BCMCR Research Seminar: Online solidarity and its limitations
1600-1730 Wednesday 22 November 2017
P424, Parkside, Birmingham City University
Free registration at this link
Dr. Miriyam Aouragh (University of Westminster) – Solidarity and the “refugee crisis”: Engagement beyond Affect
An extraordinary shift in perception occurred when the photo of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi broke all media headlines in 2015. The dramatic picture of a drowned and washed-up toddler provoked a truly global public outcry that led several EU states to open their borders. The reaction to this image stimulated solidarity. In many popular and academic reflections the power of the image was vital and the force of viral dissemination a recurring explanation; the “refugee crisis” itself was often framed in relation to the use of digital devices. We take a similar moment a year later to deconstruct this reality, namely with the equally mass-disseminated photo of the Syrian child Omran Daqneesh rescued during a bombing raid in Aleppo. Caught on camera whilst sitting in an ambulance in an eerie state of mind, the impact of this photo enforced a serious reconsideration behind the assumptions about the power of digitally mediated images. The problem was not a lack of sympathy, the affect so often credited to digital media. But that it was ‘ineffective affect’ because it wasn’t sustained by grassroots initiatives.
Dr. Adrija Dey (BCU) – TBC
About the speakers:
Dr. Miriyam Aouragh is Leverhulme fellow at Communication And Media Research Institute. Since 2011 she follows, and writes about, the complex revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world with special interest in the impact of the internet. In 2013 she was awarded a Leverhulme fellowship to develop this into a critical study of new media in the paradoxical context of revolution and counter-revolution.
Dr. Adrija Dey is a Lecturer in Media Communication at BCU. Her research interests lie in the field of digital activism, feminist media studies, cyberconflict and surveillance, media convergence and digital narratives, transnational activism, intersectionality and masculinity. Her research draws on insights from a wide range of disciplines, including media movements and radical politics, social movement studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies.