Volunteering your time with Harrogate Community Radio might not seem like an act of rebellion at first glance. After all, volunteering is often seen as a noble and altruistic pursuit, a way to give back to your community and make a positive difference in the world. But I believe that volunteering with HCR is much more than that – it’s a radical act of resistance against the dominant values of our society.
To understand why volunteering with HCR is so important, we need to first look at the broader cultural context in which we live. Our society is defined by a relentless pursuit of speed and efficiency, where everything must be faster, cheaper, and more convenient than ever before. This is what media scholars call “fast media” – the kind of media that prioritises speed and spectacle over substance and depth.
This culture of speed is not just limited to media, however. It pervades every aspect of our lives, from the way we work to the way we consume goods and services. We are conditioned to want things immediately, without any regard for the long-term consequences. This is what the slow living movement seeks to challenge – the idea that we can live better lives by slowing down, taking our time, and being more intentional in our choices.
Volunteering with HCR is one way to embrace the slow-living ethos. By giving your time and energy to a local community radio station, you are actively choosing to prioritise community over profit, relationships over efficiency, and depth over superficiality. You are rejecting the idea that everything in life needs to be fast and disposable, and instead opting for a more intentional and deliberate way of living.
But volunteering with HCR is not just about embracing slow living – it’s also about challenging the dominant values of our capitalist society. As a volunteer, you are not motivated by profit or personal gain. You are not seeking to exploit your labor for the benefit of someone else’s bottom line. Instead, you are giving freely of yourself, motivated only by a desire to serve your community and make a positive difference in the world.
This is an act of rebellion against the dominant economic system that seeks to commodify every aspect of our lives. In a capitalist society, our value is determined by our ability to produce and consume. Our worth is measured in Pounds & Pennies, and those who cannot generate a profit are often deemed worthless. But volunteering with HCR challenges this notion. It says that there is value in giving freely of ourselves, in serving our community without any expectation of personal gain.
This kind of anti-capitalist ethic is rooted in black theology and afro-futurism. Both of these movements seek to challenge the dominant cultural narratives that have perpetuated systemic oppression and marginalisation of black communities. They offer alternative visions of the future, where justice, equity, and liberation are the guiding principles.
Volunteering with HCR is one small way to live out these alternative visions of the future. It’s a way to reject the dominant values of our society and embrace a more just and equitable way of living. It’s a way to build community, foster relationships, and create a more meaningful life for ourselves and those around us.
In conclusion, volunteering your time with Harrogate Community Radio might seem like a small and insignificant act, but it is much more than that. It’s a radical act of resistance against the dominant values of our society, a way to embrace your passions. By volunteering with HCR, you are choosing to prioritise community over profit, relationships over efficiency, and depth over superficiality. You are challenging the status quo and working towards a more just and equitable future for all.
If you want to find out about making your own show, click here.
Andrew is actually one of the Founders of HCR – he volunteers as chief cat-herder to organise the station. He often blogs or writes his opinion here, which is not always welcome but always honest. Andrew is a web design freelancer by trade, and he is also an exhibiting artist. Andrew has been part of the Backhouse marriage experiment with Kathryn since 2011 and lives in High Harrogate.