Developments in digital technologies are having an impact on the work practices of cultural professionals. Digital technologies today afford cultural professionals with new ways of exhibiting art and culture. The digital platforms of galleries and museums, including websites and social media accounts, have become curated spaces with multi-media, interactive content and large amounts of digitized art collections for public access. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition towards digitization. The increased use of and reliance on digital platforms for work has made cultural professionals work in new ways, produce new types of content specifically for online and find new ways of communicating with audiences. However, little is known about how cultural professionals have harnessed the creative potential of social networking sites for digital cultural communication during the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam. The purpose of this study is to explore how Vietnamese cultural professionals have utilised Facebook for communicating with audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper draws on a digital ethnography of Facebook posts from 7 contemporary, independent art spaces and 20 semi-structured interviews with cultural professionals in Hanoi. The findings show that visual content was remediated once uploaded onto Facebook, whereby artworks and photographs took on a new meaning in relation to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Facebook has taken on a central role in work in the art and cultural sector in Hanoi during the Covid-19 pandemic. This could help to legitimize the use of Facebook for work in the creative industries in the future.
Emma Duester, RMIT University Vietnam, Vietnam