This paper explores the sonic engagements and possibilities brought forward at Radio Hurakán and the Indymedia Cancún audio space, temporarily set up in 2003 during the mobilizations against the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) fifth Ministerial Meeting in Cancún, Mexico, where close to 300 media activists from Latin America, the United States, and Europe converged to provide independent coverage of alternative actions, forums, and events. It reconstructs and (re)sounds this experience by examining a variety of Indymedia Cancún and Radio Hurakán artifacts and materials, including Indymedia Cancún audio productions found in online audio archives and websites, and interviews highlighting the audio and radio collectives from the Global South that participated in Radio Hurakán, particularly focusing on community radio activists from Mexico. In this way, this paper poses that audio and radio activists were engaged in the making of altermundos sonoros, or sonic alterworlds, through skill-sharing efforts, collaborative organizing and production practices, and autonomously developed tech, generating a bottom-up sonic infrastructure to make audible a variety of sounds, textures, tonalities, and stories that resonated near and far, making possible the sounding of radical imaginaries and the opening of pathways for different ways of listening.

In September of 2003 the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) fifth Ministerial Meeting1 took place in the Mexican Riviera town of Cancún, resulting in thousands of social justice advocates from a wide set of sectors rallying together to protest the economic policies posed by the financial institution. Indigenous, farmer, labor, student, feminist, and environmental organizations, along with artivists and alternative media activists from different corners of the world, organized protest actions, grassroots events, and alternative news coverage of the mobilizations through the incorporation of an Independent Media Center (IMC, Indymedia). Born during the Seattle 1999 protests, the Indymedia model was created to provide information with a social and economic justice perspective.2 In a couple of years, more than 150 Indymedia centers3 had opened across the world, including Chiapas4 and Mexico City.5 Considering an IMC would be crucial in Cancún, the Chiapas IMC spearheaded organizing and networking to temporarily set up the Cancún Independent Media Center (Cancún-IMC, Cancún Indymedia),6 which drew close to 300 media activists,7 including a significant number of community radio projects and activists from across the globe.

As a radio and media activist involved in the organizing of Cancún Indymedia, to recall Cancún with the sonorous at the fore is to hear the raucous polyphony of protest, with its soundscape of multilingual chants; rallying cries; speeches delivered through megaphones and loudspeakers;8 police sirens; metal barricades being hammered down, wobbled, and tossed; and of course, the steps and bodies moving to the sounds of the radical marching band Infernal Noise Brigade;9 Latin American and Spanish language protest songs; marimba music; and the occasional pop, ranchera, or salsa hit. It is also recalling the vivid and compelling testimonies, discussions, analysis, and declarations being shared in forums, teach-ins, workshops, and cultural events, and the efforts of seasoned and emerging radio producers working to collect these sounds and voices to give life to Radio Hurakán,10 the FM and online stream set up by the Cancún-IMC and rebroadcasted and simulcasted by a multitude of audio and radio projects in different localities.11

For some involved in similar Indymedia spaces, Indymedia Cancún stood out as “an audiophile’s dream,”12 where audio was given a role, space, and importance equal to other media formats like text, photo, or video. While particularly for young radio activists from Mexico, the experience “inspired and fostered a new generation of media activists.”13 Indeed, the audio space created at Indymedia Cancún was a site for radio activists and practitioners, from the northern radio pirates and LPFMers to the south’s radialistas comunitarios and libres,14 to meet, share, create, dream, and sonically conspire, serving as a radiophonic seedbed where collaborative organizing, production practices, and skill sharing models were deployed and further expanded. It was also a moment that galvanized discussions about the role and direction of radio and audio within movements, helping to confirm, advance, and shape what Latin American media scholars Villamayor and Lamas call “the political-communicational project” of radio stations,15 referring to the distinct principles and political postures of each radio collective.

Additionally, when tuning in and exploring the sonic dimensions of the experience, I suggest that radio and sound were used to generate a bottom-up sonic infrastructure to make audible a multiplicity of stories, music, textures, tonalities, and sounds of protest and resistance to resonate near and far. In this way, it made possible the sounding of radical imaginaries and the opening of pathways for different ways of listening amid what Latin American scholar Mayra Estevez Trujillo terms “capitalism’s noise.”16 For Estevez, sound in the context of global capitalism is related to human-centered actions based on invasive and harmful growth and development, predicated on a logic of power and dominance. Radio Hurakán and the many radio and audio projects involved in Indymedia Cancún resonated instead with a different logic based on “a world where many worlds fit,”17 as called upon by the Zapatistas and embraced by the global justice movement18 and particularly by Indymedia.19 This sonic complex of audio-related actions, practices, and principles meant to deliver the voices and sounds that carry important testimonies, stories, messages, postures, and declarations of social justice are what I call altermundos sonoros, or sonic alterworlds.

I draw on Altermundismo (alter world), the term adopted by the Spanish-speaking global social justice movement conveying the vision and possibility of another world through the creation of alternatives, along with the need to resist and mobilize against economic predatory globalization.20 Known by many names, including anti-globalization movement,21 the term Altermundismo began to be used by movement participants in response to the derogatory label “globalphobes” coined by Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo during the 1999 World Economic Forum22 and rapidly adopted by governments and mainstream media.23Altermundismo referenced instead what Guiomar Rovira describes as “the global flow of indignation”24 made possible through digital and physical networks of solidarity. In this vein, “sonic alterworlds” highlights that communities and social movements protest, but they also imagine and build—with sound, acknowledging that practices of sound making and listening are important components linked to media activism, community radio, and social movements.

Almost 20 years later, this activist radio and audio experience merits being remembered, documented, and (re)sounded, as it fueled vibrant community radio communities and movement media projects of that period and beyond and now forms part of the long legacy of radio use within struggles and social movements that continues well into current times.25 From the stations that sought independence from colonial states like the Voice of Free and Combatant Algeria examined by Fanon26 to the Bolivian miners stations,27 the Central American revolutionary radios like Radio Venceremos28 and the rebel Zapatistas Radio Insurgente,29 to the grassroots radios led by students, workers, feminists, Indigenous communities, and those involved in social struggles across the globe, radio has been used to inform, educate, mobilize, and strengthen communities and movements.30 Contesting state or corporate media institutions by opening access to the tools of representation and creating a space to voice and use the media for very different purposes than those held by the state, corporations, or formal education institutions, and oftentimes operating against the backdrop of hostile broadcasting legislation,31 these radio experiences have generated a rich collection of knowledge, tactics, and approaches that favor collectivity and local engagement, which activists draw and build from. Moreover, this lineage has garnered a rebel and radical imaginary tied to the medium, making it particularly appealing to activists involved in emancipatory and social justice efforts, even in times of digital technology expansion.

In this regard, while important scholarly work exploring radio broadcasting experiences in connection to social movements and media activism in the networked age exists,32 this subject has been overshadowed by an increased focus on the Internet and social media.33 Radio Hurakán and the many radio projects participating in and around the station and stream highlight that radio continued to be a valued and relied-upon medium by media activists who were simultaneously fully embracing the digital and networked access provided by Indymedia while activating and extending virtual and in-person networks, nurturing radio activist imaginaries, and using radio and sound to build and contest in the realm of the sonic. Thus, this experience reminds us that even in the age of social media, media activism scholarship should continue to pay attention to and examine radio and its sonic dimensions.

With this in mind, I reconstruct and (re)sound this experience by examining a variety of Indymedia Cancún and Radio Hurakán artifacts and materials, including Indymedia Cancún audio productions found in online audio archives and websites and documentation found on public listservs as well as flyers, pictures, and graphics. I also draw from my own experiences as a Chiapas Indymedia participant, radio activist, and radio producer, along with conversations with fellow radio activists who participated at the Indymedia Cancún audio space and continue to be involved in the community radio world, seeking to learn about the significance of these events in relation to their media and audio activism and the media landscape of the time. Moreover, I particularly highlight the audio and radio collectives from the Global South that participated in Radio Hurakán, focusing on radio activists from Mexico City and Chiapas, in order to assemble a critical genealogy of Indymedia that brings to the fore the breadth of knowledge and radio activist experiences brought into the space by these practitioners, and specifically addressing the sonic engagements and possibilities brought forward at Radio Hurakán and the Indymedia Cancún audio space.

In the sections that follow I provide a brief overview of the Indymedia audio and radio model, followed by an examination of Chiapas Indymedia and the free radio stations from Mexico, particularly Radio Zapote and Frecuencia Libre, and their incursion into radio and the Cancún mobilizations. I then consider the activist sound developed by these projects in the context of Radio Hurakán and conclude with a discussion of the ramifications of this particular radiophonic experience.

Indymedia emerged in the context of mobilizations and protests against corporate capitalism, and the neoliberal policies pushed through by multilateral financial institutions, that took place globally in the 1990s and 2000s. Raising awareness of the devastating effects of economic policies set forward by multilateral financial institutions like the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank through major demonstrations—while also organizing and solidifying coalitions, campaigns, and actions to advance and promote on-the-ground alternatives to neoliberal corporate capitalism—was a major aspect of the global justice movement at the time.34 The 1999 anti-WTO Seattle demonstration is considered one of the most prominent of these protests, as it drew tens of thousands of people who managed to significantly disrupt the city and forced media coverage of the corporate capitalism critiques raised by demonstrators, activists and movements. The Seattle protests are also significant because they catalyzed the creation of the Independent Media Center by a coalition of community activists, alternative and activist media producers, and open-source tech people. Working through a collaborative model, they covered the mobilization from a social and economic justice perspective and distributed their productions via newspapers, FM radio, video documentaries, and cultural activities and through the use of the cutting-edge open-publishing website developed by a crew of radical techies, allowing anyone connected to the Internet to post written, video, photo, and audio materials.35 The fusion of the technology with the media expertise of alternative media makers and movement participants resulted in a model that reflected collaborative, nonhierarchical organizing and media making, and the creation of a noncommercial platform for information to be shared, disseminated, and engaged with at local and global scales. The principles and model of Indymedia were rapidly adopted worldwide, where each local collective worked autonomously and in accordance with local needs.

Radio and audio were integral components of the Indymedia project and website, beginning with the concerted efforts to broadcast in FM signal and online during the 1999 Seattle demonstrations, in what was named Studio X.36 From then onward the audio and radio work at Indymedia grew to include radio shows produced by local Indymedia collectives, online streams, and sharing of locally produced audio relevant to local issues.37 To coordinate all this audio activity taking place across the Indymedia collectives, a dedicated global Indymedia radio website38 was developed, providing a space to store, access, and share audio productions and content, streams, and links not only from Indymedia but from other community radio projects as well. In this sense, the broad range of audio and radio activity that took place throughout Indymedia collectives was reflective of and contributed to a larger global media democratization movement that opposed the increasing consolidation of corporate media initiatives, where community and pirate radio projects had a long history and practice of engaging in noncommercial social change–oriented initiatives.39 At the same time, Indymedia radio and audio projects were beginning to shape what Michele Hilmes has described as “the new materiality of sound” by making use of digital technology available at the time and creating different ways of using sound and making radio, while continuing to draw from and expand their social change orientation.40 In this way, the radio and audio developed by Indymedia reminds us of the political dimension underpinning soundwork, where digital media and technology are indeed sites of struggle embedded in power relations, and where the aural is also being disputed.

When organizing to create an Indymedia space for the 2003 Cancún mobilizations, the audio component and inclusion of radio began to be considered by the Chiapas IMC. In Mexico, the Chiapas IMC was established in 2001 by activists located in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, to produce alternative information that challenged the corporate media blackout related to the Zapatista movement and similar struggles. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), an insurgent Mayan Indigenous movement, rose up in arms the day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994, in a rebellion against neoliberalism and the further oppression it would bring to Indigenous peoples and marginalized communities globally.41 Their calls for humanity and solidarity generated a broad civil society movement in solidarity with Zapatismo that brought people from diverse movements together around Indigenous rights and autonomy, coalescing in what has been called the anti-globalization or alterglobalization movement. The Chiapas IMC was born in this context and amid the Zapatistas’ “Color of the Earth” mobilization, when 24 Indigenous rebel commanders traveled across south and central Mexico to speak to the Mexican Congress, pushing for the recognition of Indigenous rights.42 The independent and open-publishing platform was ideal, allowing alternative journalists and people from diverse movements and organizations to become involved in the production and dissemination of information. Along with the other formats, audio was integral. Starting off with cassette recorders, the audio team covered Zapatista- and Indigenous-related events, mobilizations, and topics and recorded songs, chants, interviews, communiqués, and a variety of sounds.43 In this vein, contact and engagement with diverse realities and organizations in the state as well as regionally were developed by the collective in the following years.

The coverage of actions, mobilizations, forums, encuentros or gatherings, and activities set forth by a mix of coalitions organized transnationally across Mesoamerica in relation to the negative impact on communities by mining, water dams, militarization, bio-prospecting, and a wide array of state-driven “development” projects, like the Plan Puebla Panamá,44 provided fertile ground for conversations about the role of communication and media in those processes. In particular, reflection about the increasingly commercialized and commodified media landscape, and the importance of generating media practices operating from a grassroots logic that served community needs and supported community autonomy processes, was being taken up by movement leaders and communities. Relatedly, the Chiapas Indymedia website was an important tool, especially at a time when Internet use and availability was limited; however, in areas where resources and access to infrastructure were scarce, other media, such as community radio, needed to be considered. This led some in the collective to engage more fully with radio, giving it special attention and becoming more involved with the community radio world, learning about the rich legacy and history of radio used in Latin American social struggles—in both rural and urban settings—and how it continued to have a strong tradition in Mexico and Central America.45

By the time the organizing for the Cancún mobilizations began, inclusion of a radio component was being discussed in the collective. During an organizing meeting a proposal was circulated that read: “Along with the Internet and all the equipment for writing, video, audio, and photos, we should work in an hour of pirate radio. Doing a radio show and live broadcasting would be excellent for the conditions we anticipate in Cancún.”46 From then on, the radio initiatives rapidly caught on and became an important signpost among activist and community radio networks.

Mexico City Free Radio Stations

A large contingent of Mexico City free radio stations was drawn to both the workshops and radio coverage of the event. Unlicensed urban stations created by grassroots movements had been appearing in Mexico City since the late 1960s,47 catalyzing what was then known as “pirate radios,” primarily alluding to their illegal nature. Then, sprouting up in the late 1980s, a new generation of radio stations appeared, tied to the student movement and countercultural groups,48 and post-1994 to Zapatista solidarity collectives. In 1999 Radio Ke Huelga was born, managed by students involved in the general strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).49 In 2001 Radio Zapote, housed in the National School of Anthropology and History—although independently created and managed by the students—began broadcasting transmissions of the Zapatista delegates and the Indigenous Council members participating in the Color of the Earth delegation.50 Sergio Soto from Radio Zapote recalls the free radio movement in Mexico City at the time as a burgeoning force: “When we took over the lab that would become the station’s studio, people from other radios, and from other sectors who wanted to do radio, started to participate and join discussions about the free radio movement. Ke Huelga, people from Xochimilico, from Neza, were doing radio as well; it was irruption of the airwaves.”51

Also during this time of radio resurgence, a distinction began to be drawn between pirate, community, and free radio projects. In the early 2000s, the Mexican media environment consisted of two families managing 96 percent of television frequencies and 13 broadcasting groups managing 86 percent of the radio spectrum.52 In this context, due to pressure from the media companies, community radio stations were persecuted by the military. With the change of power in the year 2000,53 a movement demanding the recognition and licensing of community radios, and the halt to their persecution, began to take place.54 Organizations like the World Association of Community Broadcasters in Mexico (AMARC-MX), human rights organizations, and lawyers began to push for a change in legislation and the recognition of community media.55 Pirate radio was understood to be those unlicensed stations with a commercial bent and managed by individuals or commercial enterprises, while community radios had a not-for-profit and community-serving nature, had community ownership, and believed in their right to seek legal recognition.56 Another set of radio stations distinguished themselves as Free radios, emphasizing their right to broadcast without state recognition and in line with noncommercial and autonomic principles.57

When the call was made for the Cancún Tidal Wave Alternative Media-Tech Convergence (Tidal Wave Cancún),58 a media training and skill-sharing event organized prior to the mobilization in Cancún, it began to circulate and reached wide attention in the alternative radio circuits. Months before Indymedia Cancún was set up, Chiapas Indymedia members were interviewed on Indymedia on Air,59 the Los Angeles 90.7 FM KPFK Indymedia radio show, to talk about independent media in the region and the lead-up to Cancún, propelling a widening of support, activity, and collaboration, particularly among radio collectives. And closer to the mobilization, an article from the Mexican national newspaper La Jornada referenced the Indymedia Cancún website as a site that published the calendar of altermundista events, including the alternative media convergence, announcing that “technology and knowledge exchanges will take place among media makers, including radio pirates who will teach about how to use the airwaves and build radio stations, antennas, and electronic components.”60 Radio Zapote and other free radios like H Ruido, Radio Tormenta, suuAuu Manifiesto, and La Voladora—including radio projects from different parts of the world—joined in, both on site and virtually. This included projects like Radio Cancún,61 an online radio station project set up by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Greenpeace Radio,62 providing audio coverage with a focus on the environment; a collaboration between the Latin American Association of Radio Education (ALER), AMARC-MX, and Real World Radio (Radio Mundo Real);63 along with many Indymedia sites and community radios from different parts of the world that had organized streaming radio projects and were linked to both the Cancún IMC radio and Indymedia’s audio site.

Throughout the days of actions and protests, a variety of audio was produced for posting on the Indymedia websites, and efforts were made to give life to Radio Hurakán64 and the online stream. All this was made possible by audio techies on site and online, working the backend aspects of circuits and code, enabling “the rebel voices, the alternative voices, the voices of the community”65 to be heard. This sonic infrastructure was built up intentionally a week prior to the mobilizations through the Tidal Wave Cancún event, which included a hands-on space dedicated to the tech setup of the overall media center, media production workshops, organization of coverage teams, and discussions related to communication rights66 with an emphasis on radio broadcasting. A call to reclaim the airwaves as a form of direct action was made, stating that “for new forms of control, there are new forms of resistance. With the force of a hurricane, radio claims the space,”67 inviting people to mobilize through the amplification of the Cancún Indymedia stream and FM signal. In this vein, the radio team’s first public announcement on the Cancún Indymedia website declared that Radio Hurakán, named in honor of the Mayan deity—bearer of storms, wind, water, and fire—originated from “the storm of resistance” to the WTO’s policies, and importantly the organizing was intended “to form agreements, discuss and dialogue, and bring communities together to create a more dignified and just world for all.”68 Relatedly, the graphics used for the flyers announcing the radio station and stream depicted the principles of people power through the airwaves and the derailing of the WTO by integrating an illustration of Kukulkán, the supreme Mayan deity of creation, carrying a large group of demonstrators holding banners reading “Dignity” and “Liberty,” crushing the Spanish acronym for the WTO with their weight, while Kukulkán holds a speech scroll with an antenna and transmission signals, as if amplifying people’s outrage and hope for a different world.69

Building a Bottom-Up Sonic Structure

Reporting from Cancún, Daniel Iván from La Voladora radio (and member of the AMARC-MX/ALER/Radio Mundo Real collaboration team) summed up the media activists’ ethos: “This convergence proposes ‘Don’t hate the media, be the media’ and invites a tactical use of the media for community organizing and social justice struggles.”70 In this sense, the media and communication envisioned by participating media and radio activists entailed an alternative to media encroachment, particularly in the increasing global capitalist economy. This vision was enacted at levels that not only included reporting on the issues but also involved aspects of technological design and control, decision-making processes, and capacity building through skill sharing, training, and reflection spaces to effectively access and participate in the media landscape, centering community and movement needs.71 In this regard, it is important to state that audio and radio were not the only media or tactics used within the Indymedia space, and the broader mobilizations. A print newspaper, La Boca del Hurakan, and photographs, videos, and articles posted on the Cancún IMC website were consistently generated, while the Indy Cancún media center was adjacent to the art-making space, where banners, posters, puppets, and all kinds of artwork were being prepared for the days of action. This environment is consistent with research from a growing number of media scholars that emphasizes that activist communication and media practices are inserted in complex media ecologies where diverse actors use a variety of media, simultaneously, according to the communication needs they are faced with.72

These practices, along with the audio-related activities and productions covering the issues brought forward by the social justice movement, including media democratization, facilitated and enhanced the sounding of a diversity of voices with a plethora of sounds, textures, and tonalities along with places, experiences, and stories often left out and erased by commercial or state communication media initiatives. In this way, the sounding of radical imaginaries and the opening of pathways for different ways of listening were made possible.

Collaborative Organizing and Production Practices

Along with the streams and live transmissions, raw audio was uploaded and shared to be used, edited, or included in the local broadcasts, and 24 hours of programming was able to be maintained by a variety of radios that included the free radio stations from Mexico City and Chiapas, Radio Tupa from Oaxaca,73 Global Radio, Shockwave Radio, and Radio Gap from Italy, Canon Radio from France, CJSF FM from Vancouver, AMARC, ALER, Greenpeace, OneWorldRadio, WORT-Madison, Free Speech Radio News, WBAI-New York, KPFK-Los Angeles, Indymedia London, Indymedia Uruguay, Indymedia Houston, DOST JE! (Enough!) Radio from Slovenia, and Radio Indymedia.74 Having a space with so many different people from different places created a sense of solidarity and empathy, from the urban university radios to the Indigenous rural community radio stations, particularly learning “that there were many different ways to make radio, and many forms of resistance.”75 Mutual support, participation, and collaboration were encouraged and in a sense were required for comprehensive coverage. Yet this was also messy and complicated to achieve, as technological, language, gender, and ethnic disparities continued to be a challenge. Mexico City radio activist Ana Martina recalls that “language was a barrier and I remember that in many independent media spaces the foreigners would be the ones to come with the computers, the transmitters, and the tech, and it was always the guys that would hoard the tech spaces.”76 Despite this and even amid differences in political postures (for example, some radios were working toward legalization while others purposefully were not), collaboration took place because there was a sense of urgency that compelled participants to join forces. Sergio Soto of Radio Zapote explained that “what was important was to break the information blackout, and we felt we needed to go out there and record in order to reveal realities on the ground.”77

While there are no known statistics on how many people, communities, or projects were reached, a variety of Indymedia sites posted announcements of the streams and shortwave rebroadcasts. These off-site collaborations are examples of the ripple effect generated in the context of mobilizations, where collaboration extends beyond on-site locations through the use of technology and membership in Indymedia and akin organizations as well as previously established connections and relationships. In particular, some radiophonic projects reported to each of their local stations, providing a sonic linking function that connected and shared the audibility of the protests. In the case of Radio Zapote, their audio productions and radio work fed not only Radio Hurakán but their local station as well. “I did a lot of calls to the main studio to report on what was happening, and it was livestreamed. For Radio Zapote this was important because the people at the radio station in Mexico City would call us and let us know they were listening and that they had even set up speakers so people could listen outside of the radio station. This gave us a lot of motivation to continue reporting.”78 Similarly, Radio Frecuencia Libre in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, received reports from their members, but through phone calls and not through the stream.

Skill Sharing

Structured and spontaneous forms of skill sharing took place at Indymedia Cancún. In more structured fashion, the Tidal Wave Cancún attracted 100 participants79 to discuss and join conversations and exchanges focused on alternative media and topics like pirate radio, digital security, and successful tech and media initiatives, along with workshops intended to train people on how to provide coverage using diverse media tools, including the Indymedia website. The other crucial aspect of the convergence was to prepare the space with the gear and equipment necessary for each working group. Topping off the week was the Forum on Communication Rights vs. Free Trade, where a presentation of the WTO’s significance for media and communication rights took place.80 While the training space was rather fluid, it provided ample opportunity for people to meet, prepare, and become acquainted with the city, the events, the organizations, and most of all the sharing of Indymedia’s model.

Once the meeting started and the coverage of the events was in full swing, other opportunities to share skills and learn new ones began. Ana Martina explained that part of her radio work prior to arriving in Cancún was to make the learning of audio editing software accessible to everyone: “I had already learned to use Audacity and I loved how easy it was. I remember thinking anyone can do this, and I began to make one-page manuals with easy step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4 instructions on editing with Audacity, to teach and share with other people how to use the tools.”81 When audio pieces needed editing at Radio Hurakán, Ana Martina put her knowledge to work by specifically teaching compañeras, women media activists, to use the editing software. For Juan from Chiapas Indymedia and Frecuencia Libre, the learning came from observing different radio activists and listening to different ways they worked with sound: “The creativity used to mix the sounds from the marches and the streets, with music, and all sorts of editing—I thought it was incredible and made me fall deeper in love with radio.”82

Another important aspect of this event was the participation of Indigenous, farm, and movement representatives who were interested in alternative media and saw this popular education preparation as a crucial aspect of their self-determination efforts and the creation of alternatives. Securing the participation of these organizations was made a priority in an attempt to avoid neglecting people from movements in the Global South by alternative journalists, techies, and people from urban centers and the Global North who tended to participate in Indymedia spaces.

For Sasha Costanza-Shock, the kind of knowledge and skill sharing that takes place in mobilizations, as well as in activist sites and spaces, is tied to “horizontal communication,” where tools circulate widely and are accessible, communication flows are between many people and not concentrated on one person, and decision making and editorial choices are shared or transparently delegated.83 Horizontal communication resonates with Latin American community radio practices that integrate popular education, stressing horizontal and reciprocal relationships among group members and developing a process of awareness through consciousness-action-involvement-mobilization geared toward social transformation.84 For Argentinian feminist Claudia Korol, these pedagogical practices are tied to lived experiences of resistance. Korol argues that to break away from dominant and oppressive cultural systems, people need to tap into the cultural knowledge and reserves afforded by the resistance to those systems of domination. “The rebel imaginary” is achieved by deconstructing the notions embedded in systems of oppression along with the integration of practices of solidarity, and for Korol, this constitutes a pedagogical dimension she calls “emancipatory pedagogy.” An emancipatory pedagogy is a “space of collective knowledge construction born from historical, social practices within struggles for life, liberty, justice, and autonomy.”85 It is a theory-practice integration that creates values and feelings that provide examples of new ways of understanding and transforming the world. In this sense, emancipatory pedagogical practices were being deployed by the radio activists and their community radio projects while amplifying the sounding of sonic alterworlds and their rebel imaginaries.

Autonomous Audio Technology

Appropriating, tinkering, and creating the technology needed to broadcast has been a practice at the heart of the pirate, free, and community radio movement. Here I do not engage in depth with this important aspect, as there are several analyses that provide great insights to this particular area.86 Instead, I provide reflections on the technological context of the time, and how radio activists interacted with emerging technologies and increased accessibility to previously exclusive media tools.

In Mexico, the Internet had begun to be more widely available, and cable Internet was starting to replace landline access. Cyber or Internet cafes were common, as homes and businesses were just starting to access the service; however, the Cancún Indymedia space was able to secure Internet through cable in order to connect a large number of computers. The tech was set up during the alternative tech convergence where many people helped with installation, from cabling, to putting together donated computers, to installing the software. A livestream test was conducted between the alternative tech media convergence and an open-source, free software camp in the Vis island of Croatia where “the streamers used 100% free software on a bootable GNU/Linux CD distribution called dyne:bolic, which is specifically designed for multimedia application.”87

Another very important aspect was the radio broadcasting workshops aimed at organizations and groups that wanted to work on assembling a low-watt transmitter to take home to their communities and learn how to make antennas and tech-related audio gear.88 While a noble goal, in the end the result was, according to Timo Russo, “probably half-a-transmitter”89 and a blocked radio spectrum that Juan from Frecuencia Libre90 believes was a targeted effort by Mexican national security forces. The situation left many involved in that project frustrated but somehow inspired at the same time. With the change of conditions, many then set their efforts to using the next technology on site, which was the Internet and the stream to accompany Radio Hurakán. Sergio Soto from Radio Zapote saw this transformation as an opportunity: “When the FM radio project didn’t work because of the blocked signal, we initially felt we were being limited, however in a sense we were also liberated. We refocused and began to work on the content to be streamed and retransmitted by our radio collectives.”91

These experiences remind us that many tools were combined and used; however, an underlying aspect of these initiatives was the creation of an autonomous tech infrastructure that aimed to reflect the social justice and political change these media projects were trying to achieve. At the time there was less access to media technologies, as only official and professional institutions were able to access them. But when ordinary people began to acquire media gear, they started to more prominently shift the terms of who was authorized to engage in news and media production. As Sergio Soto recalls: “What we were doing was very defiant. We acquired our gear by raising money through parties, and concerts, and in that way, we had the tools to produce our own media.”92 In the case of radio, while having full control of the technology enables and strengthens autonomy and self-determination, what underpins its force is the ability to amplify realities. According to Soto, “Ultimately I think this wasn’t about the technology; from the start we did use open-source software like Linux, but I think what was important for people, what was stimulating about radio, was the excitement of being able to talk, to say something about your reality that you know others are not even mentioning.”93

Examining how the everyday soundscapes of people, places, and environments are diverse and culturally marked, and that “acoustic environments” need further engagement, has been a concern of a range of fields, particularly since Murray Schafer’s studies on acoustic environments and his development of the concept of “soundscapes” and Steven Feld’s “acoustemology,” or the knowing of the world through sound.94 Paying special attention to how sound operated, was being built, and was made audible by radio activists—while noticing the sounds generated at the mobilizations—foregrounds how along with the dispute over the airwaves and media enclosures, practices, norms, and configurations of sound were being contested. Listening to the audio productions stored in the Cancún Indymedia website, we find a variety of interviews with organization representatives, movement leaders and intellectuals, and ordinary Cancún residents. Figures like Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, and John Ross as well as Greenpeace representatives, human-rights organization members, Indigenous and Native organization representatives from the US and Mexico, and delegates with access to the Ministerial Meeting events are featured either as stand-alone recorded interviews, as part of short feature stories, or in the Radio Hurakán livestream. These productions are mostly in English and Spanish, but Korean, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Tsotsil (a Mayan indigenous language commonly spoken in the Chiapas highlands) were also posted on the audio section of the website, sometimes with simultaneous translation.

Other types of content included live reports from marches and events made by Indymedia participants as well as recordings of speeches, music, songs, and the general sounds of the marches, along with several PSAs and short audio productions in Spanish produced collaboratively by the audio team from the Mexican community radio stations. Examining these PSAs and audio productions, two main topics can be found: general information about the WTO, and information about alternative, independent media, particularly community radio. Following Hilmes’s approach to radio as text, I pay particular attention to the “genres, techniques, styles, narrative structures, representational conventions, and modes of address”95 found in the productions and have selected one audio production illustrating common features found across each one of the topics.

The WTO in Cancún is an audio production that represents an eclectic style mixing a male voice narrating what the WTO is, information about the city of Cancún and the history of the town and people who live in the town, and what corporate globalization represents for everyday people and communities. The narration is followed by sound bridges with music remixed with actuality or sound effect, followed by interview clips either in English and Spanish and live reports from the Hurakán Radio stream. The voices and accents are diverse even if in the same language, and people sound as if engaging in regular everyday conversation. Short remixes with sound bites are included, playing with the rhythm to provide an energetic, upbeat tone between the information and the interviews. This piece was heavily edited; however, it is interesting in how it attempts to play with the sound and music to provide a different take on a formal and serious topic that is usually presented in a serious broadcast voice, mostly with actuality but with no music, in professional news outlets. While it is mostly in Spanish, it also allows the inclusion of an English interview clip without adding translation, addressing the global audience it aims to reach while providing space to present the voice as is.

Storytellers and Communicators is an audio production that delivers a creative and playful approach to the topic of free radio by blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Starting the piece with a high beat Euro-Afro-Latin fusion musical bed and a natural-sounding woman’s voice saying, “Storytellers and communicators presentes in the free frequencies, resisting,” the piece moves to include a clip from an interview with Mexico City free radio, Radio Pacheco, telling their story of how they were robbed and lost their equipment, the community raised funds to replace the gear, and they were able to continue transmitting. The musical bed continues, and another man’s voice says, “Radio frequencies for those who labor them,” rephrasing Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata’s famous phrase, “The Land belongs to those who work it,” followed by a woman’s voice saying, “Listen,” remixed with the music, and repeating several times, until the section ends with the phrase, “Cancún, Oventic, the world united by free radio.” This last phrase is significant, as it links the free radio movement to Zapatista ideals by specifically referencing Oventic, the autonomous Zapatista town located in the Chiapas highlands where the Zapatistas established one of their Good Government administrative centers. Including many different brief sound designs interspersed with the sound beds and the voices, the production borders on a musical piece, providing an overall inviting and inspirational feeling.

Ultimately, the two pieces are representative of the sonic alterworlds approach and principles underpinning the radio and audio work, and in tune with what a member of the H Ruido community radio explained in an interview found on the Indy Cancún archive: “H Ruido aims at re-appropriation, that as people we re-appropriate our palabra, and our sounds, and in that way, collaborate in the creation of our own world. If we continue to be narrated by the mass media, we don’t even exist.”96

The audio project developed at Indymedia Cancún is significant because it provided a structure for different kinds of sounds to be shared. From voices to raw sounds and information, audible events were being created, recorded, and made available. For example, chants or the sounds of crowds and music could be used as ambient and actuality, remixed or played as is, while producing new messages and playing with the design of sounds and voices to deliver both a sonic and informational message. In this sense, by having an audio-format publishing option, the Indymedia website was open to not only posting a conventional radio piece such as a radio report, either narrated or produced, but it was also allowing the inclusion of any type of audible event. All this within what was considered a global justice and noncommercial commitment.

Sound embedded in power relations, where what is allowed to be present, to be heard by others and in what spaces, comes to the fore when we take sound seriously. As voice urges us to contend with who is able to speak and exercise their right to be silent, sound helps us to engage the question of listening. Protest and activist sound functions through politics of voice and politics of listening, foregrounding the need to pay attention to the ways we learn and enact our sonic expressions and listening, the ways society is designed for certain voices and sounds to be made audible, muted, and even eradicated. Activist sound practices, in the context of radio for social change, call attention to the political dimension of sound, be it through the reclamation of airwaves, the seeking of aesthetic expression, and/or the generation of practices that build sound from a social justice based logic.

For Mayra Estévez, the sonorous involves a multiplicity of practices related to what is audible and what is inaudible, acts of listening and being listened to that are related to the social, the political, the cultural, and the economic, that shape power relationships, configuring what she describes as “sonority.”97 Furthermore, she explains that a particular way of deploying the sonorous as an instrument of domination and control is tied to capitalism and its creation of harmful and destructive noise. Considering global capitalism in its sonorous dimensions, we can envision the stakes present in the social justice mobilizations at a global scale, and in the Cancún protests in particular. By generating sounds connected to social and political projects embracing participatory, collaborative, and emancipatory practices and tied to solidarity and the construction of a “world where many worlds fit,” the audio and radio projects involved in Radio Hurakán and Indymedia generated a sound different from that of capitalism’s noise, making possible the sounding of realities and experiences often muted or sounded over. In this vein, as media activists were particularly making use of audio and radio to protest and build through both loud- and low-volume practices, they were opening spaces to make audible the sonic alterworlds of those mobilizing toward social justice.


Vanesa Hradsky, “WTO Fractures Every Which Way,” The Indypendent (NYC Independent Media Center), no. 38 (October 1–14, 2003): 8.


Dee Dee Halleck, “Gathering Storm: The Open Cyber Forum of Indymedia” (presentation, OurMedia II Conference, Barcelona, 2002).


Dorothy Kidd, “Indymedia (the independent media center),” in Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, ed. John D. H. Downing (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011).


Teo Ballvé, “Another Media Is Possible,” NACLA Report on the Americas 37, no. 4 (January–February 2004): 29–31.


Hickie was part of the Greenpeace media team and contributed substantial audio material to the Cancún IMC. Her September 13, 2003, Greenpeace WTO blog entry describes one of the marches and her impressions of the sounds: “What a noise! What a display of colour! The sounds from the march were overwhelming and varied,” Also listen to Danielle Hickie, “sounds_protest_final” (MP3 file, created September 11, 2003),


Their presence in the mobilization and the sonic moment, including audio produced at Cancún IMC, was captured in their live recorded album Vamos a la Playa. Infernal Noise Brigade, Vamos a la Playa, La Banda Sonora para la Destrucción de las Vallas, Postworld Industries, 2004. See also and


“Emisión de Radio,” Radio Hurakán, Centro de Medios Independientes Cancún, September 2003,


“Streaming Radio,” Independent Media Center Radio Network, September 2003,


Kate Coyer and Luz Ruiz, “Radio and Indy Media Cancún,” Our Media/Nuestros Medios, January 2004,


CML, “Hasta luego al Indymedia Chiapas y saludos al movimiento de medios libres en Chiapas: ¡A tomar los medios!” Centro de Medios Libres Ciudad de México, January 4, 2012,


Spanish-language terms for community radio and free radio broadcasters.


This term is widely used within the Latin American community radio sector and was popularized by the Latin American and Caribbean branch of the World Association of Community Broadcasters, and ALER, the Latin American Association of Radio Education. See Claudia Villamayor and Ernesto Lamas, “Management of Community and Citizen Radio,” AMARC and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 1998. Also see AMARC ALC, “La revolución es un sueño eterno,” Revista Cara y señal, no. 3 (Buenos Aires, August 2005); ALER, “La vuelta y media: Reflexiones alrededor del Proyecto Político Comunicativo” (Quito, 2007).


Mayra Estévez Trujillo, “Suena el Capitalismo en el Corazón de la Selva” / “Capitalism Resounds in the Heart of the Jungle,” Nómadas 45 (December 2016): 13–25.


Subcomandante Marcos, “Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle,” in Our Word Is Our Weapon, ed. Juana Ponce de León (New York: Seven Stories, 2001), 78–81.


Naomi Klein, “Farewell to the ‘End of History’: Organisation and Vision in Anti-Corporate Movements,” in A World of Contradictions: Socialist Register 2002, eds. Leo Panitch and Colin Leys (Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2002), 3–14.


Dorothy Kidd, “Which Would You Rather: Seattle or Porto Alegre?” (presentation, Our Media, Not Theirs pre-conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, organized by OUR Media/NUESTROS Medios network, Barcelona, July 2002).


Guiomar Rovira Sancho, “Zapatistas sin fronteras: Las redes de solidaridad con Chiapas y el altermundismo” (México City, Ediciones Era, 2003).


Donatella Della Porta, The Global Justice Movement: Cross-National and Transnational Perspectives (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007), 7.


John Ross, “The Pesadilla of Ernesto Zedillo,” San Antonio Current, October 3, 2002,


Sally Burch, Osvaldo León, and Eduardo Tamayo, “The Networked Society,” in Social Movements on the Net (Quito: ALAI, 2001).


Guiomar Rovira Sancho, “Networks, Insurgencies, and Prefigurative Politics: A Cycle of Global Indignation,” Convergence 20, no. 4 (2014): 387–401.


For a global overview that includes experiences beyond the 1990s and into the 2000s see Gretchen King, “History of Struggle: The Global Story of Community Broadcasting Practices, or a Brief History of Community Radio,” Westminster Papers in Communication & Culture 12, no. 2 (2017): 18–36.


Frantz Fanon, “This Is the Voice of Algeria,” in A Dying Colonialism (New York: Grove Press, 1965), 69–98.


Alan O’Connor, “The Miners’ Radio Stations in Bolivia: A Culture of Resistance,” Journal of Communication 40, no. 1 (1990): 102–10.


Carlos Henríquez Consalvi, Broadcasting the Civil War in El Salvador: A Memoir of Guerrilla Radio (Austin: University of Texas Press, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, 2010).


Claudia Magallanes-Blanco, “Zapatista Media (México),” in Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, ed, John D. H. Downing (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011), 563–65.


For a compilation covering a comprehensive overview of movement-related radio experiences from across the world see John D. H. Downing, ed., Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2011).


Kate Coyer, “Community Media in a Globalized World: The Relevance and Resilience of Local Radio,” in Global Media and Communication Handbook Series (IAMCR): The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).


See Tiziano Bonini, “Twitter or Radio Revolutions? The Central Role of Açık Radyo in the Gezi Protests of 2013,” Westminster Papers in Communication & Culture 12, no. 2, (June 2017): 1–17; Sasha Costanza-Chock, Out of the Shadows, into the Streets: Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014); Christina Dunbar-Hester, Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014); Stefania Milan, Social Movements and their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Also see Inés Binder and Santiago García Gago, Politizar la tecnología: Radios comunitarias y derecho a la comunicación en los territorios digitales (Buenos Aires: Ediciones del Jinete Insomne, 2020); Claudia Villamayor, “Las radios comunitarias, gestoras de procesos comunicacionales,” Mediaciones 10, no.12 (January–June 2014): 88–105, doi:


Bonini, “Twitter or Radio Revolutions?”, 3.


Della Porta, The Global Justice Movement.


Kidd, “Indymedia.”


Miss Kreant, “Aural Assault! Free Radio vs. Free Trade in the Battle of Seattle,” in Three Meter Revolt! A Pirate Radio Zine (Eugene, OR: Radio Free Cascadia, 2000). Also see “Five Days over Seattle, an Audio Document of Free Radio Station Y2WTKO,” Y2WTKO / Free Radio Cascadia, booklet accompanying compact disc, 2000.


Kate Coyer, “Where the ‘Hyper Local’ and ‘Hyper Global’ Meet: Case Study of Indymedia Radio,” Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 2, no. 1 (2005).


Independent Media Center Radio Network website,


Jeffrey Juris, Networking Futures: The Movements against Corporate Globalization (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).


Michele Hilmes, “The New Materiality of Radio: Sounds on Screens,” in Radio’s New Wave, eds. Michele Hilmes and Jason Loviglio (London: Taylor & Francis, 2013).


Tom Hayden, ed., The Zapatista Reader (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press / Nation Books, 2002).


Brendan O’Neill, Adrián Boutureira, Stephen Bartlett, and Sarah Aird, eds, Plan Puebla Panama, Battle over the Future of Mesoamerica, 2nd ed. (Burlington, VT: Action for Social and Ecological Justice/Action for Community and Ecology in the Region of Central America (ASEJ/ACERCA), 2004).


Alfonso Gumucio, Making Waves: Stories of Participatory Communication for Social Change (New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 2001).


Chiapas Indymedia, “Qué puede lograr Indymedia en Cancún,” Propuesta al colectivo, Abril 2003.


Radio Unidad Independencia and Radio Interferencia were some of the stations operated by housing, student, and human rights advocates. See Silva Contreras and María de la Paz, “Community Radio, Mexico: Integrating Community Radio and ICTs for Development in Rural Mexico,” in Revisiting the “Magic Box”: Case Studies in Local Appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (Rome: Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2003).


Stations included Televerdad, Radio Pirata, Radio Vampiro, La Voladora, and H Ruido, among others. See Taniel Morales, “Microhistoria de la radio pirata, (reconstrucción desde el 2015), 1era Parte,” Rúbrica, Subdirección de Extensión Cultural de Radio UNAM, México, no. 68 (April 2015). Also see Monica Palomino González, “Nuevas Experiencias de Comunicación Masiva: Las Radios “Piratas” Del D.F.: Una Historia Hacia La Democracia,” Razón y Palabra, no.12 (October 1998–January 1999),


See Jeffrey S. Juris, “‘Frequencies of Transgression’: Notes on the Politics of Excess and Constraint among Mexican Free Radio Stations,” in Radio Fields: Anthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century, eds. Lucas Bessire and Daniel Fisher (New York: New York University Press, 2012).


Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, “Radio Zapote 14 años de Independencia al Aire,” Ojarasca, La Jornada, no. 216 (April 2015),


Sergio Soto, personal interview, June 2020.


See Aleida Calleja, “Prácticas normativas en materia de medios de comunicación comunitarios: El caso mexicano,” in Políticas y legislación para la radio local en América Latina (La Paz: Plural, 2010), 317–23.


Scholars and political analysts point to a long history of collusion between state and media enterprises that is particularly engrained due to a history in which one political party had been in power for 80 years (1929 to 2000).


Aleida Calleja and Beatriz Solís, Con permiso: La radio comunitaria en México (Mexico City: AMARC, Fundación Friedrich Ebert-México, 2005).


These efforts resulted in the initial licensing of 11 radio stations by the year 2007. See M. S. R. Gonzalez and J. D. R. Montaño, “Apuntes para la Historia de la Radio Comunitaria en México,” Revista Latinoamericana de Ciencias de la Comunicación 18, no. 32 (2019).


Calleja and Solís, Con permiso, 87.


Juris, “Frequencies of Transgression,” 163.


Alan Minsky, “Discussion with Chiapas IMC members in Honduras,” Indymedia on Air, A-Infos Radio Project, July 14, 2003,


Victor Zendejas, “Reunión de la OMC: En Internet, el calendario de actividades alternas,” La Jornada, August 24, 2003,


Radio Cancún, Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy, 2003,


Greenpeace Radio, Independent Media Center Radio Network website, 2003,


AMARC and ALER, “Cobertura en Cancún,” Biodiversidad en América Latina, Acción por la Diversidad, Buenos Aires, August 22, 2003,


Indymedia Cancún, “Emisiones de Radio,” Internet Archive, April 2004,


Sean and Sasha, “Cancún Is Abuzz.” Cancún Indymedia website, September 2, 2003,


Indymedia Cancún, “Emisiones de Radio.”


Luz Ruiz, Kate Coyer, and Rene Crespo, “Radio Hurakan Now Streaming Live,” Cancun Indymedia, September 12, 2003,


“Radio Hurakan, Streaming during the WTO Mobilizations,” La Boka del Hurakan (Cancún Indymedia Center newspaper), no. 1, September 10, 2003.


Daniel Ivan, “Hurakán: Un Encuentro ante el Desencuentro con los Medios,” Radio Mundo Real, September 6, 2003,


“Radio Hurakan, Streaming during the WTO Mobilizations.”


See Emiliano Treré and Alice Mattoni, “Media Ecologies and Protest Movements: Main Perspectives and Key Lessons,” Information, Communication & Society: Protest Communication Ecologies 19, no. 3 (March 2016): 290–306; Clemencia Rodriguez, “Studying Media at the Margins: Learning from the Field,” in Media Activism in the Digital Age, eds. Victor Pickard and Guobin Yang (New York: Routledge, 2017): 49–61.


“Ruben Gonzalez Comunidad de Cosoltepec de Oaxaca, Radio Tupa,” Cancún Interviews: Radio Tupa,


“Emisión de Radio,” Indymedia Cancún.


Timo Russo, personal interview, June 2020.


Ana Martina, personal interview, June 2020. For a discussion on gender and radio tech see Christina Dunbar-Hester, “Geeks, Meta-Geeks, and Gender Trouble: Activism, Identity, and Low-Power FM Radio,” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 2 (April 2008): 201–32,


Sergio Soto, personal interview, June 2020.


Sergio Soto, personal interview, June 2020.


Sean and Sasha, “Alternative Media-Tech Convergence ‘Tidal Wave Cancún’ comes to a close in las Palapas,” Cancún Indymedia website, September 8, 2003,


Ana Martina, personal interview, June 2020.


Ana Martina, personal interview, June 2020.


José Juan Cárdenas, personal interview, June 2020.


Sasha Costanza-Chock, “Analytical Note: Horizontal Communication and Social Movements,” (research report for Manuel Castells, “Communication, Power, and Counter-power in the Network Society”), Los Angeles: Annenberg School of Communication, 2006,


See María C. Mata, “Comunicación popular: Continuidades, transformaciones y desafíos (Popular communication: Continuities, transformations and challenges)” Revista Oficios Terrestres (Buenos Aires) 1, no. 26 (211): 1–22.


Claudia Korol, “La subversión del sentido común y los saberes de la resistencia (The subversion of common sense and the knowledges of the resistance),” in De los saberes de la emancipación y de la dominación, ed. Ana Esther Ceceña (Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales, CLACSO, 2008).


See Dorothy Kidd, “Talking the Walk, the Communication Commons Amidst the Media Enclosures” (PhD diss., Simon Fraser University, 1998); Coyer, “Where the ‘Hyper Local’ and ‘Hyper Global’ Meet”; Dunbar-Hester, Low Power to the People; Milan, Social Movements and Their Technologies.


Los Angeles Indymedia, “Audio Recording: Cancún-Vis Livestream,”


See Kate Coyer, “I Broadcast Therefore I Am: Radio Adventures at Indymedia Cancún,” Journal of Aesthetics and Protest 1, no. 3 (2004).


Timo Russo, personal interview, June 2020.


José Juan Cárdenas, personal interview, June 2020.


Sergio Soto, Personal interview, June 2020.


Sergio Soto, Personal interview, June 2020.


Sergio Soto, Personal interview, June 2020.


[1] Steven Feld, “Waterfalls of Song: An Acoustemology of Place Resounding in Bosavi, Papua New Guinea,” in Senses of Place, eds. Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1996): 91–135; Murray Schafer, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1993).


Michele Hilmes, “Interpreting Radio: Culture in Sound and the Role of Media Studies,” New Review of Film and Television Studies 16, no. 4 (2018): 420–25.


[1] Interview with Rene, Honorable Ruido Radio (H Ruido), conducted by Luz Ruiz for Indymedia Cancún, Global Indymedia Radio,


Mayra Estévez Trujillo, Sonic Studies from the Andean Region (Quito and Bogotá: Centro Experimental Oído Salvaje, 2008).