in Gironde, radio gives voice to the voiceless

in Gironde, radio gives voice to the voiceless


Benjamin never expressed his fear in public. What’s more in front of the microphone. “If I had known, I would not have said anything! If you look carefully, the young man is proud of being cheated by his colleagues at the workshop. His testimony recorded on Tuesday October 18 was broadcast on Thursday November 3 on the program “Les Rires olé du FAM” on REM (98.4). There, it is necessary to decode.


Francis Virepinte, the founder of the project, and Benjamin who narrates his fears during the workshop which serves as support for the radio show.

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

A program inspired by Argentine radio

“It all started about eight years ago. Then I was hired at Radio Entre-deux-Mers (REM). I meet Edith Perez-Lacour, an Argentinian, a psychiatrist at the Cadillac hospital. She told me that she had organized a radio show on Colifata, in his South American country, with the residents of a psychiatric hospital. He wanted to do the same thing again with the residents of Cadillac who were calm. I said, “Banco! “Thus was born “No fear, we are here” in February 2015. In addition to live broadcasts, about fifteen residents participate, every Wednesday, in a workshop that prepares the next radio broadcast,” says Francis Virepinte.

The listening area is spread over 60 km, that is, the capacity of 286,000 listeners.

Francis Virepinte, 60, former sports teacher, former businessman, is now the head of this cooperative radio based in Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, South Gironde. He describes it as “inland and rural, accessible by location. The listening area extends over 60 km, from Saint-André-de-Cubzac to Bergerac on the right bank, from Cestas (33) to Aiguillon (47) on the left bank and to Roquefort in the Landes, i.e. of 286,000 listeners. We rely on a dozen volunteer facilitators, service provider and citizen service, Thibaut. »

Francis Virepinte leads the program


Francis Virepinte leads the program “Giving a voice to the voiceless”.

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

“No fear, we are here” is broadcast every third Thursday – aired in a podcast -, alternating with “Les Rires olé du FAM” and “We are not children”. These three programs fall into the “Giving a voice to the voiceless” box. “We went beyond our expectations, because together with the residents of Cadillac, the radio welcomes those from La Réole nursing home (FAM) for 3 years and those of La Réole Levite Workhouse for two years. They all use the same principles, each participating in live broadcasts and workshops once a week. These appointments are many opportunities for free exchange that take place respectfully, without ridicule, listening to others where mental illness is set aside. »

In the foreground, Alain and Xavier and in the background Samuel, Christian and Fanny, all residents of the Levite house in La Réole, are preparing their radio show.


In the foreground, Alain and Xavier and in the background Samuel, Christian and Fanny, all residents of the Levite house in La Réole, are preparing their radio show.

Francis Virepinte

“My information has been improved”

Thursday October 13, 2 pm, Sauveterre-de-Guyenne. “Hello, you are live on REM 98.4. Our guest today is the singer Aurore Kimberley”. Surrounded by two FAM educators, Patricia and Lola, Nicolas is in charge of the event with three other residents Alexandra, Jean-Philippe and Mathias. “It’s our show, we’re the ones who give live. Francis Virepinte understood this very well. He quickly left us the microphone and antenna. He is there, he remains at the helm, but technically behind the glass,” insists Nicolas. Which ensures transitions between sections, presenting and launching tracks and announcing the first report. “I hope you’re hungry because we’re going to talk about porcini mushrooms. »

Singer Aurore Kimberley was a guest on the show


Singer Aurore Kimberley was a guest on the show “Les Rires olé du FAM”.

Maryan Charruau

On the radio, people don’t see us but hear us. Afterwards, they look at us differently,” says Mathias

Nicolas’ expression is beautiful, almost flawless: “I’ve made a lot of progress. Being able to speak freely in front of a microphone is great. It shows people who we really are. We are judged by what the listener hears. I gained confidence. Mathias’ observation has the same direction: “I find it difficult to express myself. Sometimes I search for my words. But it is better. My speech has improved. It was a little difficult at first but I am very happy to be here. It’s good to know that we are heard, it’s not always like that every day… On the radio, people don’t see us but they hear us. Later, they look at us differently. »

Francis Virepinte interviews Nicolas in the old people's home in La Réole during the preparation of the program


Francis Virepinte interviews Nicolas in the old people’s home in La Réole during the preparation of the program “Les Rires olé du FAM” broadcast on REM. Nicolas has diction problems. On the radio, it’s perfect, almost without a hitch.

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

Alexandra, who minutes earlier had the entire studio laughing with her ‘joke’ line, says the radio show and workshops helped her overcome her shyness. “I still have some left! But I am more comfortable in my conversation. I’m more relaxed. Radio helped me to change, to work on the mind. Under his inseparable hood, Jean-Philippe’s ugly face can be seen. “Radio is good. The show, like a workshop, allows us to forget our disability. »

Jean-Philippe talks about his work as a volunteer at Restos du Coeur.


Jean-Philippe talks about his work as a volunteer at Restos du Coeur. “The show, like a workshop, allows us to forget our disability. »

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

“Their attendance is impressive”

Since no one is better served than himself, Nicolas begins to read two poems he wrote, “these are my thoughts to myself”, as he says. He then continues with questions to Aurore Kimberley, a singer from Langon. When the young woman realizes it’s “comfortable to take part in the show”, Nicolas takes her at her word and asks her to improvise a song she likes. A cappella, the guest sings a verse of “I walk alone” by Jean-Jacques Goldman. Once out of the studio, he admits “his happiness to share these moments with these people whose hearts are in their hands. Radio allows them to be a little in the light and gives them courage. »

Nicolas Poems: “My Thoughts”

Life: “Life is good and you should use it because a spark can overturn everything; it can be strong and not very acceptable; but the most important thing is to live in the present moment. Sometimes there is sadness but also happiness; life flies so grab it. »
Second poem: “One day maybe I will come to you and maybe I will tell you all my secret thoughts. I hope you will understand and tell me what is inside you. When your eyes shine on me, I tremble to the end of my eyelashes, I feel like a child. All the people will tell me the same words, and they will end up taking me as a fool. I think of you when you are far from me. And I will tell you to let it go because you are still here. Please don’t go! »

Tuesday, October 18, in the old people’s home in La Réole, a radio workshop begins under the direction of Francis Virepinte and Patricia, a professional teacher. He realizes that “it is a good meeting place for the fifteen residents who come regularly to this therapeutic activity based on commitment. Their attendance is impressive. What a long way for others! »

Patricia, professional teacher and Benjamin, during a radio workshop at the medical reception center in La Réole.


Patricia, professional teacher and Benjamin, during a radio workshop at the medical reception center in La Réole.

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

“We will start with a small overview of last week’s show. I would like there to be no noise, because you must not forget that your microphone is open, “remembers Francis, to Betty, Michel, Gérard, Benjamin, Alexandra, Nicolas and Jean-Philippe. In addition to the three song selections announced on November 3 (Sardou, Renaud and Collectif Métisé), several interviews are being recorded.

Betty with Francis Virepinte.


Betty with Francis Virepinte.

Thierry David/SOUTH AND BEAUTIFUL

Jean-Philippe recounts his morning as a volunteer at Restos du Coeur in La Réole. “I love it, even if it’s tiring to lift boxes and boxes. But it is friendly. The team is serious about me. There are many people in poverty. I am happy to bring you prosperity. It is important to help others. »

Gathered in front of the buildings of the REM radio station, after the live broadcast of


Gathered in front of the buildings of the REM radio station, after the live broadcast of “Les Rires olé du FAM” on Tuesday, October 13.

CENTIMETERS