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VIDEO: Radiolab Presents: Radio Ambulante

Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 01:38 PM

Yohandra and Gerson (Photo Credit: Josu Tueba Leiva)

Our story Los Frikis was a collaboration with Radio Ambulante, who produced a story of their own about two of the last surviving frikis, Yohandra and Gerson. They've also made a translated video of their Spanish-language piece and we're thrilled to share it with you.


Reporter Luis Trelles went to visit Yohandra and Gerson in the sanitarium where they still reside, still punks and still alive, though all their fellow frikis have died.  




Yohandra Cardoso, Gerson Govea and Luis Trelles


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Comments [7]

Rebecca Hardin from Ann Arbor, MI

So moving, both music and the images. Reminds me of our radio broadcast on week on African metal groups...check it out at

May. 08 2015 11:19 PM

Brilliant and so very important to listen to the stories of Yohandra and Gerson. A tragic way to honor the Frikis who died w/o knowing what AIDS was.

Apr. 08 2015 01:56 PM
Kyra Soleil Dawe from United States

Listened to both versions. (ugh yes polylingual radiolab)
Really dig the stories.
Also wonder why each rendition went with the direction they did: Radiolab with the teenage fad to Radio Ambulante and Luis' character analysis. I'd like to see a mixture of in both, but, whatever because they were both done really well.

Have shown the english version to friends and also enjoy the parallels it has with folk punk and a new generation of peaceful protesters. Je ne sais pais.

Keep it up with the multilingual podcasts absolutely love it.

Dedicated listener and amateur extraordinaire,
Kyra Soleil

Apr. 04 2015 03:03 AM
Jaime from Madrid, Spain

I listened to both stories, each independently of the other, and one thing caught my attention: Radiolab's English version was a story of desperation. There was a really blunt exposition of the Cuban slogan at the time that offered the alternatives 'Socialism or death'. Confronted with it, the Frikis (El Bala, particularly, was pointed as the first) would have chosen death and injected themselves.

Radio Ambulante's Spanish version was a story of poor choices by teenagers who saw the marvel of Cuban medicine as capable of finding a cure sooner rather than later, and providing really good living arrangements to Aids victims in the meantime.

I myself find the first option is probably closer to reality, although I am the first to admit that's just my prejudice, and there may well have been a mixture of both.

Whatever the case, I would really love to know how the editorial decision was made for each program.

Apr. 03 2015 04:20 PM
Robin Datta from Fresno, CA 93720

שלום עליכם

Both my parents were commissioned officers in the Royal Indian Army during the Second World War; so the transition was within a single generation from Bengali and Telegu to Queen's English.

Should you use a language other than English for your audio, I would insist that it be Urdu. Just as reasonably, many others will insist on many other languages, as Americans come from everywhere. Prudence wuold therefore dictate that you should stick to English.

Apr. 03 2015 10:32 AM
Nancy from Williamsburg, va

I listened to this one in Spanish. Thank you for doing their amazing story. I especially appreciated getting to hear their voices . Nice to see the international potential of radiolab.

Apr. 03 2015 07:02 AM
Collin Bryan from From Ca in Grapevine, tx

This is still a very cool story. Honestly, I might have gotten some blood too if we were another time ;)

Apr. 02 2015 10:12 PM

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