This article seeks to contribute to the debate about the relationship between time and social identity by studying the recent trend of simultaneous, crowd-sourced visual diaries. The article focuses on the concept of simultaneity and its relation to communal identity. Crowd-sourced visual diaries such as 2010’s Life in a Day are often celebrated as a means to relativize time and social homogeneity through individual narrative perspectives. To challenge this view, I show how the notion of simultaneity itself can be appropriated for purposes of legitimation and how Life in a Day’s universalist understanding of simultaneity actually undermines the heterogeneity of time that the project was meant to celebrate.
Concepts of Simultaneity and Community in the Crowd-Sourced Video Diary Life in a Day
Helga Lénárt-Cheng received her PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University in 2007. She currently teaches in the Department of Modern Languages at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her primary research focuses on first-person literatures (autobiographies, diaries, blogs, etc.) and on theories of subjectivity. Her other interests include Eastern European culture and history and phenomenological hermeneutics.
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Helga Lénárt-Cheng; Concepts of Simultaneity and Community in the Crowd-Sourced Video Diary Life in a Day. Cultural Politics 1 March 2014; 10 (1): 21–39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-2397218
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