Activism Forms in the world of Social Media

By the turn of the twentieth century media organization has established themselves as voices of their societies, although more often they were the voices of politicians in their countries. However, its connection as a source to propagate ideas, the concerns and the struggles of the people was never lost. Perhaps in the second half of the twentieth century with the emergence of many groups advocating or protesting many issues, whether it was the woman’s movement, or Vietnam war in the U.S, or the anti-nuclear movement in the Germany back in the seventies and many other, these activist groups turned to the media as a sphere of political action. Perhaps social movements are the most that sought to public communication medium in order to achieve their projects.

However, there is a distinction must be made for Media activist where according William Carroll they differ in their social sources, sites, strategies and interventions which he identified following as the political economy tied to these media: (1) the institutional architecture of media organizations control and access to production and distribution; (1) the production process within media organizations (including notions of ethics and professionalism), (3) the content, or texts, frames, messages and programmes disseminated through that production process; (4) media audiences, whose attention to and negotiation of the multiple but structured potential meanings of media texts condition the latter’s ideological effectivity; and the cultural and structural ‘environment’ of communication institution” (Caroll, 2006). We can see these really pertain to the traditional mainstream media, so it won’t be surprising when we see how with the help of the new communication technologies people have found new outlets for their activist pursuits.

To shed light on some of activist movements taking place I think one of the most prominent ones are those that are called Hashtag Activism on social media, where we have seen many protests campaigns organizing themselves or voicing their news mainly on Twitter (since it’s the one that has #Hashtag) which they were able to reach to a vast majority of people all over the world. Many other movements come to my mind such as the Arab Spring, where I think the most important element used was social media but then once people gathered on the ground another dynamic would take place in which people began to bond in groups and kind of support each other, at least that’s what happened in Tahrir square in Egypt during the 2011 revolution which threw president Hosni Mubarak. I think these two examples take precedence now a day’s adding to them Occupy Wall Street in the U.S which also used social media extensively to spread its news. And of course there will always be the Indymedia which is one of the early versions of activism with the help of technological means of videotaping the Seattle protests back in the nineties.

Today, we have social media as the newest form of utilizing media for activism, previously we had examples such as “Samizdat” in communist Russia, or the traditional print form magazine “Red Pepper” in the U.K. I have to ask what will be the next new outlet for activists to spread their word.

The 140 character activism- Hashtag as part of public awareness campaigns

Social media activism has at least since the political protest on Tahrir square in Egypt become an efficient tool for people to participate and contribute to an online media platform, thus creating own online communication channels to maintain the spirit of a revolution. As expressed in the article The revolution will be twittered: ´You cannnot stop people any longer. You cannot control them any longer. They bypass your established media, they can broadcast to one another, they can organize as never before. It may be true that the possibilities by social media platforms as Twitter can be of benefit for the civil society as the media of them and for them, but on the other hand four years after Tahrir the debate if there is a real power of social media in a revolution to change an existing system is ongoing and it does not seem there is any clear answer if yes or no.

It may be courageous to proclaim that only social media have helped revolutions like in Tahrir, rather it must have more been an interplay of more factors. But what social media activism shows is that Twitter or other social media networks can accelarate the effects of such protests and serve as models for further activism on Twitter. For many media activists the hashtags can be a way of how to draw attention to any important issue that may be neglected or downplayed by traditional media. The use of  hashtags on Twitter may be created to raise public awareness about any current issue in the world.

In the last year we could wittness many of these kind of Twitter activism via hashtags that have gone very viral. The #Ferguson was a parallel reaction to the protests in the USA about the jury decision in the Michael Brown case shooting by a police officer that lead to Michael Brown´s death. The initial hashtag further in days transformed into #blacklivesmatter and other related hashtags, that focused on raising awareness or stir the discussion over police treatment of African-Americans. According to some author´s it was Twitter that in case of Fergusson put a light on the issue, that may have otherwise been downplayed or even forgotten. Moreover as said by Desmond-Harris from Vox the hashtag virality put the issue on media agenda: ´Twitter, Instagram, and Vine have given McKesson and others without existing platforms or influential contacts a tool to transform age-old racial justice issues into major national news´. The same year we saw another Twitter action to raise the agenda of what the world is talking about. The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was there to virtually stir the debate about the return of the kidnapped Nigerian girls or to create more pressure on official bodies to take steps to free the girls. This hashtag campaign became so viral, that even the first lady Michelle Obama has been seen to support it as well as many other famous people and celebrities.

These and many other even current examples like the hashtag for the major earthquake in Nepal show that when we focus on activism on Twitter there really is something called as ´hashtag activism´- the essence of 140 characters to spurt public debates and awareness campaigns. According to Phillip Howard from the Digital Activism Research Project the ´hashtag activism´ can also be described as ´…what happens when someone tries to raise public awareness of a political issue using some clever or bitting keyword on social media´. The itself power of these kind of campaign like the online revolution debates are quit interlinked and seem to have the same dillemas, about whether such campaigns using hashtags can actually bring a real change or if they are just civic or public PR tools to support a cause or an issue, but the actual happening should come not from an online world but from real life policies and actions. But one way or another the ´hashtag activism´ as the latest form of online activism is I think about to stay to let people participate and make them part of the online activism movement.

Reference:

´Hashtag Activism: What does it mean for the public sphere´ In Talking Politics, accessed at: https://talkingpoliticsjomc.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/hashtag-activism-what-does-it-mean-for-the-public-sphere/

Sullivan, A. (2009) “The Revolution will be Twitted”, The Atlantic, accessed at: http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/print/2009/06/the-revolution-will-be-twittered/200478/

https://twitter.com/flotus/status/464148654354628608

“Commons Knowledge” could it become the new source of Knowledge?

If we examine the developments we went through in our modern history, we will find that the biggest leap of all is the one that took place in the mid twentieth century with the innovation of computers and again in the nineties when the internet became available for everyone. In her book Alternative and Activist Media, Leah Lievrouw asserts that “The internet has grown beyond its initial mode as a vast library and document repository into something more like a cultural festival in which anyone can perform, contribute, comment, and debate”.  With the development of internet practices also become more available to people what can be called Commons Knowledge. Commons knowledge offers an alternative to the traditional knowledge creation which we are more often exposed to through schools or colleges, from experts or various institutions. Today how this knowledge is created, distributed and filtered has taken one step ahead.

Whether this new commons knowledge is a good thing or not, I think a great example that well explains this term is Wikipedia, it is an open source knowledge database where anyone from anywhere can contribute, add or edit the information pages on its website. A question that should be asked how reliable as a source of information Wikipedia could be? The answer I think is “it will never be fully reliable” but it will still remain as a reference where people go to seek information. But Why? I think the answer to this has two folds; first the assumption that the contributors to Wikipedia could have truth in their contributions creates some sorts of reliability in the minds of the readers, even if  it’s not true, second, it’s easy and almost have every kind of information you would want to know. I think if it was not for the internet, meaning if it had another print like form, Wikipedia would’ve been obscure.

What we need to learn is the ability to recognize a good source of information when we seek knowledge otherwise we will doom ourselves to ignorance. Feeding ourselves with unworthy and untrue facts, and this is where the danger from such sources lie, history can easily be misinterpreted, sciences can be falsified.

Can Wikipedia really challenge traditional knowledge ´gatekeepers´?

´Broadly speaking, the most intensive scrutiny has centered on two main issues: Wikipedia’s breathtaking growth and popularity as a basic reference for a remarkably wide sweep of topics in numerous languages; and persistent worries about its quality – its credibility, accuracy, validity, and even (among philosophers) its epistemic value´. (Lievrouw,2011:201)

I think this in a nutshell represents what Wikipedia is nowadays, a source of vast of information of any kind, which but at the same time is a target of long-lasting dilemma whether these information are qualitative enough to compete. I think I am not the only person who on a regular basis visits Wikipedia and goes first to Wikipedia to learn about something unknown. It has became almost routine for Internet users to use Wikipedia, the easy and  encyclopedic way of Wikipedia can give ´information seekers´ as me the starting point to learn. The popularity of Wikipedia may, but in a big portion stem from its commons, being a project of commons knowledge, where knowledge is produced by amateurs and not knowledge ´gatekeepers´ in form of credibilited authors, publishing houses or other traditional links that have the power over knowledge distribution.

On the other hand from my experience during my student life, I many times crossed personal and academic struggle how and if to use Wikipedia as a source of information in my assignment papers or essays. It seems to always come down to the topic of ´not being a trustworthy source´. Thus then when I elaborate about the role of commons knowledge project such as Wikipedia as being a challenge to the traditional institutionalized knowledge and expert authorities as expressed by Lievrouw, it leaves me doubtful. Doubtful about the commons knowledge projects power to rival traditional keepers of knowledge. It makes me question if a collective effort of ordinary people ´information amateurs´ can challenge the dominant means of knowledge institutions. Lievrouw mentions writers who say that collective knowledge enhances the autonomy and liberty of individuals and streghtens democratic practises against technocratic elites, but at the same time he stresses the common issues associated with commons knowledge projects. Firstly Lievrouw says that commons knowledge is volunteer- based, thus it may contribute to the ´free labor´ outlook problem of nowadays creative industries. Secondly that information on websites such as Wikipedia may not be always so democratic, since they also depend on anonymous sources and reproductions of information, thus this leads to the third and for me personally the biggest issue- ´the no guarantee of quality´.

One of the more idealistic ideas about Wikipedia is many times connected to enhancing the democracy with being more free and unbiased source of information than those traditional ones, because it is constituted by a collective effort and not single or priviliged group of professionals. But Wikipedia´s articles are based on many sources some of which include also as their basis ´institutional´ work of some academics, that may already be biased in one direction. Athe same time even the ´amateurs´ itself go in their contribution process to Wikipedia thought sort of gatekeeping, they pick up some articles while neglecting others.

I think its not possible to 100% proclaim that Wikipedia is an alternative and that is the only thing Wikipedia represents, since it at some point will apply a sort of ´filtering of information´ and apply a more like traditional knowledge gatekeepers policies and rules of how to contribute to the website so the information are not just a collection of any information, but trustworthy ones. I think more what Wikipedia can be if not a sole alternative to other power knowledge sources, at least for me is a good basic starting point of entry into my process of getting new knowledge that can direct me to many other usefull links also outside of Wikipedia. Wikipedia I think thus serves as a complementary source of information to traditional sources and thus go hand in hand with them rather than against them.

The idea of a collective people information production site however more than traditional knowledge gatekeepers serve as a platform for participation. People can be part of information distribution channel as contributors, editors and this certainly does in some ways contribute to free expression, free entry of ideas, any ideas, that would not be possible for an amateur contributor, to  express in or break into the structures of old knowledge gatekeepers. Wikipedia despite of the criticism over bugs of reliability and quality, I think does not take its fame of being one of the top commons knowledge projects, being a big information playground to learn, discover and participate. I am sure next time I will encounter any unknown term I will again not hesitate to search for it on Wikipedia, as I believe will do many other Internet users daily.

Reference:

Lievrouw, L. (2011) Alternative and Activist Media. Cambridge: Polity Press

Digital Storytelling the New Way of Self Expression

Long through the history of mankind we have been able to preserve our heritage or culture through stories more often told by the elders in the community and passed through generation to generation, many of them has evolved and changed where they become a legend or a myth. Of course, the kind of story I am talking about here is not the professional literary written and then printed kind of a story, I am talking about that intimate kind of story that talks about personal experiences, a story told by an individual about what he is going through or something about his surroundings, it is a story that’s is usually neglected within the literary industry.

Today, this storytelling has evolved to digital storytelling, it’s no longer a word of mouth. With the video recording technologies we have today, one can document his own history; we no longer have to know only about famous people such as politicians, actors, kings or queens. Today with digital storytelling the ordinary individual has been given a voice to make his own story heard, I think this would become the biggest reservoir of world history that human kind can generate for the future generations. With digital storytelling, people will share their lives experiences whether they are intimate or ordinary, they get to say their own point of view without the filtering or the projection and twisting of a second party which used to be the person documenting or writing a biography.

I think this digital storytelling will open new doors and shut others, at one hand it will allow people to tell their story from their own perspective, on the other hand, biographers may become out of business, also I think it will challenge the celebrity culture that’s adopted by mainstream media, we no longer just have to hear about the American singer Beyounce’s problems or how the British scientist Steven Hawking got to overcome obstacles despite his disability. We now can hear the story of a small refugee kid who had to flee his country, or a woman who has a medical condition that she has to live with the rest of her life. The digital storytelling has risen self-expression and widened the pole for people to be exposed to others stories to learn more about each other, and this is why I think it can be a counter attempt toward the celebrity industry and reality shows we see in mainstream media. And it will also bring people closer together since they can now relate to each other and find more commonalities between one another.

I think it is imperative that digital storytelling maintain its feature of being the voice of the ordinary person and not to be highjacked by big corporates and mainstream media. Its strength comes from its objectivity and projecting perspectives that otherwise would have been ignored.

Digital storytelling: Mapping human stories

Stories are all around us and they constitute our life. We encounter people to get to know them also though their story of life, while we at the same time uncover our own personal stories, that had an impact on our life to other people. And the basic assumption of digital storytelling is exactly that, that everyone has a story to tell and that those stories are powerful. In our stories we may remember an unforgetable moment of finding the true love of our life, but then…It may be a story about a dear person that…It may be the vacation when you were a child when suddenly…All of these stories make sense of who we are.

As said by Lambert: ´The story become a way to find, if not a re-statement of rooted identity, at least a new center of gravity.´ Further as his experiences during the workshops of Center for Digital Storytelling, he says the re-telling of an incident of trauma, or a situation of achievement, or even a seemingly mundane interaction is made to service the establishment of new equilibrium – a homeostasis – in the storyteller’s sense of self. Thus that the the telling of story can serve for the storyteller as a form of therapy. And then when we move from the moment of the  narrative of the story and combine it with the latest technology, we may grasp that even a at first ordinary story may via images, videos or graphics create a complex picture of the story. All the possible combinations of visuals, sound and the narrative can give the story the essence, bring the story alive, make it more emotional, highlight the uniqueness of the story.

Furthermore even a single individual story can have the impact to be related to a much larger issue, in short digital story can be part of a larger community of people that can relate to the message of the story. And this is one of the aspect why the digital storytelling can be adopted to be a newer form of media engagement. As Lambert says digital storytelling is to support of construction of a healthy individual identity and moving on from the dysfuntional views of dominant media that count on shaping our desires and fears and reshape our identiy as Homo consumerus. And Burgess highlight also the diferentiation point of digitall storytelling to a documentary:

´Digital Storytelling as a ‘movement’ is explicitly designed to amplify the ordinary voice. It aims not only to remediate vernacular creativity, but to legitimate it as a relatively autonomous and worthwhile contribution to public culture. This marks it as an important departure from even the most empathetic ‘social documentary’ traditions.´

The workshop that Mr.Lambert and his colleagues in the Center for Digital Storytelling do is to use the digital options nowadays that are affordable such as video editing tools and publishing and distribution platforms that internet offers such as Vimeo of Youtube to emphasize the participatory media practices. One of the other feature of digital storytelling is that by telling a story digitally the storyteller can learn new digital skills. The differentiating point about a documentary and a digital story is that it is being narratited in the first voice by the storyteller itself. This way most of the stories from Makers, the largest collection of women stories is being produced. The women storytellers in this video are there to serve as an ispiration and maybe motivation, such as the story of Katherine G. Johnson, the NASA mathematician, who grow up in times where for African American girls the options were being a nurse or a teacher. Her story as other stories in on the website thought this stories celebrate women and empower others. Similarly the Bristol stories project releases digital stories about various themes from different people that come from Bristol, thus made by local people that tell their stories about people, places and events that are important to them.

Reference:

Lambert, J. (2013) Digital Storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community, New York: Routledge

Burgess, J. (2006) Hearing Ordinary Voices: Cultural studies, Vernacular Creativity and Digital Storytelling in Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 20 (2):pp 201-2014
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6243/1/6243.pdf

Democratic Talk: Reflections from Places Looking for Change [Week 7]

According to Barber the purpose of democratic talk is to create citizens who can think as a public (1984), I would like to shed light in this article on one part of the world which is the Middle East, which has been going through turmoil in the past five years. I will have to argue that a critical factor for this eruption is the lack of a Democratic Talk in some of these countries. What has come to be known as the Arab Spring has started in many Arab countries out of struggle for free speech. There were instances where people were jailed for expressing their simplest thoughts about what’s going on in their countries, so this urge for free expression has erupted. But why did it erupt all of the sudden, or was it really sudden or an accumulation of suppressed thoughts and aspirations to participate in political talk. I think the latter is more valid. There are some examples of initiatives that took place showing people’s eagerness to express their opinions such as bloggers in Tunisia who started “7ell blog” or “start blogging” which a web page and Facebook page were also set up to further propagate their messages, another forms of expression took place in Libya for instance where Rappers started rapping against the Gaddafi regime. However, according to Allen Fountain Al-Jazeera channel comes out to be the most distinctly Alternative view in the Middle East (2007).

A crucial element that can allow people to be involved in political participation is to learn “How”, where Barber’s conception of democratic talk is supported by media theorists who link civic education to active participation in public deliberation and debate (Abramson, Arterton and Orren 1988; Entman 1989), from this we can see how imperative it is to integrate active participation in civic education which is a factor that is more often neglected.

Throughout the years many projects has evolved to allow people to participate and voice out their concerns and work to amend their social reality some of them has started very modestly with tapes being circulated, however, today many took a further step to be online like Labor beat, Alternative Views and there is Paper Tiger Television. I have to somehow argue that in some places more than other, alternative media has positioned itself as a reliable and trust worthy source of information perhaps starting a new episode of them replacing the more dominant main stream media. People are hungry for getting different views of news, reliance on state television has drastically weakened. So, it become important for people who are making news through alternative media to establish more strategic and organize their operation and make them more tolerant to external forces so as not to be swept away by the first crisis but still serve the causes they started for.

Press play- the power of participatory video

Chris Lunch from the Insighshare.org in his TEDx Talk asked the audience how many of them do have a video camera. Obviously the raised hands did only support the already guessed fact that nowadays the majority of people does. Many of us indeed have a video camera on our phones, maybe even daily with us in the bag or pocket, but do we actually use this technology to the fullest? Do we use the video tool in order to make a change in our surrounding environment? And are we actually aware of the potential of the video to contribute to our communities, whether its a local neighboring community, gay community, ethnic community or any other? Does a video camera give us the chance to be the video film makers we wanna see and shoot videos we wanna see about people we know with problems that are familiar to us?

The great power of a participatory video in comparison with video documentaries or video production aimed for the commercial and mainstream TV channels, is the power of freedom to speak about anything and anywhere. Participatory videos are not limited in terms of space they can give to certain people like officials or politicians, they give space to anyone in the community, especially ordinary people. Participatory videos are neither limited in terms of topics they cover. But one of the major point about participatory videos is that the people about whom the video is become itself the producers/directors of the video, they are the ones who unfold the script as they go along with the shooting. Thus the communities are a crucial part of the production process, they are not pasivated by the video camera, but rather activated in their roles as producers, but also as important features of the stories being told. I think this is also one of the reason why Mr.Lunch in his speech says when pointing to the camera: ´´This is not a video camera …. this is a torch hoping communities to research the issues they are facing, uncover the solutions…” The immediate personal experience of the communities directly in the video production process empowers them to brainstorm the problems together, because when we put it in simple words does a professional anthropologist living in for example an African tribe for three month know more about the issues of the community than the community itself? Participatory video thus I think also promotes the idea that communities can be trained to effectively use the video camera, that learning it should not be seen as an obstacle to raise the voice. Instead video trainings give local communities the know how to unfold the issues and problems they face more in depth than any other outside professional filmmaker. The comfort of being interviewed from peer to peer additionaly gives the interviewers the comfort of familiarity when being filmed.

Furthermore what I think participatory videos can bring to a community, but also to audiences is the message that anyone can be and is the teller of his own story and those who learn the ability to use the tool of video can make this stories part of what is called “citizen media”. As said by Clemencia Rodriguez participatory video productions can provoke: processes of identity construction, personal and group empowerment, demystification of mainstream media, reversal of power roles, and increasing collective strength. (Rodriguez, 2001:127). Similarly as the access television programming, participatory video can be seen as part of  larger group of radical media, and that these participatory video projects contribute to building up a participatory democracy that involves citizens in the core.

Reference:

Lunch C. (2013) ´This is not a video camera´, at TEDxTalks

Rodriguez, C. (2001) ´Colombian women producing video stories´, in Fissures in Mediascape: An International Study of Citizen´s Media. Cresskil, New Jersey: Hampton Press

Stein, L. (1998) ´Democratic ´Talk´, Access Television and Participatory Political Communication´, in The Public/Javnost, vol. 5 (2), pp. 21-34

 

Cultural Jammers are the History Writers of Our Time

Through the ages people have always found ways to express themselves, their views and their affiliations. Artist like Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Andy Warhol had left their marks behind for generations to some, some were controversial at their time, like Picasso’s Guernica painting or Warhol’s art. These figures can be described as Cultural Jammers, create with mirrors’ and are related to what Gramsci (1971: 417) called a ‘new way of conceiving the world’ and ‘modifying . . . popular thought and mummified popular culture’ (Baily, 2007).

However, many whom are considered Cultural Jammers today are forces [that] counter-hegemony as a strategy to challenge dominant forces and discourses in society (Baily, 2007), among these, the name of Ron English come to the surface as one of the most recognizable artists of current times who had made some powerful images on the street, in museums, movie, books and television. He had a very unique way of combining, what he describes as, high and low culture, his images meshes together modern superheroes to figures from far away history. One of his famous art works is Marilyn Monroe’s image he made. However, another important Jammers of our internet age are the Anynomous group, which is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities which promote anonymous social engagement by direct action. It originated in 2003 on the image board 4chan [website], representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic*1. hacktivism, another notion that has become commonplace in recent years to describe digital activism (Baily, 2007). The Anynomous group has been active in opposing behemoth corporations and government organization because of their practices against ordinary citizens. Such hacktivist work included hacking the U.S Federal Reserve. I think this is one of the most powerful movements of our time, its un-centrality and unclear chain of commands (which I doubt to exist) made it so wide spread worldwide.

These Jammers are contributing in shaping our societies that we live in. Their work can be felt and reach everyone today, especially with the Internet. So, no one can deny their impact and perhaps their work can get to be so profound that it can change the course of history.

References:

*1 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anonymous_%28group%29

Ron English Website https://www.popaganda.com/news?page=1

Baily, O. Cammaerts, B and Carpenier,N. (2008) Understanding Alternative Media. Berkshire: Open University Press

The modern carnivals of Vendetta protesters

Across the centuries, those on the losing ends of the political and economic spectrum have periodically, counteracted repressive forms of governmet with carnivalesque forms of protest. (Bruner, 2005:1)

Thought the history as the author of Carnivalesque Protest and the Humorless State, M. Lane Bruner says, carnival forms of protest have been challenging the powers of state via humor, from political carnivals in the Ancient Rome, in the Middle Age until the Orange Alternative´s carnivalesque protest in Poland during the communism era. According to Claire Tancons: “Carnival hardly exists in the United States anymore…However, the carnivalesque—as a medium of emancipation and a catalyst for civil disobedience—is alive and well, and these contemporary carnivals have retained their rebellious potential.One of the contemporary mask symbols of such carnivalesque disobedience nowadays  that makes a common line for lot of contemporary protests around the world I think is the famous mask of Guy Fawkes used by some demonstrators in the movements against the social and economic inequality in the world- Occupy Wall Street, but seen also during the Arab Spring or Gezi park protests. Gradually with the extensive usage during the various political protests, this mask has become some kind of symbol of resisting the existing state or government powers, an icon that stands for anti-government, anti-establishment sentiments or against a form of state tyranny. And why did the protesters actually decide to use this type of masks to convey a message of an anti-thesis to governments?

The popularity of usage of Guy Fawkes masks in relation to protest movements comes from the itself iconic movie, where V for Vendetta, fighter or the anti-hero tries to stear a revolution against the in movie proclaimed fascism regime of the UK in 2020. The  V´s inspiration for the upraising is drawn from the Gunpowder Plot in the 1605´s England intended to kill the King James I. But it was the Anonymous internet hacktivist group that largely spreaded the usage of this masks and popularized it, as they adopted it as their form of coverage of identity. Individuals that feel connected with the ideas of the Anonymous group or are itself members wear them in public. Furthermore the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been seen worn one of these masks on the London Occupy movement. To question who wears this carnivalesque mask seems to signify that it´s not just an exclusivity of protesters, but to simply disseminate a non-agreement or critisism coming even from politicians to policians pointing out with humor the problematics of an issue. The members of Polish government worn for example Guy Fawke´s masks as an antistance towards the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. I think this can also tell us more about the fact that this mask can be firmly seen as part of current political carnivals. As pointed out by Jonathan Jones : Carnival is entertaining and opens up questions that cannot usually be asked. Guy Fawkes has become the king of a carnival of questions. Far from being sinister, his mask is a jokey icon of festive citizenship.

Reference:

Bruner, M.L. (2005) “Carnivalesque Protest and the Humorless State”, in Text&Performance Quarterly, Vol.25, No.2, pp.136-155

Jones, J. (2011) Occupy´s V for Vendetta protest mask is a symbol of festive citizenshipin The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/nov/04/occupy-movement-guy-fawkes-mask

Tancons, C. (2011) “Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility” in e-flux http://www.e-flux.com/journal/occupy-wall-street-carnival-against-capital-carnivalesque-as-protest-sensibility/

Olson, P. (2012) ” Amid ACTA Outcry Politicians Don Anonymous Guy Fawkes Masks” in Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2012/01/27/amid-acta-outcy-politicians-don-anonymous-guy-fawkes-masks/

V for Vendetta movie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_%28film%29