Radio in the Basque Country: A tool for cross-cultural dialogue, multiculturalism and social integration


This paper examines the strategies used by the Bilbao-based radio station Radio Candela and how they have progressively created a space for intercultural exchange for the Basque–Latin American community within the public sphere of the greater Bilbao metropolitan area. The main objective of this study is to identify and evaluate the approaches the station has developed and employed for creating a medium of inclusion through cross-cultural programming and activities—residencies and workshops in public schools—in order to foster a multicultural dialogue and integration within the immigrant communities in Bilbao. The station’s major achievement is thoroughly studied which consists of the creation of a multi- ethnic comparsa (festival group) into Bilbao’s Semana Grande, a major eight-day city-wide festival celebrated at the end of every August. The Basque Country provides a fitting scenario for a study on immigrant-focused media due to its socio-cultural context within Europe and Spain and the marked differences between the cultural traits and traditions of the region, making it an exemplary place to analyze an ethnic radio station’s strategies thriving in a complex linguistic landscape. Qualitative analysis techniques have been applied to define what Radio Candela has done to build spaces of inclusion and to identify specific points of encounter and confrontation between the Latin-American community and the local residents. However, further future examinations will need to be carried out to fully determine the station’s true intersectionality.

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