17.03.2018 – 07.05.2018
La Grande Bibliothèque (BAnQ)
Montréal, QC, Canada
Radio Arbre invites the public to listen to our children’s ideas, concerns and dreams for the city’s future.
Radio Arbre is a participatory installation and online radio station, broadcasting hundreds of stories from Montréal youth who participated in Tours de tables, a project conducted by the Maison de l’Innovation Sociale and its partners, during Montréal’s 375th celebrations.
Radio Arbre, the installation
From March 17 to May 7 2018, Radio Arbre is open to the public in the Espace Jeunes at the Grande Bibliothèque (BAnQ), before moving to different Montréal parks throughout the summer. Radio Arbre is inspired by an African tradition called “l’arbre à palabres”, that celebrates trees as a rallying point for people to sit down and share their stories together. The result is a gathering place, not in the shape of a tree, but of both a podium and a giant radio. A place for people to spend time together while listening to Montréal’s youth in a public space, and maybe share a story of their own. On the structure, a screen allows visitors to read contributions as they are broadcast live, while learning a bit about the authors as their names, districts and ages appear on an interactive map of Montréal.
Besides the installation, all the stories from Radio Arbre told by Tree are permanently accessible to the public on radioarbre.com. There, users can find the same interactive map of Montréal but also navigate through its content, giving them a new perspective of the city through the eyes of its young inhabitants.
The Contribute section invites young montrealers to participate in the project, adding their own stories.
As its name might suggest, Radio Arbre is hosted by a tree called Tree (l’Arbre). Part robo-humanist, part futuristic-tree, this character is the editor in chief of this local radio station. Working around the clock, he shares our children’s thoughts with devotion, humor and sincerity. Staying true to the kids’ voices and visions, Tree reads their contributions verbatim. To create this character, Daily tous les jours drew inspiration from the language of (human) radio hosts and journalists.
14 different shows such as The Good Neighbour Chronicles, Letters to Fruits and Vegetables, The Future Department, or The Love show, with 325 contributions, are currently broadcast by Radio Arbre. In addition to children’s contributions, Radio Arbre’s content includes some findings from Signes Vitaux, a research project about children from Montreal conducted by the Foundation of Greater Montreal.