Community Radio Fratz: history, position and the threat of closure

Fratz is an independent diy radio in the north of Germany, in Flensburg, which made its way to the FM wave, winning a grant, and thereby receiving sponsorship from the city budget.

A horizontal approach to management, music shows from techno to punk, and broadcasts on acutely social topics that local politicians did not particularly like, now they are trying to close it. On May 27, the fate of the radio should be decided.

Our friends from the author's program about electronic music "Sententia Electronica" spoke with one of the project's active participants, Marie and Flauschi, about the history of creation, principles of work, concept and problems of survival of independent radio stations in Germany.

Fratz - независимое diy радио на севере Германии, в г. Фленсбург, которое пробилось на FM волну , выиграв грант, и получив тем самым спонсирование из городского бюджета. Горизонтальный подход в управлении , музыкальные шоу от техно до панка, и эфиры на остросоциальные темы, которые особенно не понравились местным политиками теперь они пытаются его закрыть .27 мая должна решится дальнейшая судьба радио.

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"Sententia Electronica" поговорили с одними из активных участников проекта, Marie и Flauschi, об истории создания , принципах работы, концепции и проблемах выживания независимых радио станций в Германии.

Lets slowly come to the story on the radio. What has inspired you to make this project, how this idea come and how do you realize it?

Marie: Some friend comes to me and ask if i'm up to doing a radio show. Maybe some punk show or feminism stuff. I was really like this idea. In 2014 that was an opportunity in Schleswig HolStein at Nord of Germany (Area where Flensburg is) was a law changing and was a possibility to apply frequency for free radio. We decided to organise a small group and try that. In the beginning the idea was really small and i didn't really know what does it mean, to have a radio and it will be for next years. i just thought to have a nice show, that's all, but then i realise what free radio means. It's a great oportunity to create your own independent media where you can produce own content.

Flauschi: Maybe for a person who will read that article, our history is not typically cause most of free radio was a pirate station and later its come to legal point. Now we get money from the state, yes, but just for technique and frequency. But in the law its written that government can't control what content we are producing here. We are independent.

Marie: I think in English its call not free radio, but community radio

Tell please more about this law. Is it a federal law? How it happened that people have opportunity for making radio?

Flauschi: I think community radio is different in Germany, sometimes they got less money and sometimes more. Specially in east of Germany. There they have much more money than we are here. For example, they can pay for a work of people there. In south its different. They only have money for frequent and renting a place.

Marie: In Germany you have a few areas in radio media. It's a private radio, its a media, which is close to state and small groups, not commercial community media, and in this part where all community radio are.

Is it a lot of free radio stations in Germany ?

Flauschi: 34-36 stations in Germany. Some are really big and they have a history for 30 years. And some have 100 people involved in a process

Marie: Actually, all the community radio in different parts of Germany also diverse.

For example its one huge free radio station in the east and people there have money for work. They are doing a lot of content against right wing politicians and they are really active. They kind of antifascist radio. But in another part of Germany is another community radio. They do more like city radio.They deal Not so much with politics. It depends who is doing radio.

Flauschi: But in the end all of free radio stations collectives are antiracist and antisexist. And have many other important points to stay together.

You are communicating with them?

Marie: Yes, we have meeting once per year and its really nice event. Actually community radios are kinda a big family. We meet every year in another radio so we are swapping the city. Also, there are not only people from germany. There are also people for example from Austria, Switzerland and people from around the world. Also a big refugee community is there. It's really big event and really nice one

Flauschi: Another point of these meetings that we can learn together. We can learn from the experience of each other and from mistakes. For example last years was a big fight from the righ wing party against free radios and they go to court for making a troubles. They were complaining that some people from free radios were calling them fascists. What actually kinda true.

What is your main idea of radio "Fratz"? Why you doing that? Where is place of politic on it? How you see this project in a couple years?

Flauschi: Firstly, wanted to say that in Flensburg are living round about 100.000 people, and we have a lot of different groups here. Some of them are really small. A lot of them of course not connected to big "normal" media. So we try to support this kind of groups.

Marie: That's actually a really important point of our radio and all community radio stations to give people chance and opportunity to take their voice. To make them be heard and be seen. To give them a chance to speak for themselves. For me, that's a really important point why i'm doing this. Also, another big point of "Fratz" is to become not only hate a big media, not only be against them but to create your own media.

If something happened in Flensburg, for exapmle: the last months was the eviction of small squated forest here in Flensburg and local newspapers, which is really near to the state, we are informing about that just from state side. So we were doing interviews with people who were squated and also supported the forest people, and show more what happened around this situation. That was really important.

Flauschi: And now some parties are trying to attack us, because we send this information, so we were not lying.

Marie: There are some political parties in Flensburg and they are now criticizing us about how we were reporting about the eviction of this forest,

but i think it`s not only this, they don`t like the way how we do media, and i think for us it is significant that they are kind of afraid of us.

And they don`t want us to be here and they don`t want to give us money anymore