David Barsamian to speak in Taos

Alternative Radio founder David Barsamian Courtesy Don Usner

David Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio, will speak in Taos on Tuesday (Oct. 10), 7 p.m., at at the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux Street. The presentation is a collaborative event presented by the Harwood and KCIE 90.1 FM Cultural Energy Independent Radio.

The title of Barsamian's talk is 'Resistance in the Age of Trump."

"Today in a country where magical thinking is heard at the highest levels of government, facts are up for grabs," a statement on the talk from alternativeradio.org reads. "You have your narrative. I have mine. Recall Trump aide Kellyanne Conway’s now infamous 'alternative facts' comment. Are we sliding toward a dystopian future? Not necessarily. Informed and organized people, unafraid and willing to challenge power, can change the system."

Barsamian has been called "one of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists" who has "altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio, now in its 32th year, and with his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Richard Wolff, Tariq Ali, and Edward Said."

His 11th book with Noam Chomsky, “Global Discontents” is coming out in November.

A press release states, "Barsamian is an investigative journalist, but in a unique way. He digs by finding often unheard of activists and then letting speak in their own voices in his hour long weekly radio shows, broadcast on more that 200 stations. His most difficult interview was one of the first he did with his mother, a refugee and survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Rebelliousness saw him drop out of San Francisco State and ship out on a Norwegian freighter to work as a prep cook until he in Asia and began an odyssey lasting five years, hitchhiking across borders and studying the sitar and Raga music to become a master musician in India.

"In 1978 he came to visit his sister in Boulder, and discovered the new public radio station KGNU, volunteered and quickly developed into a national broadcaster when he started Alternative Radio. Speaking five languages, including Hindi and Urdu, he continued to travel all over Asia, until seven years ago he was banned from India for his outspoken coverage of the repression of Adivasis, or the indigenous peoples of India, and the oppression of the people of Kashmir."

In a statement, Barsamian says, “I have no degrees to speak of. Which in this work actually proves to be an advantage because I didn’t have to unlearn the propaganda that is primarily a lot of what ‘lower education,’ as I call it, provides. So I came to things pretty fresh, pretty raw. I’ve always been a rebel, even as a kid. I was asking lots of questions. Why? Why? I used to drive my mother crazy.”

Barsamian has spoken out for the environment, justice & free speech, crisscrossing the U.S, Canada, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Armenia and Turkey, speaking at scores of universities, conferences, peace groups, bookstores, and benefit events, the release continues. By traveling to grassroots groups all around the world, he is able to find the up and coming leaders that he brings to his radio show, and keep in touch with those outside the media bubble.

Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU's Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. In 2017 the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award for giving voice through alternative media to the oppressed communities and those fighting against repression.

He is also is a board member of Cultural Energy, the local organization that brought KCEI 90.1 FM to the air a year ago.

Tickets are $10 or $8 for Harwood Alliance members. They can be purchased through the Harwood Museum. Call (575) 758-9826, ext. 0 or visit harwoodmuseum.org.

Contact Cultural Energy, Robin Collier for more information at (575) 758-9791 or cell 224-0151 or David Barsamian at cell 303-725-8454 or by email at barsamian@riseup.net

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