CCRI Seminar Series – ‘Liberation Radio’ and the war in Vietnam with Professor Esther Johnson (ADMRC)

CCRI Seminar Series - Banner with Esther Johnson, ADMRC Logo and 'Liberation Radio' image

CCRI Seminar Series

Please join us on Wednesday 26 April for our next CCRI-wide seminar as part of the Culture & Creativity Research Institute Seminar Series, where we will be hearing from the ADMRC‘s Professor Esther Johnson.

'Liberation Radio' image, courtesy of Esther Johnson

‘Liberation Radio’ poster, courtesy of Esther Johnson

‘Liberation Radio’ and the war in Vietnam

In this session Professor Esther Johnson will discuss the research ‘Liberation Radio’, an immersive audio-visual installation offering a perspective of the war in Vietnam (the ‘American War’) that is seldom heard. In 1968, a group of American military deserters went to the North Vietnamese mission in Stockholm with one object in mind – to join the army they had been drafted to fight. Instead, they were recruited for the propaganda war – and used magnetic tape, pop music and political rhetoric to persuade other American servicemen to desert. Their recordings were transported from Sweden to Vietnam by diplomatic bag, and broadcast from transmitters on the rooftops of Hanoi, and revolutionary bases in the countryside.

'Liberation Radio' image, courtesy of Esther Johnson - Vinecent Stollo and Friends

Vincent Strollo and friends: ‘Liberation Radio’ image, courtesy of Esther Johnson

In order to revive the circuit of communication that Liberation Radio once inspired, Esther Johnson collaborated with Hanoi-based sound artist Nhung Nguyễn, and historian and BBC broadcaster Matthew Sweet to create an interdisciplinary audio-visual installation playing homage to this forgotten story. The work repositions public domain archive film, with a script and soundscape integrating oral testimonies from Vincent Strollo, a US military deserter and antiwar activist from Philadelphia who left his base in Germany and sought humanitarian asylum in Sweden, where he still resides; and Hang Nguyễn, a ‘Liberation Radio’ journalist and announcer in Hanoi between 1972 until it was disbanded in 1976.

CCRI Seminar Series – ‘Liberation Radio’ and the war in Vietnam with Professor Esther Johnson
Wednesday 26 April, 1300-1400
Held online
If you’d like to come along please contact ! RIS Culture & Creativity RI Enquiries.

CCRI Seminar Series - Esther Johnson

Professor Esther Johnson

Artist and Filmmaker Esther Johnson (MA, Royal College of Art) works at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary to create poetic portraits focusing on alternative social, marginal and micro-histories. The repositioning of archival material is explored as a way of looking at intangible cultural heritage and of addressing the relationship between memory and storytelling.

Films have been exhibited internationally in 40+ countries, and broadcast on BBC and Channel 4, with audio works aired on ABC Australia, BBC Radio 4, Resonance FM and RTÉ radio. Her films include: Features DUST & METAL; ASUNDER; Shorts Liberation Radio; a ROLE to PLAY; and Alone Together: the Social Life of Benches.  

Her work is held in the special collections of British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection, Central Saint Martins; Science Museum Group; Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center, Buffalo and Yorkshire Film Archive. Distributors include ARGOS centre for art and media, Brussels and vtape, Toronto.

Esther is former recipient of the prestigious Philip Leverhulme Research Prize in Performing & Visual Arts and is Professor of Film and Media Arts in the Art, Design and Media Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. Find out more about Esther’s work here.

About the CCRI Seminar Series

We are currently relaunching our successful seminar series, continuing the regular insights into our researchers and the research we do in the Culture & Creativity Research Institute we explored with our previous C3RI Seminar Series.

If you are interested in giving your own seminar about your research or would like to volunteer to hold a seminar session more geared towards staff development, please let us know at ! RIS Culture & Creativity RI Enquiries. You can find out about future seminars on the CCRI Impact Blog pages for 2022-2023.

It is our aim to record our research seminars and we will make recordings available shortly afterwards on the staff intranet, in order to create an archive of our speakers and seminars.