Podcast – Right to Know

Podcast – Right to Know

Right to Know

Presented and produced by Andrew Garton Right to Know is an ethnographic (and anecdotal) podcast series about people coming to terms with the internet in some of India’s poorest rural and tribal districts, where many have not seen a television, or as in the ancient city of Chanderi, locals are still coming to terms with cars and scooters.

Episode 1 – Into the media-dark

We discover what the United Nations Development Program means by India’s media-dark, we find a broadband wireless tower made entirely from junk and children from different castes sing together on a video conferencing platform in Rajasthan.

Episode 2 – Reaching the unreachable

We travel to the Indo-Nepalese border and listen in on two public meetings where some people discover, for the first time, just what a pension is and a building we are filming in is struck by lightening.

Episode 3 – The unheard will not remain unseen

We visit the ancient city of Chanderi home to four and a half-thousand weavers, we are inundated with terrifically bad smells and we find a pirate radio broadcaster living a few hours drive from where the Buddha had first meditated.

Episode 4 – Digital literacy & perils of social activism

We discover the perils of social activism in India and whether learning how to use Microsoft Notepad and Paint is digital literacy.

Presented and produced by Andrew Garton Right to Know is an ethnographic (and anecdotal) podcast series about people coming to terms with the internet in some of India’s poorest rural and tribal districts, where many have not seen a television, or as in the ancient city of Chanderi, locals are still coming to terms with cars and scooters.

These are Andrew’s personal observations of the complex challenges technicians, trainers, community workers and entrepreneurs face in rural India, places difficult to get to, where even the most adventurous of private enterprise has yet to reach. And then… the challenges entailed with training millions of people unable to read or write let alone understand the myriad of services available on the web let alone comprehend what a world wide web is and how to discern fact from fiction online.

Right to Know is also a story about the making of a film. In 2015, Garton went to India to make Ocean in a Drop. The film tells the story of how these far-flung communities are finding their own uses for the internet. But this story does not begin with a film nor does it begin in India. This story begins when the internet was a mere 2,000 or so websites. This story begins in 1994 somewhere in Indochina, somewhere in Southeast Asia, on the urban fringe of Phnom Penh, Ho Chin Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, Jakarta, Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou.

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Credits

Tong Tana

Tong Tana

Tong Tana

Produced in association with ORF/KunstRadio, TONG TANA is an ethnographic sound work for radio comprised of a sequence of field recordings, narrative and prose that describes both the plight of the remaining native forests of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, and the cosmology of the first peoples who desire to still live in them.

Duration: 30 mins
Completed: August 2014

TONG TANA (Penan for into the forest) is based on Garton’s extensive field trips and projects conducted in Sarawak spanning 22 years. Much of this work has resulted in the radiophonic generative composition and sound installation TAT FAT SIZE TEMPLE, the micro-docs series Sarawak Gone, and the installation NOTHINGKNOWN.

TONG TANA is a mix of documentary and radio drama, poetry and soundscapes. Its narrative is based on personal reflections, observations and commentary from forest people themselves and one of the lawyers working on native customary right to ancestral land cases. Soundscapes are comprised of forest and river crossings, actual treks into the Sarawak highlands and into the depths of the Ulu Baram, well near the centre of Borneo itself.

TONG TANA – Eine Sprech-Wort-Fusion was commissioned by  Austria’s ORF/KunstRadio and first broadcast on 31 August. I spent two months in Austria, much of that time working on TONG TANA with the support of KunstRadio’s team and the studios at the infamous Funkhaus in Vienna.

All melodic works were based on field recordings of one of the traditional instruments of Sarawak, the Sapeh. Melodies drawn from one of these recordings was used to create the soundscapes heard throughout TONG TANA, including the mellotron voicings a third of the way through.

Background

TONG TANA was originally conceived of as a live performance. The earliest iteration was performed by Garton in collaboration with the South African based Benguela on 31 July 2009, at the Alliance Française, Cape Town. Garton further developed the work during a two-year artists residency at Dunmoochin, a residency program established by the late Australian artist Clifton Pugh and set in the bushlands of outer Melbourne.

Credits

  • Writer, producer, composer, narrator – Andrew Garton
  • Executive Producer – Elisabeth Zimmermann / KunstRadio

Info

Find out more about Sarawak’s forest people:

Awards

Memefest 2014 recognition for socially responsive communication/design/art
Friendly Competition – Visual communication practice, Critical writing and participatory art.

Listen to the full 30min version or an excerpt below:

Contact Andrew or KunstRadio to book/syndicate a broadcast of TONG TANA.
Just to let you know I listened to TONG TANA early this morning. Loved your piece and can see how much work you put into editing it together into the theme of being at one with nature and the impact of the ‘cutting’. As I listened I had the pouring rain dominating my left ear and the Sarawak forest sounds in the other. I could have tuned into the symphony of the forest for a lot longer as it infiltrated every cell of my body and sent me somewhere else. One cannot imagine the loss to those people whose soul and being has been accompanied by those sounds to give meaning to their existence for aeons. Sue, Australia

Its really wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
What amazingly beautiful secrets are in that forest. Tamara, Austria

Riveted to the spot by your intensely compassionate work…. I hardly took a breath…. I’m deeply moved by what I was emersed in… Rachel, Australia

It’s really beautiful…
I’m listening to this on a gorgeous Sydney day. The rain has finally stopped. I’m feeling it all. Anon, Sydney, Australia

Yes this is truly a beautiful piece Anon, South India

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Tokyo Haiku

Tokyo Haiku

Tokyo Kaiku

A snapshot of impressions and inspirations from a three-week stay in Tokyo.

 

 

A snapshot of impressions and inspirations from a three-week stay in Tokyo whilst the earth rumbled below and the night sky lit by a nuclear-powered city.

I spent near on a month in Japan, most of it in Tokyo… It was my good fortune to have access to a bicycle on which I experienced an entirely different Tokyo… mostly of an evening I would ride, as if floating, under a low, often steel grey sky, slightly back-lit by the red pulse of the city. It was summer…

Tokyo Haiku is a snapshot of my impressions, a glimpse of what I had seen and heard. It is but a breath…

Filmed, recorded and composed in August 2008.