Big Dave: Beats and Bars

Australian Broadasting Corporation
Into the Beats, 2012
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Research background This work continues the author's research in the field of radio studies and radio documentary. It explores radio's distinctive function as a medium which gives voice to socially marginalized groups - in this case ex-prisoners (Anderson 2012). The author has explored this aspect of radio culture elsewhere in relation sex workers. Through her involvement and collaboration with the prisoners' radio program Jailbreak (as mentor of the program's producer) the author gained unique access to ex-prisoners pursuing careers in rap music. The documentary follows their struggles, employing an innovative approach to narration. Research contribution The author recorded extensive interviews and radio verité material with Australian ex-prisoners, Big Dave and Dougy Doug, over a period of 12 months. Additional interviews were recorded with internationally recognized rap musicians and producers who have acted as mentors for Dave and Doug. The documentary explores the important contribution prison radio and rap music makes to Dave's process of self-reflection and identity formation as an Australia rapper on the verge of international success. Research significance The documentary received a Silver Medal at the 2013 New York Festivals in the category "Culture and the Arts". It continues the author's track record of internationally recognized professional practice in radio documentary, and furnishes further material for her ongoing critical reflection on radio documentary, on which she has already published scholarly research (Aroney 2009).
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