Identity Community and Creativity: Indian Media Workers and Broadcasting in Singapore

Radakrishna, Hayma Malini
Devadas, Vijay
Hoar, Peter
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This practice-based PhD presents an analysis of the social, political, cultural, and creative processes that constitute the work of ethnic Indian media practitioners in Singapore. The analysis is presented in two interrelated parts: an exegesis which critically documents the macro contexts within which ethnic media practitioners practice their trade and a series of audio documentaries that illuminates the creative workers’ experiences and reflections developed from interviews with media practitioners working in the Indian television sector in Singapore. Together, the exegesis and 4-episode documentary offer an insight into the complex interplay between creative workers and the social and cultural contexts within which they operate.

Using a qualitative approach that includes autoethnography and semi-structured interviews, the research produced a documentary that focuses on the practices of a specific group of ethnic Indian creative workers to capture how their personal experiences, values, philosophies, and convictions have shaped the work they do. The exegesis draws on scholarly research to frame the socio-political and cultural milieu of Singapore, ethnic Indian media and the Indian community, and media industry and culture in the nation to offer a critical exploration of the terrain in which the creative workers practice their craft. The exegesis also presents a detailed account of the research methods as well as the production process of the creative artefact.

The research offers a critical understanding of how ethnic Indian media practitioners negotiate their sense of identity, community, and creativity in the precarious ethnic media environment in Singapore. In doing so, it makes an original contribution to scholarship on media in Singapore as there is very little work that examines the views and perspectives of creative workers – especially those working in the ethnic Indian mediascape.

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