Tuesday 1st May 2018 – Lunchtime seminar with Annette Rimmer (Lecturer and Doctoral Student at The University of Manchester)

Speaker: Ms Annette Rimmer (The University of Manchester)
Title: Breaking the Silence: Community Radio, women, and empowerment
Date and time: Tuesday 1st May 2018, 1pm-2pm
Hosted by: Dr Anandi Ramamurthy

This seminar will explore the concepts of voice poverty and empowerment through the narratives of female community radio volunteers in Northern England. It will contextualise community radio and employ a variety of literature to understand how intersectionality and empowerment is theorised and how this might be useful to empowerment practice in community media. It is rooted in bell hooks’ and Paulo Freire’s perception that the existing system of dominant social relations ‘creates a culture of silence’ where oppressed people are silenced, alienated and ‘a mere object of the director society’ (Freire, 1977:16). It accepts Stuart Hall’s contention that media and cultural spaces can be powerful sites of social action (2005:269).

In the perception of these women, community radio emerges as a site of diverse identities, laughter, dialogue, raised consciousness and conflict. They confront the orthodoxy of young white, male dominated media but also challenge romantic notions of community harmony and happiness by recognising inherent tensions involved in communities.

The seminar forefronts evidence from the majority world, where community radio is well documented as ‘giving voice to invisible women’ (Wairimu Gatua, Patton & Brown, 2010). It will conclude with an argument for further exploration of this highly symbolic dimension of empowerment where women redefine their identities through dialogue and break their silence by broadcasting their voices on radio. It challenges UK commercial and public broadcasters to learn from the global south that community development is an effective method of enriching the mainstream media world.


This seminar is based on a paper by Annette Rimmer (freelance radio producer, community radio volunteer, Lecturer and Doctoral student at The University of Manchester), Louise Wong (Community Development Worker with the Wai Yin Society and Sheung Lok Centre U.K) and Denise Yuen Megson (Lecturer at The University of Salford and a community radio volunteer).


See here for details of other seminars in the series.

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email the C3RI Administrator to arrange entry.