Diasporic orchestrations: a database narrative of Australian and Bulgarian cultural entanglements

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Krastev, Krasimir (2012) Diasporic orchestrations: a database narrative of Australian and Bulgarian cultural entanglements. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


As a research undertaking conducted in a multimodal and multiplatform environment, this research project experiments with media and semiotic resources whose potential for producing cultural knowledge often remains underutilized and underappreciated. By challenging conventional ways of doing research that rest exclusively on the medium of written language and testing novel means of presenting and disseminating research data, the study casts light on the unexplored and underrated capacity of the moving image and new media technologies in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. The research study consists of a digital component in the form of an online interactive environment populated with multimedia content and an exegesis that provides cues on how the former should be comprehended and, at the same time, further elaborates on what the digital outcome of the study has only alluded.* Complementing each other, the creative and the analytical parts of the study are arbitrarily structured through rhizomatic zigzag lines with no obvious beginning and end. This fabric or hypertextual formation has to be (re)discovered anew every time the viewer or the reader engages with either of the two components. Furthermore, designed and performed as an experimental (qualitative) research, this project showcases innovative ways for conceptualizing particular socio-cultural phenomena. As soon as the reader or viewer starts (re)configuring the plenitude of fragments (i. e., engaging with the project’s written and digital textual units), s/he is confronted with a rather different paradigm for conducting interdisciplinary research – one that operates through inverted structures and privileges experimentation as an indispensable procedure for generating cultural knowledge. Thus, rather than posing research questions, collating and interpreting data, and, eventually, suggesting possible solutions to the problem under investigation, the structure of this project is ambiguous and always in a process of becoming. The research questions are being raised and formulated gradually in the mind of the reader as the project’s outcome is thoroughly explored. In addition, throughout the whole study, the collected research data (in the form of narratives of self-representation generated through a series of video interviews) evades comprehensive analysis and interpretation, which automatically precludes the possibility of drawing convenient generalizations and offering more or less manageable classifications. Instead the interview data is continuously being de- and re-contextualized and, thus, treated like any other semiotic resource utilized in the project. In this line of thoughts, the research study should be regarded first and foremost as a novel form of self-expression* brought forward through the creative practices of experimentation and improvisation with the semiotic means the author has had at his disposal. Both the creative and the analytical components of the research project feature excessive fragmentation and low degree of temporal and contingent coherence. The constructed written, verbal, audio-visual and digital texts are loosely arranged, constantly crisscross each other and unfold in a more or less random manner; nevertheless they are still able to maintain a common thematic line. The co-existence of multiple supple fields of signification, multilayered perspectives and diverse number of ways for engaging with the project’s outcome generate a rather plastic structure of crystalline texts that organically intertwines with the main theme of the work – (diasporic) identity formation in the context of global interconnectedness and incessant virtual and physical mobility. Within this research study, the diasporic is envisaged as a dynamic field of cumulative and contingent attachments to a diverse number of cultural territories.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/22014
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords socio-cultural, cultural engagement, relationships, culture, arts, multi-media project, Bulgaria, Australia
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