Saturday, January 28, 2012

The paintbrush microphone

In 2002, Silvain Gire founded Arte radio ("reportages, témoignages et bruits pas sages"), a radio on demand website produced by a small team. "Arte radio", Silvain Gire says, "is a box of chocolate" - no music, no format, no photos, but a dedicated web-based feature channel. Every week there are three to five new productions, either to be podcast or downloaded.

Producers (from beginners to professionals) are paid for the productions, but Arte radio basically being a website there are no distribution costs. Young authors are being trained until their ideas have turned into feature projects. In the end the pieces are free for education use, as well as for non-commercial broadcasting. Gire: "We believe in radio as an art form, and we use the microphone as a paintbrush to do a painting of the world".

Gire else presents the award-winning project "Á l'abri de rien" (nowhere safe) having won the Prix Europa 2011. "À l'abri de rien" is a web documentary on shockingly poor housing conditions in France which 3.6 million people are suffering from. Samuel Bollendorff and Mehdi Ahoudig did the deep research, careful to keep the respect for the men and women who opened their doors to the cameras. "À l'abri de rien": 15 three-minute stories told in breathtaking photos and monologues.

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