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Subverting the Spectacle: Flusserian Tactics for Body Politics on Indian Instagram

This paper delves into the complex landscape of Instagram in India, employing Vilém Flusser's philosophy of visual communication as an analytical lens. It explores how users construct and negotiate individual and collective identities on the platform, while grappling with the interplay of power, representation, and algorithmic curation. The analysis argues that Instagram, with its focus on visual storytelling, aligns with Flusser's notion of the "technological image" shaping our understanding of the world. However, it cautions against the potential pitfalls of algorithmic mimicry, which can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and limit exposure to diverse perspectives. The paper acknowledges the influence of Western beauty standards on Indian users, potentially leading to self-doubt and distorted self-perception. However, it empowers users by highlighting their agency in employing strategies like body positivity movements and celebrating cultural authenticity to challenge these dominant narratives. In conclusion, the research advocates for a critical approach to Instagram, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the constructed nature of online content and fostering a more inclusive and representative online space.

Subverting the Spectacle (PDF 180.25 KB)