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Documentary ResistanceSocial Change and Participatory Media$
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Angela J. Aguayo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190676216.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

A Critical History of Documentary and Participatory Media Cultures

A Critical History of Documentary and Participatory Media Cultures

(p.27) 2 A Critical History of Documentary and Participatory Media Cultures
Documentary Resistance

Angela J. Aguayo

Oxford University Press

Despite the increasing tendency for documentary to function as political discourse, there is little historical work addressing the rhetorical and material influence of documentary in public life. These stories of documentary impulse and political struggle have been only erratically recorded. Documentary scholarship frequently addresses the issues that surround the process of social change, focusing on the screen as the central location for communicative exchange, but there are many other sites of struggle for those working on the ground with documentary and the political process. This chapter will cover the broader questions of documentary and social change, how it functions in relation to generating participatory media cultures. The chapter will specifically address the shifts in the documentary commons and how opportunities for social change emerged as it moved through the introduction of portable analog video recording equipment in the late 1960s and on into a digital culture of new media. This chapter will contribute to articulating the ways in which documentary is a distinct form of discourse that engages the political in patterned ways, creating a mediated commons for the engagement of political struggle.

Keywords:   documentary history, participatory media cultures, social change, commons, documentary as political platform, working-class cinema, newsreels, direct cinema, activist documentary

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