Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Jason Cabañes publishes article and presents work on media and migrants

March 15th, 2017

Dr. Jason Vincent A. Cabañes, Lecturer in International Communication, has published a journal article in Visual Studies.

Migrant narratives as photo stories: on the properties of photography and the mediation of migrant voices examines how the properties of the photographic medium might mediate the voices of migrant cultural minorities, especially in the context of an action research project. It looks at the particular case of Shutter Stories, a collaborative photography exhibition featuring the photo stories of Indian and Korean migrants from Manila, The Philippines.

Drawing on participant observation data, the article shows that it was photography’s ability to be all at once indexical, iconic, and symbolic that became important in voice as ‘speaking’. It also shows that it was photography’s inability to fix meanings with finality that mattered in voice as ‘being heard’.

Dr Cabañes was also a visiting scholar at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in February 2017. He gave a presentation at one of the School’s research seminar series on ‘Mediating migrant imaginaries of intimacy: On double consciousness and difficult choices’.

The talk examined how migrants use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in negotiating their encounters with diverse imaginaries of intimacy. It drew on life story interviews with and observations of second-generation Punjabi Indian youth living in the Philippine capital of Manila. Through these, the talk unpacked how the young migrants employ various communication platforms to navigate two key imaginaries of intimacy: that of arranged marriage as espoused by Manila’s relatively more ‘conservative’ Punjabi community and that of romantic love as subscribed to by the city’s relatively more ‘liberated’ and ‘Westernised’ Filipino society.

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