Jan Tarnowski

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Columbia U.

Grant number

Gr. 9667

Approve Date

April 18, 2018

Project Title

Tarnowski, Jan Stefan, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Syria: The Image in Revolution, Revolution in the Image,' supervised by Dr. Nadia Abu El-Haj

STEFAN TARNOWSKI, then a graduate student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in April 2018 to aid research on ‘Syria: The Image in Revolution, Revolution in the Image,’ supervised by Dr. Nadia Abu El-Haj. Funding provided the grantee the opportunity to conduct fieldwork on the employment of new media technologies in the Syrian Revolution and war. This took me to Turkey, Lebanon, France, and Germany to carry out participant observation in a number of media offices and civil society organizations. Interviews were also conducted with a range of (current and ex-) citizen journalists, activists and funders. This research spans a historical period when discourses around new media have polarized, from the optimism that they drive democratic engagement, to the pessimism that they undermine the foundations of democracy. These shifts coincide with the changing fortunes of the Syrian revolution, from the promise of the popular overthrowal of the Assad regime to the horrors of internecine and international war. Instead of retreating into either of these two poles, this project investigates the practices and discourses of those actively engaged in funding, producing, circulating, and archiving content with new media technologies, with the aim of understanding how these practices and discourses have developed from 2011 until the present day.