fbpx
19/05/2019 Communication Science news and articles

Suppressed Voices Given a Chance to be Heard: Introducing ‘Looney Radio’

This thursday we introduce a very special radio station from Argentina: Radio La Colifata. Opening their doors, Hospital Borda takes the recovery process of the patient to another level.


Radio La Colifata, an Argentinian slang for ‘Looney Radio’, is the first radio station to be broadcasted inside a mental institution. Every Saturday for the past 23 years, patients and visitors alike gather at the courtyard of Hospital Borda in Buenos Aires to participate in the live broadcast of the radio show.

Each week, Hospital Borda receives approximately 20 visitors, interested to participate and observe the Radio La Colifata programme. Patients and visitors sit in a circle of chairs and the boundaries between the patient and visitor are not distinct. The visitors are always approached with a microphone and encouraged to be a part of the show, which helps create a dialogue between the patients and visitors. Between 2pm to 6.45pm, the staff at the hospital helps to organise the broadcast of the programme. Not only does Radio La Colifata has its own FM, listeners could also reach the radio station via Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and on its own website. After each broadcast, edited sections of the programme are being played on mainstream radio stations throughout Argentina and Latin America, reaching approximately 12 million people.

create bridges where there are walls

Where did it begin?
The conception of the radio programme first begun when founder Alfredo Olivera, was a psychology student, doing his training at Hospital Borda. During his stint at the institution, many friends and family members asked him what his experiences were like. Therefore, he came up with an idea to let his patients do the explanation. With that, Radio La Colifata was born.

The purpose of the radio station has always been therapeutic and to create bridges where there are walls. Radio La Colifata has also provided these people an avenue to speak freely, and to have uncut and uncensored voices, a stark contrast to how institutionalised most radio stations have now become.

patients produce and present their own show

Uncensored ‘looneys’
Each week, patients produce and present their own show on topics such as politics or sports, to millions of Argentinians who faithfully tune in. Under the shade of one of Argentina’s oldest psychiatric hospital, voices are heard and stories are shared. The presenters give their own unique perspective on topics that concerns them, completely uncensored. They share certain vulnerabilities on air too, such as poems, personal struggles, even rants about the terrible food served at the hospital.

Through hearing the voices of these patients, often stigmatised as ‘looneys’, the public’s opinions of the mentally challenged have been changed, and have even grown to be more affectionate towards these patients. In addition, the patients regularly receive letters of encouragement from all over the world, which makes them feel valued.

More than just a radio show
The radio station has given these patients, some who might have even lost all connections to society outside the walls of the mental institution, a platform to be heard, at a time when mental illness is considered a taboo. For the people who lost all connection to society, the station helped to serve as a tool to bridge the divide between the two realities, and to help destigmatise mental illness. To the millions of listeners who repeatedly tune in to Radio La Colifata each Saturday, the radio provides them with conversations that are completely genuine and voices that speak to their hearts.

This radio show has often been described to be therapeutic for patients and its listeners. For the patients, allowing them to communicate with ‘outsiders’ is a vital part of their recovery process. Many of these patients, who suffer from loneliness, have found friends to connect with, thanks to the radio. Seeing the benefits of such a programme, countries such as Chile, Germany, and Spain, have created similar programmes, which have been successful at helping their patients at mental institutions.

Radio La Colifata has quietly revolutionised how we view mental health and opened a new world of possibilities. It provides listeners an opportunity of an encounter, one you cannot usually experience unless you are inside of a mental institution. The radio station has challenged the (mis)conceptions of the public of what ‘normal’ is and is not. Most importantly, the presenters at Radio La Colifata have now reclaimed ownership of the word and is using it to remove its power to offend people.

Cover: Radio La Colifata / Final Editor: Ivo Martens

180 Total Views 1 Views Today

Reacties

reacties

Related Posts

The Brutally Feminine Murder of the Anti-Hero

18/05/2019

18/05/2019

We all love a hero, but sometimes, an anti-hero is even better. This article explores moral ambiguity and why we are attracted to it.

#RIPDorisDay

17/05/2019

17/05/2019

The world mourns as news of the passing of Doris Day arrives. Medium remembers a woman whose movies and music earned her the status of a Hollywood legend.

Tessa: De geneeskundestudent die geniet van haar leven in Maastricht

13/05/2019

13/05/2019

Dit keer geen student uit Amsterdam, maar een student uit Maastricht! Medium sprak met geneeskundestudent Tessa over haar studentenleven in Maastricht en hoe communicatie een rol speelt in haar studie.

Faking a Disease Online: Munchausen by Internet

12/05/2019

12/05/2019

Who can we trust online? This article explores the distressing phenomenon of Munchausen by internet.

Your nightlife review: De School, Amsterdam

10/05/2019

10/05/2019

Gabby reviews De School, mainly known as a techno nightclub. Is it worth a visit? And why is there such a strict doorpolicy? We sum up the good and bad points for you.

The Pursuit of the Perfect Picture and its Consequences

09/05/2019

09/05/2019

A lot of people nowadays do the craziest things to get the most beautiful Instagram photos. It's all fun and games, until people's properties get destroyed. Angela discusses 3 places in the world where 'Instagram tourists' have taken over.

Quality of public debate and social media

07/05/2019

07/05/2019

Does social media add or subtract from the quality of public debate today? Aakansha shares her take on the controversial topic.

Everything Not Saved Will be Lost

03/05/2019

03/05/2019

As our lives today are intertwined with that of the objects we are surrounded by, Ada dives into minimalism, decluttering and downsizing.

Medium TV – Brexit, just what the bloody hell went wrong? | MediumTV #19

30/04/2019

30/04/2019

Medium TV asked Jeppe and Charlie a few questions on Brexit. Watch the interview and listen to their opinions about it.

Outraved: Dance Demonstration for Your Education | MediumTV #18

29/04/2019

29/04/2019

Medium was present at 12 April's Outraved; a demonstration against budget cuts on education.

Medium TV interviews Leon Willems, director of Free Press Unlimited | MediumTV #17

29/04/2019

29/04/2019

Leon Willems, director of Free Press Unlimited since May 2011

VR Butterfly (World)

29/04/2019

29/04/2019

In a world where we are losing touch with our natural environment, can virtual reality save the day?

Just dance! Social interaction and communication inside a nightclub

26/04/2019

26/04/2019

When the beat drops and strobes lights start flashing through the dark, the way people dance functions as a primitive but universal language. It brings people from all places together through an intense form of communication. Gabby explains why dancing can function as a communicative medium and how this works.

Parenting in the digital age

25/04/2019

25/04/2019

Parenting is and always has been hard. With social media nowadays, it hasn't become easier. Would you want your kids to develop a digital footprint earlier than they develop the ability to speak?

Is Having a Restricted Press Really Such a Bad Thing?

22/04/2019

22/04/2019

Having a government-controlled press, singapore has been ranked 150th out of 180 countries on the World Freedom Press Index. But is this controlled press really a bad thing in a time were fake news thrives?

EnjoyInstagram