Adapting to Modern Times
Today, there are various radio stations that are broadcasted throughout Tanzania. However, from the 1950s until the mid-1990s, Radio Tanzania was the country’s sole station, consisting of music, poetry, drama, and speeches. There are currently more than 15,000 reels of these tapes that are sitting on the shelves of the BBC building in Dar es Salaam. Reviving the Radio Tanzania Archives is a project that has a goal of digitizing and preserving these tapes before they are destroyed. Throughout reading the booklet by the Heritage Project and after listening to the NPR segment, I noticed a common theme of indigenization of modernity. I argue that the project is using modern technology in order to preserve traditional ways. This topic has also been an important concept of the papers by Christen and Hodgson. In order to reach their goal, the people of the Tanzania Heritage project must use modern knowledge to convert the reel tapes into digital material. When they are able to make this conversion, they will be exemplifying the act of using modern ways in order to preserve traditions. The traditions that they are preserving refer to the history that is embedded in the forms of media that were broadcasted on the radio. According to the Heritage Project, Radio Tanzania was “both a key instrument of the state and public service, used as a tool for promoting unity and national pride through music” (booklet:8). The Radio represented more than just entertainment, it was involved in politics, and social relations as well. In the NPR segment, they state that the Radio was strictly Tanzanian, a station that was sung by and for the Tanzanian people. The station represents the purity of the Tanzanians without the influence from other institutions. In reproducing these tapes through digitization, people from all different parts of the world will be able to experience a part of the Tanzanian past. The restoration of them allows the...
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