BRACCIO 5 – Andrea Cocco – RAI – Italy

subtitled video | 26 min


Braccio 5 – radio signals from Regina Coeli prison is the result of a radio laboratory realized inside the oldest existing prison in Rome, Italy.
From 15 April to 22 June 2018 a group of detainees meet every week in the institute’s multimedia room, located under section 5.
They conducted live shows (it was not possible to make a real broadcast), made imaginary interviews, (not given permission to have guests from outside), they produced a science fiction audio story.
The result is a collective narrative of what happens in one of the least told penitentiaries in Rome.

Aired on Radio Rai Tre, Braccio 5 is a path in which prisoners, who have rigorously invented names, guide listeners through the corridors, cells and the many things that you never stop learning.

#Braccio 5, is a production of Ilde Sonora and the result of REC, a project carried out together with PID, Pronto Intervento Disagio, with the contribution of the Otto per mille of the Chiesa Valdese.
The radio laboratory was curated by: Andrea Cocco together with Marzia Coronati and Nerina Schiavo
Voices: Max, Dr Gin, Zickyman, Cubano, Giangio, Brecciolino, Andrea Vestitenbene, Candy Candy, Professò, Erre, Effe

Director and Editing by

Andrea Cocco


9 thoughts on “BRACCIO 5 – Andrea Cocco – RAI – Italy


    These are not prison stories.
    These are signals transmitted to us from inaccessible place by those of whom we only know they are there.
    Short and laconic like messages communicated via Morse code, discretely appearing at some points of the story.

    Who is sending the signals to US?
    We will never know.
    We will never know their true names or origins.
    We will never know why they have been imprisoned or for how long.
    But perhaps we will learn something more important than facts?
    Their voices – rough or soft; laughter, irony, distance or reverie reaching our ears; the distance from the microphone denoting the trust or lack of it – this is how sounds transmit knowledge about a human being.
    And eventually, the music – masterly mixed with the voices, serving as an extra code that needs to be decoded if we want to see the presented figures through … the author’s eyes. Perhaps it is the music that has glued the short messages transmitted to the world into a single story.

    The prisoners of ‘Regina Coeli’ briefly communicate to us what the word “LEARNING” means to them.

    And what can we LEARN from this programme about the radio?

  2. Bravissimo! Radio is giving prisoners more and more and more of a voice and we outside need to hear these voices. Thank you Andrea Cocco..such exquisite editing..and the voices full of wisdom, humour, fear, sadness. I learnt so much and I will make that cafe con limone!

  3. Wow! What a great first contribution to hear at this conference. It makes me want to hear more… more episodes from the world of doctor gin, ziky man and the other inmates.
    What gets me most is the amount of self-empowerment that lies in that feature. Therefore – with regard to the question asked in the opening statement – this programme teaches me better than anything else I could imagine that radio gives a voice to people. To people who´s voices we wouldn´t hear otherwise. I could hear the fun the men had by expressing themselves, but also the seriousness in moments of selfreflection. There were great moments of getting an insight into the protagonists minds. In moments like the interview with the PID women you could also hear that its the inmates who are in control of the interview – which created again a sense of self-empowerment. I think it was good to give the recorder to the inmates and therefor give them power over the outcome. If I could ask the makers questions now I would be interested most in what instructions they gave the protagonists.
    And finally the musical composition was great too. I was especially excited about the beginning when the music and the voices of the protagonist melted together to something near to HipHop/Rap. Just great.

  4. Hello all, listening to the programs together with Alfred Koch, Claudia Gschweitl, Monika Kalcsics und Johanna Hirzberger:)
    To Braccio: fine pace, strong images (the interview room, the corridor…) good soundwork! Thank you for that. We weren´t so sure about the interview with the social worker. Didn´t fit into the atmosphere.

    1. The interview with the social worker was included mainly because it was a beautiful moment inside the laboratory in prison. The inmates handled the interview (and the rudimentary radio that we have set up inside) in a very direct and spontaneous way, bringing out their perplexities and curiosities. A sort of reversal of roles takes place here between inmates and the outside world and this is an aspect that I personally find very interesting. I agree that this moment doesn’t fit very well into the rhythm of the narrative. But we decided to keep it anyway

  5. Hi everyone. I was seduced by the rythm of begining of this audio story. Mixing words ans sounds is perfect. It is kind of radio collage which shows that we can talk about prison in very different way. The inmates are “playing radio” and author takes up the game. But playing he, as the author, has to be master of the game and here question of silence comes up. Of course music and soundscapes are kind of binder but to hear properly we need silence at least from time to time. There is no tension without silence which speaks more than thousand words and sounds. I would like to hear Morse code emerging from nowhere, or description of cell in total silence, I would like to hear voice singing directly to my ear…. I would like to be close to be inside but I am not because of it beautifully composed sounds of music soundscapes. sometimes we have to trust in our protagonist and in what they tell us.

  6. Hello Andrea!

    It feels like it would be tempting to make a story upon the prisoners’ past – but I admire the fact that it’s about their future. As listeners, we follow their reintegration path, and we feel connected. What was their motivation to participate?

    1. Hi Vladimir ! .. thanks i really like that you have grasped the future here .. regarding the reasons that led the inmates to participate I would say that mostly it is boredom and lack of alternatives. Some asked to participate not even knowing that was about radio!! but then they liked it and stayed

  7. Hi, I am very sorry to ask this as non native english speaker but why are the english subtitles done in such a lousy way? Spelling is completly off and it was, in a way, ruining my experience with the podcast. Anyway my real question is why did you decide to completely omit the personal histories of the speakers/prisoners? I would still listen to the people talking to me and I would appreciate anything they have to say, but to be perfectly honest I was able to get rid off the question in my mind – What have they done to get there? Are we listening to thieves or scammers or drug dealers or murderers or rapists..? Was there any selection process? Did you choose these people anyhow?

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