Radio La Colifata: Argentina's 'loony radio' - The Listening Post

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More than 20 years ago, a psychology student doing his training at one of Argentina's oldest psychiatric wards kept being asked by his family and friends what it was like to work in there. So he came up with an idea: to let the patients explain in their own words.

The first radio station to broadcast from inside a mental hospital was born.

Radio La Colifata - slang for loon, or crazy person, has been on air from Hospital Jose Borda in Buenos Aires every Saturday afternoon for 23 years - to confront the stigma around mental illness, breaking through the wall in AM, FM and now online.

In-patients produce and present the shows that range from politics to sports - and over the years, millions of Argentinians have been tuning in.

Today, the radio frequencies have reached further, with around 50 stations based on the Radio Colifata model in Latin America, Europe and Asia - and soon, it will be setting up outside the asylum, hosted by former patients.

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Category
News & Politics
Tags
The Listening Post, Argentina, Al Jazeera

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