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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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24

South Asian Digital Diasporas

Remixing Diasporic Youth Cultures

Radhika Gajjala and Yeon Ju Oh

ABSTRACT

Some present-day rearticulations of South Asian diasporas are identified through the politics of nation-state, while others take shape through more complex transnational linkages. In this chapter, Radhika Gajjala and Yeon Ju Oh focus on diasporas that have formed along transnational affective links based in fandom, popular culture, and music online. For these rearticulated South Asian diasporas, digitally produced and circulated media play a significant role. This chapter examines the techno-mediation of such diasporas through “machinima,” focusing on three examples of South Asian digital diasporic productions: (1) the work of Indusgeeks.com; (2) machinima produced by “desi” players of a computer game, World of Warcraft (WoW); and (3) the traveling meme of Daler Mehndi's “Tunak Tunak Tun” on YouTube. The authors use these examples to show how the circulation and remixing of “Bollywood” media provide nostalgic, affective engagements for diasporic South Asian youth, while at the same time doing important cultural labor for the Indian state and culture industries.

Introduction

Since the early 1990s, a time that coincides with global access to the Internet in the form of the World Wide Web, certain categories of South Asian diaspora have been rearticulated through techno-mediation. Such rearticulations are based in naming of diasporas through the politics of nation-state, while ...

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