Radio Around The World

Pink Radio© Anmol Arora / Unsplash
One hundred years ago, in October 1923, the very first German radio station began broadcasting in Berlin. What better reason could there be to celebrate all things radio! Join us in discovering the personal radio memories of international artists and authors.

Radio in the GDR Radio and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Eva Sudrow worked in the DDR Rundfunk radio drama editing room in East Berlin, and later for Deutschlandfunk. She did radio for half the country, and subsequently for the whole country. Verena Hütter interviewed her.

Photo: Collection of Eva Sudrow Eva Sudrow with her colleague in Studio 6 at Deutschlandradio Berlin in 2007

Radios The nine coolest radio devices

Don’t radios all look more or less the same? Quite the contrary, as the history of the radio goes to show: a look back at its many past permutations reveals some remarkable contraptions whose designs were often way ahead of their time.

© Theredmonkey/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA-3.0/ Bang & Olufsen Beolit 39

“There was nothing to say” Bertolt Brecht and the radio

When radio in Germany celebrates its one hundredth anniversary, there is one guest who definitely deserves to be invited to the party: Bertolt Brecht. Andreas Ströhl has written about the role that Brecht played in shaping radio as we know it today.

© picture alliance / Photo12/Archives Snark Portrait of Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956)

Musical Wires The Théâtrophone

We’re celebrating radio. But what existed before radio came along? The théâtrophone! Users had to sign up with the telephone company – just as we subscribe to a streaming service provider today – and music and operatic performances were broadcast over the phone. Lev Bratishenko tells us the story of the théâtrophone.

Benjamin Gavaudo, Licence Ouverte A chic Parisian dials in. Jules Cheret’s poster for the launch of the new Compagnie du Théâtrophone, 1890.

A Conversation The Cars Scream By

The following conversation takes as long as it takes to enjoy a nice cool drink. The subjects of the conversation are the Argentinian author Silvina Ocampo, K., a woman who turns into a car, and a car radio.

Illustration: Maria Krafft Always With You

No news on the planet Let’s keep playing the music!

Leonhard Hieronymi writes about the year 1997, when the radio station Planet Radio went on air and had such a momentous impact on the author – who, then aged 10, used to listen to the station in his mother’s Mercedes.

Photo: Leonhard Hieronymi The author in 1997 or 1998 in the car of his cousin Salvatore in Rome

A short story for radio Holidays Forever

This radio prose story by Sascha Ehlert is set in a hotel room, Ella Fitzgerald is singing on the radio, everything is calm and peaceful – until suddenly something extraordinary happens.

Photo: Travis Fullerton, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Hotel room designed after a painting by Edward Hopper

1930 in Berlin Einstein and the Radio

Albert Einstein lies on Schwielowsee Lake and laughs his head off. The following radio story by Pascal Richmann features the following characters: Albert Einstein, Don Quixote, Frankenstein and the founder of Universal Studios, Carl Laemmle.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10300 / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE Albert Einstein at the Berlin Radio Exhibition in 1930

The Wave And all the prophets?

I am or I am not a nurse, a sailor on a submarine, a schoolgirl − Marius Goldhorn’s story is about a voice on all frequencies and a little boy with a fondness for currant buns.

Illustration: Tanita Olbrich And all the prophets?

How much is the fish? Three Radio Stations

Enis Maci tells the story of three radio stations at three different points in time at three different locations. Radio memories from the Vatican, the Ruhr region and the Dollart.

© Jay Heike / Unsplash How much is the fish? – Three Radio Stations

Project Listening to the World – 100 Years of Radio

The project “Listening to the World – 100 Years of Radio” is researching the historical connection between radio and globalization. With international workshops, a “Transcultural Listening Map”, a series of podcasts and other events, it is exploring international and in some cases previously unknown archives and histories of radio broadcasting.

Foto: Taruman Corrales Photo: © Taruman Corrales / Goethe-Institut  Bauhaus.Listening.Workshop #1 – Montevideo

Electricity experiment Hiss… crackle… pop

Two schoolboys play with an electronics kit. The instructions contain a warning. What will the boys do?

Photo (detail): MAbW via Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 4.0 Experiment kit “Radio and electronics”

Radio Nostalgie Francis Cabrel on the highway

Why the sound of France was composed by Francis Cabrel. A car radio memory.

Collage: Tobi Schrank Cover of Francis Cabrel’s 1979 album “Les Chemins de traverse” with the song “Je l’aime à mourir”

News reporter “It’s Mandy Wiener”

As a teenager, Deshnee Subramany listened to the radio while going on car rides with her father. In her essay, she describes how an encounter with a radio journalist influenced her life and the relationship with her dad. 

© Eric Nopanen / Unsplash “It’s Mandy Wiener”

Traffic reporting for ships Loss of anchor and chain

The radio announces southwesterly winds in the German Bight: How broadcasting stations updated seafarers with the Shipping Forecasts and Nautical Warnings.

© Mike Enerio / Unsplash Loss of anchor and chain

The Early Days of Radio “Attention, Attention”

It is more than 100 years since the radio began to conquer the world. We have listened to the first sentences transmitted by wireless telegraphy: a journey back in time to the earliest beginnings of radio technology and radio entertainment.

Photo (detail): © picture alliance / ullstein bild London in the early 1930s: women listening to the radio in Hyde Park.

Radio in Mexico The Little Radio Reporter

Javier Audirac works at Jalisco Radio in Guadalajara, Mexico. Even as a child, he “worked” as a radio reporter, broadcasting wrestling matches and lots of music from his nursery.

Image: mex Childhood heroes: Cien Caras and his wrestling friends

Podcast Zeitgeister on Air

ZEITGEISTER ON AIR is the Goethe-Institut’s cultural podcast. The first series is all about radio: our hosts Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Dina Elsayed chat to international radio personalities. From Alaska, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, the Isles of Scilly and the USA, they share their personal radio stories with us.

Visual: Tobias Schrank Visual: Tobias Schrank Podcast: Zeitgeister on Air

Israel The radio’s always on

Oded from Israel has been listening to the radio since childhood, and he still does: in the car, at work and at home – where he even has a small collection of historical radios.

Photo (detail): Felix Rettberg A person in a blue T-shirt stands in front of a wall with shelves containing various objects

Musical Taste Show Me What You Hear

Radio stations often play what’s known as “mainstream” music. But mainstream isn’t actually the same everywhere: Why are Finns into heavy metal and Japanese listeners into Mozart?

Photo (detail): © Adobe Taste in music varies from one country to another, and “mainstream” music doesn’t always reflect listeners’ personal preferences.

Radio in Belgrade Once Upon a Time There Was a Radio B92

How tirelessly a small radio station can stand up for freedom of expression, freedom of the press and democracy! Saša Mirković is one of the founders of the legendary radio station B92 in Belgrade, and he tells its story.

Image: Goran Basarić At the studio of Serbian radio station B92

100 Years of Broadcasting Radio in Africa

Millions of people across Africa rely heavily on radio as their primary source of information, education and entertainment. This has been the case for about 100 years – and it hasn’t ended with the evolution of the smart phone.

Photo (detail): © picture alliance / photothek / Ute Grabowsky A presenter at Radio Okapi, a station operated by the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2015.

Interview with Maraa Community Radio in India

How does radio manage to make us feel at home? How can radio help in crises situations? How is radio funded in India, and who invented it? Anushi Agrawal and Ram Bhat from the Bangalore art and media collective Maraa talk to Verena Hütter.

© Aditya Ghodke/Unsplash Antenna on a rooftop in India

On air Just Turn on the Mic

If there is an electrical or technological collapse, the only appliance that will still work will be the good old battery-operated radio. 

© Caspar Rae / Unsplash Just Turn on the Mic

Experimental Radio Transcultural Listening Map

We have put together five snippets for you: excerpts from the “Transcultural Listening Map” compiled by the “Experimental Radio” professorship at Bauhaus University Weimar. Join us on a journey to Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Israel and the Palestinian territories! 

© Taruman Corrales © Taruman Corrales Luis Alvarado

Radio in Cyprus Cyprus’ history through CyBC radio

With its 70th anniversary fast approaching, Melissa Hekkers looks at the impact of Cyprus broadcasting corporation.

Photo (detail): © Cyprus Mail A black and white picture form 1950s of a presenter and technician in a radtio studio.

Eastern Europe Long May It Continue

Public and commercial radio stations dominate the world of broadcasting. But some independent radio stations have made a difference in Central and Eastern Europe – and their power is still strong.

© Joen Patrick Caagbay / Unsplash Free radio stations – rare as unicorns

Radio in Brazil Essential Component of National Identity

For over 100 years, radio has played an important role in daily life in Brazil, helping to forge important characteristics of the national cultural identity.

© Kaysha / Unsplash Radio in Brazil

Ham radio “I confirm receipt of your transmission”

Connecting to the International Space Station (ISS) is relatively easy. All you need are a suitable radio transmitter, a licence and a little luck.

© The New York Public Library / Unsplash “I confirm receipt of your transmission”

East Frisia On the Pirate Waves

Playing some different music for a change, broadcasting alternative political content or fooling around on the airwaves – why were there so many pirate radio stations in East Frisia, of all places.

Photo (detail): © picture alliance/Bildagentur-online/Ohde Pirate radio stations were rife in East Frisia, of all places.

Shortwave Radio Connected to the World

Nerdy hobby or global cultural dialogue? Shortwave radio and the amateur radio scene are very active, not least as a result of the Ukraine war.

© Darya Jum / Unsplash Connected to the World

Foley Artist The Art of Sounds

Creaking doors, singing swords and and the crunch of snow underfoot – sounds bring stories to life. Foley artist Max Bauer speaks in an interview about his profession. 

Photo (detail): © Marta Krus Bag filled with cornstarch