Photograph of a woman sitting on a lounge chair reading in an office that is covered with graffiti

Amplify: Story, Resistance, Radio

Part live ‘Pirate Radio’ performance and part sound exhibition about the importance of amplification and listening in urban politics.

Exhibition dates: October 5 - November 18 2023

(Detail) Created by Design Computing Visual Communication students with Rully Zakaria

Amplify: Story, Resistance, Radio is staging a gallery takeover that is part live ‘Pirate Radio’ performance, part futuring workshop, and part sound exhibition about the importance of amplification and listening in urban politics. Amplify is a living, breathing example of how stories occupy urban space and generate solidarity. It responds to long-standing calls to protect music and creative spaces in our cities, to create more diverse media landscapes and to champion First Nations music and journalism. This takeover invites people to share stories about sound and activism in the city through live radio broadcasts from the gallery and visual conversations covering key moments of amplification of the past, present and future. 

Show up. Listen up. Get involved.

Curators: Clare Cooper, Dallas Rogers, Rully Zakaria, Preston Peachey, Michael Mossman

Full 6 week (evolving) public program here.

Tune into the whole pirate radio broadcast program recordings here.

Amplify Opening Day 

Thursday 5 Oct 12pm - 6pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Blak Out. Radio host: Aaliyah Jade Bradbury, a proud indigenous woman from both the Larrakia Nation and the Eastern Torres Strait Islands. Drop by the pop-up pirate radio studio in the Tin Sheds Gallery to say hello or tune in via podcast. Interviews and music from Lluwannee George, Tasha James, Majeda Beatty, Kaylene Langford, Angeline Penrith, Blanche, Akala Newman, Kodie Bedford, Dobby and many more First Nations radio producers, journalists, academics, musicians, activists and more.

Amplify Opening Night

Thursday 5 Oct 5pm - 8pm

Welcome by Gadigal Artist Nadeena Dixon. Performances by Anomie, Wicked Bandit, Maya Gold, MCs Jannah Beth and Natalie Slade. Soundsystem: Honeytrap

RSVP for the opening day/night

Kids Pirate Radio Workshop

Saturday 7 Oct 10am - 11pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

2SER community radio are helping young people take-over the pirate radio. Bring your kids along to the Tin Sheds Gallery for a special kids activity in our pop-up pirate radio studio involving dress-ups and speaking like a pirate on air. Bring your best pirate impersonation.
Kids of all ages welcome.

RSVP for the workshop

FILM SCREENING: Radio Redfern Documentary

Saturday 7 Oct 12pm - 1pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Join us for the screening of this observational documentary looking at Sydney’s first community Aboriginal radio station, 88.9 Radio Redfern. Set against a backdrop of contemporary Aboriginal music, 88.9 Radio Redfern offers a special and rare exploration of the people, attitudes and philosophies behind the lead up to a different type of celebration of Australia’s Bicentennial Year. Throughout 1988, 88.9 Radio Redfern became an important focal point for communication and solidarity within the Koori community. The film reveals how Aboriginal people are adapting social structures such as the mass media to serve their needs.

PANEL: Race & Diversity in the Media 

Saturday 7 Oct 1pm - 3pm

Radio Skid Row take-over the panel discussion space for the afternoon. Radio Skid Row has invited Luke Pearson from Indigenous X and Barbara McGrady, a multi-award winning photographer, to watch the documentary Radio Redfern 88.9 and talk about what it means to be making radical media today. Also present on the panel will be founding members of Radio Skid Row-Radio Redfern Nicola Joseph, Graham Davis King and others. MC for the day Binowee Bayles

RSVP for the screening and panel

PANEL: Walking the Plank in the United Stages: Stories of Un/lawful Radio Transmission

Saturday 14 Oct 12pm - 1pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Hosted by Heather Contant 

This panel features stories of triumph and tribulation from the history of pirate radio in the United States. The speakers include Stephen Dunifer (aka the Johnny Appleseed” of free radio and founder of Free Radio Berkeley), Christina Dunbar-Hester (researcher in the democratic control of technologies), and David Goren (creator of the Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map). By sharing their unique perspectives as leading pirate radio practitioners and researchers, this panel sheds light on the ongoing pursuits for free and open access to the airwaves–past, present, and into the future. 

PERFORMANCE: The Splinter Orchestra

Saturday 14 Oct 1pm - 2pm

Splinter is a radically inclusive large-scale improvising orchestra that has been a forum for listening and sounding together for well over 100 exploratory musicians and sound artists living in or passing through Sydney for 2 decades. Currently we have a diverse membership of roughly 25. Our process of co-creation and the resulting music is probably best left undefined — amorphous and ephemeral qualities being inherent to the project — but we can say that playing is the group’s fundamental activity. We meet weekly, with ever-fluctuating line-ups, to do just that. Much of our public work in the last few years has been an exploration of ‘choreographed’ play in vast spaces, particularly outdoors, including Mungo National Park, Bundanon and The Pilliga, where we listen, move, sound and record, (and then listen back to the inscribed phenomena on our apparatus). In recent years we’ve developed an interest in sound installations, consisting of self-playing instruments, interactive sound-sculptures, visual and text provocations, sound devices and more. The elements of these ‘Splintstallations’, just like the many voices of Splinter, work together, sometimes in parallel, sometimes intersecting.

“Every Splinter Orchestra performance unfolds a unique improvisational sonic ecology combining highly developed music skills with thoroughly experimental sound-making and an intuitive compositional repertoire built from years of collective engagement. The entire space becomes a stage for performers and audience alike to wander, carrying their generative or listening attentions amongst, between and through an evolving sonic unknown.” – Gary Warner, 2017

WORKSHOP: Futuring Cultures of Listening and Protest Technologies in Climate Crisis

Saturday 14 Oct 2pm - 3pm

Hosted by Clare Cooper

Please register your free ticket here

PANEL: Activist Radio 

Saturday 21 Oct 12pm - 1pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Hosted by Prof Fran Dyson

This is a panel on how community radio can be an integral resource for activist groups across a range of campaigns, cause and projects, using our organisation - Blue Mountains Unions and Community (BMUC) as an example. The focus will be on 1) the ways in which our weekly radio show "Rights, Rorts and Rants" has integrated with other projects of the BMUC such as Politics in the Pub, our annual 'Sing it Say it: Activist Fest Talent Quest", local and state pre-election coverage, and ongoing community campaigns 2) the show's importance in maintaining solidarity during lockdowns 3) it's role as a networking hub for various groups and 4) it's role in supporting local political musicians, writers, poets and artists. 

Panel featuring Deb Smith, (Secretary of BMUC and founding member of Rights, Rorts and Rants), Fran Dyson (producer and writer on activist/experimental radio and sound ), Nick Franklin ( 2JJ in Sydney in the 70’s, freelance and staff producer on Radio National working on a variety of feature and documentary programs and EP of the Breakfast program.) and Mike Holland (lawyer and legal academic for 40 plus years. and researcher/presenter specialising in corruption and government accountability).

About the panelists:

Mike Holland spent several years in the merchant navy before drifting into law in late 70’s. Lawyer and legal academic for 40 plus years. Lifelong member of various trade unions included role as union branch president College of Law. Member of BMUC and legal commentator for Rights Rorts and Rants on Radio Blue Mountains

Nick Franklin worked for many years in radio and television in the UK and Australia. He was among the first journalists to work on 2JJ in Sydney in the 70’s where he was one of a team that started the Prisoners Program. He’s been a freelance and staff producer on Radio National working on a variety of feature and documentary programs and as EP of the Breakfast program. Nick lives in Katoomba and has been a member for the BMUC for over 20 years. A lifelong trade unionist, he’s been a member of the NUJ, the MEAA and the CPSU.

Debra Smith grew up in Sydney and has called the Blue Mountains home since the mid-1990s. Retired now, she has worked in many industries with the longest and most recent being 25 years with Centrelink in a customer service role. She became involved in community radio in 2019 via Radio Blue Mountains 

Fran Dyson has worked in various community radio stations over 3 decades (including 3xxx Canberra, Radio Skid Row, Radio Redfern, 2SER fm, Davis Community Television (Davis,California) and currently Radio Blue Mountains) and has produced experimental sound features for the ABC's audio arts program 'the Listening Room'.

WORKSHOP: Exposing the Invisible Waves of Radio with Rully Zakaria

Saturday 21 Oct 1pm - 4pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery

Hosted by Rully Zakaria

Register for your free tickets here

Tin Sheds Gallery acknowledges the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, upon whose ancestral lands our exhibitions take place. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge of these lands, waterways and Country.

Top image: Radio Skid Row circa 1985-88, The University of Sydney Archives, G77_1_0079

Event images: Created by Design Computing Visual Communication students with Rully Zakaria

Tin Sheds Gallery

  • 148 City Road, Darlington Sydney, NSW
Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday: 10am-4pm Saturdays: 12pm-5pm