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Digital Preservation of Indigenous Culture and Narratives from the Global South: In Search of an Approach

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 68;
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring/Experiencing Culture Through the Digital Humanities)
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This research seeks to digitally preserve cultural histories and artifacts, which are practiced/produced in the underserved indigenous spaces of rural eastern India. This paper is a case study of co-developing Sangraksha—a digital humanities application. The application seeks to facilitate the process of writing history from the below by underrepresented populations at the margins. The villages in this research were geographically remote and socio-economically underdeveloped. The research populations represented individuals who possessed low levels of literacy, limited language proficiency in English and mainstream Indic languages (e.g., Hindi and Bengali), as well as limited familiarity with computers and computing environments. Grounded in long-term ethnographic engagements in the remote Global South, this study explored a range of cultural, aesthetic, and contextual factors that were instrumental in shaping and co-generating digital humanities solutions for under-researched international populations. On one hand, the research initiative sought to co-create a culturally meaningful and welcoming digital environment to make the experience contextually appropriate and user-friendly. On the other hand, grounded in visual and sensory methodologies, this research used community generated imageries and multimedia (audio, photographs and audio-visual) to make the application inclusive and accessible. Moreover, the application-development attempt also paid close attention to intercultural, local-centric, community-driven co-design aspects to make the approach socially-embedded and sustainable in the long term. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital divide; indigenous; India digital divide; indigenous; India

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Dutta, U. Digital Preservation of Indigenous Culture and Narratives from the Global South: In Search of an Approach. Humanities 2019, 8, 68.

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