Open Mic – a Community Radio Experiment
The “Illuminated Night Ride” grasps one of the most habitual activities of a citizen – the act of taking a walk through the own city center after a working day, studying or taking care of family members. Thereby, it aims at radically lowering the barrier of participation in media through this experiment, so that the walker does not need to go to a radio studio, nor to arrange an interview with a journalist to take part in the co-creation of a story that is heard. Instead, MYCYradio creates a mobile space of participation that connects historical paths of Nicosia with day to day life of the people in the buffer-zone. The outcome is unknown, which is part of the story to be told.
MYCYradio, a multilingual web community radio station based in Nicosia’s buffer zone performs an “Illuminated Night Ride”. The idea was to install and incorporate audio light systems into the bicycles used during the ride to create an illumination spectacle in the old town night, while broadcasting “live” music and sound segments and recording (audio-visually) the happenings during the ride.
Bicycles foster the main installation, to be featured in the ride and in the exhibition at the NeMe Arts Centre in Limassol. The light systems installed on the bicycles are connected to audio equipment that broadcasts audio and music segments. The light riders who participate in the pack, with (mounted) audio recorders, record the soundscape and the reactions of the public that observes and interacts with the night ride. The conversations between the riders and the public is captured.
Artists, activists and (un)organized cyclists in the old town participate in the ride and its preparation/installation along with community radio broadcasters. The event is open to members of the public. The idea of this ride combines the old town curation with activities of those organizations, where the old town stories/histories are rooted in the bicycle rides. The conversations arising from these stories among the riders and the public as well as the interactions and reactions are thereby audio-visually recorded. The captured soundscape (and the “awe” reaction from the “Illuminated Night Ride”), creates an artistic dimension that marks an intervention in the public space, in a very specific spatial context.
A supportive preparatory training workshop is provided, not only for the radio technical aspects, but also to introduce the concept of community media and radio to the public and to instill its democratic participatory values and practices to the participants.