Tag: social movements

Optics and Fluidity: Evading Surveillance in Hong Kong

請點此閱讀中文版  At the Hong Kong airport, thousands of protesters line the arrivals hall. Creating a corridor for passengers to walk through, they stand silently, using their right hand to cover their right eye. The silence is occasionally perforated by calls of “Hāng Góng Gā Yáu!” and “Xiāng Gang Jīa Yóu 香港加油 – “Hong Kong Add Oil”— expressions of solidarity and encouragement that have become fuel for protests that have been ongoing and lively since March. Jingcha Huan Yan 警察還眼 – or, “police: return the eye” – has become a rallying cry of the movement following a police shooting of a young woman in the eye in Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙嘴. Protesters ritually cover their right eyes or patch them shut with bloodied bandages. Others change their social media profile picture to an artistic rendering of a woman with an eyepatch. Twitter hashtag campaigns such as #Eye4HK have gained international traction, (read more...)

Our Governor Resigned via Facebook: #RickyRenuncia, Puerto Rico’s Summer of Protest

Disponible en español aquí. On July 13th, the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (Center for Investigative Journalism) leaked 889 pages of a Telegram App chat between the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo “Ricky” Rosselló and eleven cabinet members and aides. The 889 pages were full of misogynist, homophobic, and classist comments about political figures, journalists, artists like Ricky Martin, and average citizens. They mocked the victims of hurricane María, which left 4,645 dead, saying “don’t we have some cadavers to feed our crows?” Memes citing the most egregious statements quickly began circulating through social media alongside early calls for the governor to resign. But beyond such insulting statements, the chat revealed complex corruption schemes and provided evidence of persecution of the governor’s political opponents. (read more...)

Twitter Hashtags, Emotion and The Resonance of Social Protest

There is something strikingly similar between the events taking place in Turkey and in Brazil. It is the momentum, intensity and force of these uprisings. It is the connection between profoundly context specific roots of social unrest and broader global political issues. In this post I want to focus on the issue of social media technologies. This is not to propose yet again a techno-deterministic analysis on social media and social protest. In fact, as argued elsewhere, in the understanding of the relationship between Web 2.0 technologies and social movements it is of fundamental importance that we move beyond techno-deterministic analyses that emphasize pervasiveness, agency and change (Barassi, 2012, Barassi and Treré, 2012, Barassi, 2013). What I want to do in this post is to consider the events in Turkey and Brazil by raising some points on the connection between social media, collective emotion and transnational resonance. In order to (read more...)