Other Voices -Echoes from A War Zone (Audio)

Feb 22, 2020
Created by Gordan Paunović (1999). Introduced by Karen Werner.
Other Voices – Echoes from a War Zone was conceived and live mixed by Serbian radio artist Gordan Paunović on April 29, 1999. In March 1999, NATO began airstrikes in Serbia to pressure president Slobodan Milošević into stopping his ethnic cleaning of Albanians in Kosovo. A month into these airstrikes, on April 29, 1999, NATO began bombing Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The same evening, Gordan Paunović broadcast this piece live from Vienna’s Kunstradio on the Austrian national radio network. Paunović was a founding member of the very popular Serbian radio station B92 which took a critical stance towards Milošević’s politics. Milošević eventually banned and then took over the B92 radio station in March 1999. With Kunstradio’s sponsorship and broadcast of Other Voices – Echoes from a War Zone, stations and internet platforms around the world began helping B92 maintain a broadcasting presence. Daniel Gilfillan’s book Pieces of Sound about German experimental radio is where I first learned about this piece. Gilfillan writes “Gordan Paunović’s radio art piece and the Kunstradio program’s role in its broadcast provide an exceptional example of how artistic experimentation with the radio medium manages to break in to the globalized space of radio transmission and to help reposition and amplify the voices and ideas lost or ignored within these globalized information networks.” Other Voices – Echoes from a War Zone, Paunović weaves together live and recorded sounds including music by Serbian composer Arsenije Jovanović; live streamed sounds, including sounds of the air strikes, picked up by a microphone hanging out of a window in Belgrade; a recording of one minute air raid alarm from Belgrade, sent through the Internet; excerpts from the e-mails of young media activist Slobodan Marković (these are the words translated into in German in the piece) and diary entries from writer and feminist activist Jasmina Tesanović (her words are translated into English in the piece.) Daniel Gilfillan writes, “Paunović’s motivation for producing this radio performance piece centers on the writers, artists and media producers who were denied access to the technologies of media production by both the Milošević media state and its broadcasts of the Serbian war and the large television corporations and their broadcasts of the NATO intervention.” - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.