This panel explores the role of digital image-making in contemporary India. Bringing recent debates in visual anthropology, in touch with the Indian boom in digital experimentations, it will enquire the extent to which such practices are offering new forms of representing India.
This panel seeks to initiate a dialogue between anthropologists interested in digital visual culture and artists entrenched in digital practices in India. Contemporary (visual but not only) anthropology is exploring the ways in which digital platforms and practices are critically intervening in the customary (linear) format of ethnographic filmmaking and also the ways in which art and film do intersect with anthropological interests. Such new perspectives aim at going beyond the ethnographic film tradition and are challenging conventional understandings regarding the meaning of visual anthropology as well as that of images at large. In parallel to this, India has recently witnessed to a boom of innovative digital experimentations. Ranging from the renowned activities of the Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi), to the experimental digital annotation of Pad.ma (Berlin-Mumbai-Bangalore), the open space for media(tion) of Khetro (Kolkata) digital practices are mushrooming across the country offering a critical revision to the representations and forms that have characterised conventional documentary filmmaking. Positioning ourselves in the interstices between art, film and anthropology in the context of digital image-making, in this panel we encourage both practitioners and scholars to contribute with presentations which address issues concerning digital practices in contemporary India. Are such practices today offering novel ways of representing India? Are these practices subversive and marginal or are they becoming in a way a new form of hegemony? In particular, we are interested in exploring the triangular relationship between technology, aesthetics and politics. Multimedia or visual contributions are particularly welcome.