Constructing Public Space|Weibo, WeChat, and the Transformative Events of Environmental Activism in China

Kevin Michael DeLuca, Elizabeth Brunner, Ye Sun


The emergence of China and the advent of social media are two events that rupture the world as it is and force a rethinking of activism and public spaces. Environmental protests in China, often performed on a mediascape dominated by social media, suggest new conditions of possibility for activism and a need to adopt new methods and tools for understanding the myriad practices of activists in China that exceed the strictures of governmental control and offer hope for different futures. This essay theorizes emerging practices of citizenship and inventive imaginings of public spaces by introducing wild public screens. To do so, we analyze how Chinese environmentalists deploy Weibo, WeChat, and other social media platforms.


digital rhetoric; activism; social movements; environment; China; Deleuze

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