Subaltern mediators in the digital landscape: The case of video poetry

Teresa Iribarren

Abstract

This article explores translational literary Web 2.0 practices and user-generated cultural creations on the Internet, focusing on video poetry that re-creates canonical poets’ bodies of work. It will be argued that the use of for-profit platforms like YouTube and Vimeo by indie creators and translators of video poetry favours the emergence of new translational attitudes, practices and objects that have positive but also contentious effects. One the one hand, these online mediators explore new poetic expressions and tend to make the most of the potential for dissemination of poetic heritage, providing visibility to non-hegemonic literatures. On the other hand, however, these translational digitally-born practices and creations by voluntary and subaltern mediators might reinforce the hegemonic position of large American Internet corporations at the risk of commodifying cultural capital, consolidating English as a lingua franca and perhaps, in the long run, even fostering a potentially monocultural and internationally homogeneous aesthetics.

Keywords:
Table of contents

We are street readers. Look at us, info junk dealers, as we zip through the telephone, scan a newspaper we’ve just read, leaf through a magazine. We are the new generation of readers. Not dumber but faster. We whiz through three lives at once. Let’s be honest: reading has become a different experience.

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