This chapter looks at the decolonization of interactive documentary practices through the lens of polyphony. Writing as practice-based researchers from a position of privilege, the authors argue that self-reflexivity is a key requirement for “decolonizing the mind” and that interactive documentary can facilitate this process. They place polyphony at the heart of this, as an approach which encourages us to embrace complexity and plurality, and to respect different perspectives and points of view. Building in particular on Bakhtin’s work on polyphony, they argue that the interactive, multimodal and nonlinear properties of i-docs methods and tools can help us to reframe our perspectives on self and other, in ways that can be both challenging and transformative. Outlining the thinking behind their Polyphonic Documentary project, they look at what two specific software tools bring to the table. They also argue that approaching i-docs from the perspective of polyphony and decolonization can help with addressing two major and interconnected issues of our times: climate emergency and ideological polarization.
Aston, J. (2022). Interactive documentary: Its history and future as a polyphonic form. In K. M. Ryan, & D. Staton (Eds.), Interactive Documentary: Decolonising Practice-Based Research (20-37). New York and London: Routledge