Alternative Radio : exhibiting radio and music heritage after the Christchurch earthquakes
This article examines the representation of Christchurch, New Zealand, student radio station RDU in the exhibition Alternative Radio at the Canterbury Museum in 2016. With the intention of ‘making visible what is invisible’ about radio broadcasting, the exhibition articulated RDU as a point of interconnection between the technical elements of broadcasting, the social and musical culture of station staff and volunteers, and the broader local and national music scenes. This paper is grounded in observations of the exhibitions and associated public programmes, and interviews with the key participants in the exhibition including the museum's exhibition designer and staff from RDU, who acted as independent practitioners in collaboration with the museum. Alternative Radio also addressed the aftermath of the major earthquake of 22 February 2011, when RDU moved into a customised horse truck after losing its broadcast studio. The exhibition came about because of the cultural resonance of the post-quake story, but also emphasised the long history of the station before that event, and located this small student radio station in the broader heritage discourse of the Canterbury museum, activating the historical, cultural, and personal memories of the station's participants and audiences.
- Arts: Journal Articles