The panel explores the differing forms of consumption of Asian popular media in South Asia. It looks at audiences' media practices and at the emerging of specific infrastructures that favour the circulation of cultural products from East and Southeast Asia.
With the assumption that films, tv serials, music and fashion from East and South East Asia are being increasingly consumed within many South Asian mediaspheres, this panel aims at investigating the cultural and social effects of media and aesthetic forms imported from the 'East'. It asks how these media are nurturing new forms of East Asian imaginaries and cultural aspirations in various parts of South Asia (van der Veer 2013, Pachuau and van Schendel 2015). From consuming Korean horrors, Japanese pop music, Hong Kong martial arts, Chinese fashion-shows, up to the creation of romantic perceptions of Thailand and Malaysia as the exotic Other, the inputs coming from East and Southeast Asia are fashioning new media practices among South Asian audiences, often associated with ideas of 'modernity' or a 'global (Asian) togetherness'. This panel examines the circulation of images and media from East and South East Asia in the subcontinent as a way of fostering new - sometimes hybrid - identifications that go beyond region, community or nation. Departing from the Occidentalism that has seen the West at the centre of the consumerist and voyeuristic needs of South Asia audiences we aim at discussing the imagined 'East': do Eastern 'cultures' and imaginative geographies translate into a reshaping of aspirations? And to what extent are such 'imaginary East(s)' becoming part of mediating divisions - new and existing - within South Asia?