Re-Shaping the Political Field One Visual Fragment at a Time: The Tunisian Conundrum
Keywords: politics of the image, visual studies, documentary method, visual genres
AbstractThe Internet has become a vigorous political field of interactions. Many of these interchanges – confrontations as well as encounters – rely on the weight of the image as a prominent communication tool. We are now used to loads of images flowing through the Internet’s digital corridors, but the mainstreaming of this phenomenon has brought about singular possibilities for political developments based on emerging uses and interpretations. In a way, politicians have historically made use of images to sustain their agendas, but the forms, styles and circumstances available today have become a game-changing factor at certain critical moments. In this article, we explore the case of the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 as a clear case of an important shift in this tradition. Our interpretation brings to the fore the double-edged semiotic meaning of a particular image and its key significance within a particular political event.
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