University of Waikato Chair of Arts Associate Professor Adrian Athique has won funding from the Asia New Zealand Foundation for his project “Projecting Soft Power in Southeast Asia: A reception study of Indian media exports”.
Dr Athique will use his $20,000 scholarship to travel to New Delhi, The Philippines, Myanmar and Malaysia – countries that are markets for India’s media exports, such as film and television.
The Foundation’s Early Career Researcher Awards are aimed at building capability and encouraging professional development of New Zealand researchers in Asian studies and New Zealand-Asia relations.
Dr Athique says the Indian government is revitalising its “Look East” policy created in 1993, and cultural exports such as film and television are signs of the country’s desire to increase its presence in Southeast Asia.
He plans to interview media industry representatives and members of the public to find out how well media exchanges contribute to a “new impression of a ‘rising’ India as a commercial partner, technology hub and cultural powerhouse in the region”.