Animating Community: Reflexivity and Identity in Indian Animation Production Culture

Jones, Timothy (2014) Animating Community: Reflexivity and Identity in Indian Animation Production Culture. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Animating Community examines the cultural practices of animators in India, and particularly the role of practitioner testimony in conceiving and negotiating social structures underpinning the nascent Indian animation industry. Recognizing a tendency in practitioner accounts towards theorization of contested industrial discourses, this research takes as its object the reflexive practice of animators in trade texts and interviews. These reveal how local practitioners understand production culture as an emergent phenomenon, resulting from learned processes of negotiation and collective action. However, practitioner testimony also reflects dramatically different degrees of agency in cultural production and discourse. Focusing on the identity work of diverse creative professionals – corporate elites, freelancers, teachers, and students – reveals underlying tensions between global industrial constraints and local social capital.
Based on discursive analysis of testimony, this thesis asks how Indian animation practitioners conceive of their creative activity and identity in relation to negotiating a culture of animation production, and how the shared discourses and modes of engagement that result both shape and are shaped by institutional structures. These questions are addressed through practitioner accounts in three sectors of Indian animation: first, the context of production – considering large outsourcing firms and smaller studios; second, the provision of education – instruction in skills and social norms supplied by the public and private sectors; and third, the creation of dedicated community structures – professional organizations and trade information networks. Animating Community is most interested in how local media professionals articulate different discourses from aesthetic to economic value in order to approach an imagined sense of cultural identity. This sheds light on the way practitioners make sense of their creative and professional worlds. Ultimately, the conclusions offered in this project argue for a more nuanced conception of the relationship between critical practice and creative labour, and greater understanding of the different contexts where this may emerge.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2015 11:04
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 11:04

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