City Under Siege: Narrating Mumbai Through NonStop Capture


  • Yasmin Ibrahim International Business and Communications at Queen Mary, University of London, UK



Social media, modernity, terrorism, India


When Mumbai became the target of terror in the 26/11 attack in 2008, the events in that city, like other tragic global events in recent years, were narrated through new media platforms. The increasing convergence of technologies and mobile telephony enabled new forms of gaze and the ability to bear witness through these new media technologies. The non-stop capture of events through recording equipment embedded in mobile phones and their connectivity to the World Wide Web constructed Mumbai through civilian narratives and images, and this phenomenon was described as the “coming of age of Twitter”. Conversely the event raised fundamental questions about the role of broadcasting and protocols in live telecasts of terrorist attacks which have consequences for national security. In narrating the city through the civilian gaze and traditional media the spectacle of suffering in postmodernity becomes an open-ended exercise where the city is both a canvas for showcasing the risks of modernity and new forms of visibilities which emerge from social media and the “act of sharing” content on global platforms.


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How to Cite

Ibrahim, Y. (2009) “City Under Siege: Narrating Mumbai Through NonStop Capture”, Culture Unbound, 1(2), pp. 385–399. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.09123385.



Theme: City of Signs/Signs of the City