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Everything old is new again (and vice-versa): Documentary and transmedia activism in the analog age

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Everything old is new again (and vice-versa): Documentary and transmedia activism in the analog age

Kouchakji, Kristi (2017) Everything old is new again (and vice-versa): Documentary and transmedia activism in the analog age. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Much has been said in recent years about the role of multiple media platforms in activist documentary filmmaking, about what the filmmaker’s responsibilities in these projects are, and about what role the impact industry can or should play in activist filmmaking. While the late 20th and early 21st century proliferation of media forms, channels, and platforms does indeed present a challenge to activist filmmakers with regards to capturing public attention, questions of audience mobilization, filmmaker responsibility, and impact are as old as the genre itself.
This thesis aims to restore a historical consciousness to these contemporary debates. By examining twentieth-century documentaries as examples of transmedia activism in a pre- Facebook age, including, among others, Ravished Armenia (1919), Borinage (1934), Salt of the Earth (1954), Harlan County, USA (1976) and Punk le vote (2006), I wish to complicate the widely held notion that transmedia activism necessarily implies the use of social media. I place each project within its historical context, outlining the resultant challenges and ethical questions facing media makers while tracing a rough lineage of transmedia documentary activism. Ultimately, I argue that, while the explosion of digital and social media has made the use of multiple platforms essential to mobilizing audiences, recursive uses of and contributions to particular media ecologies through the use of multiple platforms has always been useful in this regard, and has been successfully executed many times prior to the development of an entire consulting industry based on the fetishisation of social media and data visualisation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kouchakji, Kristi
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:5 July 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Waugh, Thomas
ID Code:982765
Deposited By: KRISTI ANN KOUCHAKJI
Deposited On:09 Nov 2017 20:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
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