Introducing i‐Docs to geography: exploring interactive documentary’s nonlinear imaginaries

This paper introduces interactive documentaries, or i‐Docs, to geography through an analysis of one i‐Doc, Gaza Sderot. I‐Docs are an increasingly popular documentary form. Broadly defined by ‘nonlinear’ spatiotemporal organisation, their interactive capacities enable multiple pathways through documentary footage and materials. It is often suggested that this nonlinearity is politicised by i‐Docs to enable polyvocality and the destabilisation of dominant narratives. I argue that i‐Docs deserve geographical attention for two key reasons. First, if geographers have long explored articulations and reformulations of space‐time through media, then i‐Docs offer an insight into contemporary constructions of nonlinear spatiotemporal imaginaries through an interactive medium. Second, nonlinearity and its politics have also become foundational to geography’s own approaches to space‐time, making pertinent the explorations of nonlinearity and its socio‐political implications that engagement with i‐Docs enables. In this context, I analyse Gaza Sderot to explore its construction of a nonlinear spatiotemporal imaginary and question the political perspectives that imaginary generates for its subject of the Gaza conflict. In concluding, I also suggest that i‐Docs could be a valuable methodological tool for geographers.

Harris, E. (2016) “Introducing i‐Docs to geography: exploring interactive documentary’s nonlinear imaginaries”. In: Area - Vol 49 Issue 1, Pp. 25—34, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

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