Social business in online financing: Crowdfunding narratives of independent documentary producers in Turkey
Crowdfunding is a relatively novel concept in Turkish public discourse. Yet activist media producers in Turkey actively use online opportunities to solicit production post-production and distribution financing. This article explores crowdfunding as a signifier that draws public attention to media texts for which online funding drives are performed. As crowdfunding campaigns circulate through social media they forge publics around the related films videos stories and more significantly the social causes around which these media revolve. Based on long-term ethnographic research with independent media producers in Turkey the article scrutinizes the crowdfunding adventures behind three documentaries My Child Ecumenopolis and I Flew You Stayed as narrated by their producers. Using the analysis of the campaigns for these documentary films as cases I argue that in addition to being a means to raising funds crowdfunding is a tool to accomplish social and political ends ranging from creating communities of support and attracting media attention to building a reputation of independence.