Events 03: Julia Stolyar, Darshana Mini and Jaana Serres at Locating Media Industries 2023 in London

A photograph pointing upwards which shows the columns and decorative entrance to Bush House in London, UK.
Bush House entrance, London UK. Source: Matt Brown, Wikimedia Commons
In the latest episode of our Events podcast series, Julia Stolyar, Darshana Mini and Jaana Serres discuss with Scott Rodgers their research on the locality of different media industries in South Korea, India and Nigeria.

This episode, part of the Mediapolis Now Events series, brings together three scholars presenting at the conference Locating Media Industries, held June 19–21, 2023, at King’s College London (KCL). At this conference, attendees from around the world gathered to think through the spatial organisation of different media industries, with a special interest in how that organization might be shifting in the long wake of digitalization, and the shorter wake of Covid-19, with its attendant rise of remote working, including in many media sectors.

Our first guest was Julia Stolyar, who recently completed her PhD at SOAS, which investigated transnational TV drama remakes between South Korea and Japan. In the interview, you’ll hear her touch on her contribution to the conference, which focused on the development of Seoul as a center for media production, and particularly its Digital Media City, developed as a cluster for business, tourism, branding, and urban development.

She was joined by Darshana Mini, an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. You will hear Darshana discuss her research on the role of financial intermediaries in procuring funding for production houses in the South Indian film industry, and the continuities and ruptures going hand-in-hand with the rise of what are called OTT platforms, that is, Over-The-Top streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sony LIV.

And, our third guest on the panel was Jaana Serres, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Groningen, whose work centres on the relationships of grassroots artistic genres and placemaking. She spoke especially about themes emerging from her doctoral research at the University of Oxford, where she studied how the Nigerian music industry delineates an aspirational horizon for an Africa-based project of modernity and globalization.

We recorded our group interview following lunch on the second day of the conference, 20th June, in a reasonably cozy, nearby teaching room in Bush House, a building KCL recently took over from the BBC, whose World Service broadcasted from the same site, for 70 years. The host Scott Rodgers arrived later than planned, due to frustrating traffic on Kingsway, the wide road leading to Bush House, and a bus driver who unfortunately, but probably responsibly, wouldn’t let him off. Because of this, you will hear that one of our participants, Julia Stolyar, needed to leave two-thirds of the way through, so she could present her paper. But the discussion was interesting. It starts a little descriptive, with the guests outlining the research topics they were presenting at the conference. Once things get going, though, you’ll hear us move onto a range of interesting themes, around placemaking and place branding, cultural and linguistic complexity, postcolonialism and geopolitical relations, temporality and speed, and the production of mediated locality.

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