Media Ethnography and the Non-archived: An Archaeological Exploration of Transient Media Forms in Bengal

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Dattatreya Ghosh


Lack of archival materials and objects appears as a primary challenge to follow the framework of media archaeology while conducting research in history of media and communications in India. This paper will try to look at video halls and video tapes as the transient media spaces and objects. In case of West Bengal, video tapes and video halls are important part of media history about which little has been written or researched. While researching on these transient media forms, media ethnography becomes the primary method. This paper will try to look into the process of writing media history of scarcely archived media forms following the method of media archaeology an question how media ethnography becomes the most important process in cases of absence of archival materials. This paper will also try to enquire how media ethnography unfolds a different narrative of media history which is otherwise absent in the material archives or institutional records. As a result, the history of the intermedia transactions shaped through media ethnography presents different histories of other media like film and television also. I argue that this new media history formed through media ethnography also uncovers newer dimensions of cultural history of Bengal.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Individual Sessions: Digital Culture Media, Transmedia, Intermedia