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Digital Culture and Media Literacy Centre to Open at HSE

Digital Culture and Media Literacy Centre to Open at HSE

© Signature/ iStock

The Centre will develop, research and promote themes related to media and information literacy and will become an online platform for discussing new transmedia and immersive practices in the digital environment. It will also continue work on creating various cultural and educational projects that has already been started by the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design.

Anna Kachkayeva, Professor at the HSE School of Media, who has been appointed the Centre Director, says the decision to create it at HSE has naturally evolved from a process that began in 2011 when the Faculty of Media Communications was established. In 2013, the Ministry of Education adopted a federal educational standard in Media Communications, and Media Literacy appeared as a subject for undergraduate students. Two years ago, HSE launched a minor in Media and Mass Communications, which has become one of the most popular among students.

In recent years, international universities have started launching digital culture laboratories and creative media centres that study issues of digital everyday life, new media practices, and information hygiene while promoting and studying new digital lifestyles. The HSE Digital Culture and Media Literacy Centre will become the first institution of this kind in Russia and will become part of the international context of developing global transmedia literacy.


Анна Качкаева, директор Центра цифровых культур и медиаграмотности

Anna Kachkayeva,
Director of the Digital Culture and Media Literacy Centre

‘Immersion; augmented, mixed, and virtual realities; gamification and robotization; multichannel distribution and “alternative” journalism without editorial offices, publishers and websites; interactive VR cinema; digital history; social production and digital educational and charity poly- and meta-media. This is the reality of today’s cultural and media industries.

People today are almost a kind of media themselves. We are always online; our language is a new oral-written one; we create billons of digital images and media texts (selfies and Instagram stories). We are involved in media compassion via “the other” – digital self and digital friend (like/share/repost/emoji), in a ubiquitous game and digital interaction. The practice of digital expansion of people, events, and institutions is a practice of massive co-creation and massive production. This is storytelling in a very broad sense, when everything from museums, theatres, banks, and cities to search systems, universities, and non-profit organizations becomes storytellers and competes for narratives and interpretation. They fight for our involvement in the story and emotional inclusion, stimulating the culture of co-participation.

This is why the object of demand in the digital era is the human nature in people, which means that communication ability, creativity, critical thinking and teamwork are the main things we need to foster in ourselves regardless of our degrees, geography, professions, or generational digital gaps.’

For these reasons, the Centre is striving to become an interdisciplinary platform for digital media, media ecology and transmedia literacy. It will host workshops, academic conferences, including on an international scale (the next one is taking place from February 9-10, 2019), and will develop projects for cultural and educational organizations in Moscow and other Russian regions. Particular attention will be paid to studying media law and the challenges of digital freedom.

The educational programme offered by the HSE Digital Culture and Media Literacy Centre will be based on materials from UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) and will use the experience of similar centres at international universities, school projects ‘Competently About News’ and ‘Understanding Media’, as well as original teaching and learning methods developed by the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design. The Faculty has offered the master’s programme inTransmedia Production in Digital Industries for two years, whose students create digital editorial offices as their term or graduation projects. They also develop apps for museums, such as for the State Leo Tolstoy Museum, or a satellite website called ‘Neighbouring Museums’, which is on the list of the Tretyakov Gallery media resources.

In 2018, with the support of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, the master’s programme launched a museum specialization, a joint project with the Polytechnic Museum. Over the next three years, there are plans to adapt such master’s programmes for regional universities, which will become platforms for student production projects working jointly with cultural, educational and social institutions.

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