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Radio Public

A Collective Investigation into Dudley High Street


The first iteration of Radio Public ran from April to July 2022. Based in CoLab, Dudley High Street, the project was conceived and facilitated by social artists Helen Garbett and Bill Laybourne of  Workshop24

Eight creative practitioners and eighty local people joined us in co-creating Radio Public through a series of workshops and creative activities, culminating in a one day festival on July 9th 2022


Generously funded by CoLab Dudley and Creative Black Country

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My Feet Are My Ears ExcerptRadio Public
00:00 / 05:49

Radio Public

Radio Public is an artist run project

We’re interested in changing Dudley High St.

Our starting point is art as social action.

By social action we mean participation and collaboration, a focus on social issues, being rooted in place, and learning by doing.

By doing it in the High St. we change it.

Radio is our medium of transmission and reception; bigger and wider than you might think.

Radio Public changes the way we encounter the High St, 

our experience of it and how we communicate its possibilities and potential.

We gravitate towards the margins, the edge of things, encompassing people and place, the seldom heard and more-than-human.

Radio Public will make the inaudible audible, creating a festival of sound, installations, walks, talks, performances, workshops and transmissions.

The High St. and radio are not free public spaces 

They are manifestations of unequal social and power relations,

but we’re going to use them anyway, we don’t need permission…or do we? Let’s find out.

Traditional thinking says that High St.’s are for commercial exchange and little else. We want to see if it's possible to challenge that orthodoxy by introducing creative and artistic exchange. 

Radio as a medium becomes an invited public space within which we meet, connect, explore, experiment, try things out and challenge conventional boundaries. Resolution and perspective is important: we are as interested in spiders’ webs in drainpipes as we are in global capitalism; the micro as well as the macro.   

We have found common ground with CoLab Dudley, 

an experimental form of social infrastructure, aimed at creating places and experiences on the High St that are open to everyone. 

In October 2021 we were invited to become Creative Partners with CoLab. We acknowledge the many years of social research and experimentation that has gone before us, which we now build upon. We recognise the context of Dudley High St., its multiple stories and realities, its people, history, identity and culture. Let’s make some new stories.

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