TM 7 workshop: Media and the Political: Notes from the field

Date: 24 June 2022

Venue: CSDS and Zoom

About the workshop:

This workshop features presentations exploring a multi-sited articulation of media and the political. Themes include a political exploration of the Bangladesh censor board archives in the 1980s; a historical and contemporary collection of sedition cases that focuses on media material assembled as evidence; a focus on different types and intensities of political affect traceable through websites, blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Whatsapp groups, through hate speech, fake videos, memes and Gifs, stand-up comedians and influencers. How and under what conditions does media become acceptable as evidence in courts of law and what types of scrutiny and forensic investigation are media artefacts subject to? How do agencies that lie outside police investigation and courts of law conduct investigation, gather testimony and media material, and to what ends? How do humanitarian activists, civil liberties groups, legal activists, forensic labs and alt-news practitioners deal with the proliferating video circulation that functions as an actant in our misinformed times? We also consider the hype and the practice, the entrepreneurial pitch and the political calculation that define data-driven publicity in strategies to target voters and shape consumer behaviour. From the IT cells of political parties to the data-analytic startup, claims to know and shape economic, cultural and political subjects involve a new level of technological ambition.

These presentations are based on research conducted with the support of Thematic Module 7, “Media and the Constitution of the Political” of ICAS: MP, and mentored by Sarai CSDS. We are pleased that Fathima Nizaruddin, CSDS/Sarai affiliate, will also make a presentation from her work on Whatsapp groups.

Presentations by:

Arpana Awwal, Sumedha Chakravarthy, Sonali Chugh, Lotte Hoek, Shruti Kaushik, Fathima Nizaruddin, Sagorika Singha, Susan Sreemala Yadavalli

Discussants:

Ramnath Bhatt, Ravi Sundaram, Ravi Vasudevan.


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