Producing the ‘Reality’ of Religion—New Ecologies of Media
As Walter Benjamin observed, modernity ushered in not only new political forms, but also new audio–visual technologies which revolutionized human perception. While Foucault reveals the new political rationalities which come into operation in the modern era, Benjamin alerts us to the fact that this operation is made visible in particular ways by film and other media technologies. Therefore, this concluding chapter focuses on the significant ways in which the new perceptual apparatus of the cinema and the media partake in the production of the citizen–devotee. This chapter begins by examining the significance of the use of double endings, voice-overs, and documentary footage in many mythological and devotional films. It then proceeds to examine the shifting relation between cinema and other media to demonstrate the ways in which they produce the ‘reality’ of popular religion. It argues that cinema becomes a key audio–visual archive in this process.
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