Meditating the Revolution: Analysis of the Sudanese Professionals Association Communicative Strategies During Sudan’s 2018–2019 Revolution
In December 2018, a series of protests in several Sudanese cities sparked a nonviolent antigovernment revolution. The revolution succeeded in ousting the country’s authoritarian regime in April 2019. The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) and its social media platforms played an integral role in collective action mobilization during the revolution. This article examines the SPA’s communicative strategies and how those strategies contributed to mobilizing its followers. Using qualitative thematic analysis of the SPA’s public statements and building on Melucci’s work on collective identity, the study contends that the SPA’s mediated messages contributed to producing cognitive definitions, as well as relational and emotional components. This interactive and complex process partly enabled participants to identify themselves as a collective. The SPA’s communicative strategies entailed highlighting collective claims and thus creating shared cognitions. The SPA also contributed to creating a sense of belonging by constructing collective consciousness and discourse and building boundary markers between movement insiders and those perceived as movement outsiders. Moreover, SPA facilitated the activation of online and offline relational networks.