Religious times, media genres, and their technical execution: An ethnographic investigation of audiovisual media practices among Shi'ites in Hyderabad

Website (in German only)

The project addresses the aesthetic production of time and temporality in religious videos circulating among Shi'ite Muslims in Hyderabad, India. It will involve ethnographic research on media practices related to these videos. The project aims to explore the interrelations between the temporal structurations evident in such videos, the temporal dynamics at work in the technical reproduction of images and discourse, as well as the interpretations and experiences of time among viewers triggered by watching these videos.

The project investigates the generation of different senses of being in time through the workings of media genres, and pays attention to how the modes of operation proper to technical media influence experiences of presence and thereby experiences of time. Media production and consumption are embedded in broader media practices that are in turn part of larger social and cultural contexts that reach far beyond the engagement with media proper. This is why the projected research involves ethnographic analysis of media practices. The research will shed light on the complex interplay of video genres, technically induced time axis manipulation, the temporal dimensions of religious cosmologies, and the everyday temporalities of life in a major Indian city. The project thereby aims to foreground the media-technological conditioning of senses of being in time.