations working the subject of historical memory in each community. Community radios understand the formation as a dynamic action that combines action / training / action.
More specifically, we expect the realization of two centralized training activities (Ireland and Germany) and training in each of the 11 partners.
The dynamic action / training / action will take shape in the performance of different types of radio programs.