The People's Radio (Audio)

Nov 22, 2021
Created by Sadie Woods (2021). Introduced by Andy Stuhl.

Artist Sadie Woods created “The People’s Radio” during a 2021 residency at Wave Farm. In this composition, Woods interweaves music samples with recordings of activist oratory in the Black radical tradition – notably, from Black Panther Party organizer Fred Hampton’s 1969 speech “Power Anywhere Where There’s People,” which Hampton delivered just months before the FBI and Chicago Police assassinated him in a pre-dawn raid on his apartment. Woods juxtaposes Motown hits with calls for militant resistance to a white supremacist police state. And through these juxtapositions, the depoliticizing effect on these songs of their long circulation through commercial radio is stripped away, leading us to hear phrases like “power to the people” in a freshly literal sense. Woods means this as an intervention into radio itself, drawing the technology away from its attachments to the U.S. military industrial complex and toward, as she writes, “a conduit for Black expressive culture and radical imagination.” - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2021/2022, Andy Stuhl.