Smirnova Tatiana

Titre provisoire: Social and cultural event in the era of digital social networks: the case of the « Fête des Vignerons »

PHD Supervisor : D. Vinck, Université de Lausanne

This PhD research analyses the role of social media in the preparation and running of the Fête des Vignerons 2019. An important event in the history and culture of French-speaking Switzerland (around one million visitors), the Fête is unique : it only happens every 20-25 years. For the first time, it took place in a world where digital social networks are widely present. Its organisation used them to interact with visitors, performers and partners. The research question can be tentatively formulated as follows : how does the use of digital social networks transform the organization, the process and the memory of the Fête? It is about understanding the roles that these social media play and the digital traces of the Fête that will remain for future generations. 

To answer this question, I began ethnographic observation work during the preparation of the Fête (by integrating in the team of volunteers who worked with the Executive Management) and in the digital environment (by practicing digital ethnography and by building up a corpus of traces left in digital social networks and subjecting them to digital studies). The research will report on the work of the actors involved in the preparation of the Fête in terms of designing and managing content of social media and monitoring what happens before, during and after the Fête. The final part of the research project concerns the memory of the Fête: what surrounds it (preparation and experience) and its transmission from one generation to the next. To the next generation, associated with social media networks, which did not exist at the time of the previous edition in 1999, and which unpredictable at the time of the next edition in 20 to 25 years' time. 

Understanding the processes that occur with and in social media - in events such as the Fête des Vignerons - opens up new perspectives for comprehension of the role of digital technologies in society as a means of interaction between individuals and the transmission of "messages" to future generations.