[media hybridity] VIRTUAL BORDERS

Other ideas from 1999...

1. Akha Community Website
As part of the VIRTUAL BORDERS project, we were teaching Akhas, who are already familiar with computing, the basics of HTML and web publishing. The end of the documentary film leads into the homepage of their websites. However, due to our limited resources, the effort to empower the Akha community by establishing a webforum, turned out to require much more time. You can visit the beginnings of this development at http://www.hani-akha.org !

2. Akha net.radio archive
During the shooting of VIRTUAL BORDERS, the Mountain Peoples' Radio Station was temporarily hosted in a hotel. It will shortly move into a new building. In the future, the radio station could continue to webcast their radio programmes, not only targeting an international niche audience of emigrants, refugees, academics, and friends of world music, but also to build up an audio archive as only trace of this contemporary oral culture. Nowadays, the only records of the estimated 2000 years of Akha history are the collected and transcribed ritual and personal narrations of elderly Akha personalities. There are no written or visual sources. In times where the oral tradition is becoming weaker but no script is largely in use, it depends once more on the dominant surrounding cultures what will be remembered about the life as Akha at the beginning of the 21st millenium. The Akha radio station is one of the few media content providers run by Akha, featuring contemporary issues, and its archive might serve as valuable source for future generations.



Akha villagers bringing their transistor radio into the group photo

3. The Akha Music Online Shop
As next step towards selfsustainable Akha-community-internet-infrastructure, facilities and training workshops to publish Akha music online, was envisaged. . The income or donations for downloadable recordings goes partly to the Akha artist, partly to the maintenance ofthe infrastructure. Income through cultural commodities also raises the appreciation of their own culture despite the repressive derogatory environment.

You can find Akha music online here >>



Akha musicians in a recording studio in Bangkok