Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings| Producing Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings ‒ Introduction

Kari Anden-Papadopoulos



A decade after the outbreak of the Arab revolutions, what remains of the political promise of “cameras everywhere” to permit activists and protesters in the region revived forms of agency, self-expression, and connectivity? This Special Section aims to provide a better understanding of what the opportunities and constraints are for practices of grassroots digital image activism within today’s political struggles in the Arab world. Together, the articles track the current conditions of possibility for Arab digital image activism to actualize counterdominant practices of capturing, mobilizing, and archiving visual documentation of people’s struggles for justice in the region. Where traditional media studies tend to focus on insurgent image making as content rather than as embodied and embedded practices, the contributions here feature a range of concrete, contextual, and innovative repertoires of activist video and photography practices. They specifically detail the struggle between resistance and control, between efforts to maintain the radical potential of grassroots forms and practices image-making in the region, and the renewed hegemonic threats and pressures of co-optation, commodification, and censorship.



video activism, Arab revolutions, digital activism, social media, media practice

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