Refugee Radio Network
Interview mit Larry Moore Macaulay vom Refugee Radio Network, Hamburg
The Hamburg-based Refugee Radio Network is about giving empowerment to the refugees. I am a so-called ‚Flüchtling’, I came to Europe in 2011 fleeing from the Libyan war. In Germany, there are many things not going the right way. We have to face a lot of negative stereotypes depicting refugees as dangerous people, for example. Whenever I visited different refugee camps throughout Europe I have learned that young people like myself feel the urge to hear stories, to learn about certain issues, and to discuss. But how to circulate these conversations? When we do interviews with the media they record us for three hours or so. But the slots on TV have only 3 minutes. This is censorship.
Together with three friends of mine, they are also refugees, I have decided to start a radio – a radio that gives voice and power to the refugees. Let them tell their stories, and we will broadcast them. Without censorship. In the city of Hamburg, we currently have four shows every month, broadcasted on Tide Radio for one hour and on FSK for two hours at different times. You can also listen to us live on the internet: 24 hours without interruption. On our website you have the chance to stream past shows, too.
In our radio shows, we have positive and sad stories. We try to be balanced, try to tell the stories from two sides. But since people mostly hear negative stories about refugees we dwell on the positive sides. Before we became refugees we were human beings and had productive lifes. Today, society and the government try to stigmatize us.
The Refugee Radio Network tries to foster creativity and puts a lot of things together: we have refugee kitchen and refugee poetry, for example. Many refugees write about personal things in poetic forms. We try to encourage them to have it broadcasted as part of our programm. Of course, the Refugee Radio Network also covers politics. Because political decisions decide on whether we’ll live or die. We talk to political leaders, we talk to civil rights activists. Furthermore, our group travels a lot giving workshops to empower the refugees. They need to understand the situation in Europe, the bureaucracy and the delays they have to face while waiting for their papers. Based on our experience as refugees we try to educate them. Europe is not the paradise many people dream of.
While waiting you have to be creative. Painting, music, poetry, learning the language, theatre – these are the media we use in our workshops aimed at supporting refugees to become integrated into the wider community productively and positively. We try to expand on the advocacy level. Refugees come into the European jungle and have to find their feet. In the city of Hamburg, the reactions to the Refugee Radio Network have been outstanding. We have also seen response from all over the world, we reach out to people in Kenia and refugees in Sicilia, for example. We hope to launch a TV show soon.
Stiftung :do fördert das Refugee Radio Network mit 2000 Euro.
Das Interview führte Till Schmidt.