Radio Ase Plere An Nou Lite, a weapon for liberation
10 / 1993
PROJECT SUMMARY: Martinique’s struggle for independence from France has been gaining momentum throughout the 1970s. Radio Ase Plere An Nou Lite is an integral part of this movement, and its creation has been essential to the Martiniquan people’s struggle for identity and liberation.
ENVIRONMENT/ RATIONALE: The second half of the 1970s saw a strongly motivated movement beginning to address social and cultural problems in Martinique. This new momentum in Martiniquan society was completely ignored by the media. Newspapers, radio andtelevision feigned blindness and remained silent about both cultural and social changes that were taking place. Progressive organizations were denied the right to disseminate information about their efforts and activities, and to have others recognize the value of what they were accomplishing.
OBJECTIVES: To establish a station which would be a venue for expression and legitimization of activities of the independence movement in Martinique.
METHOD: Due to the massive popular support for the idea of setting up a radio station, Radio Ase Plere An Nou Lite could be established with minimal resources. People contributed time and knowledge to recover and recycle the materials used to construct offices and install equipment. A metal pylon was sanded, welded and repainted to carry the antenna. This was all done at night as the project was illegal and therefore dangerous. The first two years of the station was extremely difficult. The authorities constantly tried to block the signal of the station and repeatedly cut off the electricity. However, today the station is firmly established in the Martiniquan media landscape broadcasting to the entire island. The station receives no government subsidies. Membership fees from the "Association for the Development of Grassroots Communication" (an organization set up to develop support for the radio)make up a third of the resources. Other resources come through donations from supporters. Advertising was introduced in 1990, coinciding with the hiring of the first salaried worker. The station actively promotes small local businesses and producers and steer clear of the big advertisers. With the objective of national liberation of the Martiniquan people, part of the programming involves informing, education and training people. For this reason the station emphasizes studying history and understanding economic conditions, they have devoted time to union training and information on workers’ rights, and have developed shows on education, ecology, and international news. Promoting indigenous Martiniquan culture is another major objective of the station. They do this by broadcasting in the local language, Creole, and by promoting bale, the foundation of Martiniquan music. People are encouraged to come into or phone the station and express themselves in either French or Creole, whichever they feel more comfortable in.
There exists a French and a Spanish version of this book. This card has been written from the chapter 19.
CHATEAU DEGAT, Richard, AMARC=ASSOCIATION MONDIALE DES RADIODIFFUSEURS COMMUNAUTAIRES, BLACK ROSE BOOKS, 1992 (CANADA)