Mr. Smith Goes to Rhodesia

1970, 16:20 min.
Åke Hodell
Mr. Smith Goes to Rhodesia is by Swedish radio artist and writer Åke Hodell. In his twenties, Åke Hodell trained as a fighter pilot in the Swedish air force. After his plane crashed and a period of convalescence, he became an avid anti-militarist with strong left wing politics, something he conveys in most of his radio art pieces. Åke Hodell helped develop an approach known as text-sound composition which is a blend of radio play and musique concrete with playful and pointed uses of voice and language. Mr. Smith Goes to Rhodesia was commissioned by Swedish Radio in 1970 and was banned for 15 years. It was banned because of complaints from the parents of children whose voices were recorded for the piece -parents contacted the British embassy and that original version was destroyed. Soon after, Åke Hodell went to England to record children whose parents were sympathetic to the politics of the piece. Mr. Smith Goes to Rhodesia was performed live and recorded in 1970 in Stockholm, but the ban on the piece held until 1985. Mr. Smith Goes to Rhodesia is about Prime Minister Ian Smith´s white dictatorship in Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. For more information: - Described by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.