Pradip Sarkar is an IT academic with an avid interest in stories of creative technological appropriation by communities often ignored by designers and national policy-makers. Gradually, this extended to a particular interest in the techno-agency of DIY arts communities, which, along with a near-obsession with technology-mediated music genres, propelled him to embark on a 2nd PhD at the School of Media and Communications.
His research involves the study of appropriation of digital technologies by members of grassroots Hip-Hop communities in urban India as they attempt to localise the global genre to represent an Indian “street-level” youth culture.
Through methods drawn from the ethnographic approach, Pradip aims to explore how Hip Hop performers interpret and repurpose the affordances of digital mobile artifacts for cultural production, building a community of practice, and establishing authenticity as purveyors of an independent Indian version of the genre.
The project also intends to examine the possibilities for the vernacularisation of technology by Hip Hop performers, with implications for scholarly contributions to Global Hip Hop studies, and the notion of multiple techno-modernities in the Global South. Pradip is also a music producer, and curates contemporary South Asian and African music on PBS FM, a community radio station in Melbourne.