Polivision: Covering Latin(o) American Popular Culture for a U.S. audience

Goal

To implement a bilingual and multimedia-producing operation/class that combines humanistic research and digital journalism about Latin (o) American popular culture. Students and faculty participate in all the stages of the production of bilingual multimedia pieces (videos, podcasts, social media narratives, and interactive maps).

Description

How are Latin American identities manifested in popular culture and entertainment? How do these cultural identities dialogue with the United States and other cultural realities in today’s globalized world? This is a bilingual and multimedia-producing project that combines humanistic research and digital journalism. “Covering Latin(o) American Popular Culture for a U.S. audience” engages undergraduate and graduate students in the production of bilingual multimedia pieces (videos, podcasts, stories in Spanish and English, and interactive maps) about transnational Latin American popular cultures, their socio-political implications beyond national borders, and their unexpected connections and disconnections with LatinX identities in the United States. At the core of the digital humanities’ interests, this project seeks to become a bridge between academic research and digital media/journalism, between traditional humanities’ pedagogical tools and the development of multimedia narrative skills using digital technologies, between English and Spanish-speaking audiences and contents, and between Latin American cultural idiosyncrasies and Latino identities in the United States.

 

In times when international and cultural reporting have considerably decreased in the U.S. media and the Latino population in the U.S. has become the largest minority in the country, stories and alternative narratives about Latin American cultures are not only scarce, but also tend to be superficial portraits and simplistic generalizations of complex societies heavily filtered through the Mexican experience. Latin American multilayered, hybrid cultures are rarely explored in relation to the local and transnational tensions that shape their struggle for identity, their connections and contradictions in relation to the United States, and their negotiations within today’s global media culture. In times of xenophobia and extreme political discourses based on ethnocentric assumptions (or plain ignorance), this project aims at offering students critical thinking tools in order to approach other cultural realities that resist regional stereotyping, while at the same time actively participating in the investigation, production, and post-production phases of the development of creative media content accessible to diverse audiences.

So Far

After developing the foundations of the project between Spring 2017/Fall 2018—obtaining the adequate equipment, developing a website, logos, an interactive map, video pilots, and social media accounts and guidelines—we launched the content publicly in August 2018 at: https://poli.vision/ We update original content weekly in the website and daily in social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

 

During the initial stage, a network of students, faculty, and professionals of the Georgia Tech community was identified to assist with the diverse technological aspects of the project. During fall 2017, the instructor worked with a group of undergraduate students (registered as an independent study), and since Spring 2018 “Covering LatinX Popular Culture” is an approved and regularly offered class at the School of Modern Languages and a graduate version has been approved for our new MS in Global Media and Cultures, offered with Literature, Media and Communications (LMC).

Future Plans

To consolidate Polivision as an established, independent, and self-sustained multimedia outlet based in Atlanta.

Project Year
2017-18
Project Leads
Paul Alonso
John Thornton
Genre Tags
Contact Email
paul.alonso@modlangs.gatech.edu