The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) held its annual conference from 11-15 July 2021 in Nairobi and Online. As part of their conference, they also offered grants to host No Travel Events, one of which was awarded to Devina Sarwatay, PhD Student and Senior Research Fellow (UGC-NET) working with Prof. Usha Raman at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad.

She organised the IAMCR Hyderabad Event at the Department with support from the Faculty Advisory Board comprising Prof. Usha Raman, Prof. Vinod Pavarala, and Dr Madhavi Ravikumar and the Local Student Organising Committee consisting of PhD students – Vipula PC and Hazeena T – and MA students – Madhu Veechika K, Sumbul Danish, Uma Shankar Veeraballi, and Varsha Manoj Nair – of the Department. The IAMCR No Travel Event Grant of USD 250.00 was used to organise a Graduate Students Conference Competition (GSCC) on 13th July 2021, Day 3 of the Event.

Day 3 consisted of the GSCC and the screening of two IAMCR Flow 34 videos. One of the Flow 34 videos screened was by Amritha Mohan, PhD Student at the Department. GSCC started with the introduction of the two judges: Prof. TT Sreekumar, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad and Dr Madhavi Ravikumar from the Department. A total of seven papers that were selected for the judges’ round after two series of previous review were presented by PhD and PG students from various institutes like Symbiosis International, USC Annenberg, ESSEC Business School, IIM Kozhikode, Pondicherry University, IIM Indore, Mizoram University and the Department. Each presentation was followed by questions and remarks from the judges.

The winners of the competition were announced at the end of the session by Dr Ravikumar. Deepti Apte, Symbiosis International and her paper on ‘Capturing Image-Text modal relations in Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) through WhatsApp diaries’ earned the 1st prize and an award of INR 10,000/-. The 2nd place and INR 5,000/- was won by Hima Kriti, IIM Kozhikode; Mythily Nair, USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication; and Rachit Agarwal, ESSEC Business School who jointly presented their paper, ‘Art on Instagram: Conceptualising, creating, and disseminating hybrid materiality’. Coming in 3rd, Shatakshi Huddar and Kanchana MR, IIM Indore were awarded INR 3,000/- for their paper on ‘Restricting Access: The curious case of ‘step-up’ apps and platforms in India’. This award money was made possible by the generous IAMCR No Travel Event grant.