" On air, a radio against the mine

Anita Pouchard Serra

2018 - Ongoing

Catamarca, Argentina


Andalgala, 2018

In 2010, the El Algarobo assembly was born in the small town of Andalgala against mining projects in the region, in order to defend their mountains, their environment and access to water. They start by meeting every Saturday evening in the main square and walking symbolically around it to alert neighbours to the danger of these projects. Defending the environment will only require a collective awareness of the problem. They then imagine a radio, capable of competing locally with the official, pro-mine and often in cahoots with economic and political interests. The radio headquarters is a matter of course, it will be at the very heart of the blockage created on the road to the mine, where the trucks and workers pass. From a wooden cabin, the radio has become a small, colourful pavilion and its antenna dominates the area, like a lighthouse. Little by little, the inhabitants took possession of the tool and offered programmes in addition to the official programme of the assembly "La voz del Algarrobo" ("The Voice of the Algarrobo"). Agua Rica is a new mining project in Nevado del Aconquija. For the time being, the project is paralyzed thanks to the resistance of the assembly and an order of the Supreme Court that ordered the Catamarca judicial system to respond to requests made by neighbours about controversies surrounding the environmental impact report submitted by the company, also challenged by the National University of Tucumán itself. Continuity is sometimes difficult, but in 2018 the radio is still standing, mining projects have a hard life and the voice of the Algarrobo is resisting.

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  • On the road to the mine sites in Catamarca province, north Argentina. In this point, the community decided to create the radio.

  • View of the radio close to the road. The tree Algarrobo gave its name to the assembly and the radio.

  • View of one of the space of the assembly. Fernando and Roque come everyday to feed the dogs, share a mate and continue the occupation of the place, as they started in 2010

  • Roque, a neighbour and member of he Assembly.

  • Traditionnal Mate on the table, a shared moment in the radio's place.

  • Dogs also live in the place. They are part of the radio and take care of the installations.

  • On the road to the radio and also all the villages around we can see tags against the mine, and about the importance of preserving water for our life.

  • Aldo is one of the most emblematic members of the assembly and the radio. He posed during one of his favourite walk in the mountains around Andalgala.

  • View of the radio tower and its antenas in the middle of the trees.

  • Fernanda is looking to the landscape from the radio studio. She is part of the assembly and the radio project since it was created.

  • Martin is the operator of the official program of the assembly " The voice of the Algarrobo" about politics, fight against the mine and human rights.

  • During the program " The voice of the Algarrobo· inside the studio. On the wall we can see paintings refering to native culture in Argentina

  • The radio studio

  • Vane in front of the door of the radio. After assiting to a national meeting of popular radios, this member of the assembly decided to start thinking about a radio program about women by women.

  • Every saturday night, since 2010 the assembly protest against the mine corporations in the main square of Andalgala.

  • "Life and water won't be negociate, we don't forget, we don't forgive Mine corporation, out, Andalgala resist "
    Permanent banners on the main square in Andalgala.