The Far Becomes Near is a four-part radio series creatively archiving the history of radio broadcasting in the United Arab Emirates from pre-federation era transmissions to the current digital systems. The programmes are radiophonic experiments punctuated by interviews with local historians, academics, cultural commentators and the UAE federation’s earliest broadcasters. While the works mention places and dates, this series reimagines the documentary in an almost theatrical manner, with each episode imaginatively exploring a different form. Sound artists Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver treat the interviews as threads, weaving a radiophonic story as each distinct episode unfolds.
The Far Becomes Near will be broadcast live on the following dates:
Monday 6th Feb
Monday 27th Feb
Monday 27th March
Monday 24th April
Wednesday 1st Feb 9:00 -9:30 pm UK time
Wednesday 8th Feb 9:00 -9:30 pm UK time
Wednesday 15 Feb 9:00 -9:30 pm UK time
Wednesday 22nd Feb 9:00 -9:30 pm UK time
Episode 1 - When Iron Speaks
A transmission from the future, beamed from space to the present day as an archived audio database. Recent history is observed by people of another millennium. The archive of early memories is primary and secondary sources, describing a Gulf tuned into a world outside.
Click here for Episode 1.
Episode 2 - The Box in the Majilis
In the UAE, listening took place at first only in the home and in cafes. At home the reception room is called the majlis, which translates literally as ‘place to sit’, and a house’s majlis was a place of learning and collective gathering, it is still a cornerstone of Emirati culture. As much as majlis can refer to a place of social gathering and informal learning, it can denote a formal legislative assembly. ‘The Box in the Majlis’ progresses on to more portable radio sets and to car radios, which marked the beginning of commercial broadcasting and the proliferation of stations in the early 1970s.
Featured in The Box in the Majlis are the voices of Dr. Abeer Al-Najjar, Associate Professor at the American University of Sharjah, Dr. Zaki Nusseibeh Cultural Advisor Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Salem Obaid (Voiced by Bijan Danehsmand), Ali Matrooshi, consultant Ajman Museum (Voiced by Frank Key), Dr. Yousef Aydabi of the Dr. Sultan Al-Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies.
Episode 2 will be broadcast tomorrow 21:00 GMT (March 1st) on Resonance104.4fm in London and on March 6th on clocktower.org