Zambezi River Bridge

Zambezi Radio Bridge

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Overview | Details | Exhibitions | Contents | Artist Statement


Zambezi Radio Bridge explores the idea of radio as art conference by sampling broadcasts produced by a team of radio makers at Zongwe FM, a community radio station in Sinazongwe, Zambia, and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Binga, Zimbabwe. The work was jury selected for a CD compilation, A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi, sales of which support further radio work by women radio makers on both sides of the Zambezi River.


Object: Audio
Format: mp3
Bit Rate: 356kbs
Duration: 8:00
Created: 2018
Creator: John F. Barber

Exhibitions / Publications / Broadcasts

A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi
Digital album
Released 29 April 2018
Twenty-three tracks, featuring more than fifty artists, from seventeen countries. Jury selected. Proceeds benefit Zongwe FM, Sinazongwe, Zambia, and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Binga, Zimbabwe.

Artist Statement

I created Zambezi Radio Bridge in response to an open call for participation from Zongwe FM, a community radio station in Sinazongwe, Southern Province of Zambia, Africa. Selected contributions were to be compiled as A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi and released as a digital CD on the popular online sound sharing platform, BandCamp. Proceeds from the compilation's online sales would benefit Zongwe FM (see Facebook presence), and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Binga, Zimbabwe, Africa.

My conceptual framework was to create a work of sound art using provided samples of field recordings and on-air productions, made available via Creative Commons licenses through Internet Archive, to provide insight into the work being done by Zongwe FM.

Zongwe FM, quite literally, is a means for Tonga people in Zambia and Zimbabwe, separated by the Zambezi River to talk with each other. At the end of 1950, the Zambezi River valley was flooded as water gathered behind the Kariba Dam. The BaTonga people lost their ancestral land along the banks of the Zambezi, and were forced to move. Today, Lake Kariba divides the two countries and the Tonga community.

Despite the division, Tonganan communities on both sides of the Zambezi speak a common language, ChiTonga, and they struggle to maintain cultural survival in their isolated, rural communities, bypassed by the benefits of the dam project. Zongwe FM provides not only a means for communication, but also self-help, organization, and cultural survival as radio makers and women of Zubo Trust share their traditional culture via radio. In their broadcasts, you can hear the women talking, sharing, singing, celebrating. It is good.

International sound artists were invited to submit their own work or to remix provided samples from previous Zongwe FM broadcasts. I chose the provided samples because of their focus on women's issues as addressed by the women themselves, and because I appreciate the idea of radio as art conference, a communal sharing of conversation across time and distance.

My remix, Zambezi Radio Bridge, seeks to support bridging the communication gap between rural communities separated by the Zambezi River, as well as communal listening around the world.

Artists include Bina Annette, Budima musicians, Canary Burton, Cesko and Milla, Chiza Mwinde, Claudia Wegener / radio continental drift, Crystal DJ Kwe Favel, Demetrio Cecchitelli, disquetteïs, Dixie Treichel, Donor Ncube, Duo IJ / Inge van den Kroonenberg and Jürgen De Blonde , Erika Preisel / FSK, Eunice Mwinde and her grandmother, Feralmind, Georg Ritter, Godsglory JibrilEllams, Ifrah Mansour, Ilpo, Janet Mwinde, John F. Barber, Kariyangwe Women's Forum, Konrad Behr, Labecca Munkuli, Lucia Munenge, Lydia Banda Ndeti, Lydia Akwabi MC aka L-NESS, Macdonald Chiemezie Nwokeji / FSK, Margaret Munkuli and her mother, Monica Sianbunkululu / DJ Mo, Mweezya and Mweeka Women Clubs, Niki Matita, Simatelele Women's Forum, Tom Miller aka Comrade Squelch, Tusumpuke Saving Group and Nsenga Women's Club, Patience Kabuku / DJ Petty Young, prOphesy sun, Tuligwasye Women, Valérie Vivancos, Valerio Orlandini, Zoë Irvine, Zubo Trust and Zongwe FM.

Zongwe FM and the A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi project is undertaken by radio continental drift, AKA Claudia Wegener, an Austrian radio and sound artist and community radio activist, for the purpose of bringing media skills and production to the hands of listeners, communities, and organizations wherever needed. Important work is being undertaken by radio continental drift and Zongwe FM. I am proud to participate and support both.

A Radio Bridge across the Zambezi is available at the BandCamp website. The CD compilation includes 23 tracks, by more than 50 contributors from 17 countries. All proceeds benefit Zongwe FM, in Zambia, and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. Thank you for helping this worthy cause.