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Title: Post-produced cultures : meta-images, aesthetics and the Hawzas
Author: Fusari, Massimiliano
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2013
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The present work explores my practice as a photojournalist researching anthropological issues in the Muslim world. I use the Hawzas, the Muslim Shi’a seminaries, as my case study to invite a visually informed approach to the human sciences, and promote a practical usage of aesthetics. Because of the dramatic disproportion between socio-cultural relevance and under-representation, the Hawzas offer an extremely valuable opportunity to research issues of Orientalism and Orientalist visual archives. By questioning my own fieldwork practice alongside the visual signification of the Hawzas, I reconnect the pre-production to the post-production phase, and encompass within it a shared outlook issues of both the Real and the represented. I posit the photograph within wider multimedia and multi-audience practices as a stand-alone communicative device and part of a montage to assess its communicative features in relation to the verbal as a caption, and to the visual, in montage. Through this, I distinguish a phenomenological framework of analysis to urge a radical rethinking of personal and social agencies, and suggest the notion of communicative hubs for today’s globalised identities. I evince the extent to which the digital is reshaping forms of visual-led and multimedia production, knowledge distribution and media consumption to finally contextualise the photograph as ‘semantics without ontology.’ I conclude by advocating my ideas of the ‘Meta- Image’ and ‘Public Cultures 2.0’ as two integrated formats for visual-led communication, digital media practice, social engagement and public impact as specifically addressing Muslim cultures.
Supervisor: Gleave, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Digital Cultures ; Visual Cultures ; Post-Production ; Islam ; Hawza ; Shi'a ; Photography ; Photojournalism ; Practice-derived PhD ; Anthropology of Islam ; Aesthetics ; Orientalism ; Ethnography ; Fieldwork ; Multimedia Representation ; Media Cultures ; Montage ; Phenomenology ; Communication