Reflecting the Airwaves: the Microbroadcasting Movement Then and Now


Saturday, July 13, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, July 13, 5:00pm
Interference Archive, 314 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

In the 1990s, Rebel Radio: The Story of El Salvador’s Radio Venceremos by José Ignacio López Vigil and Mark Fried circulated to activist and alternative circles in the US and sparked a revolution in how people understood the power of radio to communicate and cultivate community, inspiring individuals to start their own low power FM radio stations and sparking a micro broadcasting movement. 

Join us for a conversation with radio broadcasters, activists, and academics about the microbroadcasting movement in the US and its legacy and influence today. Marnie Brady / DJ Poinsettia, broadcaster and assistant professor at Marymount Manhattan; DJ Maude Ontario (AKA Amanda Huron), co-founder of Radio CPR in Washington, DC; and Pete Tridish, who launched Philadelphia-based pirate station Radio Mutiny and the Prometheus Radio Project, and now is a radio engineer who builds participatory radio for social justice organizing and community expression; will discuss their experience with radio broadcasting as a tool for organizing. They will reflect on the goals and achievements of their programs and stations, the ethos of radio broadcasting in the 1990s and today, as well as the challenges stations face due to media consolidation and broadcasting regulations in the US. 

This event is organized in conjunction with Resistance Radio: The People’s Airwaves, an exhibition at Interference Archive about community and pirate radio and its relationship to social movements, on view July 11 – September 29, 2019. To learn more about the exhibition and related programming, please see here.

Speakers Bios

Marnie Brady / DJ Poinsettia launched the Neighborhood Power Hour as part of Radio CPR, Washington, DC where she converged her work in community organizing for immigrant rights, land, & housing with action research interviews & mix tapes over the airwaves. As part of Radio CPR, Marnie started a tech club to learn more about how sound travels. Now in Brooklyn, Marnie is part of the organizing committee for the national Homes for All campaign. She’s starting a job as assistant professor in politics & human rights at Marymount Manhattan in the fall.

DJ Maude Ontario (AKA Amanda Huron) is a co-founder of Radio CPR, a community radio station that broadcast from D.C.’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, 1998-2018. She currently works as an associate professor of interdisciplinary social sciences at the University of the District of Columbia, the public university serving Washington, D.C. Her research interests are in urban geography, housing justice, and D.C. history. She plays drums in the bands Puff Pieces and Weed Tree, and is a native of Washington, D.C. 

PeteTridish has built studios, raised towers, drafted regulations, passed a law through congress, been the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against media consolidation, started non-profits, and been arrested as a protester on various occasions. He has been a radio pirate, a policy advocate for community media, a carpenter, an environmental educator, a solar energy system installer, a squatter, a homeless shelter volunteer and an activist in many social movements since the age of 16.

Athena Viscusi, Radio Free Mount Pleasant DJ and member of Stand for Our Neighbors.

Images (Top to Bottom): Selection of images from Radio CPR, courtesy of Joshua Gamma and everyone at CPR; Selection of images from Radio Mutiny, courtesy of Pete Tridish and everyone at Radio Mutiny.