An essay authored by IT for Change's Deepti Bharthur and Ankita Aggarwal, titled 'Reclaiming a Feminist Digital Public Sphere from the Margins', has been published in the third quarterly issue of WACC's Media Development. This issue of Media Development focuses on the theme of 'Democratizing the Public Sphere'.
The 'public sphere' is made up of overlapping influences, pressures, dominant and less dominant voices. It is also subject to technological change, marked most recently by the digital. Deepti and Ankita's piece reflects on how social media platforms have altered the architecture of the digital, and by extension, the nature of the communicative public sphere. With platforms, corporations, and state machinations possessing a disproportionately higher reach than ordinary citizens or marginalized communities, a transitional and unstable post-public sphere is now emerging.
The piece traces the path of feminist discourses from the margins to the mainstream, examines the depoliticization of the online feminist communicative space, looks at cultures of online violence, and presents examples of alternative feminist media spaces from the Global South, that can provide useful direction and learnings for nurturing multiple public spheres emerging from the margins.
Read the full piece here [a subscription to Media Development is required to access the piece].