The fragility of détente

Jan 05, 07:54 PM

"The samples are from a shortwave radio recording of the UN Security Council broadcast in January 1980, one of the first responses to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan one month earlier. The invasion created a high level of political uncertainty, had destabilised the fragile détente (an easing of tensions) between the East and West, and had large ramifications for the future politics of the 1980s. The repeated accusations and pleas for peace by the UN Security Council inspired the track, ending in a failed resolution for a Soviet withdrawal, but the underlying thread is fuzziness and uncertainty. Where are we headed sir, that’s the question I’d like to ask."

Composition by Moray Newlands.

Part of the Shortwave Transmissions project, documenting and reimagining the sounds of shortwave radio - find out more and see the whole project at