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Title: Indians, Koreans and the mediation of diasporic voices in Manila
Author: Cabanes, Jason Vincent Aquino
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This study had two key aims: to understand the how the mediation of multiculturalism in Manila marginalised the city’s Indian and Korean diasporas and, more importantly, to “interrupt” (Pinchevsky, 2005) this problematic mediation by exploring whether and how a collaborative photography exhibition project might create a space that fosters the voices of these migrants. To address these two concerns, I did life story interviews of seventeen Indian and fifteen Korean diasporas from Manila, six focus group discussions with local Filipinos from Manila, an impressionistic analysis of contemporary Philippine mainstream media, and participant observation of Shutter Stories, which was a collaborative exhibition project that I worked on together with Manila’s Indians and Koreans and with two photography scholars from one of Manila’s top universities. By weaving together these rich and diverse data sets, this study provides a nuanced counterpoint to extant works that focus on understanding multiculturalism in the cities of the developed world. In particular, it reveals that although Manila’s Indians and Koreans tend to be economically superior to the city’s local Filipinos, they are nevertheless symbolically marginalised. This is most evident in the problematic mediation of multiculturalism in Manila, the dynamics of which are characterised by what I call the cycle of strangeness and estrangement. Together with this, one other key contribution of this study is that it maps out the complexities of how a collaborative photography exhibition project might create a space for marginalised voices that can challenge dominant social discourses, such as the mediation of multiculturalism in Manila. As regards the photographic mediation of voice, this study underscores the importance of considering both how the various properties of the photograph are activated in the context of production and of consumption, as well as how the various practices of photography might be harnessed in a way that balances the call for both ethics (that is, the desire for marginalised to have a voice) and aesthetics (that is, the desire to ensure that the voices of the marginalised will be engaging enough to be heard). And as regards the social mediation of voice, this study reveals that the already difficult task of helping marginalised groups, such as migrant cultural minorities, to articulate stories that are in line with their personal life projects is made complicated by the need to also think about the much more difficult task of helping establish a society that is willing to foster such voices.
Supervisor: Kennedy, Helen ; Hesmondhalgh, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available