On the Air is a new series profiling some great local radio produced right here in Fredericton at CHSR FM 97.9. This week we turn our attention to, From The Margins, hosted by Asaf Rashid. From The Margins airs Mondays from 8 – 9 p.m.
How long have you been hosting From The Margins?
(Asaf Rashid) The better part of 12 years. It started out in 2003, focusing on poverty, but I had a hard time containing it to that issue, poverty being so interwoven with the fabric of our political-economic system. It expanded to cover more issues, briefly had a co-host or two, and went off air for a bit. Then I moved to Halifax in 2007 and re-started the show some time in 2008 on CKDU 88.1. There it stayed, at the now famous (maybe just to me) time slot of 8 p.m. Monday evenings. I moved back to Fredericton, packing my radio show in my luggage. I quickly got it back on air at its original home of CHSR.
Give us one sentence that would explain your show to new listeners.
It takes a critical and in depth look at the social issues of our day, covering labour, environmental justice, indigenous struggles, and many other social justice-related subjects, often delving into the relationship between the individual issues and capitalist social relations that intersect us.
Describe the usual format of your program.
Interviews often make up the bulk of an episode, live or pre-recorded. I try and intersperse some topical music to keep it dynamic. Quite regularly I try to offer some analysis or expansion, either from someone else or my own head, to further explain a subject, relate it to something local, or create a segue to another piece. Occasionally, I (try to) more creatively touch on a subject by producing some audio concoction, brewed with my own voice, sound clips, etc.
How would you describe CHSR’s role within the community?
A place for wierdos to hang out? More seriously, it’s an important medium for music and spoken word content, to amplify relatively marginal voices and sounds that would otherwise be more secluded, presenting a diverse array of multilingual music and spoken word content in the city; a vast array of what is Fredericton. And it should aim to strive for more in that direction, creating a wide angle audio snapshot of the city.
Name one other CHSR program you would recommend and why you feel other people should tune it in?
There are a lot of choices. Strictly Hip Hop comes to mind. The show has been on CHSR longer than mine, currently being the only show on the dial I know of that focuses on hip hop, as it has done for years.
From The Margins is also available as a podcast. Check it out.