How Do You Like It So Far? Podcast: Anushka Shah on Civic Entertainment

In this episode, we get the chance to talk to Anushka Shah, who works as a researcher at the Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab. More recently, she has started a project called Civic Entertainment that explores the intersection of civic engagement with television, radio, digital entertainment and film. This project researches the media effects of fiction on thought and behavior change and explores how methods of social change available to citizens can be best represented in entertainment media. It also investigates the representation of protest and activism in current popular culture. She also runs a production studio in Mumbai called Civic Studios that creates civic entertainment content for Indian audiences. Shah tells us about the inspiration she, and other Indians, have gotten from popular media, and how she brought civic participation with entertainment together. She helped to organize a conference on Civic Entertainment held recently at the Godrej India Culture Lab.

To learn more on civic entertainment in India, check out this account of the activism around Rang De Basanti and this account of the mobilization around Indian Pop Idol.

Next week, we are joined by Rohan Joshi from All India Bakchod, which performs “news comedy” in the Indian context. We will share a portion of Joshi’s remarks at the Godrej Civic Entertainment event, where he spoke about Captain America as a model for Indian civic participation, and we discuss news comedy as a form of civic entertainment.

And, by the way, how do you like it so far?