Populist Radio (2023)



Text German-English

„Populist Radio“ sendet, was spektakulär und reißerisch daherkommt. Es zählt nicht der Inhalt, sondern die maximal zugespitzte Form: Werbung für absurde Produkte, Zitate von rücksichtslosen Politikern und religiösen Fanatikern, Handlungsempfehlungen für den Fall eines Atomkriegs, Informationen zur Lage der Pandemie. Jede Aussage kann auch ihr Gegenteil bedeuten. Stefano Giannotti horcht tief hinein in die Abgründe des Mediums Radio.

“Populist Radio” broadcasts whatever comes across as spectacular and lurid. It’s not the content that counts, but the maximally pointed form: Advertisements for absurd products, quotes from reckless politicians and religious fanatics, recommendations for action in the event of a nuclear war, information on the state of the pandemic. Every statement can also mean its opposite. Stefano Giannotti listens deeply into the abysses of the medium of radio.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur 2023


“One of the things that most amuses me today is populism. The wilder it is, the more it fulfils me. I adore the emphatic tones, the easy tears, the epics, the Crusaders, here come our people, Eurovision and especially Dollarvision. Populism will definitely get me rich, I’ll have women, money in the bank, a real democracy that will defend me from foreign barbarians, ready to tear down the walls we’ve worked so hard to build. But there’s still a long way to go. What we really need is a purpose-made radio station that gives people a voice: POPULIST RADIO, the radio for all of Us (and You too).” (A listener)

POPULIST RADIO is a radio station that airs fake news, crude conspiracy theories, real news that seems fake, and any other kind of information, modern or vintage, in a spectacular, rhythmic, epic, techno-house-disco way. A kind of stream of consciousness, where what counts is not the content, but the form used to say things.

From a guide to self-defense in the event of an atomic explosion (from the original 1952 American propaganda film Duck and Cover) to deranged commercials, from random monologues that combine phrases from politicians and religious men, complaints, horror movies, and 1940s cartoons to information pandemics where everything can be the opposite of everything, all spiced up with politically incorrect irony.

Gradually, however, the situation gets out of control, and Populist Radio becomes an epic monster capable of devouring everything and everyone, self-destructing and disappearing into the void. But out of nowhere, the monster re-emerges stronger and “vaccinated” and quickly reproduces itself, creates new contaminations and eventually turns into a work of art, a great concert for choir, orchestra and advertisement.

Text, music and direction: Stefano Giannotti
Actor’s director: Götz Naleppa
Dramaturgy: Marcus Gammel



Jim Fective
Kida Nicolman
Him/George W. Bush
The New President
Stravor Iginskij

All voices: Stefan Kaminski except Him (George W.Bush) and Stravor Iginskij (a seal)
Additional voices: Stefano Giannotti / Text-To-Speech
Heavy-metal drums: Arnaud Krakowka
Growls: Jeffrey Yu

Sound-engineers: Herman Tepplich at Deutschlandradio Studio 10 and Stefano Giannotti at his home-studio
Translations: Studio Lucca Traduce (German), Bonnie Eldred (English)

Production: Deutschlandfunk Kultur 2023

Dur.  53:14