Logo Soap Radio  Soap Radio

An interactive project for community radios by Rolf Simmen in Mali, May 2007

Foto Radio Kafo kan Bougouni
Radio Kafo kan was one of the two community radios where "Soap Radio" took place.
Bougouni, December 2003, foto Rolf Simmen

Every evening at 7.30 p.m., when it's already dark in Mali, the national TV broadcasts a South American soap. To watch the life of the rich in distant countries is - like all over the world - very popular here, although not everybody is able to understand the French dubbing.

„Soap Radio" was a contest in which a different team sits in the studio of the local community radio and translated the episode into the local language. The public at home would turn off the volume of the TV set and listen to the new translation via the radio. At the end, the listeners chose the winning team.

The numerous, but often economically unstable local radio stations in Mali form the background of this project, which aimed to strengthen the tie between the communities and their radios. At the same time, the translation was not ment to be literal or precise, but was rather supposed to take into account the local factors and oral culture. Media activity instead of passively watching TV, maybe.

In a second step, the soap episodes should be dubbed with the new translations and provided with subtitles in order to make them accessible to the Swiss and European public.

„Soap Radio" took place with Radio Kafo kan in Bougouni and Radio Wassoulou in Yanfolila, two cities in the South of Mali, during the second and third week of May, 2007. Its realisation was made possible by the support from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Among the other supporters of the project, the Soap (telenovela) producer RCTV and the distributor Côte Ouest should be mentionned for their generous approval, as well as the Malian enterprises sponsoring the awards of the contest. Thank you - merci - i ni ce!

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