Battaglia Giulia (2013-2014)


Nom : Battaglia
Prénom : Giulia
Statut : Postdoctoral Fellow, Musée du quai Branly (2013-2014)
Courriel : giulia.battaglia(at)

Domaine de recherche

I conduct work at the intersection between anthropology, film history, visual/digital culture and media studies, integrating ethnography and history as well as theory and practice. My areas of specialisation include south Asia, media, film, art, technology, development and activism.


PhD, Social Anthropology, SOAS, University of London (2012)
MA, Media Anthropology, SOAS, University of London (2006)
BA, Media and Communications Studies, University of Bologna (2004)

Expériences d’enseignement

2012-2013. LSE Fellow, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, London

2010-2013. Teaching Fellow, Centre for Media and Film Studies, SOAS, University of London

2009-2013. Teaching Fellow, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS, University of London

2009. Lecturer Assistant, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India

Projet de recherche

Recherche actuelle
With a strong emphasis on digital technology, my current research studies image-making in India as an ethnographic practice of cultural activism. In this context, ‘digital image-making’ refers to the wide range of visual media, visual experimentations and productions of techniques that are emerging and blurring alongside the expansion and use of modern technologies. This research will contribute to the fields of visual and media anthropology by bringing emergent South Asian examples to the existing international debate concerning technology, representation and cultural production. Through a methodological mix of historical research in film archives, participant observation of online digital platforms of image-making and in-depth interviews with media institutions and key filmmakers and artists, I study how practices of digital image-making enable media intellectuals, activists and artists in India to travel across disciplinary boundaries. In the process, this project will offer new possibilities for collaboration and cross-fertilisation between academics and practitioners.

Recherche antérieure
My doctoral research was an historical ethnography of documentary film practices in India through which I studied how contemporary film practices and practitioners conceptualise and debate their practice in relation to their past. For this research, I combined archival material with a range of ethnographic methodologies, such as interviews, group discussions and participant observation. My PhD was the product of twenty months of multi-sited fieldwork (October 2007-June 2009) in which I followed film festivals and film screenings across India, worked with a Bangalore-based collective of media activists, collaborated in film projects, interviewed several filmmakers and media organizations, participated in online group discussions (listservs), and visited archives, namely the National Film Archive of India (Pune), the Independent Documentary Producers Association (Mumbai), the Films Division (Mumbai) and the British Library and the British Film Institute (London).  My doctoral dissertation was led by the question ‘what is a documentary in India?’ Following the Foucauldian concept of ‘effective history’, I have contextualized contemporary documentary filmmaking in different historical moments and sought to create a dialogue between past and present film practices. Accordingly, I investigated the way in which contemporary film practitioners inform us about their past and argued that a critical examination of history is necessary to analyse a multitude of documentary film practices in the present. In particular, this research investigated the way practitioners and Indian film critics have written about documentary film in India and, by being part of the same context of cultural production, have produced and reproduced a discourse that continues into the present.


Battaglia, G. 2013. ‘The Video Turn: Documentary Film Practices in 1980s India’. Visual Anthropology 27 (1-2): 72–90.

Battaglia, G. and Favero, P. 2014. ‘Reflections upon the Meaning of Contemporary Digital Image-making Practices in India’. In Kaur and Dave-Mukherji (eds.) Art and Aesthetics in a Globalizing World. Oxford: Berg (in press).

Battaglia, G. 2014. 'Who’s the author? Whose vision? Crafting ‘participatory’ and ‘collaborative’ film-projects in India'. Anthrovision - VANEASA Online Journal, special issue "Anthropological visions. Atlases of difference, multimedia arcades and non-linear arguments" (accepted).

Battaglia, G. ‘Documentary networks, small-media infrastructures and sites of cultural activism in post-1990s India’. Contribution to Indian Sociology (submitted).

Battaglia, G. 2012. ‘Persistence Resistance in London. Between Public Intervention and Practitioner-academic Collaboration’. Journal of Studies in South Asian Film and Media, 3(1): 43-49. (,id=12195/)

Battaglia, G. 2012. 'Documentary Film Practices in India: History of the Present'. PhD dissertation, SOAS, University of London. [A new manuscript based on this work has been submitted for publication and is now under consideration].

Battaglia, G. 2009. ‘The Indian Documentary Living Show’, Vibgyor, 4(1): 86-87.