As part of a UK research project we are facilitating an international "conversation" organised by UK community broadcaster Max Munday, AMARC Europe, Sheffield Live! and a range of international community radio stations. The work starts from a radio documentary made by Max Munday from new research conducted with groups in former industrial communities in northern England with academics and artists at ESRI, Manchester Metropolitan University. The aim of the project is to understand how unresolved trouble (as well as possibilities) in the past, 'haunt' communities in the present. From those UK communities we hope to stimulate reflection on the research and its themes among listeners of radio stations internationally: Dzimwe (Malawi), Radio Student (Slovenia), Civil Radio (Hungary), and Anxeta Irratia (Basque Country).
This international radio work is part of a project called 'Songlines to Impact and Legacy: Creating Living Knowledge Through Working with Social Haunting which is funded by the AHRC Connected Communities in the UK. The basis of this project, that runs for a year from February 2017, is to develop 'song lines' of stories and feelings that connect people and place, and the past to the present and future. The context for our research are communities in northern England whose industries have gone, leaving many social problems and fractured traditional identities. Many of these communities voted to leave the European Union whilst at the same time, across the West, right-wing populist political parties have built support in areas like these. This is the context for our work, but despite these differences to rural Malawi or post-Communist Slovenia, we hope to raise important questions that are meaningful to anyone who wants to explore ideas of community, memory, the production of knowledge, and how we might imagine a better future.