Participation in Transition: Rethinking Participatory Culture

Baltic Screen Media Review

Deadline: March 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed physical interaction among people, but it also continues to shape our relations with media and technology. Mediated and distant interaction and communication became the norm. This led to struggles for some individuals, groups, institutions, practices and services, while others blossomed and thrived. Is participatory culture, as we know it, changing as a result of the challenges of 2020?

Building on the 2020 volume of Baltic Screen Media Review, which explored the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to media industries, we now call for papers on participation in the context of the pandemic and related crises.

While the pandemic has posed an incredible challenge in terms of media production, it has concurrently pushed innovation, resulting in a reinvigorated relationship between media and the audiences. Media was the window to the world for locked-down people, and via media and communication technologies people were informed, entertained and able to interact with one another. Yet, the incredible volume of data created from people’s media participation has enhanced rather than diminished the disproportionate power of already powerful platforms and corporations held over access, participation, public speech and cultural discourse.

This has been a fertile ground for new participatory practices to emerge. We as scholars of participatory culture thus need to renew our focus on not only the empirical expressions of participation, but also on how we make sense of participation and how we conceptualize the effects of macro scale changes on it. Therefore, we call for submissions that explore the concept of participation, its present state and its future from both political and sociological perspectives.

In this volume of BSMR, we will accept long (4000 – 8000 words w/o ref) and short (2000 – 2500 words w/o ref) articles and commentaries.

These articles should reflect on and explore a range of issues concerning participatory culture. We invite articles focusing on the Baltic Sea region (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Poland, Germany, Finland, etc.), but analyses of similar issues elsewhere, especially in countries of similar size and circumstances, are also welcome.

Contributions addressing topics such as (but not limited to) the following are particularly welcome:

  • Participatory culture in transition
  • The future of participation
  • Interactive and participatory practices
  • Emergence of new forms of audience engagement
  • Crisis-specific participation and crisis participatory culture
  • Digitalisation and the power of platforms
  • Local vs global, local practices, local alternatives to platforms, local information bubbles
  • The digital public sphere
  • Collective identity and digital engagement

Key dates:

15.03.2021 – Submit abstracts of 200–300 words.

01.04.2021 – Communication of acceptance of abstracts

14.06.2021 – Submit full manuscripts that will be sent for blind peer review.

This issue of BSMR will appear as Volume 9:2, published both online and in print in late 2021. BSMR embraces visual storytelling, we thus invite authors to use photos and other illustrations as part of their contributions.

The editors of the theme volume are Katrin Tiidenberg and Alessandro Nanì. All submissions should be sent via email attachment to Alessandro Nanì ( and Indrek Ibrus (

Further info about the journal can be found at