Humility comes thick and fast in a country such as Colombia. On Saturday we went to visit a project called ‘Red Loma Sur’ in the southern Bogota community of San Cristobal. The long drive through the labyrinthine streets lined with red bare brick houses gave me another glimpse of the difficult life of those that dwell there.
For me this was an important journey as it took me to meet with a group that we have not been in contact with for a while. After our first mission to Bogota the studio that we set up got moved to this district of the city to be used by more people than it was reaching before. Thanks to a donation from Christian Aid, Red Loma Sur started to build a studio on top of the house of a friend of the collective. That is the point that we lost touch with the group.
We went to visit them and find out exactly what they have been doing with the equipment that we donated to them. Unfortunately the studio is not yet finished, it still has a bit of work yet to do but is well along the way. To my delight we heard from the group that they had been working hard by using the equipment to produce ‘live’ radio shows by setting up in communities and running live shows on a stage with local participants forming part of the show. This a form of direct action that they are able to do with the equipment as they unfortunately do not currently have a means to broadcast.
However the recordings that they have made are going to be shared with us and we will put it out there for others to listen. This was a great first step in bringing this fantastic group of people back into the FairTunes family. We are going to send one of their technicians to our upcoming workshops to learn more, and help them out in whatever way we can to build another FairTunes studio.
We see this as an important part of the project that we have been developing in Bogota. This smaller studio can operate on a local level and work in tandem with the larger more central one that we have.