Enabling Polyvocality in Interactive Documentaries through “Structural Participation”

Recent innovations in online, social and interactive media have led to the emergence of new forms of documentary, such as interactive documentaries (‘i-Docs’), with qualities that lend themselves to more open and inclusive production structures. Still, little is known about the experience of making and/or participating-in these kinds of documentary. Our two-year in-the-wild study engaged a large community-of-interest in the production of an i-Doc to explore the ethically-desirable yet challenging aim of enabling multiple subjects to have agency and control over their representation in a documentary. Our study reveals insights into the experiences of participating in an i-Doc and highlights key sociotechnical challenges. We argue that new sociotechnical infrastructure is needed, that frames both “executory” and “structural” forms of participation as symbiotic elements of a co-design process.

Green, D.P.; Bowen, S; Hook, J.; Wright, P. (2017) “Enabling Polyvocality in Interactive Documentaries through “Structural Participation””. In: Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Pp. 6317—6329, New York, NY, ACM ISBN https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025606

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