Radio That Matters

March 21, 2023

Notwithstanding the attention given in the last decades to the necessity to ensure people with disabilities the same rights to a full personal, social and cultural life, much has still to be done on a practical level. In particular, audiences, arts professionals, and artists with disabilities all report significant barriers to full participation in cultural production and realization processes, worsened the recent pandemic. In this framework, the cultural community has been investigating new forms of cultural creation, distribution and realization, with the support of innovative or renewed tools and practices. These developments find reference in the concept of Acoustic Justice defined by the artist and writer Brandon LaBelle, which recognizes the urgencies around hearing and being heard.

Can listening be a tool for care and social cohesion? Which spaces do radio and performance share? Can radio invent new possibilities for collective practices? Can we rethink disability as a horizon by which to reinvent artistic languages in sound-performativity?

Starting from this research, Radio That Matters gathers together local and international institutions to develop innovative practices and discursive platforms aimed at exploring relationships between the performative and the acoustic which can contribute to guaranteeing greater accessibility.

RTM searches for ways to open new spaces for encounter within regimes of aurality today.

Radio That Matters is an innovative European project led by AREA06 / Short Theatre (IT) together with Errant Sound / The Listening Biennial (DE), Paralèlle (FR), Baltic Circle Festival (FI), Acesso Cultura | Access Culture (PT), PAV s.n.c. (IT) and Radio Papesse (IT) as Associated Partner.


Radio That Matters is a «Creative Europe» small scale project aimed at investigating the crossroads between disability / sound research / performing arts and seeking to design new methodologies for accessing art on behalf of blind and visually impaired persons specifically. Starting from the notion of Acoustic Justice, RTM will explore how acoustics can be a tool for strengthening a cohesive and accessible society. Furthermore, it brings focus to research on the possibility for the performing arts to be experienced via sound as a new form of presence and participation which can assist in enhancing approaches to disability.


Radio That Matters brings together cultural and social operators, artists, and people with and without visual disabilities in an in-depth and layered pathway, involving different levels: the theoretical and practical recognition on the state of participatory art practices, accessibility of culture, and the possibilities inherent in sound and acoustic languages; the definition of a shared methodology to make artistic work accessible and sustainable both from the point of view of production and its realization and communication; trainings and pedagogies to raise awareness on the topic of accessibility and acoustic justice for artists, professionals, and audiences, providing a framework in which to experiment with community and exchange knowledge.

The journey of RTM will create acoustic-performances that are inherently accessible to persons with visual impairment, giving life to a digital and disseminated festival across time and space, sustainable and entirely accessible, that will travel between European countries and beyond.