• WhatsApp in Sierra Leone : burning bridges or building them?

      Silverman, Jon; ; University of Bedfordshire (Indiana University Press, 2020-11-19)
      The text messaging application WhatsApp has been heavily criticized for acting as a vehicle for the spread of misinformation and unsubstantiated rumour, leading, in some parts of the world, to violence and even death. But the closed nature of WhatsApp groups has presented a structural problem as a subject for credible social science research. A collaborative project between the Universities of Bedfordshire (UK) and Sierra Leone has tracked messaging in an experimental student WhatsApp group using critical discourse analysis in order to generate a deeper understanding of discursive influences in a fragile society. It asks whether the affordance of a WhatsApp group necessarily amplifies offline polarizations and explores routes to consensuality in a divided post-conflict state. It concludes that more robust interventions by group administrators could foster free speech while avoiding the need for intrusive regulation from outside agencies. Key words – social media; discourse; rumours; WhatsApp;ethno-regional;divisive
    • On touching and speaking in (post) (de) colonial discourse - from lessing to Marechera and Veit-Wild

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2016-09-19)
      Jean-Luc Nancy in his seminal book on the body and its significance in history of philosophy Corpus makes a point that the body and the discussions about it ought to be open. He says that in reflecting on it he did not want to: produce the effect of a closed or finite thing, because when we talk about the body we talk about something entirely opposed to the closed and the finite. With the body, we speak about something open and infinite, about the opening of closure itself, the infinite of the finite itself. (2008: 122) This particular reflection came upon him whilst walking through the streets of Paris to give a lecture on the body. Suddenly, he heard about the atrocities in Bosnia and felt compelled to abandon his well-prepared talk and instead find an open space to talk about the links between the body, the soul and our place in the world. He says in his book, “Body is certitude shattered and blown to bits” (ibid.: 3), a phrase that in the age of terrorist attacks sounds particularly ominous.
    • Veils and sensors: an artistic intervention with archival moving image material

      Egbe, Amanda (2020-09-15)
      This demonstration showcases experiments, and interventions with moving image archival materials by the author. The outcomes reflect a wider research into duplication practices in digital moving image archival practices. Artistic interventions are utilised to explore the technological and cultural gestures of these practices. The demonstrations are in the form of moving images artworks employing standard projection and mixed reality.
    • The "soft" power of Syrian broadcasting

      Halabi, Nour; Mellor, Noha (Routledge, 2020-11-30)
    • Routledge handbook on Arab media

      Mellor, Noha; Miladi, Noureddine (Routledge, 2020-11-30)
      This Handbook provides the first comprehensive reference book in English about the development of mass and social media in all Arab countries. Capturing the historical as well as current developments in the media scene, this collection maps the role of media in social and political movements. Contributors include specialists in the field from North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Each chapter provides an overview of the history, regulatory frameworks and laws governing the press, and socio-political functions of the media. While the geopolitical complexities of the region have been reflected in the expert analyses collectively, the focus is always the local context of each member state. All 37 chapters consider the specific historical, political and media trajectories in each country, to provide a contextual background and foundation for further study about single states or comparative analysis in two or more Arab states. Capturing significant technological developments and the widespread use of social media, this all-inclusive volume on Arab media is a key resource for students and scholars interested in journalism, media and Middle East studies.
    • The crisis in public communication and the pursuit of authenticity: an analysis of the Twitter feeds of Scottish MPs 2008-2010

      Margaretten, Mark; Gaber, Ivor (Oxford University Press, 2012-08-07)
      Twitter has made deep inroads into political communications over the past three years. It allows for endless real-time worldwide discussions, and is increasingly being used by politicians to engage citizens. However, this article considers how and whether Twitter opens up possibilities for gauging 'authentic' dialogue between politicians and citizens. 'Authentic talk' has been identified as 'spontaneous, unrehearsed discourse', and we suggest, in the context of crisis in public communication and its lament about the current state of political communication, that it may be an important component in the reconstruction of political trust between politicians and people. This article examines Twitter's use in presenting to citizens an 'authentic' view of Scottish Members of Parliament (MPs) and its conveyance of trust. In order to identify authentic talk, a content analysis has been undertaken on the entirety of Scottish MPs' tweets (n= 14,066) between 25 December 2008 (the earliest recorded tweet made by a Scottish MP) to 7 August 2010. Using bespoke content analysis software we mine this data set to identify occurrences of both authentic discourse and civic engagement. The findings conclude that authenticity is being conveyed and is quantifiable, opening a new avenue for the study of crisis theory. © The Author [2012].
    • Disrupting historical mis-representations and constructions: Talawa Theatre, Tiata Fahodzi and representations of polyphonic Africa on contemporary London stage

      Ukaegbu, Victor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-12-31)
      Historically, the representations of Africa on the London stage mirror the prevailing socio-political conditions of different periods of Africa-British encounters. Each period is characterised by a distinctive socio-culturally motivated system of thought that both defined and shaped the resulting encounters. In the words of art critic and novelist David Dabydeen, early representations of Africa on the London stage showed an Africa many would not recognise today; theatrically Africa was cast as under-developed, a curiosity and aesthetic foil in which the humanity of the characters and continent were effaced. After WW2, Africa and Black were rolled into one socio-cultural category globally and remained that way from the late 1950s to the early days of postcolonial writings when playwrights and critics such as Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, and Stuart Hall began to de-stabilize cultural classifications about monolithic Africa and Black cultures. The subsequent rise of issue-based theatre companies and small venues hosting and producing a more mixed offering of plays on Africa and African characters led to a significant shift in representations of Africa on the London stage, enabling outfits such as Talawa and Fahodzi Theatres and a newer generation of playwrights such as Maria Oshodi, Tunde Ikoli, Dipo Agboluaje to highlight a wide range of characters and different African and Black British cultural nationalities on London stages.
    • Book review: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Arab Press: The First Three Decades

      Mellor, Noha (Middle East Institute, 2019-12-01)
      Book review of: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Arab Press: The First Three Decades By William W. Haddad Intellect Books 9781783209101
    • Machine learning of symbolic compositional rules with genetic programming: dissonance treatment in Palestrina

      Anders, Torsten; Inden, Benjamin; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham Trent University (PeerJ, 2019-12-16)
      We describe a method for automatically extracting symbolic compositional rules from music corpora. Resulting rules are expressed by a combination of logic and numeric relations, and they can therefore be studied by humans. These rules can also be used for algorithmic composition, where they can be combined with each other and with manually programmed rules. We chose genetic programming (GP) as our machine learning technique, because it is capable of learning formulas consisting of both logic and numeric relations. GP was never used for this purpose to our knowledge. We therefore investigate a well understood case in this study: dissonance treatment in Palestrina’s music. We label dissonances with a custom algorithm, automatically cluster melodic fragments with labelled dissonances into different dissonance categories (passing tone, suspension etc.) with the DBSCAN algorithm, and then learn rules describing the dissonance treatment of each category with GP. Learning is based on the requirement that rules must be broad enough to cover positive examples, but narrow enough to exclude negative examples. Dissonances from a given category are used as positive examples, while dissonances from other categories, melodic fragments without dissonances, purely random melodic fragments, and slight random transformations of positive examples, are used as negative examples.
    • Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope and the campaign to control the film industry

      Egbe, Amanda; Op den Kamp, C. (2016-07-22)
      This paper is concerned with the cultural implications of legal decisions around the invention and patenting of projection technologies. In the early 1900s Thomas Edison won a patent suit against his main competitor Biograph, a decision that stunned the industry, because Biograph seemed to be in the best position to oppose Edison’s dominance. The technical innovator behind Biograph’s technology, W.K.L. Dickson, had originally developed Edison’s own motion picture technology, the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope. If anyone understood how to avoid infringing Edison’s patents, it was Dickson. With a focus on Edison v Biograph and Edison v Lubin, this paper will highlight the surprising shift in intellectual property regimes from patent to copyright that followed. As a counterfactual exercise, this paper will play with the idea of what cinema today would have looked like if Edison’s campaign to control the film industry by controlling the technology would have succeeded. What difference would it have made if films would have been protected under the patent regime as part of the hardware (based on the assumption that projection was an integral element of the film), as opposed to under copyright as part of the software, as they did? And how does that help us understand the role of projection within the history of cinema?
    • The ethics and intimacies of moving images

      Egbe, Amanda (2016-11-07)
      Firstly consider a way of thinking about the relationships between images as constituted through a media archaeological approach.This archaeology provides a foundation to think about how moving images are duplicated/reproduced. That is it becomes a concern for how moving images constitute multiple modes of reality through the process of duplication, seen through the variable ways in which the optical printer has been utilised as an archival tool, a materialist instrument and tool of special effects. It then reflects upon Jakob von Uexkull’s notion of umwelt to consider an ecology of images, as a problematising practice to allow for the reading of moving images as both apparatus and content overcoming the dichotomy between technological and cultural readings of the moving image. This is done with recourse to Aby Warburg’s assemblage practice of the Mnemosyne Atlas project, but is not the subject of this paper. The paper further problematizes this notion of the relations of moving images as being an ethical relationship. By suggesting that notions of Levinas’s ethics in relation to this tentative practice of moving image archival practice, can illuminate how moving image practices, in their duplication can be perceived beyond their instrumentalising, in their aspect of technological apparatus, but rather as a co-constitution of filmmaker, apparatus and viewer constituting realities.
    • Activating media, memory and resistances: Where were you in 1992?

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2018-07-04)
      This paper will bring to the fore the resisting character of moving image materials situated as tactical and strategic, through their activation by archival and media practices. Where Were You in 1992? is a multi-platform time-based project that contends with the technologies and practices of activism. Starting from the anti-racist struggle in the UK and the resistance to ethno-nationalism in Yugoslavia, it explores the legacy of European 'liberalism', ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘social cohesion’. It contrasts these with notions of solidarity, anti-racism, and anti-authoritarianism. It gathers hitherto unseen or forgotten testimonies, still and moving images, minutes, leaflets, banners and working notes from individuals and organisations. The project uses the open source archive and notation platform pan.do/ra, and an archive established at the MayDay Rooms archive in London. The paper is concerned with how to mobilise audio-visual materials, testimony and metadata to investigate a global historical situation and map parallels between the social spaces of grassroots activism of the 1990s. Specifically the paper will focus on how specific moments of differing scale, such as the shift between analogue and digital (longue durée) on one hand, and the subjective description of political actions (historical events) on the other hand can be brought together in montage.
    • Viewing, listening and waiting: explorations of the visual representations of anti-racism, anti-war and anti-nationalist protest

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-07-05)
      This presentation further explores the artistic frameworks developed in the project Where Were You in 1992? The project explores anti-racism, anti-fascism,anti war and anti-nationalist political action, beginning with the struggles of antifascism and racism in the UK to anti war and nationalism in Yugoslavia. The project through recourse to media strategies of montage from art historian Aby Warburg, through to artist, filmmaker Jean Luc Goddard, brings audio-visual content together with personal testimony to map the strategies of media activism in the 90’s. The presentation seeks to engage with activists at IIPPE to investigate the media archive of Where Were You in 1992? to explore notions and gestures of “waiting” that permeate political action, connecting their own experiences of activism with those in the archive.
    • Where were you in 1992?: fighting racism, fascism and nationalism, activism in the 90s

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-02-08)
      Presentation and screening of Where Were You in 1992?: Rumours of War to the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University
    • Where were you in 1992?: surveillance - monitoring

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-07-03)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 10 mins
    • Where were you in 1992? : rumours of war

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2018-04-28)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 15mins
    • Listening, looking, acting: archiving resistance against racism and nationalism in the 1990’s, through online audio-visual materials

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-09-20)
      The concern of this paper is to reflect upon the movements of anti-racism and anti-nationalism that have been analysed through the moving-image based project Where Were You in 1992? ​ The paper outlines, through a series of case studies (of single screen works, an online archive and interactive moving image panels) between the UK and post/Yugoslavia, how an interdisciplinary framework can be developed to work with audio-visual archives to elaborate new knowledge through old materials.