Since March this year, seven short term research fellows have been involved with The Sarai Programme and carried out various studies on digital and social media. On Saturday, October 11, we are organising a research sharing workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their works with a selected group of discussants.
The workshop will be held at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, #29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines.
Below are the links to the research updates shared by the research fellows so far.
Anand Kumar Jha
“The camera and the interface both exhibit a black box character. People who use them know very little about how they work. That black box ceases to exist after a point in the interaction with a human. What remains is a very simplified/ distorted over the hood personality of the product which exhibits a willing slave like behavior, rarely giving any idea of its intelligence or intent it possesses. This research question looks at the relationship of the interface-camera with the user, bringing forth the question of agency and intent…”
“My project looks at two contemporary phenomena in the Kerala mediascape—the emergence of the “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’s highly media saturated space which boasts of, among other things, more than ten 24 hour news channels…”
“The protests, which began in 2008, gave rise to the need for media through which the situation in Kashmir could pierce the mountains veiling Kashmir and reach the world. When media was gaged in Kashmir, Kashmiris became desperate to make their voices heard. However, much of the mainstream media in India – due to editorial policy, pressure from various quarters or collusion – failed to meet the aspirations of Kashmir. For Kashmiris, it was the time to look beyond the conventional. It was the time to look for the alternative…”
“The advent of new media has had a profound impact on the politics of memory, history and memorialisation. In an age where memory and media mutually shape each other as people utilise media technologies for ‘creating and recreating a sense of past, present and future,’ social media and digital archives becomes an integral part of this ‘mediated memory’ of Internet users. The digital archive is the repository of multidimensional alternate narratives that challenge the hegemony of official history and is ‘transformed, mediatized, networked, and part of the newly accessible and highly connected new memory ecology.’ Moreover, digital participatory microhistory, where users generate historical material by sharing their experiences, democratise the often elitist traditional archival record that privileges the experiences and thoughts of the elite as source material…”
“Unlike the tech savvy power users who are equipped with high end computing gadgets and are multiply connected through high speed broadband, peer to peer networks and social media networks that are used extensively to source, circulate and share media content, most of the users that I am talking about in this project have experienced digital mainly through mobile phones (leapfrogging computers). Their access to the Internet, albeit irregular and infrequent, is mainly via mobile phones (packet data). Consumption and circulation of media content amongst these users occur largely offline and outside the social media and other platforms erected by the informational corporate as well as tech savvy power user communities…”
“While the state and the NGO blame the illiteracy, unawareness and resistance to change in villages for the failure of high-tech e-governance services, I observed the rural people – both users and non-users – re-constructing the meanings of digital technologies and a few those who have managed to gain access appropriating it contextually, and thus co-evolving with a new material culture. Simply put, people in the villages were not being objects of development which the state or even NGOs imagine them to be, and were engaging with the new digital technologies as per their own context…”
“I am deeply interested in the careful technical packaging of the sting video – these include meticulous breakdown of the stock footage that is to be used (shots of parliament, police forces, bureaucracy etc), text/supers used, the subtitles, filters used, title music commissioned etc during the whole sting assemblage). I am also interested in the various post-production effects often deployed to accentuate the sense of authenticity/truth to the sting footage. This sometimes entails using filters on the audio to make it sound lower quality than it actually is, muffled, distant yet legible. Similarly the videos are very often given a hazier, shakier low-resolution feel to imbue a greater a sense of ‘authenticity’ to them (stings for some reason, can never happen in HD in India, they work superbly with 240p, but never high definition…”