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The Visual Memory of Protest

232 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Social movements are not only remembered in personal experience, but also through cultural carriers that shape how later movements see themselves and are seen by others. The present collection zooms in on the role of photography in this memory-activism nexus. How do iconographic conventions shape images of protest? Why do some images keep movements in the public eye, while others are quickly forgotten? What role do images play in linking different protests, movements, and generations of activists? Have the affordances of digital media made it easier for activists to use images in their memory politics, or has the digital production and massive online exchange of images made it harder to identify and remember a movement via a single powerful image? Bringing together experts in visual culture, cultural memory, social movements, and digital humanities, this collection presents new empirical, theoretical, and methodological insights into the visual memory of protest.
Author Bio
Ann Rigney is Professor of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University. She has published widely on theories of cultural memory and on memory cultures in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her books include The Afterlives of Walter Scott (OUP, 2021) and Transnational Memory (co-edited with C. De Cesari, De Gruyter, 2014). She is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe (ReAct) (2019–2024). Thomas Smits is a post-doc researcher at the University of Antwerp. A historian with an interest in visual culture and computer-assisted methodologies, he is author of the prize-winning The European Illustrated Press and the Emergence of a Transnational Visual Culture of the News, 1842-1870 (Routledge, 2020). Between 2019-2021, he worked as a post-doc researcher for the Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe (ReAct) project. Recent work has been published in New Media and Society, Memory Studies, Visual Communication and Social Movement Studies.