Interviewer: Lea Linin
Enjoying her recent rejuvenation, after the European concept of youth and age limit has been shifted a bit; Sandra Laborier devotes all her youthful energy to Graffiti Radio, a 15 – hour slot of youth shows (Monday-Friday 2-5 p.m.) within the community, nation- wide radio is called Radio ARA (www.ara.lu). She assumed the role of a youth worker at Graffiti following the not-that-exciting path of applying for the job through a regular job call in the national newspaper. Her lifelong media aspirations are finally realized. We start off with the attempt to articulate Graffiti’s philosophy.
Graffiti. What does the word mean to you?
The word ‘Graffiti’ implies a multicolor, young and a bit chaotic picture of the world. It is all about media education and giving young people the opportunity of expressing themselves through radio.
Does the essence of the term ‘graffiti’ translate into the concept of the radio?
Actually it corresponds very well to the concept of the radio, as it is an open platform that reflects the multicultural reality of Luxembourg. A true ‘frequency of all colors’!
What sort of format does Radio Graffiti adopt? Was this particular format or a particular feature of the radio that first attracted you to become involved in it?
The idea that attracted me most in this particular radio was the lack of format and the openness of the project. As I said before, it is an open platform for all kinds of music and societal themes.
Could you provide us with an overview of the radio program offered on Graffiti, or at least mention some of the most popular shows?
On the one hand we have a very varied range of music shows: from hardcore techno to singer/songwriter, hip hop and rock music, you can find every style that moves the youth today. On the other hand we also have more theme-related shows, as for example a campus radio show done by students from the University of Luxembourg; a youth magazine with different interviews and features and a show coordinated by the youth section of an NGO working on North-South issues.
Are you open to international radio hosts, for instance? Let me formulate the question in a more general sense … Who can apply for a position at the radio? And, what sort of qualifications and criteria does he/she have to meet?
For our youth shows “Graffiti”, every young person between 12 and 26 years can apply. You don’t need any special qualifications as our project tends to give an equal opportunity to everybody to express him or herself through a medium.
The only criterion that this person will need to meet is to speak one of the following languages: Luxembourgish, German, French or English.
As for ‘international hosts’, it could be interesting to mention that we work with the European Voluntary Service program and that we host one long term volunteer every year.
Being a versatile youth radio in terms of the music genres you present, you are interested in featuring young artists. Can they possibly contact you and send you their music?
Of course! We are always happy to discover new bands and give them an opportunity to be played on a radio station.
You protect people not only from bad music. Pretty cool! Could you elaborate a bit further and paint a clearer picture for the readers?
As the terms ‘good’ or ‘bad’ are very subjective, we wanted to be a bit provocative by printing this slogan on condoms that we give out as promotional gadgets to young people. Just like the slogan: “We don’t swim against the stream, we climb out of the river”, we would like to encourage young people to discuss their opinions with us.