‘Memes are at par with Art and Literature’

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Pune: 30th April 2022: Social media memes are a creative process and they should be considered at par with literature and art expressed Ashish Shinde, renowned meme creator and owner of the handle Marathi Meme Monks. He was speaking at the 2nd Marathi Social Media Sammelan has been organised by Digital Media Premi Mandali in association with Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and Miracle events.


Shinde and Shashank Pratapvar participated in the panel titled ‘Meme: Template chya Alikadale ani Palikadale’ (Meme: Before and Beyond the Template). The discussion was conducted by R J Rahul. In the session, both the speakers highlighted the importance of memes as a sharp tool that can be used to spread social satire and social critique.


“Earlier subjects were limited but now memes have become so popular that they are used to break the social stereotypes. It has become our medium of expression. Memes really have great impact on the readers,” said Pratapvar. Shinde further added that whatever is not talked about through mainstream media is being expressed through memes.


The entire second day of this event held varied sessions about content creation on social media. Several YouTubers, vloggers, bloggers, reel and meme makers participated in the panels to discuss their process of creating the content and also what it means to be a Marathi social media content creator.


One of the panel discussions titled ‘Storicha Photo va Hazar Likes Chi Frame’ (Photo that creates a story and frame that gets 1000 likes) was conducted by Abhay Kanvinde, interior designer and Photographer. He presented the work of mobile photographers, Kartiken, Indrajeet Khambe and Gautam. The session shed the light on the usage of mobile photography and how it is used to capture the stories in the field. “While clicking the photos, I don’t think about them being good or bad, I just capture the moment,” said Kanvinde.


Another session titled, ‘Video Content Cha Kida’ (Bug of creating video content) held the discussion with renowned Marathi video content creators such as Nitesh Karale, Megha Pawar, Jeevan Kadam and Suraj Khatavkar. In the discussion, Khatavkar highlighted the fact that all three participants use their regional local accent while speaking in their videos and that ensures that different Marathi accents are reaching the larger audience. “There is a lot of scope in creating Marathi content as there are over 12 crore people who understand and speak Marathi and also a lot many migrants in Maharashtra understand it. Marathi content field is not saturated like that of English or Hindi. More people should try and create content in Marathi,” said Jeevan Kadam, travel vlogger.


The last session of the content creators was titled ‘Reel Life’. The discussion was conducted by R J Teju and the panelists were Gauri Pawar (Bindhaast Girl), Danny Pandit and Atharva Sudame. The discussion highlighted that even though reels are only 30 seconds long, they have a larger impact on the audience and also create commercial opportunities for the content creators.