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Organising the Syrian revolution - student activism through Facebook
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
Number of Authors: 12019 (English)In: Visual Studies, ISSN 1472-586X, E-ISSN 1472-5878, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 239-251Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I engage with the use of Facebook by Syrian student activists to mobilise demonstrations and other acts of resistance against the regime of Al-Assad. The material presented was collected during fieldwork among Syrian refugees in Sweden and activists still in Aleppo, Syria, between 2015 and 2016. Methodologically this is an anthropological qualitative study, employing the method of participant-observation, including online interviews with interlocutors in Syria as a compliment to observations and interviews conducted in Sweden. The findings suggest that although Facebook was not a reason behind the revolution it was an important infrastructure for mobilisation during the revolution. Moreover, I show how Facebook not only allowed activists to mobilise, but also to share images of atrocities in Syria with a global public as well as publish paintings and caricatures of the regime as means to situate themselves within the Syrian revolutionary context. My material illustrates the importance of visuals both as 'visual proofs' and as a media of communication. The article follows the developments of the revolution to show how the use of visuals and social media developed as events turned increasingly violent. With the increasing violence I also probe into how the west viewed what was happening in Syria through images, and conclude on some possible reasons behind the lack of action on behalf of the western audience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 34, no 3, p. 239-251
National Category
Media and Communications Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175100DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2019.1653790ISI: 000484130500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175100DiVA, id: diva2:1362899
Available from: 2019-10-22 Created: 2019-10-22 Last updated: 2019-12-08Bibliographically approved

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