Tuesday, December 30, 2008

radio, music, media

Results for Ghana's run-off election are due today. And while the gh-elections.com vote tracker has been frozen on last night's results (before NPP numbers surged overnight against the opposition) almost all radio stations in Greater Accra today have played non-stop music. The exception is Radio Gold, which has featured a continuous line-up of commentary on electoral conjecture and conspiracy, including rumors that the station was being forcibly pushed off-the-air.

Having just come back from Tema, the effects of this wall of music are palpable. With pro-sanity ("We love peace!") and nationalistic vibes ("Ghana belongs to you and me, Ghana belongs to all of us!") blasting on speakers everywhere, everyone awaits the electoral commission's verdict. Its interesting to see the effects of music so clearly. If all the stations were broadcasting talk radio's rumors and hearsay all day, the effect would be to amplify animosity between supporters of both parties. But with music dominating today, positivity pulsates despite the tension.

It sounds like the opposition NDC will win after all, and peaceful transition of power for the second time in this round of Ghana's democracy could be good merely if it reinforces the idea of democracy over communalism.

Seeing (hearing!) the electronic speakers population during Christmas reminds me that architecture in Tema is already integrated with existing electronic infrastructure...in Tema information infrastructure shouldn't be reduced to cell phone tech alone--the parallel network of radios, radio stations and gigantic speakers is also super-legit. I'm still trying to understand the speaker situation (is it cultural or environment-determined?)--people love "big, big" speakers here... even India is not this intense sonically.


AfricaLiving said...

when i first went to the accra shopping mall, i couldn't walk into some of the shops because the blaring music was sooo loud. this visit, the first thing i noticed was that the music was inaudible...

Yaz said...

Record sound =)

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