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Our first community Radio project that started us off!

The series focuses on the Henrys, an Afro Caribbean couple that decide to return back home to Jamaica after 50 years of life in the UK.

Arthur and Dorothy Henry are from the Windrush Generation and live with their children and grandchildren in Ancesstington, a town outside of London with approximately 75000 residents and in their spare time they run a local community center named 492 Korna Klub. Their forthcoming golden wedding anniversary plans to relocate their lives to Jamaica, handover their possessions to their children and pass on the management of the local community center is leading to problems. The staff and volunteers at the center are up in a peril organising activities and events for their survival.

The series explores social problems that trouble every community, every family and every individual and aims to motivate listeners to put themselves into the characters’ shoes and suggest alternatives or solutions to the ongoing drama. With the encouragement of active participation of the listener we aim to reinforce social cohesion and support community development in the difficult times we live in. The original idea came via Noh Budget Films where we formatted and produced the Radio program which began running every Friday 5.00pm - 6.00 pm on Galaxy FM 102,5 

This radio series is based on the Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Through these techniques the listeners are encouraged to actively participate in a dialogue initiated by the issues raised in the drama and determine the course of the series by sharing their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and experiences. 

Goal

The goal of this project is to improve people's lives by dramatising the problems they face. Were doing this by mobilising people to come together to inspire each other for change in attitudes and behavior. We want to:

  • Encourage dialogue with each other
  • Explore choices and options
  • Practice strategies and tactics for real life
  • Enhance listeners skills of communication and decision making
  • Understand how self-esteem affects moments of decision
  • Take risks in fictional worlds with the potential to learn rather than fail
  • Make the community responsible for the problems they experience in order to find real solution
  • The aim is to explore, question and challenge the work of community participatory radio, in relation to current theory and practice from other fields, in order to move forward and keep it relevant, alive and connected to political and social change.

Mission Statement

Since the first broadcast in 2014 the series poses questions, it does not offer answers. Listeners propose answers and everyone is invited to look at different options and perspectives. It does not declare right and wrong, it does not seek single solutions, it seeks discussions and a step forward in each person’s ability to take care of themselves and to look at their community with compassion. 

The project is a place to gather, dialogue, explore, express, share, learn, teach, develop and build community. It intends to interact with individuals within communities to analyse oppression and oppressive systems, learn about our african history and significance of our presence in the UK. It’s also a way for us to share our experiences and our stories and challenge to develop new ways of dismantling systems of oppression and promote critical thinking and social justice through this liberatory radio project.

Through this project we want to help combat local and global oppression, contribute in political struggles, in social justice, in community organizing, in education, in employment, and in social policy and explore how to transform dehumanizing systems into those that move toward social and economic freedom and justice.

We are made up of individuals who are change-makers, educators, global activists, local leaders, artists, organizers, advocates and instigators. 

Dramatically, the goal is to work together to create awareness of our oppression and oppressors and stimulate the audience into creating the desire and the need to participate actively in their own lives.

Through this project we as a community can engage in active dialogue on what is important. It allows individuals to create a safe space that everyone may inhibit in groups and use to explore the interactions which make up our lives. It is a lab for problem solving, for seeking options, and for practising solutions.

Despite the versatility of the radio drama form, there is very little evidence of forum theatre on radio, with the exception of The View, a forum theatre project conducted by Dead Earnest Theatre Company on BBC Radio Sheffield in 2008.

More recently, the radio drama form has evolved to embrace the interactive possibilities offered by the Internet, with BBC productions such as the Dark House (2003) and Chain Gang (2004–09), in which listeners influenced the development of storylines. We aim to push this context further where the listener interacts with the characters to change the outcome.

We believe the model of our project has to interrogate two major theories of development communication: entertainment-education and participatory communication. Both of these contribute to an improvement in quality of life for listeners.

We believe that this project can provide inherent opportunities for democratic dialogue and participation within the production process these include discussion, reflection and taking action strategies.

492 Korna Klub is the first interactive drama radio series and from our research we have not found any community radio projects like this. If you are aware of any similar projects, please inform us. 

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