1st Edition

Interactive Documentary Decolonizing Practice-Based Research

Edited By Kathleen M. Ryan, David Staton Copyright 2022
    258 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Interactive documentary is still an emerging field that eludes concise definitions or boundaries. Grounded in practice-based research, this collection seeks to expand the sometimes exclusionary field, giving voice to scholars and practitioners working outside the margins.

    Editors Kathleen M. Ryan and David Staton have curated a collection of chapters written by a global cohort of scholars to explore the ways that interactive documentary as a field of study reveals an even broader reach and definition of humanistic inquiry itself. The contributors included here highlight how emerging digital technologies, collaborative approaches to storytelling, and conceptualizations of practice as research facilitate a deeper engagement with the humanistic inquiry at the center of documentary storytelling, while at the same time providing agency and voice to groups typically excluded from positions of authority within documentary and practice-based research, as a whole. This collection represents a key contribution to the important, and vocal, debates within the field about how to avoid replicating colonial practices and privileging.

    This is an important book for practice-based researchers as well as advanced-level media and communication students studying documentary media practices, interactive storytelling, immersive media technologies, and digital methodologies.


    Part One: Potentials

    1. Agency Through Co-Creation: Interactive Documentary as Decolonizing Practice

    Kathleen M. Ryan and David Staton

    2. Interactive Documentary: Its History and Future as a Polyphonic Form

    Judith Aston and Stefano Odorico

    3. Choose Your Own Generation: Interactive LGBTQ+ Narratives From South Asian Families

    Aashish Kumar in conversation with Tammy Rae Matthews. Edited by Tammy Rae Matthews.

    4. Documentary Impact: A Framework for Analyzing Engagement Strategies Used in i-docs

    Carles Sora-Domenjó and Anandana Kapur 

    Part Two: Collaborations

    5. Democratizing Documentary and Interactive Social Media Practices 

    Gino Canella

    6. An Outsider Approach to Cinematography: Native Representation, Breaking the Norms and Finding New Ways to Explore Indigenous Spaces

    Malek Rasamny and Matt Peterson in conversation with Rania Al Namara. Edited by Rania Al Namara.

    7. Reframing Creative Practice for Telling Factual Stories Of War And Trauma Through Oral History Interactive Documentary (OHID)

    Leonie Jones 

    Part Three: Poetics

    8. Interactive Multispecies Documentary Methods in Wretched Waters: The Slow Violence of the Rio Doce Disaster

    Isabelle Carbonell

    9. On Histories of Dispersal, the Missing Pictures and Ways of Knowing: The Artist’s Space Redefined for a Plural Art Practice

    Alexandra Sophia Handal in conversation with Rania Al Namara. Edited by Rania Al Namara.

    10. Decolonizing Transmedia Practices: An Essay on Editing 

    Anita Wen-Shin Chang 

    Part Four: Technologies

    11. Between Self and Other: Propositions for Non-Dualistic Research on VR

    Eva Theunissen and Paolo S.H. Favero

    12. Beyond Technology’s Promise: Building Trust, Owning Narrative, Self-Authorship, and the Power of Storytelling! 

    Joel Kachi Benson in conversation with Rania Al Namara. Edited by Rania Al Namara.

    13. Desert Stars: Effectuation and Co-Creation in a Research-Creation i-doc

    André Paz, Felipe Carrelli, Galileo Mobile and Amanar task force

    Part Five: Expanding Boundaries

    14. Guerrilla Archaeology and Ancient Aliens: Countering the Mediascapes of Stigmatized Knowledge

    Jeb J. Card and Leighton C. Peterson

    15. Responding to Tension

    Tessa Ratuszynska in conversation with Tammy Rae Matthews. Edited by Tammy Rae Matthews.

    16. In the Light of Memory

    Diego Cerna Aragon

    17. Expanding Boundaries, Indigenous and Migrant Cartographies: Counter-Mapping the Inter-National Relations of the Odeimin Runners Club

    Debbie Ebanks Schlums, Adrian Kahgee, and Rebeka Tabobondung


    Kathleen M. Ryan is a documentary filmmaker and an associate professor of journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her hybrid work focuses on transformations in storytelling due to shifting media technologies. Specifically, she explores the intersection of theory and praxis within evolving media forms such as interactive documentary. Her projects deal with issues of gender, self-identity, visuality, and user/participant agency.

    David Staton is an associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado where he teaches in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies. His areas of research include visual communication, ethics, and sports journalism. He has been involved in the production of three feature-length documentary films, which have been screened internationally. Ghost Resort, his first experimental documentary short, is now at festival.