Using video and online subtitling to communicate across languages from West Papua
Alexandra Crosby and Tanya Notley (2014) ‘Using video and online subtitling to communicate across languages from West Papua’, The Australian Journal of Anthropology 25, 138–154
Abstract | In this paper we examine mediated practices and experiences of online translation and subtitling. Our paper is based on a collaboration with EngageMedia — a not-for-proﬁt organisation based in Australia and Indonesia — and is speciﬁcally focused on its work in West Papua. We argue that the video-hosting and online subtitling that is enabled through EngageMedia’s websites, while mobilising West Papuan stories in a logical, relatively fast and organised manner,is embedded in a more messy socially-mediated translation process that occurs across shifting scales (local, national, regional, and global), and a range of cultures (online, ofﬂine, local, global, networked). By examining this socially-mediated process we identify the many ways in which ‘friction’ emerges and we conclude that for video to support multi-lingual, translational com-munication and activism, social and technological infrastructures need to be further developed to avoid ‘restrictive frictions’ and create ‘productive’ ones.