Category Archives: News

Knowledge Cultures

We are super pleased to have our first collaborative, academic publication out this week. It features in the journal Knowledge Cultures, in a special edition from the 2016 Audio Visual Pedagogies Conference in Zagreb. Here is the abstract and a link:

https://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/contents-kc/1218-volume-5-5-2017/3183-visual-dimensions-of-protest-three-examples-from-the-balkans

This paper proposes a framework for understanding the visual cultures of protest beyond representative images. Through a performative reading the visual takes on a dynamic role, ultimately producing a variation of the reality that protesters are demanding. Through three examples from Slovenia, Greece and Serbia, the paper examines different dimensions of visual culture of protest. In Ljubljana the how and why of a protest of fans against their own club is examined. In Athens, we look at why activists insist on traditional poster making methods in the digital era, and how these posters then function in the city neighbourhood of Exarcheia. In Belgrade, we look at the uses of video production and distribution by feminist activists Women in Black (Žene u Crnom). Atmosphere, political posters and video activism from the three examples, through which we argue visuals connect the locally specific struggles to a global context, and creating a socially oriented, richer picture of the region without getting entangled in nationalist narratives. Each case also elaborates how and why protest was visualized adapting cultural signifiers and established protest forms to produce the performative reality they are seeking.

Unfortunately, it is behind a pay wall, but if you are interested in reading it, get in touch.

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Knowledge – Cultures

We were thrilled to get confirmation a day ago that our team will have its first common and scientific publication in the journal Knowledge – Cultures. Slated to be included in the journal later this year, the article is based on our presentation at last year’s AVPC 2016:  Visual Pedagogies and Digital Cultures conference in Zagreb, Croatia. See this post for more on the conference. The article was collaboratively written by Marija, Angelos, and David.

The article takes the title “Visual Dimension of Protest: three examples from the Balkans” and sketches out a framework that we are all working within. Our central focus here was to operationalize the term Visual Protest Repertoires (VPR), building on social movement theory (specifically Tilly’s repertoires of contention), visual culture, and performativity.

The article then presents the three cases that are the core of our individual research within the Contentious Images project: Women in Black, political posters, and football fan protests. We felt it was important to bring as much “practical” examples to the paper as we are still defining our theoretical frames, exploring the edges of VPR, and conducting our research. In this way, the paper very much represents a mid-way point in the research, and an initial articulation of our concept and fields.

Focusing on the practice, on the tangiable dimensions that we have thus far recorded and considered makes a “work in progress” paper useful and accessible to readers. Reflecting on our data, field notes and work thus far begins (we hope) a process of discussion with a scientific community about/around our work. Finally, it was also useful as a way for us to take advantage of our support structure through comments from various mentors, particularly Marion Hamm – who also worked out the term VPR together with us.

Everyday Revolutions

We are off to Manchester… in May! The conference is Everyday Revolutions in Southern and Eastern Europe, supported by the University of Manchester, and happily, our proposed panel was accepted. We submitted a panel on visual repertoires of social movements and struggles in Southeast Europe. The papers will largely correspond to the research themes of the contentious images team: football fan protests, radical left political posters, politicized street art, and feminist video activism.

Keep in mind we are still developing our panel and our individual papers, but broadly speaking we aim to examine how the visual is being deployed in movements, and also how scholarship is developing as a result. We are particularly interested in looking at the visual as both a culturally embedded practice, but that also break past local particularities, and a dynamic part of any protest or act of protest in its own right. This last point is particularly intriguing as it has yet to be significantly included in social movement research. We would like to see how visuals become an interactive, performative element of the protests, both in the moment as materialization of alternatives, and also in interacting with representation.

We are looking forward to this opportunity to develop our collaborative work, get some feedback, and all be in the same place for the first time since 2014(!).

See you there.

The Maribor Uprising

We are excited to hear about the release of the participatory documentary film “The Maribor Uprising”. Essentially an interactive documentary put together by film-makers Maple Razsa (also an advisor to our DOC-team) and Milton Guillen, the film brings the exerience of the 2012 uprising in Maribor to the audiance, allowing the audiance to chose how interact with the protests, which part of the uprisings to join. All footage is interwoven with interviews and information about the uprisings themselves.

The film is being released at the Camden Film Festival on the 17.9.2016. You can get more info about the film and the participatory dimension here on Facebook or on the film’s webpage: http://mariboruprisings.org. 

AVPC 2016: Visual Pedagogies and Digital Cultures

The DOC-team has been accepted for a collective presentation at the first Visual Pedagogies and Digital Cultures conference (AVPC2016) in Zagreb. The conference takes place on the 18-19 of June in Zagreb. This will our first opportunity to present our work collectively at a conference. For more details, check the conference website here: http://avpc.tvz.hr/.

From the call:

During the past decades, traditional media have undergone major transformations. Hierarchical models of one-way dissemination of information, knowledge and culture have been replaced by horizontal models of two-way communication, and everyone has become a producer and a consumer. One by one, traditional media gave in to new modes of production and dissemination.

In the beginning, the Internet enabled people to produce and share text. Soon after,technological development enabled people to produce and share images and music. Finally, following rapid increase in computing power and bandwith, video has joined the long line of digitally transformed media.

The Association of Visual Pedagogies Conference AVPC 2016: Visual Pedagogies and Digital Cultures explores these transformations in the context of human learning around three broad dialectically intertwined themes. The first theme is concerned with practical issues. How to produce suitable video learning materials? When, and under which conditions, can we videotape children? The second theme is related to video pedagogies. What is the role of video in physical and virtual classrooms? How to seize the pedagogical potentials of video? Finally, the third theme is related to digital cultures, politics, and emancipation. What is the new role of video in production and dissemination of culture and knowledge? What are the unique features of video research metodologies? What is the role of visual cultures in new social movements and social transformations at large?

The last question, about visual cultures in new social movements is what interests us the most. We will focus on the visual artefacts we are working with: posters, pictures, videos, and atmosphere generally. These artefacts will be at the center of our presentation and paper.So we are looking to make an applied presentation, focusing on materials gathered, rather than the theoretical core of our collective work. However, from the artefacts, we will make references to the field of visual research in social movement theory as far as they are relevant.

Image

Our project in a poster.

On the 4th of March, part of the DOC-team will travel to Vienna for a two day workshop at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Over those two days we will be taking part in sessions with other DOC-team recipients and presenting our project. As part of that, we developed this poster to visualize our project:

poster_v2a-page-001

Uni.On summer feature

Our project was featured online this summer, in the universities online magazine, uni.on. It features interviews with Angelos and Dr. des. Marion Hamm, who advised the project from its inception.

Text:

Jung-ForscherInnen untersuchen visuelle Dimensionen des Protests in Südosteuropa

Seit dem von der EU verordneten Sparprogramm spiegelt sich die Unzufriedenheit der griechischen Bevölkerung nahezu täglich auf der Straße wider: Heftige Proteste finden ein Ventil in Streiks oder landesweiten Demonstrationen. Unverzichtbar dabei: Poster, Transparente und Plakate, die nicht nur Botschaften auf den Punkt bringen, sondern durch kreative und eindringliche Bilder auch Unbeteiligte ansprechen und mobilisieren sollen. Wie sich diese Politisierung über visuelle Medien im Alltag vollzieht, untersucht der Sozial- und Medienwissenschafter Angelos Evangelinidis. Er dissertiert im Rahmen eines „DocTeams“ an der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. Das Besondere an dem international vernetzten Forschungsverbund: Drei NachwuchswissenschafterInnen aus verschiedenen Ländern untersuchen unterschiedliche  Facetten ein und desselben Themas: der visuellen Seite des Protests in Südosteuropa. Die Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW) fördert das Doc Team mit einem dreijährigen Stipendium, das mit 37.000 Euro pro Jahr dotiert ist.

Evangelinidis zieht in seiner Doktorarbeit Vergleiche zu politischen Plakaten im Griechenland der Nuller-Jahre und konzentriert sich in seiner Analyse auf das Athener Studierendenviertel und Szenetreffpunkt Exarchia. „In diesem Teil der Stadt ist die Politik Diskussionsgegenstand Nummer eins“, weiß der Forscher. Welche visuellen Techniken – zum Beispiel Plakate, Graffiti oder Straßenkunst – ineinander greifen, um eine kollektive Identität der AktivistInnen aufzubauen, wird er anhand ausgewählter Beispiele untersuchen. Auch kritisch-oppositionelle Praktiken werden durch den geschickten Einsatz von Postern gestärkt, weiß Evangelinidis: „Das klassische, amerikanische Plakat mit dem Zitat ‘We can do it’ aus dem Jahr 1943 wird heute im griechischen Protestrahmen von Basis-Gewerkschaften genutzt – sie wollen damit ihrem Widerstand gegen die Öffnung von Geschäften am Sonntag Ausdruck verleihen.“

Der Athener Hintergrund ist nur eines von drei Beispielen, an denen das DocTeam die visuelle Protestkultur in Südosteuropa analysieren will. Neben Angelos Evangelinidis untersuchen seine KollegInnen David Brown und Marija Martinovic umstrittene öffentliche Aktionen von Fußball-Fans in Bosnien-Herzegowina und Slowenien sowie Video-Aktivismus in der Belgrader Frauenbewegung. Die NachwuchswissenschafterInnen dissertieren alle an der Uni Graz. Die Koordinatorin des Doc Teams, Dr. Marion Hamm, unterstreicht die Bedeutung des Forschungsvorhabens: „Ob Poster, Menschenkette oder öffentliche Performance: Visuelle Ausdrucksformen sind aus Protestbewegungen nicht wegzudenken. Eine systematische kulturwissenschaftliche Untersuchung dieser visuellen Aspekte von Demonstrationen stand aber bislang noch aus. Diese Lücke füllt jetzt das DocTeam, das weltweit mit namhaften ExpertInnen kooperiert.“

Das Projekt mit dem Titel „Contentious Images – Unruly Practices, An Ethnography of Visual Protest Repertoires in Southeastern Europe“ entstand aus dem interdisziplinären Doktoratsprogramm „Visuelle Kultur“ an der Uni Graz und ist in den gesamtuniversitären Schwerpunkt „Südosteuropa“ der Karl-Franzens-Universität eingebunden.

-Gerhilde Kastrun