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Digital Histories of Partition: Memory, Archives and the Narration of a ‘South Asian’ Identity Online
By focusing on the transnational South Asian histories, national and diasporic identities negotiated online through Partition-related narratives and archives, this project will interrogate the effect of new media technologies on South Asian memory and history. Memories of Partition stand at the crossroads of the personal and the political, by being a personal tale of displacement and trauma that is also simultaneously a constitutive moment in the construction of national identity and the birth of the nation-state. This dissonance is exemplified in the digital archiving of memories and histories of Partition.
Digital Divide, Online Offense: Malayalee House, “Pandit Phenomenon” and Morality Debates in Contemporary Kerala
My project looks at two contemporary phenomena in the Kerala mediascape — the emergence of “internet celebrity” Santhosh Pandit, and the recent reality TV show, Malayalee House, both of which have been amplified by the digital-social media’s potential to unsettle intended trajectories and uses of media circulation. In corollary, these have also inaugurated new ways of thinking about what it is to be a “media celebrity” in Kerala.
Users access the web through the interface generating an event, captured as a log in the server. Millions of these events get parsed through filters to be analyzed on dashboards, another interface. Dashboards then optimize the user facing interface to streamline and increase the number of events happening… I was interested to find out if there were more ways in which an interface mimics the camera.
While the problems of technological determinism, digital divide and the larger politics of knowledge and development are multifaceted and evoke extreme opinions ranging from technophilia to dystopia, there are some key ideas like interpretive flexibility of technology and context sensitive appropriation and access, which could help us engage in a nuanced debate on the relationships of society and technology. In case of ICTs, the interpretive flexibility is further problematized by their ability to liquidate space and time.
This project tries to understand the changing socio dynamics of access to media content in India with the spread of mobile phones, and intends to trace the new techno social networks of users and other actors that form to gain such access. The research focus will be on users and user groups with limited technological means and access (such as security guards, auto drivers and vegetable vendors etc).
The Call for Proposals for the Short Term Research Projects in Social and Digital Media attracted over 80 applications from all over the country, and it took a careful scrutiny of all the applications to reach our decision. We got applications from scholars as well as practitioners, young researchers and older, and proposals looked at a wide range of themes. Please take a look at the excerpts from selected proposals for this year’s Short Term Research Projects in Social Media.
The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, invites proposals from individuals for research projects on contemporary social and digital media, its ecologies and histories. Research is supported by a project grant from the Indian Council of Social Science Research.
Compilation of selected abstracts from the 2006-2007 round of Independent Fellowship Programme.
Each year From 2001-02 to 2006-07, we supported a number of independent and often interdisciplinary projects. This has been key to Sarai’s design of a distributed research network. We see this as a foundation for a network of socially available, publicly accessible knowledge in contemporary cultural, intellectual and technological practice. Broadly, the fellowships supported work on the interface between popular culture, urban space and technological creativity. They engage with the creativity of the Indian street, its visual and sensory dynamism, its spirit of experimentation, improvisation and enterprise.
During 2001-08, every year we hosted a small number of residencies at Sarai. Residents were mainly new media artists from South Asia as well as from Australia, Europe and the US. Below is a list of the artists-in-residence over these years.