Body Image as Strategy for Engagement in Social Media
Keywords:Arab Spring, mobile technologies, body image, face, biopolitics.
Worldwide, the use of digital communication networks has been a key strategy in activist events involving demonstrations. Its use was evident in the media’s repeated publication of pictures taken on demonstrators’ mobile phones during actions that have overthrown heads of state during the Arab Spring in 2011. In countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, social network websites and mobile communication devices (phones and notebooks) were used widely for organizing participants and for recording events. This work intends to analyze not only how communication technologies have contributed to the emergence of such events but also how image production can be interpreted in such environments. Since the use of social media in protests caught the attention of broadcasting media in 2009 during demonstrations in Iran, a strong connection can be noticed between the content circulating through digital communication technologies and the body. For images produced during the Arab Spring, the same is observed with a series of strategies connecting body image and social mobilization. Our intention is to contribute to the debate of political images, considering the way they have been produced in contemporary society, which deals with a complex environment composed of communication technologies, social organization, and the body itself.
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