Digital Eternities, Tribute To The Ancestors


This project aims to study the digital funeral practices in Shanghai and the issues of the Digital Eternities in China.

Firstly, we will examine the funeral practices in Shanghai through the prism of Internet : how is death mentioned on Weibo, what issues do emerge from the contributions of users located in Shanghai? This will be studied in the messages mailed around the Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping) day in early april.

Secondly, we will examine the digital funeral practices in Shanghai : which practices are prolonged in this digital environment (tributes in digital cemeteries)? Which new funeral practices do the digital devices go with (pre-mortem groups of socialisation, deaths’ pages animation)? Who do pay tribute to whom? How is the tribute expressed? A socio-semiotic analysis of the tributes to relatives, cele- brities and heros will be conduct on Weibo, in the posts as well as in deaths’ pages, and on digital cemeteries (Earth Village for example).

Thirdly, we will realize an overview of the new funeral practices in Shanghai which are specific to digi- tal devices. Is there any online services such as digital stronboxes or last whishes’ execution? Interviews will be conducted to complete the monitoring and analysis of the Web.