Three Years of Communicating From Below, Three Years of Community Radio Amiltzinko

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Three Years of Communicating From Below, Three Years of Community Radio Amiltzinko

On January 4-6, the community of Amilcingo, Morelos, reunited again to celebrate and raise awareness of the radio labor of those that make up the Community Radio Amiltzinko 100.7 FM. Observing the work of its announcers (ranging from a teacher of physical education in an elementary school and a bicycle taxi driver to the tuba player of a band) it was made clear that specialization in the act of communication is a farce, showing rather that communication is a necessity of community sustenance. Or perhaps humans can collectively exist, but isn’t it through operation of expression/ communication of what we think of this or that phenomenon inside and outside of us? Simply to go for tortillas is indispensable communication!

In a small room, grayish on the walls but welcoming for those that work there, are many collages, letters, paintings, art, and photographs of social movements. There is a machete and a red bandana left by ejido members in resistance from San Salvador Atenco. In the other corner is a textile memory of the “Villa la Maternidad” in Córdoba, Argentina, who have struggled since 2004 against the uprooting of their land. There is a print with the slogan #VivasNosQueremos. There is also a photograph of subcomandante Marcos (now Galeano) and near the door that leads to the small hallway on the second floor, there is a piece of pottery hung, the piece most symbolic of the space, marked in blue the following words: Community Radio Amiltzinko 100.7.

They do not have antennas the size of a skyscraper. They do not have a lobby for guests, much less office workers that attend to the calls of those that listen to the station. It is a private house. In the part below they carry out screen-printing and cook different types of bread. The radio is very successful in the community because it is the community converted into radio.

The first day of activities, the community organized—playing on the professional field—a volleyball tournament for local teams. Now yes, lets play! Some watched from beneath the green blanket that covered the rays of the sun.

On the second day, literary and physical activities were initiated for the children. Everyone smiled in the final photo showing the origami that was crafted from the arrival of the sun. In the radio, the normalistas of FECSM began to arrive, coming from different schools (Teteles, Tenería, Amilcingo, amongst others). Some prepared a series of songs that were played on the radio program, while others, painted murals that said: “Amilcingo lives, 3rd anniversary of Radio Amiltzinko”.

In the afternoon, a community meal was offered on the side of the building (outside where Zapata’s face is painted). The compañerxs of Ruptura Colectivo (RC) gave again and again to one of the surrounding walls of the radio. There was Magón with his headphones set to the channel of 100.7 FM—a pictorial project that would last the three days until the end of the festivities. Nighttime already arrived, and the writer Víctor Hugo Sánchez Reséndiz presented his most recent book, “Temóac, un municipio desde abajo” accompanied by the tuning fork and the harmony of some guitar strings. Professor Martín Rodríguez followed, speaking about the importance of joining ranks with the independent teachers (CNTE) to continue the struggle against the education reform. Afterwards, a specialist and defender of community radio in Mexico spoke about the struggles at all three levels of government to disarticulate, through the telecommunications reform, projects like Radio Amiltzinko.

The nightly musical revelry began with samples of urban rap, African-American percussion by the group Mouso Barana, rebellious Mexican guitar from Cuernavaca, a fire performance by the Artistic Collective La Bodega, and the dissident guitar of Andrés Contreras, who had written emblematic protest songs of the case of Atenco. The normalista students from different schools adorned the night with regional dances. The rescue of the cultural and the hybridization with the social struggles were not resisted at all.

The following day, everything was very mellow. The repression occurred in Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo. People asked, “What do we do?” “How do we show our solidarity?” These questions were pronounced from every corner of the radio. Outside of the house, pastries were sold. In the central area, trucks arrived to install the two stages that would sustain the large party that night. The people left in the afternoon already well dressed to take in some sun, the women following, with their dresses recently ironed.

From one moment to the next, the horns barged in. The people only seemed to enjoy it. Couples danced for hours, some women were in front of the crowd to see their favorite singers, and food booths were everywhere. An emotional and passionate speech by singer Ross Vega went like this: “Thanks to the members of the radio, but especially to all of the people that call on us again and again asking us to return. It is an honor to play in two consecutive anniversaries for the dear people of Amilcingo”. Pity the early morning also must rest…

It was the last day.   The streets empty, the community had a well-deserved rest after a tremendous party. We returned to the wall of Magón. Through various hours of touch up, we finally finished our mural! The sidewalks were blasted with a reddish hue. The family that lent their fence for the work were happy, saying to us in fact: “Wow, it looks better than it did when it was not painted”. We left, more than a phrase, a visual call for the communization of human activity. That is it! Tie, construct, form, conform, draw, plot, etc. COMMUNITY, always in common space and always in defense of the commons. Amilcingo has many lessons to give the world about the art of living in a community.

The afternoon crept in on us, but the memory of Amilcingo and its radio magicians, are like the sun when it hides, late or early it will return.

Translated from the original here: http://rupturacolectiva.com/3-anos-de-comunicar-desde-abajo-3-anos-de-radio-comunitaria-amiltzinko/

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