Tuning In

Diasporic Contact Zones at the BBC World Service

Tuning In. Researching diasporas at the BBC World Service.

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BBC In Serbian For All Ex-Yugoslavs

This paper explores a drastically reduced Politics of Translation for Former Yugoslavia. Kamenko Bulić explored how Serbian audiences acquired information based on Western sources, particularly by tuning into the BBC, and how that information is critically talked about within Serbian public and private discourses. These discourses are decidedly multi-faceted, given the way they embrace all available sources: they are eclectic in the best sense of the word: tune in to all media, but maintain a distrustful and critical attitude. The BBC’s aura of impartiality and its Serbian audiences’ responses are therefore analysed via the evolution of media-critical discourses, and audiences’ appreciation for the Corporation’s aesthetic and storytelling style, but importantly as a valuable source to observe and scrutinize conspiracy theories which have evolved in Serbia during and after the Yugoslav civil and international wars.

Project contact: 

Kamenko Bulic, University of Amsterdam, NL, kamenko22@hotmail.com

    Project members: 

  • Kamenko Bulić was educated at Belgrade's Faculty of Political Sciences and was briefly working as a journalist before the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1992. Earning reputation as an anti-war journalist, he left Yugoslavia and spent almost a decade researching the formation of Ex-Yugoslavian diasporas in the West. Supported by the Dutch Exile Foundation Kamenko Bulić completed his research in Western Europe, Australia, and North America in 2004 earning his PhD degree at the University of Amsterdam. Today Kamenko Bulić is working as columnist and commentator for several independent post-Yugoslavian media, provides consultancy on media development and is a university lecturer.

    Gerd Baumann, University of Amsterdam, has authored two long-term ethnographies: National Integration and Local Integrity in the Sudan (Oxford UP 1986) and Contesting Culture: Discourses of Identity in Multi-Ethnic London (Cambridge UP 1996). His ten other authored or (co-)edited theoretical volumes include: Civil Enculturation at Schools in Four European Countries (with W. Schiffauer et al.; Berghahn 2004; also in German); The Multicultural Riddle: Re-Thinking National, Ethnic and Religious Identities (Routledge 1999; also in five translations since) and Grammars of Identity / Alterity: A Structural Approach (with Andre Gingrich, Berghahn 2004; also in Spanish 2010). He has worked on the AHRC / OU research project on the BBC World Service since 2006, contributing to and co-editing four Special Issues of the Journals listed in the Project Bibliography.