“Radio Al Kssour” Project
Intellectuals without Boarders Association
“Back in Time”, “A City and a Product”, “Music and Colors”, “Art History”; these are some of the titles of programs airing on the ‘internet-based’ Radio al Kssour (“Palaces Radio”), a project of the Tunisian cultural and media Organization, ‘Intellectuals Without Borders.’
Based in the town of Medenine in the South of Tunisia, and being far from the Capital, Medenine is one of the most marginalized Cities despite its rich history and architectural heritage. In the aftermath of the ‘Tunisian Revolution’, a group of 15 ‘intellectual’ young practitioners decided to revive the cultural life of their town and people and to renew their ties with the rest of the Country and thus through their own resources established ‘Intellectuals Without Borders.’ During the first few months of its life, the group decided to focus their effort on raising young people and others awareness of social, political and economic issues through organizing film screenings, theatre performances, seminars, and other activities which were all followed by open discussions on important issues raised through these educational and awareness raising tools.
‘Intellectuals without Boarders’ received support from Naseej in April 2012 and “Radio al Kssour” was launched in July 2012. The Naseej support included, financial support to equip the radio and initial team and to produce the first few online programs. In addition, Naseej also provided management and financial capacity building through regular mentoring and follow up.
The threefold goal of the Radio includes: to disseminate and increase access to information about existing NGO’s development and cultural activities and opportunities in Southern Tunisia in general; to act as a vehicle for enabling and showcasing the great potentials in the South sub-region including people, history, etc.; and to promote the heritage and cultural tourism in Southern Tunisia which would improve the economic situation as well.
“Radio al Kssour” uses social networks to engage their audience and increase their following and they have been receiving a lot of positive and regular feedback. It is certainly filling a gap in Tunisian cultural life, but perhaps more importantly in the local context; it has been providing capacity building and work placement opportunities for young graduates in a number of media-related jobs: sound technicians, graphic designers, editors, etc. Building on the Naseej support and the creation of the Radio infrastructure and team, ‘Radio al Kssour’ managed to get some public funding from a government-run employment agency that supports one-year work placements for recent graduates.
For Talal Adala, one of the initiators of the NGO and Radio, this work placement program means more than just a way to combat unemployment. He sees it as creating a space for those young people to be creative in fields that might have remained closed to them otherwise. Like him, many of the project’s founders are proud to be presenting young people and community members with access to information and resources that are of relevance to their life and of importance to their development; things that were perhaps unavailable to them.