We have been broadcasting radio shows since 2008, helping refugee voices to be heard. We were the first ever weekly programme on refugee issues and since we started we have inspired new “refugee radio” stations across Europe.
Our“Desert Island Discs” Project is a platform for refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants to tell their own stories to their new communities. It is about combating the dehumanisation of mainstream media when it claims to report about refugee issues. We do not run our own radio station, but we make radio programmes for community FM stations and internet radio stations so that we can reach a wider audience.
The idea was developed on pirate radio and the concept was to interview real castaways who are actually living on an island far from home: refugees in the UK. They would share the music they carried with them on their journeys and tell us about their new lives in our community. We still record this kind of programme alongside longer documentaries and special music features.
We are not journalists and we do not exploit our participants to make exciting programmes. We work collaboratively with our guests and respect their input. All of us participants are able to direct the kind of show they would like to make. They are able to vet the questions in advance, select any music they want to share and request any changes to be made before it is broadcast. Everybody is able to have their expenses covered for being involved. They all get a copy of their show and have final editorial control.
We target refugees and asylum seekers who are experiencing isolation, discrimination and social exclusion. We want to provide a voice to the voiceless.