Radio Silence


Radio Silence is a large-scale project produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia, with artist Michael Rakowitz and curator Elizabeth Thomas. On April 15, 2018, Rakowitz and Mural Arts launched a seven-episode radio broadcast, the follow-up to a large-scale performance on Independence Mall in Historic Philadelphia that was simulcast on PhillyCAM TV. Radio Silence, conceived specifically for Philadelphia as the birthplace of American democracy, was inspired by famed Iraqi broadcaster Bahjat Abdulwahed, who lived in the city as a refugee until his death in 2016. The project interweaves dreams and memories from Iraq, America, and in-between into a soundscape of the contemporary refugee experience, the Iraqi diaspora, and the culture of an Iraq, that due to war and political unrest, no longer exists. Tune in weekly for new episodes, through May 27.

Episode Six
The Censored, the Forbidden, the Disappeared

We’ll hear about Iraqi monuments kept hostage by U.S. troops, denying access to the Iraqis to whom they belong. Listen as we trace the stories of artifacts looted from the Iraq Museum, and hear an Iraqi activist sing a song that was censored during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Listen to a promo clip of next week's episode:

Radio Silence, produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia, first launched with a live performance on Independence Mall in Philadelphia on July 30, 2017 and a simulcast on PhillyCAM TV (watch it here). The project can be seen as an alternative form of public art — trading the street corner for the public airwaves, and representation via images for evocation via voice and sound. Partners include Warrior Writers, Prometheus Radio project, and PhillyCAM.

Radio Silence is a project of