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World Radio Day: Antique Radio Exhibition 2019 in Bandung

World Radio Day 2019
Dialog – Tolerance – Peace

I'm a radio enthusiast since I was in a junior high school. Now, I'm working as a content manager and digital marketing officer in one of radio stations in Bandung. A few days ago, I was so excited to come to a radio exhibition in Museum Kota Bandung which held in February, 2019. 

Before I share about the exhibition, let me tell you the history of World Radio Day...

History of World Radio Day

On January 14, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to the declaration of UNESCO, that February 13 was established as "World Radio Day" to commemorate the founding of United Nations Radio in 1946.

The aim of commemorating World Radio Day: "to make the public aware of the importance of radio, encourage decision makers to open and provide information services via radio, as well as to improve networks and international cooperation among broadcasters". 

World Radio Day 2019 theme is "dialogue, tolerance, and peace", the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages ​​so that the community gave attention to the extinction of several local languages, so a program was needed to preserve and revitalize it in 2019.

World Radio Day is an invitation to promote language and local media as the key to their survival, so that there is no other way for indigenous people to have easy access to information so that they can develop their cultural identity and be able to disseminate information on issues that affect the lives of their communities. 

The key of all is openness to dialogue so that awareness of differences will foster a mental attitude that is tolerant, understandable, and realizes that differences are a necessity of life, so tolerance is not an empty word without meaning.

The meaning that develops will become a shared awareness that becomes the root of peace. Indonesia, a unitary state of unity which is bound by different ethnic groups and languages. Because it has become the obligation of every broadcaster to be able to foster awareness about the value of tolerance by conveying differences through various kinds of mother tongue and national language as the "glue" of unity and national unity. 

 Antique Radio Exhibition 2019, Bandung

I had the opportunity to attend to the Antique Radio Exhibition which was held on February 14 to 21, 2019. This event was exhibited at the Museum Kota Bandung . There, I met some of the organizers and initiators of this exhibition, Komunitas Radio Antik Bandung (KRAB). KRAB is an association of radio vintage hobbyists established in 2006, a community of radio tube fans who appeared spontaneously from two of their initiators, Andar Manik and Rachmat Durmawel.

I had really an interesting talk about radio with the management of the KRAB. I think this exhibition's awesome. There're dozens of antique radio displays, besides that visitors're given full of information from each radio display.The also explained the history of the development of the radio from the beginning.


The presence of radio as a communication medium has experienced a long journey before the world war to the millennial century, from the industrial revolution 1.0 to the industrial revolution 4.0.

Since the beginning of tube radio technology to digital radio today the world of broadcasting with its radio still exists as a public communication media that can still coexist with printed media, television, Internet, and digital platform. Radio is not merely a media report but it has become a medium for disseminating knowledge and entertainment.

KRAB commemorated World Radio Day 2019 to hold exhibitions, talk shows and exchanges which take place at Museum Kota Bandung,this museum is very important for the citizens of Bandung, there we can see how city civilization grows.

They designed this exhibition with a historical curatorial approach and the important role of radio related to the period before World War I and after World War II. The information conveyed is not only in terms of history, but also from the side of the technology, design, and material of the radio shell.

The chronology of the development of radio technology is directly related to the needs of the Indies government at that time, we can see from a broadcast history article in which the presence of Queen Wilhelmina broadcasts first from Eindhoven to its people in the Dutch East Indies for the experimental technology services of radio technicians Philips, with a transmitter station PHOHI (Philips Omroep Holland-Indië - Philips Broadcasting Organisation Netherlands Indies)

“Intussen werd er in Nederland door Philips geexperimenteerd met uitzendingen naar de oost met een zender in Eindhoven. Op 11 maart 1927 werden de eerste signalen daar opgevangen. Op 1 juni van dat jaar sprak de koningin via deze zender tot het volk in Nederlands IndiĆ«.” –
Sementara itu Philips telah bereksperimen dengan penyiaran ke timur dengan pemancar di Eindhoven.Pada 11 Maret 1927, sinyal pertama diterima di Hindia Belanda. Pada tanggal 1 Juni 1927, dimana Ratu Wilhelmina pertamakali berbicara melalui stasiun pemancar tersebut kepada rakyatnya di Hindia Belanda.
Meanwhile Philips has experimented with broadcasting to the east with transmitters in Eindhoven. On March 11, 1927, the first signal was received in the Dutch East Indies. On June 1, 1927, where Queen Wilhelmina first spoke through the transmitter station to her people in the Dutch East Indies.

The period 1927-1956 was a time span filled with global dynamics and shocks that changed the world order. World War I - World War II not only gave birth to misery for the world population but developed weapons technology for war mass destruction atomic bomb models also developed communication technology from Morse code to broadcast broadcasts of telephone and radio sound, from military technology to entertainment media.

The Dutch East Indies is not merely a target market for the radio industry but a symbol of the presence of world power and connectedness that is separated by hundreds of thousands of miles, can be felt close to the ears attached to the heart even though it is far from the eye. How the presence of cultural areas is constructed into present imaginations intersect with the daily realities faced in colonial lands, not just distance and relatives who are far away, but the natural and cultural atmosphere is very different, so that this separation and difference can foster a split of soul and mind.

Products circulating in the Dutch East Indies by themselves were dominated by the manufacturer Philips, a giant Dutch company which was originally a producer of incandescent light bulbs. Of course, there are many other Dutch manufacturers that fill the market such as Erres, NSF, Radio Nova, Radio Goldberg, Java Radio and others.

The radio that was originally more like a laboratory device thanks to advances in technology and design slowly turned into aesthetic luxury that filled the living room and living room to be exhibited.

Look at the strong and firm lines covered in soft Art Deco arches at Philips 296A, Philips 334A, Erres KY212, Erres 108! The economic scale seems to be neglected to satisfy the thirst for the beauty of consumers. Even the tube lights inside do not escape the beauty of giving red or yellow to the glass.

We not only invite the public to enjoy the beauty of design but also learn how social change and technology affect radio physically. Therefore in this exhibition the radio collection is placed in sequel starting from before World War II, after World War II and the transition to Transistor.

As befits a museum, in this curatorial approach we not only make radio as an object but also the subject that tells about him. Because basically a material or object will only be meaningful if it is able to establish relations with its environment.

In this exhibition, there will also be displayed several local works by members of the KRAB members through the creation of retro radios under the brand ORDES. The uniqueness is that they succeeded in combining solid state technology (transistor, IC) with a vacuum tube. Creation is translated into a unique design and machine design, original, incorporating elements of local culture. Radio is no longer merely functioning technically but also aesthetically and uniquely because each unit is handmade and order-based. It is hoped that this kind of partiality in the local industry will be able to encourage other creative people to be encouraged and eventually become active players in the creative economy.

Another brand that was exhibited was Kriya Nusantara, a local MSME that was able to penetrate the international market. Kriya Nusantara products have special features in their shell designs which are decorated with copper etching with natural inspired motifs such as leaves, flowers, branches with twigs, and geometric shapes. Such a design reminds us of Middle Eastern culture that is rich in exploration of natural elements, No wonder then 90% of Kriya Nusantara products are exported to the Middle East, especially Dubai.

The two radio production activities above can be a marker that the history of radio production in the city of Bandung still continues in line with its era needs. If we look back, this connection is becoming clearer with the fact that the history of the Philips radio assembly plant in Bandung — even though its footprint can now only be traced from the name of the Philips gang in Kiara Condong — is a sign of the presence of the 1.0 industrial revolution.

From an antique tube radio we can trace back the traces of colonial civilization that might always be present as a glimpse of the shadow of today's civilization in the land of its colonies. Just how the new generation will interpret it because experience physically and emotionally is not felt directly but is present in the form of visual recordings, objects, buildings, or recorded music whose approach can only be aesthetic or nostalgic. Here we KRAB and Kriya Nusantara try to turn it into a creative idea that has industrial-scale economic potential and MSMEs.

Curatorial Source: Andar Manik & Prayudi Wibowo (KRAB)


  1. Jadi keingetan dulu pernah kerja di radio. Seru banget memang.

    1. Wah, teh Evi pernah kerja di radio juga. Iya ya Teh suasananya emang seru. BIkin betah, apalagi temen-temennya asyik. hehe

  2. congrats Teh Zia so cool be Content Manager :) aku baru tahu juga ada hari radio hahaha

    1. Thank you, Teh Herva. You're a cool mama as well. Working mom and mom of 2 gorgeous kiddos.

  3. Ada juga hari radio.. pastinya seru dalam komunitasnya yah.

    1. Iya, ada hari radio internasional dan ada juga hari radio nasional di tanah air yang diperingati dengan adanya RRI.


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