Photograph: Anoek Steketee
Love Radio is a transmedia documentary about the about the process of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda, made by Eefje Blankevoort and Anoek Steketee in close collaboration with interactive designer Sara Kolster and designers Kummer & Herrman.
It consists of a web documentary, tappable stories for smartphones and an exhibition in Foam | Photography Museum Amsterdam. Love Radio combines film with photography, audio, text and archive material.
April 2014 marks 20 years since around 700,000 Tutsis and 50,000 moderate Hutus were murdered. Virulent hate campaigns in the media were at the heart of the genocide.
On the same frequency that in 1994 incited the murder of the Tutsi ‘inyenzi’ (cockroaches), radio soap Musekeweya (‘New Dawn’) today broadcasts a message of reconciliation. The soap is immensely popular, with hundreds of thousands of Rwandans tuning in to the weekly episodes. Musekeweya was launched in 2004 by
the Dutch NGO Radio La Benevolencija. The soap applies the theories put forward by American psychologist Ervin Staub on the origins of genocide and violence. The makers hope it will heal the wounds inflicted by the genocide and prevent future bloodshed.
Love Radio straddles the thin line between fact and fiction. At first glance it tells a linear, almost fairy-tale narrative, based on the radio soap Musekeweya. But a closer look reveals the complex reality. While in the soap happy endings predominate, reconciliation in real life is rather more intransigent. After the gruesome killings, how can perpetrators and victims live with and love each other?
Together with Eefje and Anoek I developed the interactive concept for this transmedia documentary and the tappable stories.