Deadline: May 8, 2016
Venue: Orient-Institut Beirut
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Laila Shereen Sakr, Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Man holding a poster reading „Facebook, #jan25, The Egyptian Social Network“ during the 2011 protests illustrating the vital role played by social networks in initiating the uprising. Image by Essam Sharaf (CC-BY-SA 3.0).
The pivotal and unprecedented role that digital technology has played in instigating, as well as documenting the Arab Spring has without a doubt renewed the interest in social movements beyond the traditional realm of the „physical“. As the revolution in digital technology is slowly revolutionizing the way people communicate, debate existing norms and are exposed to other social and cultural practices and forms of governance worldwide, it is also providing new means for coordination and mobilization. In the advent of the Arab ‚Spring‘ revolts throughout the region, digital technology has successfully pushed its way into politics: allowing people across borders, class, and formal venues of associations to debate, coordinate, and transform the ‚digital‘ into the ‚physical‘.
Today, political leaders around the world utilize digital technology to communicate and debate their political agenda to and with the public. Twitter and Facebook have pushed their way to becoming pivotal venues of mediation in state-society relations worldwide. News sharing, debating, and critical collective views of governments across the world has given more ‚power‘ and leverage to the ‚people‘ in the framework of collective ’shaming and blaming‘ for exposing human rights violations, abuses and the denial of basic rights and freedoms. Employing satirical language in the critical reproduction of news, as well as developing cartoons and videos, digital activism has taken on a new face that bridges cultures and allows a wider public to engage in and relate to political, social, economic, and cultural debates. Examples from around the world can demonstrate how social media venues in particular are becoming a venue for dissent, activism, and campaigning for social, political and even economic causes. Weiterlesen