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Geomedia, Tourism, and Civic Engagement

By: Divya Mc Millin   Orlando Baiocchi  

The purpose of this paper is to explore the essential elements of geomedia: the locative potential of media and the potential of mediated locations in civic engagement. Case studies offer a way to examine both annotative (virtual tagging) and phenomenological (subjective action) elements. The spatial turn in media studies centralizes location-based questions, and intersecting with geomedia schema, allows us to identify users as individual actors. This paper analyzes firstly two small-scale grassroots tourism initiatives in Kolkata and Bengaluru, India. These case studies demonstrate the use of social media, print journalism, blogs, art exhibits, television appearances, and folk and street theater, to advocate for the preservation of heritage buildings and parks, to reclaim identities and to ensure legacy. Based on fieldwork and interviews with tour guides in both cities, the paper discusses the complexities of producing place and nation, the field of tension between reaffirming local authenticities and responding to the logics of state-driven forms of globalization. Following, the paper focuses on the Azores Geopark located in the archipelago of the Azores, Portugal and part of the European and the UNESCO-assisted Global Geopark Networks. Its mission is to ensure conservation of the geological heritage and to encourage sustainable development, while promoting responsible tourism and the well being of the local population. The Azorean Geopark case study includes a critical discussion of the use of wireless and mobile information technologies. Together, the case studies reveal the value of technology in promoting participatory citizenship and enhancing the dynamics of collaboration and community building.

Community, Participation
Technologies in Knowledge Sharing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Divya Mc Millin

Professor and Executive Director, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma, United States
Washington, United States

http://faculty.washington.edu/divya/



Orlando Baiocchi

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