Through the Xarxa de Ràdios Comunitàries de Barcelona (Barcelona Community Radio Network, XRCB), which describes itself as a "radio of radios", the Barcelona City Council's "Cultura Viva" programme, in conjunction with the guifi.net and exo.cat communities, has designed a digital space that brings together and interconnects different ways of understanding radio in the city, including interactions between community radio, radio-outside-radio, and other possible radiophonic spillovers.
The project, which takes the form of an online map and content aggregator, presents itself as a free and open tool box and an investigation/exploration of the future of radio. It sees the plasticity of radio and the many ways of approaching the medium as a possible bridge between many different needs and practices.
We talk to Efraín Foglia, founding member of guifi.net and researcher, teacher, and designer of physical and digital interaction platforms, about the challenges of the XRCB project and about how radio is spilling over into the digital world. And we do so from the perspective of our context, honing in on specific instances of radio activism and experimentation: from the struggles for telecommunication infrastructure, free radio, and FM advocacy to community radio stations in Latin America, by way of digital communities and the internet radio boom.
Efrain points out the generation gap opening up between hertzian waves and podcasting, and invites us to rethink radio as a technology for social interaction, via Vilem Flusser, and even as a means to expand our thoughts in the age of 140-280 characters.