Research fellow in Creative Industries @ Creative Industries
Dr. Hanna Klien-Thomas is a research fellow in Creative Industries and her research is situated in transnational screen studies, visual and popular cultures. Based on a digital ethnographic approach, her current research project explores media practices and notions of public culture in the context of Caribbean Carnival in the UK. Her PhD project focused on Bollywood audiences in the Anglophone Caribbean and was funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Geographical location :
Research Area and Interest : media practices and notions of public culture in the context of Caribbean Carnival in the UK
- Summary: During the Covid-19 crisis, Caribbean Carnival organisations in the UK have created a broad range of digital programmes, which highlight both the creative potential of networked digital communication as well as the limitations of the virtual experience. The pandemic has also fundamentally shaped how practitioners and participants perceive the role of the digital in the festival. Grounded in an understanding of digitalisation as an ongoing process affecting all areas of social and cultural life before and beyond the pandemic, my research seeks to provide insights into how social actors negotiate the shift towards the digital within wider public discourses and power dynamics. This paper is based on qualitative interviews with Caribbean Carnival practitioners and participants in Greater London, reflecting on their experiences and the impact of the pandemic on their media practices. The analysis shows how notions of ‘virtual carnival’ are perceived and contested in relation to pre-configured boundaries of technological possibilities privileging some forms of engagement over others. In their negotiations, interview partners challenge the idea of new technology as inherently progressive, implying their own agency in shaping digital spaces as well as making digital labour visible.