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MA. Germany Eeva Luhtakallio Department of Social Research. Mount Holyoke College. Delaware. Canberra. Helsinki. Florence. Australian National University. European University Institute. Italy Kirsty McLaren School of Politics and International Relations. Ohio Wesleyan University. MA. Lund University. USA James C. Sweden Priska Daphi Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences. Florence. Center for Social Movement Studies (COSMOS). Australia vii . USA Anja Leˆ Freelance Teacher and Researcher. University of Helsinki. Worcester. Germany Donatella della Porta Department of Political and Social Sciences. Franklin Department of Politics and Government. European University Institute. USA Patricia Ewick Department of Sociology. Clark University. OH. Humboldt University of Berlin. South Hadley. Berlin.LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Tina Askanius Department of Communication and Media. Italy Nicole Doerr Department of International Relations. Finland Alice Mattoni Department of Political and Social Sciences. Lund. Berlin.

Northampton. Berlin. Berlin. Aarhus University. Steinberg Department of Sociology. Germany .viii LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS Thomas Olesen Department of Political Science and Government. Aarhus. MA. Germany Peter Ullrich Social Science Research Center Berlin. Denmark Marc W. USA Simon Teune Social Science Research Center Berlin. Smith College.

framing. Conflicts and Change series helps develop another innovative area of scholarship: the visual analysis of social movements. and Simon Teune  whose own research agendas have done so much to open up this new area of scholarship  have compiled an impressive set of papers. for example. Coy Series Editor. Center for Applied Conflict Management Kent State University ix . Patrick G. social movements research has changed. the Research in Social Movements. cultural politics. emphasizing collective behavior. special thematicfocused volumes of the RSMCC series have been published on the following topics: consensus decision making in social movements. authorities in contention. Conflicts and Change series reflect some of these changing emphases. it has seen interpretive paradigms and theoretical frameworks come and go. new media and movements. evolved. discourses. Conflicts and Change Professor and Director. In the last decade alone. on how they are represented in various media. Their volume’s tripartite focus on how social movements express themselves visually. A variety of frameworks and approaches have been used.FOREWORD Like any established and mature body of scholarship. and emotions. social psychology. mobilizing structures. Research in Social Movements. gender in conflict resolution and social movements. resource mobilization. The 35 volumes that make up the 35-year history of the Research in Social Movements. identities. narratives. and grown over its decades. new frontiers in conflict resolution. Now a robust and vibrant field in its own right. and more. Alice Mattoni. and on the social visibility issues that movements face charts new pathways for future developments in social movements research. Now with this latest themed volume. Volume editors Nicole Doerr. and in some cases come again. and on nonviolent action and social movements. cognition.


Social movements produce and evoke images. CONFLICT. either as a result of a planned. At the same time. 2011) that opposed the roaring grassroots political participation of hundreds of thousands people to the silent decisions taken in government and corporation buildings by small groups of politicians and managers. social movements are perceived by external actors and dispersed audiences via images which are produced both by themselves and others. Puerta del Sol (Spain). and Zuccotti Park (United States) quickly became vivid tools of ‘‘countervisuality’’ (Mirzoeff. explicit. Encounters with social movements have always been intrinsically tied to the visual sense.TOWARD A VISUAL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS. Pictures and videos showing the gathering of people in Tahrir square (Egypt). and they are ultimately rendered visible. internet websites. and North-American countries quickly spread across the globe. Yet systematic analyses of the visual or an integration of visual analyses within broader frameworks xi . of images in mobilizations of social movements is no novelty. They refer to images to exemplify and illustrate their arguments. Well before written reports analyzing the unfolding mobilizations. and strategic effort. Pictures and videos of squares full of people protesting against their governments became the symbols of a new wave of contention that quickly spread from Tunisia to many other countries. The presence. European. and relevance. their activities are represented in photos and video sequences. in the public sphere. and social media platforms. images of protests circulated widely through television channels. AND POLITICAL MOBILIZATION INTRODUCTION The news of recent mobilizations in Arab. Activists articulate visual messages. in an unintended or undesired manner. print newspapers. or accidentally. Scholars of social movements did not ignore visual aspects. or invisible.

In particular. 1994). THREE AREAS IN VISUAL RESEARCH ON SOCIAL MOVEMENTS This volume seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the topic by considering the intertwining of diverse visual materials with the mobilization. frames and identifications. and that they are interpreted. and reframed by political actors. laws. Visual theorists in media studies and art history agree that images are associated with a complex stock of cultural knowledge and experiences. 2012). but also a universe of culturally shared meaning. Methods to understand images in political conflict are far from readily available. It is not only a battleground for contentious politics. Like other fields of social science. social movement research is almost exclusively focused on texts1: the sources scholars primarily use are interviews and surveys. . we address three neglected areas of research in the visual analysis of social movements: the visual expressions of social movements through images and other visual artifacts. and resonance of protest and social movements. newspaper coverage. framed. and official reports. documents and manifestos. The exploration of the visual by sociologists and political scientists is still nascent. It reflects the more general perplexity of social scientists when confronted with images.xii INTRODUCTION is still rare (but see Philipps. It was only in the early 1990s that the ‘‘visual turn’’ in the humanities and cultural studies inspired a theoretical debate about the ‘‘power of images’’ in political conflict (Mitchell. framing. The neglect of the visual is not an exclusive problem of social movement research. The exploratory status of a visual analysis of social movements is also reflected in the growing number of studies contributing to the field. They are tentative excursions into the unfamiliar terrain of visuals in social movements. the visual representation of social movements by actors external to social movements. Dealing with these contents requires methodological skills that differ from those in the well-worn toolbox of social movement analysis. Visual analysis appears in curricula only sporadically. diffusion. and the more general aspect of social movements’ visibility in larger societal contexts. representing the visual realm as a site of struggle with a life of its own. The characteristic openness of visual forms requires a particularly careful and hence challenging analysis to impart the profound and complex meanings of images.

or enemies. 1995).xiii Introduction Visual Expressions of Social Movements The first area of research focuses on the visual expression of social movements. 2006). Fetal images have been used by the pro-life movement to scandalize abortion (Petchesky. In their use of visual language. pictures of tortured animals resulted in moral shocks that recruited concerned citizens into the animal rights movement (Jasper & Poulsen. visual materials are repositories of shared – and sometimes contested – activist identities and cultures that are able to link different generations of protesters and different waves of contention. In the imagineering of dissent. In this sense. its visual expressions are important points of reference. competitors. Symbols are important for social movements because they are markers of rich knowledge and complex frames (Goodnow. 1987. bystanders. For journalists. 2012). Actors positioned outside a social movement also read its visuals from their particular viewpoints and will act with regard to movement activists according to what they see. social movements tap into the shared visual knowledge of the society they are rooted in. Images can be used as a powerful means of mobilization. and police officers who are trying to get a picture of a social movement. 2007). visual symbols play a central role. McLaren in this volume). They send messages which do not require words. For instance. From the mobilization poster to the posed gesture of rebellion made to satisfy press photographers – activists’ visual appearances leave impressions. therefore. They use and reinterpret a preexisting imaginary to voice critique and to form a collective actor. . Policing routines. Tradition and continuity in social movements is not only produced in narratives and in the use of concepts. Those who match the police’s image of a potential offender are likely to experience different treatment to those who appear to be harmless. it is also imagined in elements of graphic design and the use of colors. In some cases the very subversion of visual imageries lies at the center of protest tactics. are tied to protesters’ appearance.’’ Visual markers make it easy for fellow activists to identify the orientation of a group and thus to define them as allies. a red star used on posters and flyers locates the authors in a communist tradition just as much as the textual frames of ‘‘imperialism’’ or ‘‘class struggle. as in the case of culture jamming interventions against advertising billboards in the urban landscape (Meikle. The visual production of social movements does not only address protest participants and supporters. for instance. They help protesters to mark their affiliation with a collective and to identify their position in political conflicts (Doerr & Teune.

the main mediating element between movements on one side and their audiences and target groups on the other. social movement actors frequently use powerful images to make the news and to mainstream dissident perspectives (Bennett & Lawrence. indeed. First. clothing is a way to identify with a particular social movement strand or a tactic. Rupp. As a means of self-expression and as a carrier of a message to spectators. protest groups are not entirely at the mercy of journalists and media corporations. 1990). forthcoming). Despite the distorting lens of mass media. are inclined to report movement events when they produce strong images. Protests are not perceived as what they are on the ground but what they look like in press photos and television news images.xiv INTRODUCTION Fashion and gestures. Black hooded sweaters. Taylor. At street demonstrations. 2010). A stereotypical visual representation of protest is the rule rather than the exception. However. 1992). Moreover. viewers are not passive audiences. 2004). They interpret what they see against the backdrop of their own experience and knowledge. Activists wearing such outfits during demonstrations not only mark their affiliation to an antagonist protest milieu. while others side with the police (Arpan et al. the body is the enjeu protesters bring into political conflicts. 2004. they also signal their preference for confrontational tactics (Juris. This selective portrayal has consequences for the reception of social movements within a broader audience. have the same dual addressees as symbols and images. have been analyzed as a way to challenge hegemonic gender norms (Taylor & Rupp. Wilson. Mass media. Hoynes. Social movement activists use their bodies to expose and embody a deviant mindset (Hebdidge. 2005) to other demonstrators as well as to the police and journalists. & Sasson. Images of protest in the news are usually limited to a few archetypes such as the rioter. the medium through which politics is performed (Pabst. more emphatically. 1995. Croteau. Drag performances. 1988. sunglasses. Readers who feel close to a protest group have been shown to interpret images of conflict between that group and the police in a spirit of solidarity. & Gamson.. . or the performer. and balaclavas are central accessories of the Black Bloc (Haunss. protest groups have a limited influence on the images that are linked to them. the picket. The body is. Visual Representations of Social Movements The second area of research focuses on representations of social movements in different media. They may decode protest images in news coverage in many different ways (Gamson. 2006). for instance.

did not comprise the central elements we are familiar with today. Particularly in the context of repressive regimes. Visuals and Visibility for Social Movements The third area of research focuses on the analytical question of visibility and/or invisibility of social movements in societies. is a tactic used by both grassroots protesters and professional organizations (Lunceford. but also their sympathetic audiences. 2008). Pictures and videos of demonstrations are uploaded in real time by those who participate in protests. easily become visual producers through practices of the remediation and remixing of visual materials about protests. protest performances are still ways to gain visibility both for external viewers and for movement activists themselves (Casquete. commercial and public mass media no longer have a monopoly over the visual representation of protest. for instance. They act in a public that is structured by dominant viewing habits and gazes which reflect and perpetuate hierarchical power relations (Teune. the fact that protests are visible in the street sparks participation and strengthens oppositional groups (Guano. The exhibition of immaculate naked female bodies. The use of catchy imagery does. for instance. They did not include banners. 2012).xv Introduction DeLuca. imparting rich visual narratives of protests. They are spread virally to audiences far beyond the social movement scene and thus shape the public image of protests. Workers marched in lines. 2006). The early protest marches of the labor movement. Delicath & DeLuca. However. While alternative media have always been important to imagine dissident movements. online social media coupled with mobile devices like smart phones form the basis for a qualitative leap in the representation of mobilizations. But it has been subject to feminist critique insofar as it reproduces the imagery of ideal bodies and an objectifying gaze (Deckha. protesters who try to emit their message do not all have the same chances of being seen by audiences. 2003). 2002). calm and disciplined. They displayed the working class as a new political actor to bystanders and a wider public. 1999. nor slogans. Finally. Today. Media-savvy image creation is part of a larger trend toward professionalization in the organization of protest. 2013). Staging protest is a way to become visible as a conflict party and to create visibility for social problems (Guidry. Activists. however. risk the perpetuation of hegemonic gazes and beliefs. These marches were a demonstration in the literal sense. 2003). nor music. While some claims are obvious for large .

. But the massive production of images in such a short time – especially spread through websites. and visibility  help us in understanding the visual as a site of struggle. if refugees’ protest performances do not make national news while virtually no protest held by a well-established organization skips the editorial desks. 1). Terms such as ‘‘greed’’ and the ‘‘richest one percent’’ circulated by Occupy activists and supporters rose from near invisibility to over 1. a number which varied little until October 2011. Peter Dreier’s Lexis Nexis database analysis shows how the Occupy movement dramatically changed U. this is not only an expression of competition for attention.S. 2011. U. and compatible with the mainstream experience are likely to be marginalized.269 stories’’ per month (Dreier. newspaper articles mentioned the word ‘‘inequality’’ in about 407 stories per month. and finally. expected. this can be interpreted as sympathy or antipathy for activists. visual regimes. mainstream media discourse within a single month. True. Mobilization posters of competing currents within a movement can be analyzed to identify framing disputes. when ‘‘the frequency skyrocketed to 1. but at the same time subvert. in particular. for discriminated groups who have different experiences to the majority. And there is still disagreement among social movement scholars as to what extent the Occupy Wall Street protests were able to actually ‘‘change the conversation’’ in the United States. p. Protesters who articulate their goals without using imagery that is familiar. if newspapers use different images of a protest event. A year before the emergence of the movement. and social media platforms – supported the diffusion of a complex counternarrative on economic and labor issues. but also an avenue to hegemony.S. representation. hegemonic discourses is a major challenge for social movement actors and.xvi INTRODUCTION sections of society. others are filtered out by hegemonic discourse routines. The Occupy movement in the United States is a case in point illustrating the impact of a rich visual articulation of dissent on a larger societal discourse. THE CONTRIBUTIONS IN THIS SPECIAL ISSUE: AN OVERVIEW All three areas of research – social movement expression. the Occupy movement’s visibility did not last very long.000 percent  the issue became present enough to force Republican leaders to host press conferences on the topic. blogs. Attaining visibility through counter-hegemonic images that recall.

The distressing post-mortem photograph of Said became a powerful resource in the struggle against Mubarak’s regime when activists juxtaposed it with a portrait of the young blogger.Introduction xvii and valorization. the contributions extend the reach of some of the classical approaches to protest and social movements. the first two are closely linked to the established canon of social movement analysis. national. Addressing theorists of collective identity and strategy. it makes good sense to consider their impact on collective identities and emotions as well as their role in framing and representing protest and in the mobilization of resources. In drawing on interdisciplinary approaches and methods. and Anja Leˆ trace how images used in protests against . If images and symbols are an important resource for protest actors to express themselves. While the third area of visual analysis raises new questions for social movement scholars who have largely taken the tableau of visible actors for granted. The representation of Said as a member of the young. urban middle class rendered the pictures of him as an injustice symbol resonant with existing injustice frames in Egyptian society. If images of protest affect audiences and target groups. Peter Ullrich. In focusing on the recent case of Khaled Said. he illustrates how images make for moral shock. all the chapters propose ways to bridge the gap between the research traditions of political contention and culture in movements. and adapt photographs to generate the broad and universalized emotional resonance of injustice frames. any analyses of political processes or approaches focusing on the public sphere are well advised to consider the visual aspects of the struggles under study. and global publics allows movement scholars to understand political change and transnational diffusion by comparing images and discourse in interaction. diffuse. In bringing together frame analysis with the sociology of emotion and memory studies. The contributions to the special section in this volume primarily address the first area of research described above. The opening contribution in the special section focuses on the recent uprising in Egypt. taking into consideration the power of visual framing in transnational contexts. Thomas Olesen explores how activists produce. a young Egyptian blogger beaten to death by Egyptian police in June 2010. Exploring the production and framing of images. Priska Daphi. Olesen’s study thus shows how we may integrate classical text-based approaches and the visual analysis of transnational diffusion: theorizing and analyzing how distinct local visual injustice symbols are transformed in the interaction between different regional.

visual analysts such as Daphi et al. Combining participant observation of activist events. Luhtakallio applies Goffman’s concept of visual keying to study the reproduction and change of (dominant) gender framings created by activists in the photo documentation of their protest events. She compares gender representations in the local contexts of progressive protest and global justice activism in Lyon and Helsinki. The imagery of anti-surveillance protests was marked by a clash of liberal left movement groups framing governmental policies as a ‘‘loss’’ of (Western liberal) democracy and radical left groups. In her contribution to this volume. the relevance of national contexts.xviii INTRODUCTION surveillance in Germany were contested among liberal and left currents in movements. who represented surveillance in general ‘‘as an expression of the capitalist (though formally democratic) state. Counterintuitively. demonstrate how movement scholars get at those condensed political and symbolic networks of meanings that are not linguistically expressed by activists in interviews and cannot be easily analyzed through leaflets and other textual material. and visual analysis. and reception. Luhtakallio uncovers a tension between who is actually present at meetings and the visual representation of public events. and. 2006). and transnational mobilization in distinct regional contexts. In a cross-national comparative perspective. traditional gender roles survive in the visual keying of Finnish local .’’ In a more general context. competing political ideas but also shape the very ideas of politics which social movements propose: Daphi and her colleagues confirm the significance of both national context and issue-related contexts. visual analysis brings forth new questions for research regarding debates about convergence. Luhtakallio is in fact able to trace the predominance of masculine leadership in the Lyonnais events. antisurveillance protesters tap into the collectively memorized experiences and emotions connected to past political events. expression. Daphi et al. which feature a gendered role division. demonstrate how images used by different activist groups not only illustrate distinct. In studying the political process of visual strategizing. a place where gender mainstreaming has long been part of the official national political culture. By combining visual analysis with ethnographic observation. Eeva Luhtakallio focuses on the distinct contexts of European protest cultures to understand different yet at times converging frames of local protest in varying consensual or conflicting civic repertoires in Finland and France. she finds that in Helsinki too. in turn. shape a collective memory of resistance influenced by previous visual and symbolic representations (Romano & Raiford. With their interdisciplinary approach combining art history and semiotics. interviews.

They help create visibility for the perspectives and experiences of marginalized groups in mainstream arenas of political deliberation (Polletta. 2012). Keith demonstrates how visual pictures of authoritarian leaders reduce the memory of complex historic events such as the liberation of Paris to extremely narrow symbols that enter official memory (Keith. For example.Introduction xix protesters through ‘‘sweet’’ and ‘‘childlike’’ representations of femininity. 2012). p. 133). McLaren finds three . confrontational action is not limited to male activists as in Lyon. For example. gendered. Luhtakallio is able to demonstrate how internal tensions about gender and feminist struggles are reflected in different public images  produced by activists about themselves. By combining visual analysis with ethnographic observation. activists also risk being stigmatized when portrayed within mainstream media (Wetzel. They combine visual and discursive methods to show how images implicitly diffuse political arguments outside a context of cognitive linguistic discourse. 2012). At the same time. At the same time. Systematic quantitative studies confirm that visual images become a powerful resource to delegitimate dominant political actors (Lamont. & Fleming. Kirsty McLaren’s chapter considers the value of visual analysis for studying pro-life activism and refers to the fetus in the Australian abortion debate. media scholars have shown how the selection and framing of images within newspapers influences the emotional resonance of political issues through systematic quantitative methods (Corrigall Brown. Milman (2012) and Wetzel (2012) find that reporters may refer to ethnic. 2012). 2006). The interrelation of images and text make powerful arguments in a different style to speech acts. Social movement theorists identify narratives and symbols as an important resource for activists. Visual analysis also offers a set of new questions to discourse analysts and students of deliberation inside and outside social movements (Doerr. Welburn. Rohlinger and Klein show the dramatization of news coverage of the abortion debate in the United States through front page articles via distinct visuals (Rohlinger & Klein. The empirical studies presented in this section speak to this discussion. 2012). 2012. often with unnoticed and powerful emotional consequences. Recently. pro-life websites and publications as well as newspaper articles and archival materials. and cultural stereotypes to delegitimate resistance by already stigmatized populations. She extends discourse analysis to ‘‘visual discourses’’ in order to show how pro-life movements mobilize emotion through both images and texts. Drawing on a wide-ranging survey of current campaign materials.

pro-life images mobilize attention. . 2008. to revisit. Because of their powerful combination of scientific authority and emotional force.xx INTRODUCTION major themes represented in pro-life images: the wonder of life. The closing contribution of the special section explores visuals in the online environment. she provides a unique audiovisual investigation of YouTube clips that commemorate three people who died during recent protests. Tina Askanius’ chapter makes an innovative exploratory attempt to use semiotic tools to develop an interpretation of YouTube videos. the human frailty of the foetus. but still shape popular myths through powerful images that mobilize empathy and fuel controversy. are interwoven into narratives of martyrdom. 2009. turning them into beacons for future mobilizations. and London. McLaren’s interdisciplinary analysis reveals the implicit emotional language and powerful double meanings influencing viewers of these images. 2001. Filling an empirical gap on video analysis. While affirming an immediate and unmediated sight of images. pro-life campaigners display their understanding of the fetus as a person. Askanius traces the struggle between dominant media frames of protester violence versus police violence to show how commemoration videos become a political resource. and mobilization of images to support activists’ causes. 2012). Yet her analysis shows that the construction of a global visual narrative of resistance is composed of images of local protest events which become de-territorialized symbols. In drawing on feminist critiques. By exploring the continuum between offline and online rituals of commemoration and political struggles. connecting facts and fiction. Where YouTube becomes ‘‘a shrine to remember. The three deaths in Genoa. In pictures mobilizing the emotion of care and in grisly images mobilizing empathy. distribution. Athens.’’ Askanius reveals that online sites have become key arenas for the production. Askanius finds that videos interweave the individual death and martyrdom of three local protesters into the collective struggle of an anticapitalist movement. and the barbarity of modern society. McLaren demonstrates why pro-life activists fail to win their strategic goals in political arenas. Movement scholars have addressed the need to explore the dominant visual dimensions of online spaces through combining multiple qualitative and quantitative methods (Corrigall Brown. The images described in the text are meant to evoke shock and horror at the violence of abortion. In this vein. Activist videos challenge media representations of protest movements by highlighting street level accounts of police brutality.

Activists also combined a portrait of the minister with the caption ‘‘Stasi 2. the five chapters in the special section underline that focusing on visuals makes it possible to intersect cultural and political analysis in a unique and interdisciplinary way. finally.’’ referring to the secret police of the German Democratic Republic. the five contributions provide important insights on how visuals can function as resources for social movements. and. how they shape outcomes of political processes and political identities as well as memories and emotions associated to movements. . For example. Yet beyond the intended meanings that inspired activists’ posters. visual analysis allows an understanding of how images provide activists with a symbolic resource to attain resonance in the context of a national political discourse. More particularly.0. may be interpreted as a statement about structural similarities between present-day and Nazi Germany or. note. One poster portrayed the German minister of the interior in the iconography of the Oscar nominated movie Der Untergang (The Downfall). the allusion to Nazi Germany. First. By connecting current events to the imagery of the past. Daphi et al. and North America. show how antisurveillance protesters invoked the memory of the German authoritarian past to scandalize government plans for data preservation. anti-surveillance visuals appealed not only to potential protesters but also to a much broader audience. 2008). audiences may have widely varying reactions depending on the discursive context in which such images are diffused.Introduction xxi CONCLUDING REMARKS: ADVANCING SOCIAL MOVEMENT KNOWLEDGE THROUGH VISUALS Overall. Europe. Daphi et al. uncover the relevance of visual analysis in studying emerging new forms of movement communication as well as the historical importance of images for social movement studies. framings. images appeal to a collective identity that may help activists to create political opportunities where institutional roads seem blocked (Mattoni. For example. Social movement scholars learn how visual representations. on the methodological challenges and opportunities that social movement scholars face when approaching the visual realm in protest settings. and strategies constitute political resources. The wide array of case studies covering regions as diverse as North Africa. Australia. which depicted the last days of Hitler’s life. how symbols get shaped in political struggles. instead. how visuals intertwine with processes of diffusion in mobilizations. By delving into the stock of collective memories.

2008) nor about the reframing of protest images by mass media and the police (Teune. images are represented globally in real time. by studying which images make it into the mainstream of public education and national identification. as Olesen demonstrates in his contribution. local activist groups (Mattoni. we know little about the placespecific production and strategic mobilization of images by resource  poor. For example. and visual objects that spread ongoing revolutionary and pro-democracy movements. Indeed. visual analysis also provides innovative ways for studying how widely and when visual symbols diffuse and constrain the outcomes of movements by constructing future memories. corporations. a focus on the diffusion careers of such contested images informs scholars about the cultural embeddedness of political process. altered. it is surprising that few movement scholars have explored visual images as triggers for transnational protest events. Could visual framing strategies be more effective in diffusing new ideas under these circumstances. and empower transnational movements for social change? By combining framing approaches with visual analysis we should be in a better position to understand the pathways of diffusion of slogans. mass media. 2012) as well as state actors. images. Regarding the popularization of new media. While much work has focused on the reception of global icons of protest in mass media.xxii INTRODUCTION as a relativization of Nazi atrocities. and other actors. Moreover. Images calling upon powerful memories. such as Nazi symbols or portraits of dictators. another field of inquiry addressed by visual analysis includes framing processes and the dynamics of political diffusion inside and outside movements and in increasingly globalized yet culturally diverse societies. Second. while crossing the boundaries of political and cultural traditions in social movement studies. Moreover. are a resource exploited for very different purposes by different movements. Through internet-based diffusion. In a comparative design especially. we need to understand how images of protest are in turn imitated. An unsolved question in this vein regards the cognitive and emotional resonance of older iconographic traditions and popular images used by protesters. Like Daphi et al. or destroyed by counter-movements. we learn how dominant cultures marginalize some movements while others become hegemonic. Olesen finds that the extent to which an event becomes ingrained in political culture is influenced by its . Olesen proposes to study to what extent distinct universalized victim photographs such as those of Egyptian protesters become integrated in Egyptian political culture as a core injustice symbol or perhaps even an injustice memory. in his framing study of the transformation of the photograph of Khaled Said..

In this perspective. Through their visual analysis drawing on theories of semiotics and art history. Through their engagement with visual empirical materials in the context of social movement theories. by combining discursive and visual methods.Introduction xxiii (emotional and visual) resonance with similar events. Olesen’s piece explores why some distinct photographs and not others may be successful in symbolically diffusing local/national injustice frames that trigger political regime change. and framing. visual analysts such as Daphi et al. all of the exploratory studies open new discussions in social movement methodology by focusing on images. street jamming. Social movement scholars have had a hard time seeking to understand audiences’ reception of activists’ public claims. and in which contexts. Luhtakallio’s chapter points out the importance of visual analysis in the study of framing and group styles in social movements. and visual analysis she shows how representations of women become idols for gender performance contrasting the ongoing exclusion of women from internal positions of leadership within groups. while McLaren highlights the continuing emotional and popular impact of pro-life activism over long time periods despite little policy impact. interpreted widely as injustices or not. However. From a quantitative perspective. and vernacular street memorials are (re-)mediated in online videos calling for future mobilizations. In an innovative contribution to frame analysis and gender studies. By triangulating different data sets and analytical tools such as interviews. media. show the polysemiotic or multilayered communicative potential of images that spread activists’ messages differently than texts. semiotics. and iconography. Third. The five chapters presented in the special . these contributions also pave the way to important innovations in the field. close observation. including art history. such qualitative interdisciplinary studies can be developed further in a systematic sampling strategy using quantitative measures as well. Askanius interrogates how protest artifacts such as graffiti. are able to predict audiences’ reactions. icons. and methods of visual analysis of protest and public discourse. Likewise. In highlighting the strength of audiovisual analyses of social movements. Daphi et al. Her comparative methods of semiotics and narrative analysis and the comparison of urban geographies of resistance in three countries shows how visual analysis complements the comparative narrative analysis of online sites as solidarity publics uniting different groups and contexts. discourse analysts learn how implicit images influence whether the arguments made by activists will make sense. An important aspect of methods addressed by visual analysis is the study of political discourse. to which audiences.

M. 35–76. Klimke. Lorusso. N. Social Movement Studies. R. and argumentative practice: The case of radical environmental groups. [Special Issue ‘‘The Power of Pictures: Images of Politics and Protest’’]. L. the public sphere.xxiv INTRODUCTION section explore the mechanisms of contentious political processes. Ethics & the Environment. 131–134. K. J. New York. 5(1). 56(2). Disturbing images: Peta and the feminist ethics of animal advocacy. & Lawrence. Delicath. 13(2). (2012). Doerr. M. Fahlenbrach. politics and protest since 1945 (pp. (2006). 45–60. Forum Qualitative Social Research. (1995).. Deckha. K... News icons and the mainstreaming of social change. & Teune. NY: Guilford Press. as in metaphors or captions. Lee. showing how to combine visual methods with classical methods of movement analysis. London: Palgrave. 9(1). They refer to each other.. G. L. (2008). Introduction. . Corrigall Brown. (2012). & Smith. (2003). J. Casquete. Scharloth & L. Towards a visual analysis of social movements. and thus.). Nicole Doerr Alice Mattoni Simon Teune Editors REFERENCES Arpan. 30. N. Journal of Communication. Jung. Baker. C. The power of demonstrations. M. Mass Communication and Society. W. American Behavioral Scientist. J. (1999). Online Journal free download. 11(2). 315–333. Image politics: The new rhetoric of environmental activism. (2012). we believe that each of these studies also provides examples on how to see social movements from a new perspective. 20–39. The imagery of power facing the power of imagery.. (2006). 43–55). producing visual dialogues on migration: Transnational public spaces in social movement. Beyond the empirical and methodological. This is not to say that images and texts are independent or mutually exclusive. T. 45(3). M. Wong (Eds. In K. 17(3). L. DeLuca. The ‘establishment’ responds: Power.. Politicizing precarity. J. Doerr.. NOTE 1. Argumentation. Y. 1–20. & DeLuca. S. Image events. Bennett.. break new theoretical ground for future research. K. News coverage of social protests and the effects of photographs and prior attitudes. M.

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‘‘WE ARE ALL KHALED SAID’’: VISUAL INJUSTICE SYMBOLS IN THE EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION. Activists were motivated by a horrifying cell phone photograph of Said taken by his family at the morgue and uploaded on the web. The transformation required intervention and appropriation by activists who creatively and strategically universalized the case. 2010. It does so by analyzing the transformation of Khaled Said. This chapter analyzes this interplay between photographs. and society in two steps. activism. Although the postmortem photograph had a powerful emotional impact in itself.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035005 3 . into a key visual injustice symbol. the transformation of Said from local/particular incident to injustice symbol with society-wide repercussions cannot be explained by its mere availability in the public sphere. The second step analyzes the process through which Said was Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. 2010–2011 Thomas Olesen ABSTRACT This chapter offers a symbolic perspective on the Egyptian Revolution. 3–25 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. a 28-year-old Egyptian man beaten to death by police on June 6. Volume 35. Conflicts and Change. The first provides an analysis of the genesis of the Said symbol and identifies three levels of agency in its formation. linking it with existing injustice frames in Egypt.

A photograph of someone’s death or suffering is in the first instance private and particular.1 Photographs transformed into visual injustice symbols often involve death and suffering caught on camera. from a scientific point of view. And it calls for more attention to photographs and symbols in the analysis of activism and points to several historical and present cases with relevance for such an approach. the chapter draws on several data sources that are subjected to interpretive analysis: visual material available on the internet. A symbolic perspective highlights how an activist-driven politicization of this class of photographs involves an emotionally charged process of universalization. Facebook pages. For such a moment to become a visual injustice symbol it must be infused with meanings that point beyond this particularity. I emphasize the verb ‘‘caught’’ because the photographs I have in mind are not staged. 2006. 1995. visuality. the chapter balances political and cultural approaches in its understanding of activism and photography.’’ As should be clear from the above remarks. compress. 135). Rather. enters the orbit of political sociology. 1991. When this occurs the photograph is moved from the private to the public realm and. This is surprising considering how historically they have often played key roles in various forms of political activism (e. Sontag. Halfmann & Young. they are snapshots of a reality more or less accidentally witnessed by the photographer. 2003. Biggs. Alexander. Szasz.g. and images have received relatively limited systematic attention within the mainstream of social movement studies. activism. 2007.. Egypt. 1979.’’ says Goldberg (1991. 2010. ‘‘photographs become the signs and signposts of modern society. 2005. Goldberg. Schlegel. 2010. 2011. The issue of visuality in political activism can be approached from various angles. DeLuca. In this chapter I analyze how photographs may attain the status of visual injustice symbols. 2005. Providing the first systematic analysis of Said from a social movement perspective. Butler. ‘‘With their enormous capacity to contain. 1999. 2011b. 2011a. Hariman & Lucaites. p. and symbolize events or ideologies. film. Martin. and interviews with and accounts by key activists. . 1994). Khaled Said INTRODUCTION Photographs.4 THOMAS OLESEN infused with injustice meanings by activists. photography. Doerr & Teune. Keywords: Symbols.

In short. From within social movement studies the article borrows from framing theory (e. 2001. Goodwin. as it were. society. Although the photographs had a powerful emotional impact in and by themselves. The moral and emotional power of the postmortem photograph was amplified in important ways by often appearing juxtaposed with a photograph of Khaled Said before his death. once created. in particular Jasper and Poulsen’s (1995) concept of moral shocks. The theoretical framework is applied to the recent case of Khaled Said. Work on emotions. 2011). 56). 2005. in the process of infusing a photograph with injustice meaning. & Polletta. illuminates how the power of visual injustice symbols in political activism is inextricably linked with the capacity of photography to generate emotional resonance or knowledge in an audience.. second. At the most general level they combine Alexander’s (2006. 1997). Alexander argues that activists are both culture ‘‘users’’ and ‘‘producers’’. Lim. and especially the concept of injustice frames (Gamson.g. visual injustice symbols themselves enter the political culture and memory structure of society to become potential resources in subsequent activism.g. These points draw on various theoretical sources in and outside the mainstream of social movement studies. in which he appears as a handsome. a 28-year-old Egyptian man beaten to death by Egyptian police in June 2010 (Alexander. 2010–2011 5 The relationship is dialectical. sympathetic embodiment of Egypt’s young urban middle class. has significant cultural dimensions and implications.2 The horrifying cell phone photograph taken by Said’s family at the morgue and uploaded on the web became a key visual injustice symbol in the protests that toppled the Mubarak regime in early 2011. Wright.. 2011a) work on activism with Barthes’ (1977) analysis of photography. This approach is compatible with Barthes’ view that photographs are always infused with meaning through socially anchored interpretive frames. Khamis & Vaughn. p. This decidedly political activity. activists draw on injustice frames located in the political–cultural structure of society. 1982). Visual injustice symbols are typically ‘‘constructed’’ by activists to help them achieve political objectives (Schlegel. and political activism. Flam & King. Jasper. 1992) and from what might be called the emotional turn in social movement studies (e. & Rytina. Snow & Benford. 1995. however. with society. Visual injustice symbols thus both reflect and shape the society in which they emerge. 1995. Gamson & Modigliani. 2011. 1988. Gamson. Jasper. Howard & Hussain. 1989. First. 2011b. 2011. Fireman. 2012.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. that their activities involve a dialogue. offers a useful theoretical vocabulary for formulating and specifying the interactional dynamics between photographs. the transformation of Said from local/particular incident to . Framing theory.

are paradoxical. contrary to artistic creations. The discussion has three parts: the first argues that visual injustice symbols are the social products of an activist-driven interaction between photographs and society. Sontag. photographs claim an analogical relationship with reality. Photography and Society Photographs. pp.’’ This is a decidedly . 217. activism. VISUAL INJUSTICE SYMBOLS The present section theorizes the concept of visual injustice symbols. the second analyzes the process through which Khaled Said and the juxtaposed photographs were infused with injustice meanings. I consider the concept to be relevant well beyond the Khaled Said case. p. connected more or less consciously by the public that consumes it to a traditional stock of signs. 1977. according to Barthes (1977. 55): it denotes rather than connotes. 43–44. p. 1998. the other with a code y’’ (p. These wider implications are discussed in the chapter’s concluding section.3 In this sense the photograph in itself is devoid of meaning (Taylor. The photograph. the one without a code (the photographic analogue). the second establishes a theoretical link between photographs and existing injustice frames. received. Messaris & Abraham. Yet this apparent lack of meaning of the photograph is immediately ‘‘filled out’’ when it is made public and subjected to an audience. 6). 1979. Thus. 19). 2003. p. These analytical insights are preceded by a conceptualization and theorization of the concept of visual injustice symbols. says Barthes (1977. The paradox rests on ‘‘y the co-existence of two messages. and society in two steps: the first provides a descriptive account of the genesis of the Khaled Said symbol and the agency behind its formation. The transformation required intervention and appropriation by individuals and activists who creatively and strategically universalized the case and linked it with existing injustice frames in Egyptian society. This chapter analyzes this interplay between photographs.6 THOMAS OLESEN injustice symbol with universalized meanings cannot be explained only by reference to the arguably shocking character of the postmortem photograph. 17–20). it is read. p. pp. 19). ‘‘y is not only perceived. the third argues how the power of photography lies in its ability to contribute to emotional knowledge. they are considered to represent reality ‘‘as it is’’ (Barthes.

pp. p. 1977. between the photograph and society (Brothers. It is at this point that activists enter our theoretical picture.’’ In other words. . e. It might of course be said that all photographs intended for public (as opposed to. a photograph that is unconnected with values and ideas external to it points mainly to itself (but see the section on emotional knowledge below for some qualification of this argument).Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. The decisive ingredient in the transformation from publicly available photograph to visual injustice symbol is political agency. To stay with the metaphor. In the context of photography and activism these points indicate that activists are key agents in the formation of visual injustice symbols. and society. Injustice Frames As noted by Elder and Cobb (1983. activism. they create new political–cultural symbols that become elements of society’s memory structure and. for example. Or. hence. dependent ‘‘y on the reader’s knowledge’’ (Barthes. pp. activists not only reflect society. symbols always point beyond themselves. political–cultural resources to be potentially employed by subsequent political activists. An injustice frame. Activists are central to political sociological analysis because they are centrally engaged in the self-reflective character of modern society: activists at the same time invoke and create social and political values and knowledge (Alexander. 2006. family photographs) consumption are interpreted through existing collective frames. 23).4 It is in this process that a photograph is potentially transformed from an ‘‘object’’ with no associated meaning to a symbol with universalized meanings.g. 28–29). 2011a). This interactional dynamic between photography and audience/society is at the core of the transformation from photograph to injustice symbol... nor discernible from. 123). 2010–2011 7 sociological process involving a dialogue. contributing to its stock of shared symbols. p. as it were. in slightly different terms.5 In doing so. a symbol is ‘‘any object used by human beings to index meanings that are not inherent in. 27–28). the object itself. The meaning of a photograph is always contextual and historical and. thus. 1982. The photograph-cum-injustice symbol thus condenses existing and known situations of injustice. The concept of the injustice frame offers a useful way of theorizing this argument and for extending the above points regarding the relationship between photography. 1997. they also produce it by. It is political activism that ‘‘fills’’ a photograph with injustice ‘‘content’’ by linking it with existing injustice frames. according to Gamson and colleagues (Gamson et al.

and central place in the media’s production process ensure that photographs spread widely across the social landscape. In relation to photography it may even be suggested that a photograph only becomes a public utterance at the moment it is actively connected with sets of meaning outside it.e. Emotional Knowledge Generally. but they can reinforce one – and can help build a nascent one.6 In fact. a strong tradition in photography theory claims that viewing suffering may also generate numbness. but may become important carriers and amplifiers for them. In the reverse. The documentary dimension suggests that this class of photograph involves an unfiltered representation of reality (i. p. easy reproduction. Taylor. visual injustice symbols are based on documentary photographs involving some element of unjust bodily suffering. I touch on this argument in the conclusion of the chapter). has an ‘‘y impressive rhetorical potential’’ (see also Sontag. are not frames in themselves. they are not staged or otherwise manipulated). photographs may also strengthen existing injustice frames by enhancing their social and political diffusion potential. p. p. Cultural resonance occurs when public utterances tap into and/or invoke norms.’’ Their condensed and condensing nature.8 THOMAS OLESEN is: ‘‘[ y ] an interpretation of what is happening that supports the conclusion that an authority system is violating the shared moral principles of the participants.. 1998) that imbues this type of photograph with a particularly powerful symbolic potential (this does not imply that suffering bodies always have such an effect. 27).’’ When a photograph is linked with an existing injustice frame. ‘‘cannot create a moral position. 2003. In Gamson’s (1995) theoretical terminology. Hauser thus argues (2000. the photograph or ‘‘object’’ is potentially universalized: the photograph comes to symbolize a wider situation of injustice. The suffering body. and experiences located in the political–cultural structure of society. As argued above photographs turned injustice symbols derive their political energy from existing injustice frames. 1977. 135). she says. The relationship between injustice frames and photographs is dialectical. such an interaction between photography and existing injustice frames is an exercise in ‘‘cultural resonance’’ (see also Barthes. 17) makes a related point: Photographs. values. Sontag (1979. it must be underlined. Photographs. in fact. as it were. the ability of a photograph to be transformed into an injustice symbol is almost entirely dependent on its .

Documentary photographs often ‘‘reveal’’ what is already known. e.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. If questions are raised regarding its authenticity it immediately loses its power to generate political responses (Sontag. the public was highly aware that civilians were repeatedly among the war’s casualties (consider. 39). p. 2003. ‘‘is something that every human being shares. the cruelty is something that shatters our very sense of what it means to be human’’ (ibid. however. 2010. 2010. The discussion consists of two main parts: the first provides a background to the case and details three levels of agency in the formation of the visual injustice symbol. Emotional communication. in contrast. Viewing bodily suffering is so powerful because ‘‘[t]he body is our primary truth. Photographs of bodily suffering are central in this regard and may help generate what Jasper and Poulsen (1995. . 29. Bodily vulnerability.). p. Schlegel. Nick Ut’s photographs at Trang Bang (1972). There is a certain paradox here. When his photographs came out the war had been going on for a number of years and. 5 this aspect of activist communication is dominant in social movement framing research). 180–181). 2007. our inescapable fate’’ (Linfield. 2010–2011 9 documentary status. thanks to the media and the anti-war movement.. ‘‘WE ARE ALL KHALED SAID’’ The following main section analyses core elements in Khaled Said’s transformation into a visual injustice symbol during Egypt’s revolution in 2010–2011. for example. pp. Haeberle’s photographs from My Lai which had already been published in 1969. Linfield goes on. p. Before turning to these themes I offer a note on methodology. did not suddenly expose an entirely unknown reality (Hariman & Lucaites. 1995). To understand this apparent paradox we can usefully distinguish between two forms of knowledge or communication: abstract and emotional. This is because photographs of bodily suffering are often expose´s that claim to make public an event or situation that authorities seek to hide or that may negatively affect them if made public. see also Jasper.g. It is one thing to hear or read about atrocity and another to be visually exposed to its consequences on specific human bodies. Abstract communication consists of information and analysis in the form of numbers and causal assumptions and is typically conveyed in writing or speech (as noted by Halfmann & Young. 1997) call ‘‘moral shocks’’ in an audience. the second analyzes the meaning infusion involved in that process. bypasses the in-built rationality of language to directly impact the viewer’s moral senses. see also footnote 4).

Moments later the body was returned and dumped at the scene before being finally removed in an ambulance. aged 28. was killed by two plainclothes police officers in the city of Alexandria. It is so in a double sense.10 THOMAS OLESEN A Note on Methodology This chapter employs a mix of sources. published in early 2012. The wall provides invaluable information about Khaled Said-related activities as they evolved from June 2010 to January/February 2011. as well as links to numerous relevant documents. Three Levels of Agency On June 6. Similarly. Additionally. the visual material presented in the chapter was mainly found on the internet. This is perhaps most evident in the case of the ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said’’ Facebook page. a significant part of the process through which Khaled Said was transformed into an injustice symbol took place on the internet. Supposedly. is the internet. On the one hand. YouTube contains numerous commemorative videos that testify to the symbolic nature of Khaled Said. Since this material has a permanent digital presence we may consider the internet as a social–political memory structure (I return to this theme below). The second source is Wael Ghonim’s personal account of the Egyptian Revolution. I have relied on two secondary sources. Since this page was central in the symbolic process. the internet has been a central tool in locating and collecting relevant material such as reports and newspaper articles. The primary source. Khaled Said. where he was beaten to death.’’ which became instrumental in the symbolic process (see below).8 Said was at a cybercafe´ when he was approached by police. I accessed and read the entire page wall dating back to June 2010. As I detail below Ghonim was the main force behind the Facebook page ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said. On the documentary’s website there is a collection of interviews that did not make it to the final version of the documentary. According to eyewitnesses he was dragged out of the cafe´ and into the doorway of a building next to the cafe´.7 This exemplary documentary contains several interviews with core individuals in the symbolic process. On the other hand. thus making it an object of study in its own right. The Facebook Martyr (Facebook martyren) made by journalists at Danmarks Radio (DR). At first Said’s body was taken away in a police vehicle. The first is a radio documentary. Also. 2010. This information was primarily used in the background section. however. the attack was motivated by .

both reports were subjected to heavy professional criticism from international forensic experts. friends. The police initially claimed that Said had suffocated after swallowing a bag of marijuana in an alleged attempt to conceal it from police. which both stated that the cause of death was asphyxiation from swallowing a plastic bag. 2010–2011 11 Said’s web publication of footage showing a shadowy deal between police and drug dealers (this explanation. he became suspicious. Hassan Mosbah. As a follow-up he produced evidence countering the claims in the Ministry of the Interior press statement. and neighbors as a quiet man primarily interested in music and computers. Eltawel wrote a critical piece claiming that Said had been murdered. Still. The incident has been confirmed by witnesses. Eltawel. the report maintained that asphyxiation and not physical violence was the cause of death. Bahaa Eltawel. Shortly after receiving the press statement mentioned above. who reported how the police officers banged Said’s head against a marble table in the cafe´ before taking him out into the street. Later. a military deserter. but fearing repercussions from the authorities his editor uploaded the piece late at night so as to decrease its visibility. In the meantime Said’s family had uploaded the postmortem photographs on the internet alongside a ‘‘normal’’ pre-death photograph of Khaled Said (this photograph is apparently Khaled Said’s passport photograph). Here his brother took the cell-phone photograph that triggered Said’s transformation into an injustice symbol. including the owner of the cybercafe´.9 Said’s family was allowed to see him at the morgue some hours after the incident. This information was made public in a press statement from the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior on behalf of the Alexandria police four days after Khaled Said’s death. a few days after June 6.10 While the first report corroborated the police account by indicating that the physical injuries could have been sustained from a fall. in July 2010. also placed the piece on his private Facebook page from where it was widely circulated and read.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. however. Said was not politically active in any way and is described by family. the second report did not rule out the possibility that they might have resulted from beating. including proof of military service and Said’s clean criminal record (this account is based on an interview with Eltawel carried out for the Danmarks Radio documentary . and that he had resisted arrest. however. a journalist at the Egyptian newspaper Youm7. is disputed and has been confirmed neither by Said’s family nor any hard evidence).11 In a further attempt at character assassination police claimed that Said was a rapist. The juxtaposed photographs were seen by a friend of Said. and that he had sustained his injuries as he collapsed. The police claims were partly confirmed in two autopsy reports in June 2010.

pp. 2012.12 THOMAS OLESEN referred to in the preceding section). as well as Bahaa Eltawel’s piece. Ahmed Maher. Wael Ghonim and Mohamed Ibrahim’s creation of the Facebook page ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said. The morgue cell-phone photograph and its subsequent distribution on the web . a founding and leading activist of April 6 thus describes how they strategically sought to use the case of Khaled Said to rally the Egyptian population against the regime (I discuss the reasons behind this choice below). Silent stand protest involves chains of people standing together without actively protesting. The strategy was devised to get around Egypt’s emergency law (see below). which he recalls seeing first on June 8 (Ghonim. 2012. the ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said’’ page was instrumental in organizing a string of so-called ‘‘silent stands’’ during June and July (including outside Egypt) (Ghonim.15 In sum. the decision by Said’s family to document his injuries by taking a cell phone photograph at the morgue and uploading it on the web.14 During the summer and fall of 2010 and early 2011 Khaled Said also became the symbolic center for more vociferous and increasingly widespread protests. 239).). Emotionally and politically inspired by the Said photographs. Protest and concern with the Khaled Said case may have originated on the internet. second. 2012. but it soon acquired a physical dimension. April 6 was one of the first organizations in Egypt to employ social media (ibid. 58). p. we can identify three levels of agency in the initial formation of the Khaled Said injustice symbol: first. then. which bans public orderthreatening assemblies of more than five people (participants were thus asked to stand with some space between them so as not to constitute an assembly). Ghonim anonymously set up the Facebook page ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said. Countless press and activist photographs thus show the two Said photographs on banners and posters held by anti-government protestors.’’13 The page soon attracted followers in the hundreds of thousands and helped turn the case of Said into a core symbol of the brutality and impunity of Egyptian authorities under the now ousted President Hosni Mubarak. In the DR radio documentary referred above. 70–81).’’ The three steps express different and increasing levels of publicity and interpretation. p. and third. One of these was the April 6 Movement that emerged in 2008 in support of striking industrial workers in the city of El-Mahalla El-Kubra (Lim. Along with the Kefaya movement. The page became a hub for various activist groups already engaged in anti-Hosni Mubarak activities. Bahaa Eltawel’s decision to write a critical piece about Said.12 One of those who encountered the photographs of Khaled Said. For example. was Google executive Wael Ghonim.

Of primary interest for a political sociological analysis of injustice symbols is the way an ‘‘object’’ or ‘‘objects’’ (in this case the two photographs of Khaled Said) are infused with meaning. Eltawel’s engagement was decidedly public. 2010–2011 13 lifted the case from the private to the public sphere. the nonuniqueness of his fate (universalization).Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. The ‘‘normality’’ and ‘‘innocence’’ of the pre-death photograph underlined and contextualized the extreme and morally shocking nature of the postmortem photograph. in other words. They were. In the following section I wish to move to a more analytical–interpretive plane. as his intervention was made available on the web. these ‘‘qualities’’ were amplified by and in the dual viewing situation. and the circumstances surrounding the murder (innocence and moral/legal corruption). I have thus chosen to apply the framework to four selected areas: the simultaneous availability of a pre-death and postmortem photograph (juxtaposition). The ‘‘distance’’ and violent transformation between the two photographs becomes emotionally unbearable (this distance is widened by the mutilated and disfigured state of Said’s face and. as it actively sought to contextualize and universalize the case of Said by linking it to already existing injustice frames in Egyptian society. despite bordering on the counterfactual. Meaning Infusion and the Symbolic Process The preceding section describes how the formation of the Khaled Said injustice symbol resulted from a sequence of individual/activist interventions. Juxtaposition It has already been noted and shown how the postmortem photograph of Khaled Said was often accompanied in its public career by a ‘‘normal’’ pre-death photograph. The ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said’’ Facebook page in turn had a wider publicizing ambition. A significant part of the visual and emotional power of Khaled Said was derived from this systematic juxtaposition. rather closely linked to the specific case. His efforts were primarily aimed at uncovering the circumstances behind Said’s death and countering the claims made by authorities in that regard. While the postmortem photograph is evidently the most shocking and sensational of the two. but contained little active contextualization and interpretation. This part of the symbolic process is complex and I cannot address all relevant aspects here. the character and identity of Said before the murder (identification). it is likely that a postmortem photograph with fewer extreme and visible injuries would have had a more .

2012. and he talked the way we do y’’16 The quote indicates that Said’s identity as a young urban person with some education and an interest in music and computers had a strong identification potential in those young. in other words. In the DR radio documentary referred earlier. . Identification This aspect of identification concerns the identity and personal characteristics of Khaled Said before he died on June 6. the viewing audience needed to know that the injuries visible in the postmortem photograph were not the result of. As noted in the preceding section. The two photographs. it is noteworthy how human rights and not religious frames were dominant on the page). p. so to speak. the pre-death photograph of Khaled Said appeared ‘‘alone’’ on banners and artwork. via the postmortem photograph. however. he wore the same clothes as we do.. But once the context. see also Ghonim. 2010. partly because. and thus largely derived its moral–political significance from this. p. they also spoke forcefully to each other. the photographs spoke for themselves to a significant extent. widely known by the Egyptian public. dialectically infused each other with meaning. Mohamed Ibrahim and Wael Ghonim of the ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said’’ Facebook page are both young. an accident or ‘‘private’’ violence. the fact that the violent ‘‘transformation’’ of Said’s face and body was caused by members of the widely feared and hated Egyptian police. a significant portion of protestors during the Egyptian Revolution were mobilized via Facebook and other social media. 2011. middle-class Egyptians (e. because he was a young guy like us. it seems plausible that its main audience was young. Yet even when appearing alone the pre-death photograph was interpreted. The emotional impact of the juxtaposed photographs required limited or no interpretation. While the page and its symbolically charged name was in principle open to everyone discontented with the Egyptian political system. Similarly. for example. It is to these activities that I now turn. urban.14 THOMAS OLESEN tempered emotional impact). Ahmed Maher of the April 6 Movement (see above) thus remarks: ‘‘It was our task to direct people and win their sympathy through Khaled Said. 62).17 Of the close to 9 million Facebook users in Egypt. as noted above. middle-class sections of the Egyptian population that would later become pacesetters in the events leading up to the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 (Howard et al. The more or less immediate emotional knowledge and power inherent in the juxtaposed photographs provided highly useful and fertile material to be further shaped and developed by activists.g. Often. Of course.. was in place. 16. well-educated professionals primarily catering to a corresponding audience.

in the DR radio documentary interview with Ahmed Maher: ‘‘y we tried to expose the injustice of the atrocity committed against him. The examples demonstrate the proactive attempt to connect the case of Khaled Said with existing injustice frames in Egyptian society.19 Universalization The identification dynamic did not only concern who Khaled Said was before his death on June 6. The correspondence between Said’s personal characteristics and those of politically engaged and/or motivated Egyptian Facebook users made his unjust death particularly potent as a symbol for a Facebook-initiated political campaign. Aziz. often accompanied the postmortem one. as noted. 2010–2011 15 75% are in the 15–30 age group (Arab Social Media Report. Systematic police violence and impunity had thus been a core concern for activists long before Said’s murder. kind and intelligent looking young man: an embodiment of Egypt’s urban. because what happened to Khaled Said happens to a lot of people. p.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. 2011). torture and ill treatment.’’ This universalizing use of Said is perhaps most powerfully conveyed in the name of the Facebook page set up in reaction to his death.18 Visually. but. This interpretation is evident. 59).g. ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said. educated. it was also evident in the nonuniqueness of his murder. 2012. police stations and everywhere’’ (see also Ghonim. p. in contrast. middle-class youth. Critique of the Egyptian police and legal system has been widely associated with the emergency law in effect since the murder of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. The resonance of Khaled Said’s murder in Egyptian society did not thus derive from its aberration in comparison to existing expectations and experiences.’’ The text goes on: ‘‘Khaled has become the symbol for many Egyptians who dream to see their country free of brutality. from the way his brutal and unjustified murder confirmed prior . which. The emergency law grants the police and legal authorities extensive powers that clash with basic civil and political rights (FIDH. handsome. police torture is widespread in Egypt (e. for example. 2007).’’ and is spelled out in the background text of the page.. 2010. informally dressed. As reported by the El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence. this potential was strongly supported by Said’s appearance on the pre-death photograph. 2011 for an overview of digital media use in the Arab world). 2011. Many young Egyptians are now fed up with the inhuman treatment they face on a daily basis in streets. Here we see a well-groomed. which begins in the following way: ‘‘Khaled y a story of many Egyptians. 13). The computer literacy and resources required for using social media for political purposes are primarily found in the urban middle-classes (see Howard.

Hence. People may also be unjustly killed in ordinary crimes: it is only when an injustice is committed by an authority system that murder attains symbolic potential. For example. the press statements issued by the Ministry of the Interior) (as described by Martin. and political authorities had collaborated to cover up the incident (e.. partly as a result of the interventions of individuals and activists (see the background section). it emerged that police.g. As details of Said’s life and murder appeared it became increasingly evident that he had been the victim of random and unjustified police violence. just how that person has been made the victim of unjust violence by an authority system needs to be demonstrated. 315). The emphasis on the nonuniqueness of Khaled Said’s murder obviously does not provide an explanation for his transformation into an injustice symbol with society-wide repercussions. 2005. the forensic reports mentioned in the preceding section) and sought to tarnish his reputation (e. Furthermore. the charges made against Said after his murder (see Section ‘‘Three levels of agency’’) were quickly challenged. the more morally corrupted the violator appears (Martin. if Said was not unique. Innocence and Moral–Legal Corruption For an individual to become an injustice symbol after his or her death. Said’s innocence was amplified. The victim of authority violence has symbolic and universalizing potential because the violence in a concentrated form exposes. Khaled Said’s moral purity developed in a reverse proportional and dialectical relationship with the moral–legal corruption of .. from the way activists exploited this tension and dialectical potential. Friends and relatives testified to the fact that Said was not politically active in any kind of way (this comes out clearly in interviews made for the DR radio documentary referred to earlier). The higher the degree of victim’s innocence. target devaluation is a preferred strategy of authorities attempting to avoid any moral and political backfire to violence). or can be claimed to expose. the moral–legal corruption of that system. 2005 in his analysis of the Rodney King beating. Put differently. judicial. Or put differently. importantly. why did he and not someone else attain such resonance and symbolic import? The nonuniqueness factor only acquires explanatory significance in combination with the unique character of the postmortem photograph and the creative and strategic use of this photograph and its pre-death ‘‘twin’’ by political activists. As the allegations grew in credibility and significance. the symbolic power of Khaled Said derived from the way the postmortem photograph added emotional knowledge to existing social and political knowledge and. p.g.16 THOMAS OLESEN social and political knowledge.

protesters would be packing the streets constantly. Khaled Said is a case in point. photographs do sometimes make a political difference. Sontag (1979) is generally skeptical about the transformative power of photographs. 2010–2011 17 authorities. the extreme treatment appearing totally out of proportion considering Said’s background and the circumstances of the violence. Khaled Said’s innocence was. In trying to understand how and why certain photographs acquire mobilizing potential I find it absolutely crucial to consider the role of political activists. if the sheer presence of photographs of suffering and injustice were sufficient to mobilize people. The third is a discussion of the transnational aspects of the Said case. or acting. as Linfield (2010) is also keen to point out. In one of the most influential books on photography. p.20 The gradual disintegration and general lack of credibility of authorities’ explanations created a powerful contrast to the postmortem photograph. 33). moreover. photographs of suffering may have a numbing and demobilizing effect or. The second considers the extent to which the findings in the Khaled Said case may be generalizable to other cases and settings. can help strengthen the public’s sense of a victim’s innocence. caring. at least when it appears alongside more factual information supporting such a position. In the absence of the postmortem photograph would his unjust death have caused any waves in Egypt? Even if this is counterfactual speculation I think it safe to say that it would not. The first concerns the place and relevance of photography in social movement research.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. become the objects of voyeurism and perverse entertainment. strongly supported by the pre-death photograph. In relation to Khaled Said I argue that the postmortem . While it is common knowledge that a person’s innocence cannot be extracted from his or her appearance it is quite plausible that ‘‘positive’’ photographs. even worse. She fears that rather than activating and mobilizing people against injustice.’’ Indeed. such as that of Khaled Said. CONCLUDING REMARKS In the concluding section I wish to briefly address three wider issues and points for future debate and analysis that spring from the preceding analysis. And it is certainly true. The increasing evidence of moral–legal corruption on the part of Egyptian authorities facilitated and energized the flow of injustice meanings to the postmortem photograph of Khaled Said. The man in the photograph does not conform to stereotypes of hardcore political activists or common criminals. Yet. that ‘‘seeing does not necessarily translate into believing. as noted by Linfield (2010.

‘‘We Are All Hamza Alkhateeb. pp. 19–20) remarks capture the overall point: ‘‘Symbolic exchanges release social arrangements from spatial referents. but that its transformation from horrible photograph to injustice symbol with societywide implications required the active intervention of political activists. I believe that there are several such cases worthy of attention from social movement scholars.’’ serves as the main tool for developing and maintaining the symbol. is to develop theories and typologies able to address and analyze this diversity. we still know surprisingly little about these dynamics. which stems largely from their emotional power discussed above.’’ This universal character. 1979. and Change is an important step in that direction. 18). returned to his family from police custody with his body bearing clear signs of torture. This is true for the Khaled Said symbol. Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb.’’ Even if we . however. iconic status in protests against the Iranian regime. shot by security forces during post-election protests in Iran in 2009 achieved. speak only one ‘‘language. has been a central visual injustice symbol in uprisings against the Syrian regime. The present volume of Research in Social Movements. 23) has argued that photographs. p. Waters’ (2001. And going even further back in time. political contexts. Nick Ut’s 1972 photograph of a group of naked children fleeing from a napalm bomb attack at the village of Trang Bang in Vietnam galvanized anti-war protest and remains a key symbol in collective memories of the Vietnam War (Hariman & Lucaites. I will mention just a couple to which the concept might be extended and applied: Since May 2011. and continue to have. Neda AghaSoltan. While the examples mentioned above share certain traits. gives photographs of bodily suffering significant cross-national diffusion potential.18 THOMAS OLESEN photograph in itself contained morally shocking potential. The challenge for future research. Symbols can be proliferated rapidly and in any locality y [and] are easily transportable and communicable. Yet for more systematic knowledge and theorization to emerge we need to include more cases and theoretical perspectives and establish a focused scholarly exchange. footage of a 13-year-old boy. and the characters of the photographs and footage. The above examples demonstrate how visual injustice symbols often transcend the national–global dichotomy. but is also a characteristic of all three examples mentioned above. Conflicts. This chapter has offered one line of explanation. Sontag. 2007. Moving on from these observations. in contrast to speech and writing. Two years earlier the live images of a dying protestor. A Facebook page clearly modeled on the Said case. p. Within social movement studies. Although not speaking directly of photographs.21 Sontag (2003. as stated above. they are also highly different with regard to their sources of public distribution.

2007). the diffused version will lack the ‘‘thickness’’ of the local/national version. 2007. 2005). Many of these employed the silent stand format discussed in the background section. However. informal and popular activities commemorating the one-year anniversary of Said’s death were widespread in Egypt on June 6. when protestors outside the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior in Cairo sprayed the . commemoration activities are among the most vital signs that an event or individual has become part of a country’s political culture or collective memory (Booth. Olick. suffering. It is thus a key characteristic of global modernity that local/national injustices are increasingly globalized through moral–political solidarity action (Alexander. second. Cubitt. It should be borne in mind that a photograph of suffering is always local. but as outcomes as well. Commemoration activities at the oneyear anniversary often took a decidedly political character. In the case of Khaled Said no official sanctioning has yet occurred. 2010–2011 19 accept the basic thrust of the argument we must be cautious not to overstate this globalizing dynamic. private. This development can be probed on at least two levels. 2007. p. see also Sontag. 2011. Yet in that process the local/national injustice frame invariably changes meaning in at least two ways: first. What is profoundly modern about photography. Formal activities are typically related to state sanctioned days and sites of remembrance. is that it allows such local experiences to be radically disembedded (Giddens. it will be interpreted through the political–cultural filters of the receiving audience.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. Theorizing and analyzing the way visual injustice symbols are transformed in interaction between the local/national and global levels is a particularly fruitful area for future research within political sociology. 2011. and particular. First. 2003. especially in Cairo and Said’s hometown of Alexandria. Such activities can be both formal and informal. This opens up to a temporal perspective interested in the extent to which Khaled Said has become integrated into Egyptian political culture as a core injustice symbol or perhaps even an injustice memory (see also footnote 22). 2006. 21). 1991. Olesen. always happens somewhere and to someone. as Egyptians generally consider many of the ills of the Mubarak regime to remain unresolved (see also the section on analogical bridging). The most vivid and politically charged act of commemoration occurred on June 6. however. In relation to photography and visual injustice symbols these remarks suggest that photographs may be successful in symbolically diffusing local/national injustice frames transnationally. A final note for consideration in future research: in line with the political– cultural approach adopted here it is important to consider injustice symbols not only as instigators and motivators of political activism. in other words.

Analogical bridging occurs when a current event is ‘‘compared’’ with a past event (whose injustice is undisputed) in order to emphasize the injustice of the current event and to strengthen the legitimacy of claims related to that event.22 Second. 2011) are only a few examples of victims of police brutality and/or torture in Egypt who have been termed as a ‘‘new’’ or ‘‘another’’ Khaled Said. 247) argues that the extent to which an event has become ingrained in political culture is evidenced by its employment in analogical bridging. and Change for their unusually useful feedback. A similar pattern of analogical bridging has been evident in the case of Egypt and Khaled Said. during the protests in the Tahrir Square (Abdellatif. In late October 2011 his fate became a rallying point for postRevolution protests against the military council that has ruled Egypt since the fall of Mubarak. From a symbolic point of view it was particularly interesting to note how Atta’s and Said’s fates were connected through the presence of Said’s mother. 2012. Elsayed Belal (We Are All Khaled Said. The case of Essam Ali Atta is of particular interest. The horrifying photograph of Khaled Said in the morgue represents a . ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This chapter is a revised version of a paper presented at the Danish Sociology Conference. Issam Atallah (Safieddine. forthcoming). I am grateful to the participants in the workshop on social movements for their useful comments. 2011). Aarhus. It is difficult to approach the case of Khaled Said without some ethical hesitation. Atta’s death testified that even if Mubarak had gone. Conflicts. 2. in his analysis of the Holocaust as a cultural trauma and memory. For other applications of the injustice symbol concept.20 THOMAS OLESEN face of Khaled Said on the ministry walls as part of a wider protest against the ruling military council and the lack of democratic progress. 2011). see Olesen (2011. 2011). I also wish to sincerely thank three anonymous reviewers at Research in Social Movements. violent police practices persist under the military council. Leila Marzouk. For protestors gathering in the Tahrir Square. NOTES 1. 2012. and Essam Ali Atta (Rodrı´ guez. January 19–20. Jeffrey Alexander (2004. p.

meaning will differ between individuals. The center of the picture and subsequent attention was the prisoner Fikret Alic who appeared bare-chested and evidently emaciated. for example. ‘‘is to violate them y it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed.’’ This is a quite precise characterization of what happened to the photographs of Khaled Said in the Egyptian Revolution. sometimes forcibly so. The international evaluation report can be accessed at: rdonlyres/2B705A52-EB04-4D7F-9FF8-6D91A2DACB7C/2848082/Firstforensicre port. second.pdf. Sontag thus says (1979. but it also describes the way it is used in a article such as this. 14). To photograph 2B705A52-EB04-4D7F-9FF8-6D91A2DACB7C/2848072/Preliminarytripartite forensicreport. 4. is evidenced in the disputes that arise when the authenticity of a photograph is questioned.elshaheeed. 2010–2011 21 very private moment. p. is how the postmortem photograph was not taken by a ‘‘stranger. 2011). Documentary photography is. 2011). 6). 2002 and Taylor.’’ but by Said’s own family and with the explicit purpose of publicizing the injustice that had befallen him. p. Khaled Said’s full name is Khaled Mohamed Said Sobhi. 7. 3. for example. 1998.pdf. it is itself actively interpreting. 60–63). The photograph in this sense does not entail a violation or intrusion in the same way as photographs taken for purely or mainly professional purposes.dr. 5. 8. This argument is not Udsendelser/2011/05/31092508. however.alnadeem. For a set of witness accounts in Arabic see http://www. third. The second can be accessed at: http://www.dr. This point can be understood at several levels: first. however. 71). org/en/node/306 (accessed December 6. The documentary is available on: http://www. Butler (2010. 6.Visual Injustice Symbols in the Egyptian Revolution. critics later argued that what was portrayed as a concentration camp was in fact a refugee camp and that the ‘‘prisoners’’ were standing outside the barbed wire compound (for detailed accounts of the controversy. 9. pp. . 11. 2011). Such a dispute arose over one of the most famous photographs/footage from the Balkan Wars: a group of Muslim prisoners standing behind a barbed wire fence at the Trnopolje camp in the Prijedor region.’’ While Butler’s point is well taken I wish to maintain that for a photograph to become an injustice symbol with implications for and resonance in a wider public it must undergo a process of interpretation and exposure by political actors. a category with several 07/04/khaled-said-murder-witness-accounts-arabic-videos (accessed November 21. The first forensic report can be accessed at: http://www.htm (accessed October 20. p. This understanding and expectation of photography (especially documentary photography). the meaning of the same photograph may change over time.dr. Sontag (1979. meaning may vary between countries/ regions (see also the concluding section). 10. argues how the famous series of American Depression photographs created by members of the Farm Security Administration were in fact the results of a concerted and strategic effort to get the ‘‘right’’ picture (the best known of these is undoubtedly Dorothea Lange’s ‘‘Migrant Mother’’ from 1936). The images immediately drew analogies to the Holocaust. see Campbell. What is worth noting in this particular case. argues as follows: ‘‘The photograph is not merely a visual image awaiting interpretation.

18. torture_in_egypt_0. The two police officers responsible for Said’s death were sentenced to seven years imprisonment in October 2011. This status is evident for example in the Arabic name URL of the ‘‘We Are All Khaled Said’’ page. 16. 19. 14. A recording of the event can be seen on http://www. but also because it contains a double symbolism. The process and result is documented in a widely distributed video featuring one of the songs Khaled Said wrote before his death. In the global context one example deserves special com/ElShaheeed).com/dispatch/news/regions/middleeast/egypt/111029/thousands-rally-alleged-torture-victim-essam-atta (accessed November 17. Egypt has 18 public universities and a high tertiary education enrollment rate at 32. 2011). 2011). Said’s family and activists widely considered the sentence to be too lenient.pdf (accessed December 7. In September 2011 Khaled Said posthumously received the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human rights Award (Friedrich ebert The quote has been translated from the Danish narrator’s translation from Maher’s Arabic. I make a distinction between ‘‘politically engaged’’ and ‘‘politically motivated’’ to denote that only about one-third of those who took part in the protests in 2010 and 2011 had previously been engaged in political activism (Tufecki & Wilson. 2012. 15. 369). In relation to the event German graffiti artist Andreas von Chrzanowski (aka Case) painted a portrait of Khaled Said on a piece of the Berlin Wall.pdf (accessed December 20. . The photograph can be seen at: http://www. 370) many received information about protests by mouth. The Berlin portrait is interesting not only because the portrait and video have been widely circulated. 2011). p. The use of a piece of the Berlin Wall as a ‘‘canvas’’ for Said’s portrait powerfully projects his fate into global history and memory.facebook. transfer their moral qualities to society. The Berlin Wall contains considerable symbolic importance for people all over the See http://www.dsg. 2011). The symbolic association with the Berlin Wall thus ‘‘lends’’ some of the wall’s undisputed and globally recognized status as an injustice symbol to that of Khaled Said. 17. As noted by Tufecki and Wilson (2012.6% ( in dying for a religious cause. 20.globalpost. 2011). Several videos showing Khaled Said related protests may be found on YouTube. p.22 THOMAS OLESEN 12. Said’s innocence and the violator’s moral–legal corruption helped elevate him to the status of martyr. but an English language version was soon after set up by Mohamed Ibrahim (http://www. The fact that social media played a key role in mobilization should not eclipse the effect of personal and physical relations in that regard.’’ Martyrs play a key role in most major religions. 2011).uk/silent-stands (accessed November 29. The original page started by Ghonim was in Arabic (http://www. el shaheed. 21.elshaheeed.facebook. which translates as ‘‘the martyr.alnadeem. but generally have a stronger position in Muslim societies where the term refers to individuals who. for example: http://www. Martyrs in this sense are closely related to the concept of injustice symbols. The painting is to be placed permanently in Berlin’s Freedom Park.

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violence. 27–54 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. The results show. Volume 35. and Helsinki. Strong converging features are found in the contents of the frames in the two contexts.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035006 27 . masculinity. France. To illustrate the approach. The material was collected during ethnographic fieldwork and consists of 505 images from local activist websites. protest policing. and gender/sex ambiguity key visual representations of different aspects of contentious action. and performativity. Conflicts and Change. in particular in the ways femininity keys different frames of contention in visual representations. Building on the definition of dominant frames in a set of visual material. the cities of Lyon. the approach provides a tangible tool to analyze contextualized visual material sociologically. the chapter analyzes visual representations of social movement contention in two local contexts. The analysis asks how femininity. such as mass gatherings. and the analysis of keying within these frames. first. that Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. yet differences also abound. Finland.BODIES KEYING POLITICS: A VISUAL FRAME ANALYSIS OF GENDERED LOCAL ACTIVISM IN FRANCE AND FINLAND Eeva Luhtakallio ABSTRACT The chapter introduces a methodological approach to analyzing visual material based on Erving Goffman’s frame analysis.

or veils. Einwoher. and the internet. in newspaper reports. Taylor. that a comparison of local activism through visual representations calls into question many general assumptions of political cultures. or in the neighboring city district. at other times. 2004. such as the meanings and consequences of different aspects of gender: masculinity. the power to set agendas. and second. and gender/sex ambiguity. 2007. for instance. 2007. 2000. These images may be of young men throwing stones at the police or the windows of a McDonald’s. Luhtakallio. What we think of a collective struggle far away. visual form of politics: its means of influencing the current media-dominated public spheres lie firmly in the chances of being seen and recognized. visual representations. they are crowded by colorful.28 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO the visual frame analysis approach is a functioning tool for analyzing large sets of visual material with a qualitative emphasis. is increasingly dependent on the images we have seen on TV. & Olson. keying. but they have been the subject to less in-depth analysis. and highlights the importance for sociologists of looking closely enough for both differences and similarities. 2002. Keywords: Frame. repertoires of contention. singing. Social movement contention is a particularly spatial. bodily. Kola´rˇ ova´. 2004. indeed. and cultural gender systems. comparative research INTRODUCTION Visual representations play a crucial role in struggles over discursive power. 1999. apart from studies on movements that have explicitly gendered goals such as feminist or gay rights movements (Charles. and the power to define credibility. or they may represent dancing. gender. and provoke a great number of stereotypes and assumptions. Dunezat. Hollander. on their heads. social movements. see however Adams. and on the countless websites where activists themselves share photos of their actions. Sasson-Levy & . Sometimes images of activism are filled with clouds of tear gas. For the sociology of social movements. femininity. carnivalesque groups carrying signs or playing self-made musical instruments. interviews. and. visual representations offer the possibility of grasping elements that are complicated to analyze by means of. Gender aspects matter in all kinds of collective action. and shouting women wearing flowers. These elements appear in the most common visual representations found in news reports on social movements.

nonmediated relation with the state (e. 2005b. 2012. 1998). 1994). such as mass gatherings. de Lauretis. Alapuro. 2010. 2005b. yet also have their own specificities? In France. Rosanvallon. & Raevaara. 2003. Raevaara. protest policing. laws may still have to be remodeled and government policies redirected under the more or less straightforward influence of a sufficiently strong protest movement. the question of gender is present (e. Grosz. 2005a. 2012). 1990. In Finland. and how do they mark the images of contention in the two local contexts that simultaneously echo the above cultural characteristics. and social movements continue to be a significant political force exerting effective pressure on political decision-making at all levels of government (Alapuro. instead of articulating forceful protest.. and whether the signs of gender are clear or blurred. 2010. . 2010). 2010. Today it remains neither rare nor particularly risky for those in power to ignore popular protests entirely.g. 2001. Luhtakallio. Open contention. Alapuro. Le´pinard. the cities of Lyon. Luhtakallio. 2003. Holli. 2012. Balibar. 1987. Alapuro. Luhtakallio. I analyze the gendered representations of social movement contention in two local contexts. 2007. Holli.. 2001. Balibar. masculinity. and gender/sex ambiguity intertwine with – or key. I argue that analyzing visual representations of local social movements from a comparative perspective enables us to deepen our understanding of the ways in which gendered bodies matter in different forms of protest in different contexts. 2003. 2005)? What kind of visual gender representations appear. 2006.. Ce´lestin.. a trend that also echoes the universal Republican understanding of the citizen as a direct. 2003). and citizens have been understood as a thoroughly represented collective (e. & Coutivron.g.g. Finland.g. Luhtakallio. and the societal understandings of gender (e.1 I suggest that looking closely at two limited. gender is an element proper to all visual representations of human beings: all images of people are gender representations. France. 2005a. How do these intertwinements converge and differ in two cultural contexts chosen to provide a comparison between places of extreme historical differences in terms of both contention and activist cultures (e. In this chapter. 1998). Rosanvallon. as this feature will be called later – visual representations of different aspects of contentious action. local cases of visual activist publicity is one way to address the complex question of the meanings of gender in contentious action. Concretely. DalMolin. Butler. 2010.. Furthermore.g. and Helsinki. 2005a. in today’s France.Bodies Keying Politics 29 Rapoport. popular uprisings have marked the historical moments of the Republic.2 I ask how femininity. Stenius. violence. popular movements have historically been harnessed in the work of building a common nation. and performativity.

Luhtakallio. a firm division of labor in which men and women act in separate groups has traditionally predominated. whereas in Finland only the most radical groups or the most pressing causes have resorted to open protest. Gender is particularly crucial. & Raevaara. 2012). World Value Survey. strong and direct protest is a self-evident part of being a citizen from national labor union leaders to school children. the convergence of the tradition of equality politics with social justice ideology has been smooth. Finland and France can be placed at the opposite ends of the spectrum in their emphases on equality and difference. However. Heinen et al. since the 1960s. In France. These cultural understandings of the traditional place of protest have consequences for the respective political cultures: in France. 2007).g. 1983. Le´pinard. Henig. 2007. in contrast. The feminist movement in Finland has emphasized gender equality. similar treatment of women and men in the labor market. sexual difference and the specific needs and experiences of women have dominated the debate (Ce´lestin et al. joined with claims of equality within progressive movements. the grounds from which protest movements arise differ in France and Finland: in the former. with its many intersections in and with other social categorizations. Raevaara.. Lindstro¨m..g. even if influential at the level of practices (e. 2004. In terms of cultural conceptualizations of gender. Regarding civil society actors.g. Luhtakallio. 2003. whereas in the latter. 2007. Even today. overt protest may mean risking credibility rather than benefiting the cause. 2004 on the readiness of the Finns and the French to engage in different forms of protest action). whereas in Finland this division has been less clear cut. Finns tend on average to be rather suspicious of both the legitimacy and the efficiency of protest (e.. 2012. Holli. and cooperative partnership between women and men (Jallinoja. In the Finnish activist culture. finds few sympathizers in Finnish society (e. in France..g. has generated opening toward feminist politics within movements.. 2005). even invisible. 2004). although often resulting in bitter conflicts with uncertain results (e. an ideal of gender equality has been introduced into the field of social movements worldwide (e.g. In France. it is also necessary to pay attention to the characteristics of the actors behind actions. Raevaara. 1998). protesting and bringing crowds to the streets often seems the most effective – even the only effective – way to influence politics. Luhtakallio. 2012). Siisia¨inen.30 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO especially of a violent nature. Therefore. the traditional politics of gender difference. 2005). in contrast. When assessing general features such as those outlined above.. The ways in which the ideal of equality ... providing a generalized idea of ‘‘achieved’’ gender equality that makes gender discrimination and/or differences a difficult topic to address within movements (Holli et al.

but also followed links on these sites. the local protest cultures and repertoires of contention in Lyon and Helsinki have striking similarities. student protest groups. An important resource for images of protests with many organizers. and follow events and developments in social movements in other countries through the internet. this chapter addresses questions of gender and contention at the intersection of differences and convergences that provide grounds to understand the complex mechanisms in which political cultures. these are two both historically and currently very different polities and political cultures that nevertheless nurture contentious politics that cross borders. either through participatory observation. 2009. The websites included global justice movement branches (local ATTAC associations). as the following analysis of the visual representations will show (see also Luhtakallio. a wide range of local groups. precisely from this paradox: in a European perspective. . for the Lyonnais sites in December 2005. and domesticate ideas and repertoires. voice. 2012). and gender are configured in contentious politics. squatters. The interest of comparing activism in these two countries emerges. and both again in June 2008.Bodies Keying Politics 31 within movements meets contextual gender configurations of political power is a crucial point for illustrating the importance of the comparative analysis of the visual sphere of political struggles for power. Rebellyon. or both. In collecting the visual material I visited the websites of all the groups included in the fieldwork. This research strategy was chosen to make sure that as many different aspects of local civic activities as possible be included in the study. Reclaim the Streets organizers and public services advocacy groups in Helsinki. as well as single-issue protest and/or advocacy groups in both cities. In spite of these differences. from radical protest movements to lobby and service provision groups in close contact with local authorities. 2010).3 Therefore. however. local contexts. and recognition. radical libertarian groups and urban planning advocacy groups in Lyon. the web search was conducted on two occasions. borrow. were two umbrella sites linking local protest groups: Megafoni and Rebellyon (Megafoni. I collected the material as part of ethnographic fieldwork4 carried out among local activists that covered. interviews. There is no great mystery to this: today’s activists network and travel in activist circles across Europe and elsewhere. In both contexts. The empirical material drawn on here consists of images collected from the websites of local social movement activists in Lyon (N=230) and Helsinki (N=275). The images – those that include information on the dates of the activities – had been taken mainly between 2004 and 2008. as well as for doublechecking the coverage of the material. copy. and the Helsinkibased sites in August 2007.

and the field of visual sociology is no stranger to frames (on framing and social movements. and therefore. Snow & Benford. 2002). I suggest that going back to Goffman’s theoretical work provides a fruitful starting point to solve some of the troubles of analyzing visual material sociologically. thus forming a broad understanding of the ‘‘master frame’’ in question.. 1997. While acknowledging the achievements of the innumerable applications of frame analysis in these fields of study. 1991. Parry. and in particular. Benford & Snow. pp. 2007. without preselecting issues or events. Croteau. 1998. The ethnographic link to the material helped in analyzing complex issues such as the meaning of gender configurations in the two contexts. While the significance of visual representations is widely recognized today in many areas of mainstream sociological analysis. Harper. so as to make the sample as representative of the local online activist visuality of the time as possible. 2000. 2007. 251–253). Rose. work remains to be done regarding both the recognition of visual material as a serious sociological object and methodological approaches to the sociology of visual representations (e. Snow & Byrd.g. Wagner. 2010. To contribute to this work. e. e. 2011. Gamson.5 I knew most of the groups whose images were included.g. & Sasson. 1992. 1996. Holliday. maintain a noncognitive.32 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO I included all images found from these sources. An adaptation of Goffman’s idea of keying and a suggestion of defining the dominant frames visual material entails form .. built on an ethnographic understanding of the contexts these representations stem from. see. & Corrigall-Brown. on frames and visual material. Fahmy. from everyday sociability to consumption habits. Becker. this chapter introduces a methodological approach based on Erving Goffman’s (1974) frame analysis.. I was thus able to include a larger sample of groups and events without losing touch with the material and social conditions the images were produced in.g. Hoynes. Combining frame analysis and social movement studies is no breaking news. and participated myself in some of the events represented in the material. 2010). Grady. in my view. see. Morreale. and a careful examination of a corpus of over 500 images. 2000. 1998. 1999. how to figure out new ways to address social movement activities through visual representations. thus gaining an understanding of the activists’ ideas of what was at stake in these representations. 2001. on the one hand. 2000. 1988. Vliegenthart. and thereby the capacity to read the images sensitively.6 My take on analyzing this material is primarily that of researcher interpretation. Margolis. Suchar. even though the numbers involved are large. kinesthetic understanding of the activities and gender configurations that repeatedly emerged within the two contexts (Laine. on the other. Snow.

2012). pp. it can be followed by indefinite turns of rekeying that always alter both the basic foundational framing and the previous keying (ibid. violence. is transformed into something patterned on this activity but seen by the participants to be something quite else’’ (Goffman. first. and places it on a continuum . Keying is not static or permanent. By deploying frames. pp. people face the necessity of analyzing situations in order to navigate in the world and understand social interactions and encounters. 1992. new information may occur either through new interpretation within an image – a second glance. one already meaningful in terms of some primary framework. a frame connects a phenomenon to a space and time. In the next part. and alter through keying.. to analyze their vulnerability and change. In looking at an image. pp. the purpose of frame analysis is twofold: it seeks. through which people try to make sense of the world and the situations they experience. 8–11) calls this ‘‘framing. pp. it is possible to analyze how visual representations simultaneously create meanings within different frames. to identify foundational framings in society that make the understanding of events and situations possible. and how these frames may shift. as framing is a process that structures experience and produces meanings in communication with the contexts of a given situation. 125). Heiskala. p. Manning. 43–44). In the third part. 45. the comparative case of the activist website images from Lyon and Helsinki will illustrate the methodological approach via an analysis of the dynamics of gender keying in the dominant frames of demonstration. Furthermore. 261–264.’’ an activity typical to human beings. Transformations of framings take place through keying which is ‘‘y a set of conventions by which a given activity. keying alters the frame by creating new interpretational connections. for instance – or through a serial keying taking place because of one or several other images bringing in new information. and performance. 2003. 81–82. 1974. break. For Goffman. These characteristics render the idea of applying frames to visual material fruitful. Goffman (1974. Thus. 2005. I revisit Goffman’s theory of framing. FRAME ANALYSIS REVISITED In their everyday lives. Finally. and resonating in the entire ‘‘set’’ of representations in question. p.Bodies Keying Politics 33 the core of this methodological application that simultaneously enables the analysis of a large set of images combined with a sensitive reading of visual representations (see also Luhtakallio. and second. I introduce my suggestion for visual frame analysis.

and mental reserves of cultural competence. in terms of Goffman’s frame analysis. Goffman’s original work. the double dynamic of reflecting and producing political realities. means asking ‘‘what seems to be going on’’ in the light of different elements within the image as well as in the context: the publication channel and other similar images. In the following. TRACING THE DYNAMICS OF DOMINANT FRAMES AND KEYING: VISUAL FRAME ANALYSIS The starting point for developing the visual frame analysis approach was the need to find a solution that would overcome the deficiencies and limitations .’’ the framing processes it is subjected cannot be controlled. and readjusting. even if they are not completely random either. with its empirical examples of face-to-face interaction. it means asking what are the elements that affect these goings-on in ways that make them mean the ‘‘same’’ thing – a fight is a fight. and thus. like a demonstration is a demonstration – but in a different ‘‘tone. keyings. or a staged scene to distract people from pickpockets at work? And what happens to the definition of this situation if we recognize one of the fighters as the prime minister.7 However much an activist webmaster or a photographer may strategize about a given image in a given moment and a given place. and rekeyings (Goffman. p. Is a fight we see on the street a real fight. In analyzing the visual representations of the local social movements in Lyon and Helsinki. whether voluntary or involuntary. I argue for the use of frame analysis that examines political struggles and contention as processes of interpretation that entail undoubtedly strategic attempts to direct meanings. I describe the methodological grounds and tools that are needed to accomplish this task. More than mere strategies. In the process of framing. and the other as a popular actor? Analyzing images.’’ keyed to meanings that are recognizable within the frame. once it is ‘‘out there. puts a strong emphasis on the vulnerability. and the possible consequences of these dynamics that the frame approach helps to unfold. for a vision of framing as repeated acts of understanding through dynamics of individual cognition and experience. and yet a little different – or even entirely transformed.34 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO of experienced phenomena that bear resemblance. visual representations are connected to the social reality they are part of and take part in representing. but more importantly. 1974. of framing: the numerous occasions in social life where figuring out what a situation means requires our understanding several layers of frames. I trace the common. Furthermore. a mockery between friends. 10). understandings of gender. probable interpretations viewers make of these images. reproducing.

what does it mean. were extremely recognizable. Billings & Eastman. 2009..g.g. 1997). e. and cultural dynamics of visual representations together form the center of interest. Cowie. objectifying something collectively observed or experienced. 1998. 1994. Martı´ nez. 2003. In order to understand the meaning of an image. contextual. Harrison. Anttila. we need to come up with an answer to the question ‘‘what is going on here?’’. reproduce. 2003. van Zoonen. see. Studying visual representations – visually experienced ‘‘situations’’ of everyday life – requires taking into account their simultaneously produced and productive nature. The following is an attempt to solve a few more. Margolis. the wide variety of semiotic approaches for studying the signs and meaning production in single images or relatively small sets of material. In order to grasp this twofold dynamic of representation and to make sense of the stream of images floating around on the internet. enter endless processes of interpretation and negotiation with viewers. Rose. Prosser. 1999. e. 1994. I took it more or less for granted that these visual representations would rarely be mistaken for something other than ‘‘messages by grassroots activists and groups. Mattoni & Doerr. and answer the question by interpreting what we see. They certainly prove useful for various kinds of research questions. the visual representations found were. 2001. and how does it relate to the thousands of previous ‘‘visual situations’’ one has seen. thus. 2000. I began with the idea that typically. when we look at an image. see. popping up and commented on here and there in the flow of communication that formed the local public spheres in Lyon and Helsinki. Harper. 2001.. These methods have been applied in a wide variety of cases of visual sociological analysis (on content analysis. 2007. But what takes interpretation – and framing – is to understand what kind of an image this is. simultaneously products of more or less conscious publishing processes8 and the intention to share and articulate certain meanings and images that. Hall. we ask what are we looking at. and to accompany it with additional interpretations and understandings that may either slightly . 1997). Garcı´ a. 2002. 1994). and to the reserve of visual literacy one has gained. once published. 2000. Ahmed. and alter this world (e.g. & Salgado..g. on semiotics and narrative analysis. In terms of the activist websites I studied. van Leeuwen & Jewitt. websites of activist groups.Bodies Keying Politics 35 of the tools that sociological analyses of visual material mostly use: visual content analysis for studying large sets of images. Nevertheless. when the social. the troubles of the sociological analyst of visual culture are far from being solved.’’ as the media. Nixon. and produce. and narrative analysis for studying visual storylines (e.. Cowie. They both articulate social processes and contribute to them: they produce meaning from within a world.

let alone outright mockery. in the figure of an activist dressed as a clown secretly gluing heart-shaped stickers to the backs of police uniforms. or with a hint of gender ambiguity. by whom. I took on the sociological understanding of what action consists of. like in musical arrangements. 45). 43–44). For example. Goffman’s (1974. that ‘‘a keying y performs a crucial role in determining what it is we think is really going on’’ (ibid. or redirect or change it profoundly (Goffman. 8–11. make-believe. Keying is interpretation that directs and focuses – and sometimes transfers or even switches – the meaning of an image in a given situation. and purpose: what is being done. movements. the first idea of what is going on. even contradictory ones. A dominant frame is the primary analysis of a situation. agency. pp. I call these two layers of interpretation dominant framing and keying. In terms of visual frame analysis.36 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO alter or color the meaning. I argue that there is good reason for the musical metaphor Goffman chose to describe this phenomenon. scene. the frame of violence. for instance. 44. Even though several meanings and interpretations. p. how. such as perspective. in one of the common frames of the activist websites. p. notably Burke’s (1969[1945]) pentad division of act. keying in visual representations can tune the situation a little or change almost the entire song. Furthermore. and dramatic or ceremonial settings alter the framing of situations. bodily features. even if he did so with some reservations (ibid. may arise from one image. Second. direction of gaze. facial expression. ‘‘what is going on’’ differs quite a bit according to whether the frame is keyed with a representation of dark-colored. agent. in what circumstances. the question whether ‘‘participants in the activity are meant to know and to openly acknowledge that a systemic alteration is involved’’ is not within the remit of the visual analysis – while still converging with its conclusion. I rely primarily on two sources to add precision to the procedure.. note 14). testosterone-fuelled rows of riot police. My use of keying diverges slightly from Goffman’s checklist of definitions – as.. angle of view.9 To break down the rather general and unmethodical formulation Goffman presented. as in the above example. 1974. Whether a frame ‘‘chimes’’ in A Major or minor makes an important difference in visual representations. a primary interpretation. relative size of elements and people. and why. pp. 40–75) own use of keying concentrates on the idea of how play. can usually be detected. First. I focused on the features that the literature on the semiotic understanding of visual objects lists as the crucial constituents of visual meaning. .

1978). even for a very large set of visual material. and further. I analyze the images found on the activist websites in Lyon and Helsinki as cultural representations that a viewer needs to frame in order to understand what is going on. Defining the dominant frames means observing the mental categories one builds when trying to understand what happens in an image: what is present that is similar to something I have seen before.Bodies Keying Politics 37 and mimic (e. 188–189.10 Framing and keying form a continuum that helps identify the meaning dynamics of an image.. of a set of strips that constitute the analyzed imagery. In the following. 75–77. This step further illustrates how the method simulates the process of understanding images. frequency does not equal importance or the density of meaning. However. whereas the dynamics of keying provide a systematic yet sensitive way of analyzing both the general characteristics and atypical or other particularly dense features of the material in a qualitative approach. and how is it similar to or different from the other representations that surround it. including an attentive reading of the captions and headlines attached to the images. I organized the images following the denominators detected at the first reading. has rightly noted. The idea of dominant framing enables the categorization of the general characteristics. how does it differ from something I have seen before. some basic quantification helped in the necessary moves back and forth in the steps of the analysis. and thus the production of meaning that occurs in the ‘‘negotiations’’ between the image and the viewer. with the difference that I had a larger number of pictures before me than an average web surfer might care to go through at one sitting. Images make meaning and matter through both repetition and uniqueness: as Gillian Rose (2001. . and to key in order to understand how this going-on is happening. Rose. Goffman. 2001. I first went through the material in order to define and name the dominant frames: the repeated features emerging as the ‘‘at the first glance’’ interpretations when looking at the images. pp. keeping different aspects – both the repetitive and the unique – of the material tangible. and took notes about the keyings that refined or redirected the meanings of the images. among others. 112–114. p. 66). Williamson. and not make a preselection of the images. in analyzing visual representations.g. 1979. This procedure can be described as imitating a random viewer of the images trying to make sense of them. as I wanted to keep the sample wide.

violence. a banderol workshop held indoors). The frames of demonstration. carrying banderols or flags. The frame of violence frames images that are either explicitly violent – scenes of physical mistreatment. and Gender/Sex Keying Within them. throwing objects. and the most articulate within the above three frames. Dominant Frame Context/Keying Lyon Total N=230 Femininity Masculinity Femininity and masculinity Gender/sex ambiguity No gender/sex keying Total % within frame Helsinki Total N=275 Femininity Masculinity Femininity and masculinity Gender/sex ambiguity No gender/sex keying Total % within frame Source: Author’s own. or Table 1. in Activist Website Images in Lyon and Helsinki. I have chosen three dominant frames and one important keying dynamic from the activist website material for closer analysis. Dominant Frames of Demonstration. as well as details of these events. Violence.11 The dominant frames have been identified as follows. Demonstration (%) Violence (%) Performance (%) 26 17 4 3 44 41 2 10 100  85 8 5 2 100 22 11  67  100 25 10 13 13 18 51 12 6 100  70 15 11 4 100 22 19 28 31  100 . and performance cover 47% of the material in Lyon. This frame was equally present in both contexts (see Table 1). and gender keying is one of the most crucial elements throughout the material. The dominant frame of demonstration consists of depictions of people marching. for instance. and 48% in Helsinki.38 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO GENDER KEYINGS IN VISUAL FRAMES OF CONTENTION IN LYON AND HELSINKI In order to illustrate the workings of the visual frame analysis. and Performance. such as a single person depicted with a banderol where the context of the picture is evidently a demonstration (not. and of crowds gathered in public spaces.

Bodies Keying Politics


starting fires (when it is evident that the image is not of a friendly campfire) –
or scenes indexical to violence in which the expressions, mimic, or artefacts
that dominate the image have a connection to violence, such as shouting faces
involved in confrontation, or riot police gathered in a phalanx in full gear.
The frame of violence was slightly more frequent in the Lyonnais material.
The dominant frame of performance, finally, comprises depictions of a variety
of shows and theatrical scenes, organized performances, or make-believe and
mock appearances. The frame of performance shows a range of activist
creativity from concerts to dance and juggling performances to clown displays. This frame, in turn, was found more often in the material from Helsinki.
I have quantified the gender keyings not by looking at numbers of
people – counting which sex/gender has more representatives in each image
is impossible, as many of the pictures represent big crowds, and not all
human figures can be ‘‘clearly defined’’ – but instead by looking at what
actually keys the interpretation of the frame in question, that is, what is
important in terms of understanding what is going on in the image. In the
frame of demonstration, for instance, it is of less relevance whether there is
one woman somewhere in the crowd, than if this woman is leading the
corte`ge. Similarly, gender ambiguity keys an image in which one person can
be recognized as a man, but all the others in the foreground are dressed
as clowns, and deliberately unrecognizable as one gender or the other.
Table 1 illustrates a quantification of the three dominant frames and
gender keying within them, divided into a keying by femininity, masculinity,
the two former combined, gender/sex ambiguity, and no gender keying. The
first row of each set of images shows the volume of the frame in the whole
set of material, and the six rows below show the proportions of the gender
keyings within each frame.
On the one hand, the differences in the volumes of frame occurrence do
not, in themselves, tell us very much about the material. The reasons for the
variation of frequency can be speculated upon, but it is impossible to verify
to what degree this is due to the events that were topical and thus
abundantly posted about at the time the material was collected.12 This is one
of the reasons the quantification of the visual frames is not at the core of
the analysis, but instead a device used in figuring out the general features of
the material, whereas the actual analysis is done qualitatively.
On the other hand, however, the quantification of the keyings shows that
femininity, as well as the keying combining femininity and masculinity, key
the dominant frames more frequently in the material from Helsinki than in
the Lyonnais images, with the exception of the frame of violence that is very
strongly masculinity-keyed in both contexts. The frame of performance



is the most feminine keyed frame in both contexts, although it is also
the (only) one in which gender/sex ambiguity keying is the most prevalent.
However, quantification only serves as a general description of the material
in the case of keying too. In the following, I illustrate the dominant frames
and gender keying dynamics qualitatively with examples of the images.
In both Lyon and Helsinki, demonstrating is the most ‘‘evident’’ of the
dominant frames: these images consist of crowds marching in city streets,
gathered in squares, holding banners, shouting or singing while marching
in groups. The most repeated element is an assemblage of human bodies
engaged in collective motion in a public space. The corporeality of the
activity itself renders gender a foremost feature of many of the images (cf.
Grosz, 1998). Paraphrasing Judith Butler (1990), these are performances of
gender within the displays of demonstrating, while at the same time
demonstrations are, among other things, acts of doing gender. In both
contexts, an image of a demonstration repetitively follows a pattern where it
consists of a ‘‘mass’’ of bodies – the crowd – and a singular figure (or a
couple) that sticks out from the crowd and seems to be leading it. This
pattern is presented in Fig. 1, and the gender keying in these images is
abundantly present in most representations following this pattern: the figures
represented in the foreground are often male.
Occupying the foreground, then, represents leadership, courage, and
sometimes aggression. Male bodies occupy the foreground as a male
vanguard marching together, as in Fig. 1(a). These representations of
‘‘activist fraternities,’’ or homo-social (-erotic) leadership echo the long
tradition of representations of masculinity and political power (Valenius,
2004, p. 49). Second, as in Fig. 1(b), a male figure stands out alone. Both the

Fig. 1. (a) Dominant Frame of Demonstrating in the Lyonnais Material
(Demonstration to Support the Decriminalization of Cannabis in Spring 2006) and
(b) In the Material from Helsinki (Euromayday 2004 Demonstration). Source: (a) (b)

Bodies Keying Politics


microphone in his hand, and the perspective in which he is notably bigger
than anyone else emphasize his position as the leader of the massive corte`ge
behind him. The male activist bodies of the frame of demonstrating rarely
signify physical strength. Instead, they are skinny and young, even feminine –
and often provocative in one way or another. In Fig. 1(a), the two young
leaders dressed in black have an ‘‘armless but fearless’’ defiant look about
them that reflects the iconography of punk culture and stresses nonconformity to the prevailing consumption culture in terms of, for example, flea
market clothing and second hand bicycles. In Fig. 1(b), the provocation is
more humoristic, or a fashion statement produced by retro sun glasses,
stocking cap, and streamer around the man’s neck. In both contexts,
representations of male activists ‘‘in the lead’’ can be seen as a negotiation of
contentious, transgressive action and traditional gender roles. The latter are
reproduced by the male bodies in action, incorporating leadership however
untraditional their masculinity.
Women and men are also seen together in the foreground, but typically in
both contexts these depictions are less spectacular in the sense of the clear
leadership of the two examples above. Instead, when a combination of
femininity and masculinity keys the frame of demonstrating, the image is
often a depiction of the crowd, from near or far, marching behind the leaders.
Where we find female figures represented in the foreground within the
frame of demonstrating, mainly in the Helsinki material, the gender keying
directs to very different interpretations. Typically, the crowd is not clearly
visible, if at all, and thus leadership is not the interpretation that these
gender keyings produce. Instead, as seen in Fig. 2, the representation is

Fig. 2. Feminine Keying of Demonstrating in Helsinki (Demonstration for Increase
in Student Allowance, 2006). Source: Heikkila¨



playful and ‘‘childlike’’: feminine gender keys the image with nonthreatening
joyfulness that closely resembles the infantile, regressed, nonserious
representations of women that Goffman (1979) found in his sample of
advertisement imageries.
In Fig. 2, the banderol states ‘‘Strike!’’, but this serious-sounding message
fails to direct the interpretation, so strong is the keying produced by the clumsy,
playful bodily movements and light-hearted, cheery expressions of the two
women. Rather than a defiant contestation, the keying directs understanding of
this image so that youthful hope and energy prevail, but also harmless action
provided by the small and feminine figures. In contrast with the sometimes
striking similarity in so many other features of the two contexts, the above type
of gender keying is seen exclusively in the material from Helsinki. In the
Lyonnais material, representations of both women and playfulness are
rather scarce. In this regard, Fig. 2 is also a representation of autonomous,
even slightly wild femininity, and hence simultaneously challenging in its
somewhat airy way to both the mainstream of current social movement
imagery, and the traditional depiction of women in political iconography.
This was, however, not the only manner of ‘‘blurring’’ the boundaries of
femininity in the Helsinki material. Apart from playfulness, aggressive
femininity also keyed some representations. Moving toward the dominant
frame of violence, Fig. 3 presents a rare but powerful case of feminine anger
and defiance.

Fig. 3. Gender Keying the Frame of Violence in Helsinki (Demonstration for a
Raise in Student Allowance in 2006). Source:

In addition. there is the police performing physical repression in terms of blocking progression or more heavy-handed acts such as pressing a person to the ground by force.Bodies Keying Politics 43 The group of activists confronting the police in this image consists of two men and two women. These representations show how the police hindered the passage of demonstrators. and the consequences of violence such as wounds and even possible casualties are part of the repertoire of this dominant frame. or pressed them to the ground with sheer physical supremacy. the visibility of firearms. In overview. an example of the power of gendered agency in visual representations. The image has a certain shock value to it. These representations seem to carry a ‘‘proof’’ function: these images tell the viewer that the police symbolized a threat of violence for the activists. as such. and representations of power. in particular in the Lyonnais material. an important majority of the images I interpreted within the dominant frame of violence represent police forces ‘‘in action. potentially safety-threatening fires. but the ‘‘leader’’ of the confrontation seems to be the woman on the left. so that the keying is both feminine and masculine.’’ First. Also. She is shouting aggressively at the police and bending toward them. or making threatening movements. and police officers gathered behind riot fences are represented. mass and strength. fleets of police vehicles. if not alone still in the leading position against the ‘‘oppressors’’ is. . A typical scene within the frame of violence in both contexts depicts the ‘‘faceless. This rare representation of a ‘‘Herculean’’ woman standing. helpless. and point out the disproportionate police presence in demonstrations. Second. this gender keying adds complexity to the intertwinement of violence.’’ robot-like police officer kitted out in heavy riot gear and equipped with shields and arms. In the Lyonnais material especially the frame of violence includes representations so explicitly violent that the first interpretation sometimes approaches that of a war zone rather than civil society contention. bodily features. and as will be shown in the following. but more abundantly. in the array of representations of the frame of violence. different signs of violence mark the dominant frame of violence: there are representations of activists throwing stones. police phalanx in riot gear. (mis)using their supremacy in numbers. on the skinny. a strong keying directs the interpretation of these images as signs of masculinity. and whether or not all the actual bodies underneath the masks and armors are biologically male. The gender keying in these images oozes testosterone. aimed at them with guns. the police are represented ‘‘in action’’ toward the demonstrators. and visibly armless activists.

net/ . 139–140. theatrical ‘‘shows. 2005). Sources: (a) http://Rebellyon. young men rather than women. spectacular performances in public. 41). in shopping centers. as far as is possible to tell. kulma. and parties. Blurring the boundaries of masculinity calls the legitimacy of prevailing power structures into question. Rossi. 2003. 4. from simply portraying the good times among the activists at their own gatherings to representing transgressive. 4. 3–5. But it is noteworthy that two very different masculinities are at play in these representations: the ‘‘masculine’’ male – a repressive.’’ music performances. These representations resonate within the entire master frame of activist imageries: in these images.44 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO remorselessly on the losing side. or in squats. as well as their actions toward the activists that in these images are. the power of social movements as agents of radical change and Fig. the entire arsenal of possible gender representations changes (de Lauretis. pp. Masculinities Keying the Frame of Violence in (a) the Lyonnais (CPE Demonstration in 2005) and (b) the Helsinki Material (Omega Squat Support Demonstration. Finally. (b) http://Megafoni. p. physically fit one – and the ‘‘feminine’’ male – a repressed.g. 111). the dominant frame of performance displays a variety of colorful. and weak one. These kinds of keyings can be seen as transformative: when masculinities and femininities are repeated Luhtakallio. 2003. Marginal masculinities marked by blurred boundaries with the feminine are ‘‘dangerous’’ and fracturing to a fundamentally hetero-normative gender order (e. powerful. p. 2004. Valenius. These representations concentrate on the ‘‘fun’’ and ‘‘artistic’’ side of activism.. The military-like equipment of the police. pp. This keying of multiple masculinities is presented in Fig. an unfair battle of physical strength. 1987. and visual representations are a powerful medium for this as the ‘‘argument’’ of these images is difficult to disprove. helpless. carry signs of masculine confrontation. organized on the streets.

In Fig. 5 shows. how creative and full of positive emotions. 5. In addition. The different funny. The Frame of Performance Keyed with Gender Ambiguity (a) in Helsinki (‘‘The Clown battalion’’ Hinders Entrance to Kamppi Shopping Mall in 2005). if the examples of the frame of violence illustrate different keyings of masculinities and femininities in activist representations. and (b) in Lyon (‘‘Non a` Big Brother’’ Activists Cover Surveillance Cameras with Balloons in 2004). and at the same time entails a powerful political message of difference and alternative. whose purpose was to expose the ridiculous ways of the powerful. the dominant frame of performance adds yet another feature: that of gender ambiguity. 5(a). the activist-clowns next to the somewhat confused-looking police officer draw a direct link to the historical tradition of In Fig. Either more or less feminine or explicitly gender-blurring and ambiguous keyings in which signs of neither femininity nor masculinity orient the interpretation occurred often in the frame as Fig. Rosanvallon.kulma. Performers often performed in a masquerade disguised as clowns or other theatrical and/or political figures. 2011. Source: (a) http://megafoni. Playfulness is twofold: it shows how much fun activism is. 2006).Bodies Keying Politics 45 whistle-blowers is perhaps at its clearest (see Laine. the activist performing an act of covering a surveillance camera is at the same time artistic and safe: s/he is not recognizable thanks to the mask s/he is wearing. and goofy representations of local activists carry a subtle set of meanings that redirect the threats and fears of the frame of violence toward irony and mockery of power. mocking. 5(b). a feature well-known from demonstration coverage in the mainstream media all over the Western world since at least Fig. (b) Non a` Big Brother. .

that is. 5 remind us of the tradition of fools and clowns as subversive actors and ‘‘truth-tellers’’ throughout Western cultural history (see Bakhtin. as they are neither one gender nor the other. It is noteworthy that explicitly masculine keyings are rather scarce as central figures of the ‘‘carnival aspect’’ of activism in both Helsinki and Lyon: the masquerades are feminine representations. 50–52). and credibility (see Butler. is a constantly changing one. de Lauretis. Their anchorage in joy is perhaps a stronger sign than the bleak vicious circles of violence. in the frame of performance. desirability. the entire social order. Only musical performances. however weak a sign that may be. beauty. Maybe the playful. their presence as autonomous actors within the frames of contentious action should not be deprecated. unclear signs gender (see Butler. Clowns are out of reach of the categorizing power of gender. . rock gigs or DJ sets. transgressive idea of nonuniform masculinity in both contexts. confusing. Furthermore. They are at the same time tragically powerless. ‘‘sweet’’ femininity.46 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO the 1980s. have masculine keyings in this frame. repeat and reproduce recognizable features of representations of women. images in which female activists are keyed by childlike. and finally. Similarly. or play with signs of homosexuality. tracing the keying dynamics provides for the fracturing. acceptability. blurred signs of gender emphasize one source of power: the power of powerlessness. The reproductive features can be seen in the representations of masculine leadership as well as the confrontations between activists and the police. CONCLUSION The representations of local activism discussed in this chapter portray gender through a variety of keyings that both reproduce and fracture the gendered division of labor in activism. 1987). 1987). pp. as in the Helsinki case. its prevailing power structures. At the same time. one that dictates rules concerning normality. and extremely powerful. 1990. women and men. even in the midst of the masculine power game. Gender is a coercive performance: even if the scale of representations of femininity and masculinity. Challenging these rules is a metaphor of challenging the entire societal order. cheery girls – just like the flower-headed dancers in Marta Kola´rˇ ova´’s (2004) analysis of women’s roles in the visualization of protests – are more powerful than they first seem. The representations of Fig. gender remains a structuring principle for representations of humans. or blurred. However. 1990. and thus the power to ridicule.

First. First. The findings of this study show a strong intertwinement of violence and masculinity. 2012. the analysis of visual representations of local contention brings to the fore the importance of sensitivity to local variation more than any other thing.or unrepresented parties excluded from ‘‘actual’’ struggles of power. Equally. In the Helsinki case in particular. and a rather scarce role of femininity altogether in the Lyonnais imagery. an element that colors the prevailing culture of struggle (Balibar. Second. whereas in Helsinki gender representations were somewhat more varied.. idolized creatures who symbolize the entire nation. in France. and intentionally blurred and unclear keyings of gender on the other. 2001) with rare exceptions. and thus also avenues of change. pp. and invisible. and a certain ‘‘innocence’’ concerning gender also characterizes local civil society. Second. offer important hints of fractions. Frames of visible female aggressiveness on the one hand. therefore. but the contextual differences outlined in the introduction may point to some clues. Also. the traditional culture of gender difference gives women a particular status in French political culture: they are at the same time uplifted. Rossi. even if . such as the coincidence of gender ambiguity and performative dimensions of contention. the Helsinki case reflects certain elements of the prevailing political and gender culture in Finland. In light of the historical and national contextual differences in terms of both activism and gender systems discussed in the introduction. The masculinity of violence and the threat of it is. gender equality is assumed and un-problematized. recent urban riots have further polarized relations between civil society and the police. in the cultural repertoires of political agency. blurred gender are meaningful in the range of activist representations. even masculine women are part of a widely recognized cultural understanding of what ‘‘Finnishness’’ includes (e. but also the question of isomorphic trends in European activist cultures. cultural antinomies like aggressive women seem recognizable visually. Why features of femininity are absent in the Lyonnais case is a question this analysis cannot answer. the traditional ‘‘companionship’’ between men and women provides Finnish civic culture with a long history of women’s recognition as civic actors. Strong. politically under. Signs of unclear. Even if the actions of the groups in Lyon and Helsinki were not the same.Bodies Keying Politics 47 The two contexts share several transgressive features in the representation of social movements. resulting in more violence from both sides. the tensions within the local movements in Lyon regarding the place of women and the ongoing internal feminist struggles may be echoed in the visual publicity as exclusion or cautiousness (see Luhtakallio. 2003).g. independent. 82–87).

Visual representations play an important role in political struggles. or again the more peaceful and consensual civic repertoires in Finland as opposed to overplayed masculine violence in France. the visualizations of the activist events fit within the same set of frames. and Alexandre Aubin. their ways of visualizing their doings still converged often. and could be understood by deploying similar keyings in both contexts. Nevertheless. Visual representations do. there were differences. reflecting and modeling political cultures. Suvi Salmenniemi. A comparative analysis of social movement imageries shows the particular strength of images in accessing dimensions of politics and contention that are hard to grasp in traditional studies of politics. to Anu-Hanna Anttila. Laura Lyytika¨inen. including the gender configurations in activist milieus. and to the Helsinki Research Group for . as well as Sofia Laine. and all kinds of help and support. There is no direct link from an activist website image to the influence of contention. or a fundamental social change. differed greatly (Luhtakallio. and other fields of sociology in which visual objects are crucial in understanding the ensemble of the social. to Lena Na¨re. 2012). and other members of the ‘‘Sociological salon’’ at the University of Helsinki. marked by a variety of gender dynamics and multiple contextual characteristics. ones in which we can see echoes of the cooperative gender equality culture of Finland. or the sexual difference emphasis of France. however.48 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO the activists’ thoughts about many things. Certainly. These results show the importance of methodological tools that simultaneously help us capture the meanings of images as such. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am deeply indebted and grateful for thoughtful comments and numerous conversations on earlier versions of this chapter. Merja Kinnunen. and enable us to position these meanings in social and societal contexts. Analyzing the ways in which they do this – what kinds of frames and keyings emerge – provides the basis for a nuanced understanding of the complexity of political struggles. both report on and participate in producing the political climate and conditions of politicization in local public spheres. Analyzing visual representations of political struggles make transparent the bodily and gendered groundings of contention. The visual frame analysis approach I have proposed in this chapter offers such tools to facilitate visual analysis in the field of social movement studies. Riikka Homanen.

Gender is naturally not the only thing defining human representations: the signs of gender. 2009. 2007. 2011. 2007. 2007. 2009. Pink. 2. however. and at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. The selection of the groups followed in the fieldwork. for instance in the debate about the Europeanization of protest (see della Porta. and four years fieldwork in Helsinki (2003–2004. and those included in this study. nor did I ask anyone to shoot them (e. Laine. In terms of comparability. Tarrow. 7.g. at the Emory S. the two local contexts in this study are cities of similar size. 16–21). Back.. 1995). Activist website images do not form an observable. Lyon and Helsinki are also both important centers of civic activities within their national contexts.g. Young & Barrett. 6. and the creation of new links. The fieldwork consisted of a seven-month period in Lyon (2005–2006). and participant observation at numerous civic events and activities in the two cities (see Luhtakallio. local media. I have greatly benefited from the insightful and challenging comments of the RSMCC anonymous reviewers. 297–298). This project did not. followed by several shorter visits to the field.. the material and its display change constantly through the posting of new images. applicable for this type of research material. della Porta & Caiani. but collected them after activists had published them on their websites. 2001).49 Bodies Keying Politics Political Sociology seminar participants. 5. with one being a regional capital and the other a national one. 2006–2008). was based on multiple sources: literature. age. 2007. 4. politicians and civil servants. key person interviews including both long-term activists. 2012. pp. include visual ethnography in either of its most commonly used senses: I did not shoot any of the images myself. 2009. and appreciated the encouraging support of the volume’s editors. NOTES 1. however. the participants of which have inspired me to work further on the text on the basis of their feedback. University of Southern California. Instead. 2011. The collection of the material here simulates a (thorough) web surfer’s exploration of the visual contents of activist websites in two cities at a given time. Bogardus Research Colloquium Series. quantifiable universe. 2012). ability and disability. pp. The isomorphic features of contentious politics have been addressed before. sexuality. Nixon. and other visible physiological features cannot be isolated from one another. the removal of websites. ethnicity. and are both marked by a particularly wide variety of progressive groups and movements (further details in Luhtakallio. 1997. Representativity in statistical terms is not. Auyero & Swistun. Early versions of this chapter were presented at the conference of the European Sociological Association. The abundant usage of frame analysis in social movement studies for nigh on four decades has created a ‘‘school’’ of its own and stabilized several concepts in . 3. but interplay and affect the process of looking and giving meaning to images (e.

Associations and contention in France and Finland: Constructing the society and describing the society. Ahmed.bookpump. 38–41). pp. Helsinki 7%). and more generally the relationship between images. 2000.. words. Cross-cultural content analysis of advertising from the United States and India. but also. Scandinavian Political Studies. 8. but does add to the complexity of the procedure. R. Retrieved from www. In comparison with other methods of visual analysis. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. numbers. often hard to connect to wider contexts. Benford & Snow. Barthes. The debate concerning these translations. re-visualizations. (2000). and deliberating (Lyon 1%. as well as other keying dynamics in the material. I leave the matter alone here. J. 1986. Snow & Benford. and a sensitive semiotic reading of images. Undeniably. visual frame analysis is a combination of content analysis without its common problems of nitty-gritty categorizations that end up being more laborious to create and follow than they offer deep interpretative power. e. When keying becomes so fundamentally altering that it actually changes the entire frame of the situation is a question Goffman leaves somewhat open. This emphasis has faced criticism pointing for example at how it at times forgets about discourses and meaning (Fisher.g. 12. while over-emphasizing the actors’ conscious choices. The common denominator of many of the works in this line of thought is an emphasis on the cognitive and even strategic uses of frames and framing. 111– 117. during the procedures of both calculating and writing the qualitative interpretations. than on a consideration and selection by some authoritative party. see Luhtakallio. pp. but as it does not bring any additional depth to this analysis. working (Lyon 1%. 285–322. (2002). 11. I have included the idea of switching and overlapping frames in visual frame analysis elsewhere (Luhtakallio.. 31(3). Mitchell. Shantytown women and the prodemocracy movement in Pinochet’s Chile. 28(4). 2007). 2000). 92–109. 1988. 2000.g. is extensive (see. Typically. Snow & Byrd. The other dominant frames in the material were marking (Lyon 54%. Mitchell. 2012).. REFERENCES Adams. Gender and social movement 2005. 9. 2012. measures of selection were more dependent on who cared to shoot the photos and download them. . however. pp. Snow et al. and so on. 42–74. pp. (2005a). 1997. 377–399.50 EEVA LUHTAKALLIO analyzing contention (e. 10. as in Table 1. 1998) and ideology and politics (Oliver & Johnston. 2007. There is an important difference here to the studies analyzing commercial or news images: the process of publication of activist website images is ‘‘light. a massive demonstration was reported on several local websites and illustrated with several series of images. Helsinki 8%). 1977. For gender keyings in these images.pdf Alapuro. should not produce an obstacle to the analysis of visual material any more than other types of empirical objects. N. Helsinki 36%). see also a response to the criticism in Snow & Benford. This. visual representations are subject to multiple ‘‘translations’’ that are verbalizations and numerical representations.’’ On these kind of sites. Steinberg. 1994.

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a method of visual analysis is developed that draws mainly on semiotics and art history. the analysis compares the images of the two major currents of the protest (liberal and radical left) in order to elucidate the context in which images are created and used. Furthermore. The two currents in the protests communicate their point of view through the images both strategically and expressively. the contribution examines a selection of images (pictures and graphic design) from the anti-surveillance protests in three steps: description of components. Volume 35. and contextual analysis. 55–80 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. Anja Leˆ and Peter Ullrich ABSTRACT This chapter provides an analysis of images produced and employed in protests against surveillance in Germany in 2008 and 2009. The analysis shows that images do not merely illustrate existing political messages but contribute to movements’ systems of meaning creation and transportation.IMAGES OF SURVEILLANCE: THE CONTESTED AND EMBEDDED VISUAL LANGUAGE OF ANTI-SURVEILLANCE PROTESTS Priska Daphi. the Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. Following this method.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035007 55 . Conflicts and Change. For this purpose. In addition. The images play a crucial role in formulating groups’ different strategies as well as worldviews and identities. detection of conventional signs.

2006). pictures were ubiquitous in the protest repertoire as symbols. culture INTRODUCTION In Autumn 2008 a new protest wave emerged in Germany. semiotics. art history. This wave of protest – parts of which were coordinated across Europe – was sparked by the German government’s decision to implement data retention. The ubiquitous production of pictures (with Closed Circuit Television. the liberal and the left spectrum. Overall. and performances. photos. posters. caricatures. Mayenhauser. logos. Maasen. & Renggli. nationwide demonstrations under the slogan ‘‘freedom not fear’’ (‘‘Freiheit statt Angst’’) the protests succeeded in raising critical awareness about data protection and surveillance. In doing so. 1992. More specifically. and collective identity to be deepened.56 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. the contribution demonstrates that systematic visual analysis allows our understanding of social movements’ aims. a protest movement against governmental surveillance and control developed and received considerable attention from the mainstream media.2 This chapter analyzes the visual language of these protests. stickers. visual analysis may provide activists with a tool to critically assess their visual communication. With annual. for example) is. Images are produced and received in specific national as well as issue contexts. Gamson. analysis shows that the meaning of images is contested and contextual. they . one of the reasons for the protest. strategy. 1999. Future research should address the issue of context and reception in greater depth in order to further explore the effects of visual language on mobilization. among other things. images are not mere illustrations of this message. In this vein.1 It brought together different political actors: established activists encountered a new generation of protesters – young and internet savvy – and Free Democrats met the radical left. rather they are part of the production of social and political reality (Doerr & Teune. 2012. banners. Keywords: Visual analysis. flags. For the first time since the protests against the population census in the 1980s. it compares the images created and employed by its two major currents. installations. surveillance. Images played a significant role in these protests. protest movements. Images are crucial means to express a political message. Concurrently. In addition. Frey.

Visual analysis. 1996). hence. Despite their ubiquity in political communication. Doerr & Teune. p. 2009) and thus have considerable political power – in particular with respect to social movements. 2000. At the same time. focusing on graphic designs used on posters. 1991. Social movement studies have also largely neglected visual analysis (cf. 2007. 1992). 2012. Doerr & Teune.. . This means that the analysis of images provides insights into the formative conditions of the activists’ outlook on the world. it allows the issue of reception and its potential discrepancy with the producer’s intentions to be addressed. 2012). social movements largely need to stay within their confines in order to get their message across – either with respect to society at large or to their specific subculture. for example. p. 2010. Juris. DeLuca. Only more recently have movements’ visual languages received more attention. Ja¨ger. Several scholars have explored movement images in a broad sense with respect to the media images produced during protest events (e. and New Social Movement theories (Buechler. and mobilize people (Adams. flyers. 2002). 1999. 2012. 2002. Doerr. raise awareness. 5) with an emphasis on expressive aspects like worldviews and belonging coming from the sociology of knowledge. 142). surveillance) visible (Mu¨nkler. Baumgarten & Ullrich. The analysis of social movements’ visual languages provides crucial insights into movement dynamics. These contributions reveal that movements’ images both draw from as well as counter existing visual codes. however. images are embedded in an existing stock of visual codes. discourse analysis.. images have a strategic function similar to frames (Snow & Benford. 2010.Images of Surveillance 57 serve to make the invisible (e.g. 2002. Teune. HeXdo¨rfer. 2012) – though there are exceptions (e. & Ullrich. 2004.. Delicath & DeLuca. First. 2008. Ullrich & Leˆ. 2003. In addition. combines the framing approach’s dominant strategic ‘‘lens’’ (Johnston. 2009. show how visual depictions of precarious workers in the Euro May Day Parades aimed to subvert popular culture while drawing on the aesthetics of saint portrayals. Mattoni & Doerr. 1999). Johnston. 2002.g. 2009). with respect to both strategic and expressive aspects. analysis in the social sciences has focused on text rather than images (de Opp Hipt & Latniak. Lahusen. 2007) as well as art (Adams. political colors used and worn (Chester & Welsh.g. and patches deployed in campaigns (e. In this way. Other scholars have analyzed movements’ images in a narrower sense. 2003) or general cultural context. Sawer. While these codes may be challenged to some extent.. Fahlenbrach. images are also an expression of belonging to a certain group (Casquete. Pabst. Alice Mattoni and Nicole Doerr (2007). They are employed to highlight certain issues. Fahlenbrach. 2011).g.

a variety of individuals.58 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL.g. info stalls. The analysis concentrates on the variety of expressive and strategic aspects of the images. camera plays. This chapter analyzes a selection of images produced and employed by activists involved in the protests against surveillance. and NGOs took part in the mobilizations. 2012): images and graphic design – leaving out performances of the body and arrangements of objects. lectures. The chapter’s main purpose is of an empirical nature. associations. and above all the permission to store data about internet and telecommunication use without a specific reason (data retention). the meaning images transfer beyond illustration and. we introduce our analytical approach to images drawing mainly from art history and semiotics. cultural studies. The first section provides an overview of the protest coalition against surveillance and its major political cleavages. In addition. A subsequent part analyzes and compares the liberal and left currents’ visual languages revealing. demonstrations. on the other. Second. protest was expressed in a variety of activities at local or regional level (e. and sociology.. and storage of – often personal – data: the introduction of a national health card system. on the one hand. the blocking of websites. and Die Linke (The Left Party) to autonomist anti-fascists and other radical left groups. We will focus on the comparison of the visual languages of the two major currents within the anti-surveillance protests in order to explore the various layers of meaning and the context in which they are employed. while reception is covered only anticipatively. trade unions. activist performances. we develop methodological tools borrowed from outside political sociology – thus also reflecting the authors’ different backgrounds in art history. processing. and many more). PROTESTS AGAINST SURVEILLANCE IN GERMANY The point of departure of the protests against surveillance in Germany was the Federal Parliament’s ratification of a number of policies related to the collection. The analysis focuses on images in a narrow sense by addressing only two elements of social movements’ visual expression (Doerr & Teune. Due to the lack of elaborated methods for visual analysis in movement research. how movements’ ‘‘imagineering’’ is contested yet embedded in a specific cultural and historical context. among them groups specializing on the issues . the Green Party. The protest coalition was supported by a broad spectrum of actors ranging from the FDP (Liberal Party). Alongside the annual ‘‘freedom not fear’’ demonstrations.

gaining about 8% of the votes in four federal states since 2011. democracy.5 . depending on the occasion. for unobserved communication. without formal membership and organized mainly via mailing lists. the AK Vorrat functions partly as an intermediary network. in particular FoeBuD e. and for more respect of human dignity. Heavily shaped by computer affinitive youth and small IT entrepreneurs. while offering comparably little substance on other policy fields. the issue concerned resonated in a wide organizational field and related to a wide range of political questions such as internet freedom. and professional associations such as the medical association Freie A¨rzteschaft.’’3 It is a loose national network with several local sections. but it ensures ties to most sectors through its open structure and the possibility of organizational and individual affiliation. the party has a strong focus on the issues of surveillance and data retention. in particular the right of informational self-determination. for the right to privacy. Thus. freedom of speech.4 and. It is supported by civil rights organizations. The AK Vorrat campaigns for ‘‘more data protection. also by larger organizations such as trade unions and parts of the left-liberal parties. more recently. economic inequality. lobby groups. by advocating its claims in institutionalized politics.V. The AK Vorrat is an association of civil rights campaigners. The broad interest in the issue of surveillance also reveals itself in the emergence and success of the German Piratenpartei (Pirate Party). This group was the major organizer of the analyzed protests and contributed considerably to establishing surveillance as a contentious issue. control and repression. Within the anti-surveillance sector. and thus also to groups of the libertarian left which are generally only marginally institutionalized in any formal way. The central role in this broad coalition was played by the Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (German Working Group on Data Retention.Images of Surveillance 59 of surveillance. While this electoral success is currently forcing the party to broaden its programmatic scope. transparency. data protection activists. and internet users – partly stemming from the hacker-community – as well as associations and initiatives against excessive surveillance and the unfounded storage of personal data. the party contributed considerably to the anti-surveillance protests due to its presence in activities (with banners and party flags) and. and social exclusion. abbr. AK Vorrat). freedom of press. Founded in 2006 following the Swedish prototype. It has had some electoral success in recent years. The AK primarily belongs to the liberal current of the protest (see next section). it campaigns against surveillance and for a free internet as well as transparency in politics and administration.

Steven. Helle Panke e. This does not mean. some lobby groups and civil rights organizations.60 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. Two Major Currents within the Protest Coalition While the opposition to surveillance provided an umbrella for various groups to organize and mobilize jointly. 2009.7 are also seen as the framework in which good solutions can be realized. While accused of excessive surveillance. Rote Hilfe (a solidarity organization supporting politically prosecuted activists from the left spectrum). the liberal and left currents have different perspectives on surveillance and its relation to the state and law.6 Differences manifest themselves both with respect to protest culture and framing efforts. the critique of the surveillance state becomes more fundamental and turns into a radical critique of the (liberal democratic) governmental system.V. SAV. trade unions such as the public sector union ver. last but not the least. Accordingly. This point of view draws on classical liberalism – not anti-statist.g. 2009). especially the German constitution.9 Moving from the liberal to the left spectrum.. that all actors can be identified as either liberal or radical left groups. the coalition remained heterogeneous. and solutions (cf. Furthermore. the state and its institutions. 2010). but with reservations about too strong or too authoritarian a state. as well as large parts of the Piratenpartei.8 Next to classical forms of protest on the streets (demonstrations with posters) and lobbying. protest is frequently expressed in direct democracy measures (petitions) and legal pressure (appeals to the constitutional court) (Steinke. The liberal current is constituted by established political actors such as the liberal FDP. visual realization of the surveillance critique.. The ideal-type distinction drawn here highlights the extremes in order to clarify the different points of view. The different perspectives go hand in hand with certain action repertoires. of course. The most significant cleavage within the broad protest coalition can be found between the liberal and the left (radical) spectrum. the Jusos (Youth organization of the Social Democratic Party). conditions. Groups constituting the left spectrum are: radical left and anti-fascist groups (e. These groups’ main point of criticism concerns the growing competences of the state in restricting its citizens’ freedom through surveillance. relations to militancy and civil disobedience and.di and the youth organization of the DGB (German Federation of Trade Unions). The rather abstract consensus about the rejection of data retention and state surveillance draws on very different analyses of the problems’ causes. Antifa). large parts of Bu¨ndnis90/Die Gru¨nen (Green Party). these groups prefer conventional and nonconfrontational forms of protest and distance themselves from militant forms. as well as Berlin-based groups .

The analysis focuses on a selection of images from the protests against surveillance. drawing mainly on art history and semiotics.Images of Surveillance 61 critical of surveillance (Out of Control. Second. Despite ideological differences. as well as those who do not have fundamental rights to start with such as refugees. these groups base their critique on an anti-statist and anti-capitalist stance.11 Furthermore. This selectivity is attributed not only to the hysteria about terrorism after the events of 9/11 but to the acute and enduring crisis of capitalism. Accordingly. The aim is not to improve the liberal state but to level fundamental criticism at the political form of statehood. specifically the police. secret services. left groups do not primarily address surveillance as everybody’s problem as the liberals do. but stress its selectivity: socially marginalized groups are affected by governmental surveillance and control to a significantly higher degree. following an anti-capitalist perspective surveillance is interpreted as a means of the exclusion of marginal social groups. more confrontational protest forms are preferred and cooperation with governmental organs of repression is largely rejected. a three-step analytical approach to analyzing images is developed. The anti-statist and anti-capitalist perspective is relevant to both the left current’s goals and its forms of protest. Based on the above distinction between the two currents. Hence. The other analyses are kept short. Seminar fu¨r angewandte Unsicherheit). the analyses.10 Accordingly. only one image per current is analyzed in full detail. A METHOD FOR ANALYZING PROTEST IMAGES The goal of this part is twofold: first. and political styles of the liberal spectrum are considered insufficient. Due to the limited size of this chapter. drawing conclusions about their perspectives on surveillance and its relation to the state. the visual expressions of surveillance critique of two currents are analyzed and compared. positions. blurring to some extent the distinction between the three analytical steps while highlighting certain aspects of overarching importance. and armed forces.12 we have selected pictorial representatives which draw from symbols and icons widely shared in each current. especially precarious workers and the unemployed. The Analysis of Images Beyond Protest Research: Semiotics and Cultural Sciences Research on political communication in the social sciences can benefit greatly from the various techniques of visual analysis developed in art and .

drawing on structural linguistics..g. While his concepts have been developed for a different subject (i. the history of art. partly. anecdotes or allegories) as carriers of meaning for whose identification knowledge of the conventional meaning patterns is required (e. as well as ‘‘natural’’ beings or things (e. renaissance art)13 and long before the cultural and discursive turn in the social sciences and humanities. a flag=nationality) and its evaluation (Barthes. as they allow the analyst to distinguish between different levels of significance and meaning.. 1985.. the signifier is the means of expressing this concept (e. Mitchell. a table). that is. Because there is no fixed or universal relation between a sign’s two sides.e. between the signifier and signified. 1968). a flag). two ways in which signs convey meaning are identified: while denotation concerns the decoding of a sign at a simple level.. 1994).62 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. a piece of specifically colored fabric=flag). In particular. connotation links the sign to broader cultural themes and concepts (e. These offer fruitful approaches to decoding political images.g..g. a piece of colored fabric).. . most prominently developed by Ferdinand de Saussure (1960). this analytical method allows the scholar to take distance from the visual material and differentiate between different layers of meaning. While the signified concerns an idea or concept (e.. often on the basis of conventional conceptualizations (e.g.14  Secondary or Conventional subject matter (iconography): analysis of the composition of the motives and images (e. Eco. cultural sciences – often developed long before the pictorial turn in the humanities of the 1990s (cf. which partly overlap with the basic distinctions just introduced (see Table 1):  Primary or Natural Subject Matter (pre-iconographic description): analysis of the purely material configurations of colors and shapes. nor can we be sure about what kind of meaning a viewer attributes to the image. and. cultural studies and discourse analysis. To be able to transfer these distinctions into a concrete methodology. women/men.g. animals.g. they nevertheless offer useful analytical tools for the present analysis. Panofsky distinguishes three layers of meaning. First. For our analysis we draw especially on semiotics. following the work of Roland Barthes (1985).. recourse to the interpretative scheme by Erwin Panofsky (1975[1957]) is helpful. semiotics distinguishes between the two sides of a sign (in our case an image or a part of it).g. a man with a knife represents St. we cannot take what we see as immediate access to the intention of the image’s producer. Second. Panofsky has played a crucial role in developing a methodology for analyzing artwork. Bartholomew in a renaissance painting). 1972.

These distinctions also draw attention to the difference between the intention of an image’s producer and the image’s reception. Culture functions as a filter between signifier and signified. Combining these overlapping approaches. In this way. a class. denotation and connotation. which can only be grasped when one knows the founding principles of a nation. & Moxey. or social structures (Bryson. a religious or philosophical conviction’’ (Panofsky. cultural webs of meanings. cultural studies scholars emphasize that meaning is not only produced through language but also more generally through a culture’s practices. Panofsky’s third level of meaning anticipated a central theme in cultural studies. which – modified by its creator – are condensed in the artwork. 2003). Layers of Meaning and Methodological Steps. While there is no objective interpretation. beliefs.63 Images of Surveillance Table 1. Instead it exemplarily highlights possible interpretations. This means full meaning can only be understood. economic. each rising in level of abstraction (for an overview see Table 1). Holly. Due to the limited length of the chapter. . Hall. 40). an epoch. Rising Level of Abstraction from the Image Sign Panofsky Paper Analytical Method Signifier Form Primary or Natural Subject Matter 1st step: Description of image components Signified (concept) Denotation Secondary or Conventional Subject Matter (Iconography) 2nd step: Detection of conventional signs Connotation Intrinsic Meaning (Iconology) 3rd step: Contextual analysis  Intrinsic Meaning or Content (iconology): ‘‘analyses of the meaning or content of an artwork. In highlighting the significance of the socio-cultural context in which an image is produced and interpreted. the following analysis will proceed in three steps. the analysis cannot cover all possible symbolic references and iconological meanings. 1994. when the technical abilities. Merging semiotics with post-structuralist discourse theory. and political. and discursive context are known. p. institutions. analyses can approximate the meaning conveyed with respect to the socio-cultural context in which the image is placed. cultural studies draw attention to the possible difference between the context of an image’s production and its reception. 1975.

forms. This method allows the beholder to take distance from the image’s general and holistic impression and the subjective associations it invokes. while the sacral iconography of St. In order to do this. and their arrangement. or a swastika as a symbol of Buddhism as well as German National Socialism). Dark colors. for example. These conventional meanings refer. motifs in images may have quite different meanings. art historians start with the image’s foreground. this step partly entails what has been introduced as ‘‘connotation. colors.64 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. for example. to well-known sacral or political motives (such as St. For example. the researcher identifies underlying concepts which are characteristics of the culture or epoch in which the images are produced or shown in order to elaborate the diverse possible meanings of the images. Bartholomew as the man with the knife may have remained rather stable over time to Christian viewers. for nonreligious viewers or viewers practicing a different religion these sacral meanings may be inexistent. are usually associated with a ‘‘negative mood’’ in a Western/European context. Throwing a stone may signal heroic resistance for one person or movement sector but mere destructivity for another. For the issues at stake in this chapter this means that: depending on the political beliefs and convictions of producers and beholders. This variability of meaning applies to both the production . This step aims to detect the image’s visual elements on a very basic level and to avoid leaving out elements unnoticed at first sight. This entails the description of lines. In this step the conventional meanings identified in step two are related to the specific cultural and political context of the image’s production and dissemination. Bartholomew as the man with the knife. They also refer to particular ‘‘moods’’ conventionally linked to. for example. Due to the link established to broader themes. Typically. specific combinations of colors and/or forms. and allusions created in the combination of motives on the basis of conventional meanings. basic denotation). The second analytical step focuses on the detection of denotative or conventional content. The aim here is to identify symbols. proceeding over the middle and finally to the background.’’ The third and last step draws on both iconological and connotative analysis in order to identify the broader themes and claims alluded to in the image. This requires knowledge of the specific symbolic and metaphorical meanings referred to through the image’s detailed arrangements (iconography). allegories. Three Steps of Analysis The first step of analysis entails extensive description of the image’s components (pre-iconographic. metaphors.

the contextualization of the image will often proceed using comparisons and will include the consideration of textual elements. the word love in red. First. On account of his male features the figure can be identified as a man. bold. the male figure’s features are similar to the depictions of workers found in the posters of workers’ parties in the 1920s and 1930s (though they usually only used two-tone prints). the simplified and planar style of the drawing is reminiscent of the aesthetics of film posters from the 1950s – thriller and . and in capital letters). and ‘‘Deine Bundesregierung’’ (‘‘Yours. often seen in cartoons or manga drawings.Images of Surveillance 65 (a symbol can be used with different intentions) as well as the reception (the symbol can be read differently). In the following analysis. only two wide-open. The male figure displays a defensive posture (the upper body bent back and arms splayed out) that seems to be directed toward the outsized face. Second. white. Second step: the large eyes together with the invisible base of the nose give the face a child. Moreover. the (Federal) Government’’. VISUAL ANALYSIS OF PROTEST AGAINST SURVEILLANCE The Visual Language of the Liberal Current Data Retention and Big Brother The first image15 to be analyzed in detail is a poster by the AK Vorratsdatenspeicherung (German Working Group on Data Retention) that appeared on a number of occasions. smaller. bold.or doll-like appearance. Below. and different font). filling almost half of the poster’s space. between the eyes and the place one would expect to see a nose the viewer sees a black figure from the back – only the face is turned and its profile is visible. white. the image draws on and alludes to different existing aesthetics. In the image’s foreground. blue eyes as well as a shadow above one eye indicating an eyebrow are visible. The male figure’s hat also points to this: it is a flat cap often associated with workers or non-noble subjects. ‘‘Weil wir dich lieben!’’ (‘‘Because We Love You!’’. in a different font and italicized). Comparisons in particular are crucial to reveal consensus on context-specific meaning. At the bottom.16 First step: the image displays a face in close-up in the background. white and red letters in different fonts and sizes state: ‘‘Wir beobachten dich’’ (‘‘We watch you’’. the web-address of the AK Vorratsdatenspeicherung is written in black letters on a blue background.

along with the famous slogan: ‘‘Big Brother is watching you. while the eyes stand for surveillance (as well as horror). Since the liberal current usually does not refer to legacies of workers’ struggles. the image implies that surveillance is not worth whatever it is said to be good for (e. the doll or childlike eyes may be read as a reference to feigned innocence. This first of all reveals that the state is the image’s central addressee. horror movies in particular due to the indication of shock and/or excitement conveyed by the wide eyes.’’ this image strongly supports the claim that restricting freedom through surveillance in order to increase security is not legitimate and only creates a climate of insecurity. Data retention is interpreted as a sign of growing surveillance and the reduction of privacy by the state. Second. the image evokes a horror scenario with its roots in governmental surveillance. . the image ironically denounces the government’s claim of good intentions by contrasting the horror scenario of surveillance with the seemingly well intended ‘‘Yours. In this dystopian novel Orwell depicts an omnipresent surveillance state dictating the lives of its citizens. The eyes of the ruling party’s leader. the male figure can be interpreted as surveillance’s counterpart: it is the subaltern goal and victim of surveillance. The rejection of the advantages of surveillance refers to the post 9/11 discourse about whether security justifies restrictions to civic freedom. the image’s depiction of a worker may be interpreted as a reference to vulnerability and potential resistance by the non-privileged population. which – as central legitimizing principles of liberal democracies – they aim to defend against attacks by the state. are a frequently returning image in visual realizations of this novel. the eyes in conjunction with the text allude to a particular story: George Orwell’s 1984. Third step: through the visual reference to the Orwellian surveillance-state as well as allusions to cinematic depictions of fright. The horror scenario evoked decries surveillance as excessive and interprets it as an attack against the individual and his/her privacy.g. the (federal) government. The closeup of the face amplifies this as an invasion of intimate spaces. It is surveillance by the state  not by corporations or other entities  that is repudiated. In this vein. This points to the liberal groups’ focus on privacy and citizens’ rights. Furthermore. The threat posed by the state is even more evident in another image from the liberal current analyzed below. The gray bottom line and the generally dark lower parts of the image invoke a gloomy. the image highlights the threat to the individual. In line with the demonstrations’ long-standing slogan ‘‘freedom not fear. In this vein.’’ Similarly. Big Brother.’’ similar to the text ‘‘We are watching you’’ in the picture. security). Finally. frightening mood.66 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL..

The depiction of the former Interior Minister’s head in the middle is framed by two German flags with Federal Eagles on the left and right side. to Germany’s dictatorial and repressive past. The image combines symbols of the Third Reich and the Federal Republic of Germany. The image’s dark blue background is dominated by a picture of the former German minister of the interior. The head and shoulders of Bruno Ganz. the centrality of Scha¨uble’s head is reminiscent of the iconic image of the Big Brother in the 1956 film adaptation of Orwell’s 1984 (even the eyebrows resemble those of Big Brother). the actor who portrayed Adolf Hitler.Images of Surveillance 67 German Democracy and its Historical Others Warning against data retention. its Federal Eagle as well as the image of Scha¨uble refer to the present German state. The image’s lower foreground displays the silhouettes of people at work: they are sitting at desks or stand facing each other. an article published on the website of a commercial technology magazine in 2009 takes up a report written by the hackers association Chaos Computer Club on data retention. 2004) depicting the last days of Adolf Hitler’s life. when he asked his audience ‘‘Do you want the total war?’’ The colors of the Federal Republic’s flag. On the other hand. The image’s build-up hints at two ‘‘totalitarian’’ systems: on the one hand. Yellow beams of light lead down from the interior minister’s eyes to the people. . The image is divided into three parts. The text is written in old-German lettering20 and refers to Joseph Goebbels’ (Reich Minister of Propaganda) infamous 1943 Sportpalast speech. who have a whiteyellow mist above them. As a statement about present conditions or a future scenario. sit enthroned above several small silhouetted figures and a tank surrounded by white mist. In the image’s lower foreground much smaller white letters state ‘‘Totale U¨berwachung ist sicherste U¨berwachung!’’ (‘‘Total surveillance is the most secure surveillance!’’). The next image to be analyzed17 stems from this article linking the issue of data retention with governmental surveillance at the working place. with it. The head of the former interior minister is immensely larger than those of the people – a depiction that alludes to his superiority. The comparison to the Third Reich is even more explicit in an image19 that has been circulated on various websites critical of surveillance. dramatizes the issue of surveillance significantly. Across all three parts a heading asks in large white letters: ‘‘Wollt ihr die totale U¨berwachung?’’ (‘‘Do you want total surveillance?’’). the image’s build-up is almost identical with the film poster18 of the Oscar-nominated German movie Der Untergang (The Downfall. Wolfgang Scha¨uble (2005–2009). the reference to this film poster and.

In a similar way. This reference to the central surveillance institution of the GDR functions as a powerful denunciation of the present state’s surveillance.’’ ironically implying a remake of the GDR’s Ministry for State Security (the ‘‘Stasi’’). and ultimately democracy by the government. which are supposed to be central assets of today’s Germany. 1. Blurring this distinction in the protest images thus strongly signals a danger to democracy. Fig. 1999. . parallels are often drawn with another German authoritarian regime: the German Democratic Republic (1949–1990). 1 combines a black illustration of the head of Wolfgang Scha¨uble (alluding to the man held responsible for surveillance at that time) against a white background with the very popular surveillance critical slogan ‘‘Stasi 2. The analysis of the images of the liberal current reveals the emphasis on the threat posed to privacy.0’’ (On a Banner at a ‘‘Freedom Not Fear’’ Demonstration in Berlin. 8) and has become a symbol for the absence of freedom and democracy. (Photo: Priska Daphi). civic freedom. 2008). it also Fig.0.68 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. the GDR has replaced the Nazi period as the ultimate other of German national narratives (Zuckermann. The Prominent Symbol of Wolfgang Scha¨uble’s Face with the Slogan ‘‘Stasi 2. Over the last two decades. p. The allusion to past authoritarian regimes in Germany not only drastically highlights the dangers associated with surveillance.

on the other. Hence. ‘‘Uns wird’s zu bunt. noblogs. fourth. Other agents of surveillance such as corporations are neglected. The Visual Language of the Left Current In the left’s visual language. it is held accountable for excessive It is the German state that is held responsible. In comparing the present government with the Third Reich and the GDR. alternatives should occur within its confines. 2011 (http://www. The upper and lower parts contain text and surround the middle Fig.Images of Surveillance 69 substantiates the liberal current’s strong focus on the state.outofcontrol. particular protagonists such as Wolfgang Scha¨uble or the character of Big Brother are much less common. 2. and fifth images. . Much more typical are depictions of specific governmental organs of repression. First step: two (originally pink) horizontal lines divide the image into three parts. This can be derived from the reference to the federal government in the first image and the former interior minister in the second. it is not the state as such that is questioned but its form. At the same time this implies that changes should also occur within the framework of the state. in particular the police. 2 is a poster calling for participation in the (radical) left bloc at the 2011 ‘‘freedom not fear’’ demonstration published by the group Out of control. Fig. the liberal critique identifies the state as both the cause and solution to the problem: on the one hand.’’ Out of Control.

nearly black. The upper part’s text in white.’’ The opposition to surveillance states – not just surveillance – marks the left groups’ anti-statist stance: the solution is not a change within the state. DNA. The white space around his eye indicates a (radical activist’s) mask. Rather. the first line of the text denounces other. With his hungrily open mouth Pacman mirrors the second line’s theme of eating (‘‘polish off’’). At the same time. the text underlines the radical position with the call to ‘‘Polish off surveillance states. smeared capital letters reads: ‘‘Uns wird’s zu bunt’’ (‘‘For us. a DNA-strand. the inclusion of the RFID in Pacman’s ‘‘food’’ reveals that surveillance is not only attributed to the state but also corporations (RFID is not only used in ID cards. it goes too far’’). the image clearly signals active and radical resistance against surveillance through its particular pairing of visual elements and text. In addition to the opposition to surveillance states.70 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. The other icons substitute Pacman’s usual ‘‘food’’ and depict specific aspects of surveillance: a camera. the state is identified as inherently prone to surveillance and hence needs to be abolished. but also in customer cards as well as in price tags or entry controls in companies). The image’s middle part contains several icons separated by dots. Third step: the image combines a radical critique of surveillance states with a popular computer game. it implies the more general problem that we live in an era of surveillance states. This is due first to the depiction of a masked Pacman (resembling an anarchist’s balaclava) and the substitution of his ‘‘food’’ with objects of surveillance. Furthermore. more ‘‘colorful’’ . Despite the radicalism of the critique and the measures implied against it (‘‘polish off’’) this combination has a rather playful tone. a policeman. The game Pacman and its pixel style is very popular today among computer-savvy youngsters. the use of the plural – surveillance states – reveals that it is not a single state (Germany) that is addressed. and other merchandise. and RFID. the Pacman on this poster is dark red/nearly black. and RFID waves (Radio-Frequency-Identification). The icon furthest to the left representing a round head is dark red. stickers. a computer game in which the round-headed Pacman eats his way through various dots and other objects. with a light area around its eye. Second step: the icon on the left can be identified as an altered version of the very popular Pacman. Its icons can be found on T-shirts. a police officer’s head. Second. The allusion to this game hence locates the image and its producers in a young and trendy scene. The head’s open mouth points in the direction of simplified depictions of a camera. In place of his usual yellow color. The lower part states in smaller letters: ‘‘U¨berwachungsstaaten wegputzen!’’ (‘‘Polish off surveillance states!’’) and provides information about the demonstration. Instead. part which contains images. Also.

A similarly militant message is employed in a poster against the creation of a European police authority (Fig. Fig. facing the viewer. for example. The text ‘‘Monitoring European Police!’’ calls for the table to be turned and the police to be monitored instead. a camera behind the policemen points away from them to the left and a helicopter flies to the right.euro-police. 3. The policemen in full combat gear together with the cameras and helicopter display the force and ubiquity of surveillance/control. non-radical parts of the protest. This ensemble in blue is bordered by yellow stars. 4. Above. in an urban landscape of skyscrapers. The central part shows two faceless and simplified police-figures in full combat gear walking slightly to the right. The distinction between black and colorful groups is common in left protest mobilizations. 3. published on a blog about the monitoring of the European police. In anti-fascist mobilizations. The call for militant action is more explicit in Fig. ‘‘Monitoring European Police’’ (http://www. the radical autonomist groups and their predominantly black clothing (the ‘‘black bloc’’) are distinguished from the moderates who often describe themselves as ‘‘colorful instead of brown’’ (brown being the color of Nazis).org). 3).’’ literally translates as ‘‘For us. which constitutes an instruction to saw off surveillance cameras. referring to the flag of the European Union. . Published by the alternative news website Inforiot. comprises three parts.noblogs. the image displays a camera sawn off by a large red saw with red arrows on both sides indicating sawing movements and headed by the equivocal text: ‘‘Wir haben etwas gegen U¨berwachung!’’ (‘‘We have Fig. It is a play on words which not only seems to criticize excessive surveillance but also distances itself from the ‘‘colorful. the broken glass pane in the left part of the image implies destruction (of a camera for example) and may be read as a call for militant action.’’ that is. while the right part states ‘‘Monitoring European Police!’’ in red letters and the blog’s website in smaller letters.Images of Surveillance 71 solutions to the problem of surveillance: ‘‘Uns wird’s zu bunt. The left part of the image depicts a piece of broken glass. In this vein. it is too colorful’’ and figuratively means ‘‘That’s enough!’’.

The inclusion of various aspects of surveillance (police. depiction of resistance in the form of broken glass (Fig. helicopters) clearly points to the more fundamental level of critique: surveillance by the police/state is (albeit only marginally) connected to commercial and scientific surveillance. Unlike the dramatization of surveillance and the passive depiction of the threatened citizen in the liberal current images.inforiot. Fig. first. In this. Furthermore. 4). The analysis of the left current’s images reveals. 3). 2).72 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. the police are a central addressee as the reference to policemen in images 2 and 3 reveals. the images clearly suggest militant forms of resistance. the radical critique of the governmental system and cameras. ‘‘Wir haben etwas gegen U¨berwachung!’’ (http://www. the images of the left current stress active resistance including the destruction of surveillance equipment: a masked Pacman alluding to the dress-code of the black bloc (Fig. the second image extends the issue of surveillance from a national to a European level due to the reference to the ‘‘European Police’’ and the European Union. RadioFrequency-Identification. something against surveillance’’  the play on words working similarly in English and German). 4. and sawing off cameras (Fig. This has to do with the fact that during . the storage of biological data. The red arrows on each side of the saw allude to an instruction manual and suggest that this is easily done. Second.

2004). the use of images within political . Comparing the images of the two currents. but specific tendencies and. but fighting for a new social order. Their struggle is not only about protecting rights that are being lost. Accordingly. people that are criticized. Liberal groups see the framework of the (democratic) state as both the cause of and the framework for a solution to increasing surveillance. In contrast. or. Personalization and references to dramatic dystopias or authoritarian/ totalitarian regimes are not as common in the image repertoire of the left current because these groups do not see the present democracy as endangered by surveillance. civil disobedience.21 The left groups’ images emphasize control by the state and repression by the police as part of the rejected system’s structure. through the enforcement of transgressions. and focus their efforts on ‘‘restoring’’ or strengthening citizens’ rights. While the liberal current’s images depict the observed as passive victims. three central differences can be highlighted. while the liberal groups primarily address the government. left groups – drawing on an anti-statist and anti-capitalist stance – level a radical criticism at the state and the capitalist world order and place the issue of surveillance and control in the context of social and political exclusion (especially through the depiction of riot police). Creating spaces free of governmental surveillance and control during demonstrations is not only the means to an end but also an end in itself (cf. the left current emphasizes active resistance. Haunss. the left groups use playful rather than dramatizing imagery. but rather surveillance as one of the central characteristics of the capitalist state both before and after 9/11. CONCLUSION Two basic observations summarize our analysis and are applicable beyond the movement sector under study. needs to be reinstated to its pre-9/11 constitutional status. the left groups issue a more fundamental critique of the state and focus on resisting the police. for example. It is not the state as such. and the creation of spaces free of governmental control. Accordingly. more precisely. radical left imagery puts an emphasis on militant resistance against state institutions. First. First of all. quite prominently. the liberal groups’ images conjure up horror scenarios by drawing comparisons with dictatorships or totalitarian regimes – both fictional and real – implying the present democratic regime is in real danger.73 Images of Surveillance protests collective empowerment vis-a`-vis the police is crucial. In order to make this claim.

and should convince the viewer of the need to act. Movements. First.. mobilizations is contested. specific aesthetics. Hence. the two currents voice their point of views not only strategically but also expressively. 1974). Fig. Only certain aspects of the image repertoire are shared across the different groups (in our case the reference to the state as the agent of surveillance and a visual dramatization of the issue at stake). 1996).74 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. like other social actors. Second.22 On a strategic level. In this vein. Melucci. and reception – depend on the discursive context in which they are embedded. this chapter reveals that the meanings of images (intentional as well as expressive) are embedded in specific contexts. expression. meanings entailed in images are not arbitrary. This is due to the fact that the liberal and left currents’ different perspectives are reflected in as well as formulated through these images. Despite an abstract consensus on the opposition to surveillance as well as participation in joint protest events. 1986). the analysis showed that images are created in reference to other images which are iconic for surveillance. within the socially structured arrangement of ‘‘what makes sense. the images are contested in the organizational field dealing with the issue. the analysis of the images used in protest against surveillance shows that a broad repertoire of images is employed. such as Big Brother or other cultural models (e. or basic legitimizing principles like democracy and freedom). The images explicate the group’s particular analysis of problems and how best to solve them. the images are intended to highlight a situation. More specifically (and possibly intended as such). the images entail particular worldviews and meaning systems that constitute a sense of belonging and draw the borders of the own groups (cf. the state. form (ulate) their ideas and messages embedded in a culturally and discursively preformed setting that enables and restricts their universe of what is imaginable and sayable (Foucault. 2 even distances itself from more moderate allies. nor merely chosen from a ‘‘tool kit’’ (Swidler. In addition to consciously intended effects.g. an image’s producer can only include strategic and expressive meaning within this framework. the police).23 . all three aspects of images – strategy. Through the images. These points show that the analysis of protest images with a systematic methodological approach can significantly deepen our understanding of different aspects of social movements. despite their variety.. Second. all the images identify an opponent that differs from and thus demarcates the own group (i. In this vein.e.’’ Hence. genres. Images depict different perspectives – both strategically as well as expressively.

The comparison with the Nazis is still among the strongest methods of political dramatization and stigmatization available in the German political context. on the other hand. and add crucial information. national past and politics of remembrance offer a political language and interpretive frames for several issues24 (cf. it showed that the interplay of both is decisive in shaping movements and their image production. 2008. While strategic aims may also be analyzed with respect to leaflets and other explicitly formulated textual material. visual analysis provides a crucial key deepening our insights into how social movements work. Gamson. they may be interpreted in a variety of ways and detached from the context of their production or the producer’s intentions. Daphi. It also may be interpreted as a statement about structural similarities between present-day and Nazi Germany. The radical left current. 2012). are these contrasts useful. In other words. or as a relativization of the Nazi atrocities. issue field. Gerhards. images condense . For example. Through their various layers of meaning. it should be noted that a viewer’s discursive context affects how they interpret an image – though this aspect is not explicitly addressed in this chapter. 2002. they do not see Western liberal democracy in opposition to surveillance. does not rely on the dramatic horror scenario due to its strong general critique of the state. the allusion to the Nazi regime seems to be common among left-libertarian movements in Germany (cf. In fact. images communicate messages differently than texts. Ullrich.Images of Surveillance 75 Many contexts can be relevant in this respect: place.25 Furthermore. 2013. time. della Porta. Ferree. 1999). The national context seems to be of particular formative power as the frequent historic allusions to the German past (the GDR and the Third Reich) reveal. The images revealed the strong interplay of these two dimensions: while the national context provided certain options for allusion and comparison. This chapter confirms the significance of both national context and issuerelated contexts. In fact. with its focus on the loss of democracy. & Rucht. the allusion to Nazi Germany may be primarily seen as a mere dramatization to mobilize people or as a genuine demarcation from dictatorship as part of the producers’ conception of themselves. Generally. Only in the liberal current. only one current picked this up. For future research it will be fruitful to analyze the different possible meanings of images and to reflect on the effects for mobilizing strategies. or ‘‘culture’’ more generally. Whatever strategic and expressive aspects images entail. but surveillance as an expression of the capitalist (though formally democratic) state. Thus.

This development stands in the context of what has been considered the ‘‘rise of the surveillance society’’ (Lyon.11. 3. and are embedded in national and sectoral contexts. but also part of the symbolic practices which constitute the movement and its identity.’’ 5. For several years this association has presented a negative prize for excessive surveillance. In [1. For a more detailed account of the protest movement and the cleavages therein see Leipziger Kamera (2009) and Ullrich and Leˆ (2011). Groups located between the liberal and the radical left spectrum are: the youth organization of the Left Party.11]. http://www. 2009). On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the German Constitution. For an overview of this debate see Haggerty and Ericson (2000). In this vein. the ‘‘Big Brother Award. and collective identities. translation by the authors. For the European context. International League for Human Rights). Committee for Fundamental and Human Rights. 6. strategies. .vorratsdatenspeicherung. Lyon (2001). see Hempel and To¨pfer (2009). Images do more than illustrate existing political messages: they play a crucial role in formulating groups’ different strategies as well as worldviews. the lawsuit filed against data retention drew a great deal of attention since it put a provisional end to data retention.76 PRISKA DAPHI ET AL. 8. In this vein. as well as Marx (2003) and Monahan (2006). For an overview on research about resistance against surveillance see the special edition of the journal Surveillance and Society (Huey & Fernandez. 7. and some civil rights organizations (Humanist Union. 2. images are not only a product of movements. 4. This was especially the case after excessive police violence (sic!) during the demonstrations in Autumn 2009. for example. 2009). visual analysis may provide movement actors themselves with a tool to reflect critically on their visual communication. 9. the Association of Republican Lawyers. and Garland (2002). central claims and add symbolic layers. The central role of artistic contributions in surveillance-critical debates has led to the creation of new concepts such as ‘‘artveillance’’ (Brighenti. NOTES 1. activists staged protests against surveillance with info booths and actions. 1994). ever more important due to the European Union’s increasing legislative and executive rights. A systematic visual analysis (including distancing and thick description) is hence key to explaining social movements’ aims. among them the symbolic burial of the Constitution and the announcement of its death in obituary notices. visual analysis could also provide a crucial tool to explore possibilities for and restrictions to coalition building in and between movements.

R.vorratsdatenspeicherung.77 Images of Surveillance 10.wordpress. 2000. 13. Aventure se´miologique. for example. Social Science Research Center Berlin. left demonstrators jeered at coordinators’ attempts to obsequiously fulfil the police restrictions imposed on the protesters or to thank the police for its presence. Mythologies. & The (statist) ‘‘old’’ left radical current (such as the Communist Party) was much less active in these protests. In this context it should however be mentioned that art sciences have not only dealt with high culture but also with mass culture. Sociological Forum. The concept of ‘‘natural things’’ follows an outdated.jpg pp.12].].10. http://wiki. P. (1985). (1972). http://img4. This adds to radical left groups’ caution with historical comparisons. 19. Baxandall (1985) and Kemp (1985). 12. 2011). Paris. Our analytical distinction between strategy and identity should not. Barthes. R. 11. Accordingly the reiterated use of a set of symbols and signs is part of the stabilization of this discursive structure. Yet the following steps can compensate for this shortcoming.jpg [30. (2012). J. REFERENCES Adams. Movements play a double role in this field as they reproduce their formative conditions as well as try to challenge their limitations (at least in cases of radical or transformative movements). See also Ullrich and Leˆ (2011). be mistaken for an ontological differentiation. 22. Barthes. Available at for example. Discussion Paper SP-IV 2012-401. In movement praxis both aspects go hand in hand and. strategic decisions depend on the group’s identity (cf.magnus.10.files. 21–56. 20. Art in social movements: Shantytown women’s protest in pinochet’s chile. 16.png [30. B. 17. OH: E´ditions du Seuil. this image as well as the following three cannot be reproduced in this volume unfortunately.wzb. 23. 21. 31). Without wanting to fall into the trap of reproducing ‘‘holistic nationalist cliche´s’’ (Koopmans & Statham. For copyright reasons. of course.10. The radical German left decreased their use of Nazi-references since a long and ongoing debate about the singularity of the Shoah and the specifics of German National Socialism raised activists’ awareness about the politics of Discourse.jpg [30. as James Jasper (1997) for example has shown. (2002). For other examples see Leipziger Kamera (2009.pdf . 132–179). During demonstrations in Leipzig and Berlin in 2008. http://4topas. pre-discursive turn theory of science. 17(1). 24.12]. 15. 14. though in fact it does not constitute the most commonly used font of the Nazi era. Social movement research with and beyond foucault. Baumgarten. potential accusations of relativizing the Shoah are avoided. It is the font most often used to refer to the Third Reich. London: Cape. 25. p. power and governmentality. http://imagecache6. Hence.

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Volume 35. of the viewer. It also contributes new primary material on the politics of reproduction through its study of the Australian pro-life movement. Conflicts and Change. and hence the humanity. 81–103 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. and images of the fetus challenge the emotions. it points to important connections between the study of emotions in politics and visual approaches to social movement studies. Through discursive analysis of visual materials and practices embedded in three case studies. I identify three major themes represented in pro-life images of the fetus: the wonder of life. the human form and human frailty of the fetus. Emotion is a powerful element of politics. The meanings of these images are built on Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. I demonstrate the range of strategies being used. on which little has been written. and the barbarity of modern society.THE EMOTIONAL IMPERATIVE OF THE VISUAL: IMAGES OF THE FETUS IN CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN PRO-LIFE POLITICS Kirsty McLaren ABSTRACT This chapter considers the value of visual analyses for studying social movements through a study of pro-life uses of images of the fetus in the Australian abortion debate. In doing so.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035008 81 . their selection was informed by a wider survey of available records of pro-life uses of images of the fetus over the past four decades.

2005). three cases were selected to encompass the breadth of pro-life tactics and materials used in the past 15 years. (Pro-life activist Peter Erbacher. this chapter presents a unique record of the contemporary visual culture of Australian pro-life politics. reproductive politics. The chapter begins by discussing how the existing literature on social movements deals with the use of visual images. Moreover. Indeed. intuition. terror-cloaked murder of defenseless children who had no chance and absolutely – no choice. quoted in Pro-Life News. and provides an overview of feminist scholars’ work on images of the fetus. rather than less. Protect Life sit-ins in Brisbane.82 KIRSTY MCLAREN our parallel understandings of both sight and emotion as immediate and Suddenly. Yet it is only comparatively recently that social movement scholars have focused on the visual dimensions of politics. Queensland. through the veil of deception they saw the truth and reality of cold blooded. Keywords: Social movements. as well as into the interplay between emotion. Images of the fetus are a striking and potent element of pro-life repertoires of contention. This chapter presents an exploration of pro-life uses of images of the fetus in the contemporary Australian abortion debate. persuasive. and the Tell the Truth campaign in Victoria. and reason in the formulation and reproduction of moral and political beliefs. the ambiguities and dualities of images of the fetus make their themes more. visual culture. emotion. It then describes the context and the research design. Taken as a whole. visual images are central to the repertoires of many social movements. Australian politics INTRODUCTION I showed my friends some letters and pictures I printed from AbortionTV. I argue here that analyzing the meaning and importance of the fetus as a visual symbol leads to insight into the pro-life movement. as a small example of the value of visual analysis of social movements. Each case is discussed in turn: the Maternal Health Information Act in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). the human form and human frailty of . Drawing on a survey of the pro-life visual landscape dating from the 1970s. The analysis identifies three main themes that are represented in pro-life images of the fetus: the wonder of life.

Morrison and . SOCIAL MOVEMENT STUDIES AND VISUAL IMAGES Three areas of literature are important for this chapter. For instance. 2007). and the fetus. they are in common usage and would be happily worn by most of those they label. Medical and scientific language distinguishes between the ‘‘embryo. Similarly. and the barbarity of modern society. However. Second. I use the terms ‘‘prolife’’ and ‘‘pro-choice. makes more sense and seems the most neutral term available. and images of the fetus challenge the emotions.’’ Although these phrases are not always adequate to encapsulate the positions of the various actors.’’ from conception to 12 weeks’ gestation. For instance. from 12 weeks until birth. according to this definition. In the final section of the chapter. which disrupt or subvert corporate messages through satire. visual analysis of this social movement activity reveals an important intersection between the visual and the emotional. I contend. visual materials are an important part of many social movement strategies. emotion. and thus the humanity. and work on embodiment. Thus. First. I argue that these meanings are built on our parallel understandings of sight and feeling as immediate and unmediated. wilderness photography has played an important role in environmental campaigning since at least the 1960s (see Hutton & Connors. and parodies of advertising practices (see Harold. to talk about ‘‘images of the fetus. In Australia the iconic photographs of Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis helped inspire the mobilization to save Tasmanian wild rivers in the 1980s. First. Second. Emotion is a powerful element of politics. The vast majority of abortions take place during this first 12 weeks. 1999). graffiti.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 83 the fetus. and visual culture. This interpretation considers pro-life activists’ discussions of images of the fetus. visual politics are central to the culture-jamming tactics of anti-corporate activism. of the viewer. Two preliminary notes on terms are necessary.’’ rather than using two discrete terms. the word ‘‘fetus’’ is used throughout. hacking of corporate materials and sites. Some of this work has argued that visual and pictorial genres can make particular arguments more powerful. and therefore appear in accounts of movement campaigns and history. scholars taking a cultural approach to the study of social movements have sometimes analyzed the meanings or the impact of visual materials. pro-life images depict both embryos and fetuses.

and describes a ‘‘verbal or visual’’ image that can ‘‘neatly capture  both cognitively and emotionally  a range of meanings and convey a frame. as a popular. Petchesky argued that ‘‘the . 498). or translatable into. master frame. there is much similarity between the frameworks used. and inform.’’ They consider visual as well as nonvisual means of inducing such shock and argue that ‘‘[t]he most effective shocks are those embodied in. on the one hand. and for explaining readers’ and viewers’ resistance to such imagery. Other work has focused on visual images in the course of more broadly exploring the use of imagery in movement stories and campaigns. but argue that the small number of transformative occasions when a bystander feels spurred to action is very significant. James M. Jasper and Jane D. or theme’’ (Jasper & Poulsen. 292–293). defining moral shock as ‘‘when an event or situation raises such a sense of outrage in people that they become inclined toward political action. In a similar vein. They consider imagery conveyed by both writing  about the suffering of slaves  and by pictures  of aborted fetuses. dramatic forms (‘‘Mr. Drew Halfmann and Michael P. because cartoons could present ideas in concrete. pp. Works such as Kristen Luker’s on pro-life activists cross into. Moreover. Poulsen argue that ‘‘moral shocks’’ can be as effective as social networks in recruiting people. there is a specific strand of literature on images of the fetus. Furthermore. Third.84 KIRSTY MCLAREN Isaac (2012) demonstrate why cartoons were especially suited to the communication of labor movement ideas in the early twentieth century. and pro-life visual materials on the other. moral shocks may help to revitalize or reinforce existing activists’ commitment (Jasper. powerful condensing symbols. 2011. This material is linked to the broader social movement literature. Cartoons amplified the labor movement’s collective action frames particularly well. Fat’’). 1984. widely read genre. Young (2010) examine the use of graphic and shocking imagery in their study of abolitionist writing. With campaign materials like The Silent Scream. see Condit.’’ The concept of a condensing symbol is drawn from Edward Sapir. they found. cartoons resonated with working class readers. The touchstone within the literature critiquing fetal images is Rosalind Pollack Petchesky’s analysis of the role of ultrasound images in mass culture and in pro-life materials. 1995. and because. both areas of literature (Luker. 1995). 1990 and Jasper & Poulsen. as both areas see culture and politics as closely connected. These scholars acknowledge that grotesque images and moral shocks can be Janus-like. This provides a framework for understanding images of the body in pain. p. Halfmann and Young adopt from literary criticism the concept of the grotesque to explain the force of violent or graphic images.

(Condit. 1999). the role of the photographs and films becomes quite clear. While these scholars have considered the power of images of the fetus to shape our understandings of pregnancy. 1997). 263). and court decisions articulating a definition of ‘‘legal abortion. Zechmeister. it does justify. and then mainly through informed speculation or limited research. They have critiqued the assumption that the technology is objective. Celeste Michelle Condit is one of the few who has touched on the persuasive effects of images of the fetus. as ‘‘second-wave’’ feminism became more visible and the women’s health movement emerged (Gray Jamieson. 2009. draws on these bodies of literature in its analysis of Australian pro-life visual discourses. BACKGROUND AND RESEARCH DESIGN In the late 1960s and early 1970s. Gleeson. 2001). integrate. rather than on their meanings for pro-life activists. It emphasizes the ambiguities and dualities. analyzing the artifice involved in the production of images of the fetus (Ginsburg & Rapp.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 85 political attack on abortion [had] moved further into the terrain of mass culture and imagery’’ (1987. p. and especially for creating moral shocks and emotional meanings. Haraway. and also exploring the impact of fetal imaging on women’s reproductive choices (Rapp. 2012). Morgan & Michaels. Scholars contributing to this literature have sought to destabilize pro-life visual practices by demonstrating how epistemologies  and especially visually based epistemologies  of pregnancy have varied over time (Duden. 1993. 1997. 80) This chapter. then. and activate their beliefs. yWhen pro-Life rhetors talk about why they believe as they do. if not removing all uncertainty (see Cannold. 1999. Legislative change in South Australia. and she comes to a similar conclusion as the social movement scholars: Although such persuasion does not change pro-Life advocates and supporters from a completely hostile to a supportive position. . they have spent less time considering these images power to alter viewers’ political opinions. 2009). campaigns for abortion law reform gathered strength. This was the catalyst for the emergence of the current pro-life movement. 1999. p. Anglophone feminist scholars have mostly focused on critique and deconstruction of these images. 1990.’’ reduced legal barriers. of the images. It helps to explain how images can be important for social movements. as well as the emotional and intersubjective nature.

the pro-life movement is small and relatively static. from the late 1960s to today. p. p. Right to Life Australia. a wide-ranging survey of pro-life websites and publications from 1995 to 2010. 16). and enable me to judge whether the images were similar to or different from those used in the past. and abortion.’’ however. One change in recent years is that there have been increasing signs of ‘‘pro-woman’’ pro-life activities (Cannold. A pro-life organization. These were collated from four sources: current pamphlets and flyers provided by Right to Life Australia in 2006 and 2007. and. operates a counseling phone service. These organizations campaign on matters such as euthanasia. pro-life networks are dominated by two groupings: on the one hand. As Stefania Siedlecky has observed. newspaper articles about pro-life campaigning. this set comprised 105 images from 34 pamphlets or flyers. During this time events in the different jurisdictions of Australia’s federal political system have kept the issue of abortion on the public agenda. the tenor of these is evident in the empowering and affirmative orientation of organizations such as Brisbane’s Cherish Life. are mostly reiterations of previous ones: the main positions are quite static. 62). I also collected samples of descriptions of the fetus . Overall. linked to the American organization of the same name. in 45 sources between 1995 and 2010. From this search. 2007. In addition there are small groups of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. the state-based organizations affiliated with the Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations. in different cities and towns. y the subject never really goes away’’ (2005. Pregnancy Counseling Australia. To analyze the nature of recent pro-life visual discourses in Australia I began with a survey of visual material and discussion of visual tactics. based in Melbourne. new ‘‘controversies y prompt the recycling of the same issues’’ (Gregory.86 KIRSTY MCLAREN This chapter focuses on the pro-life movement in the more recent period  from the late 1990s to the end of 2009. 2002). and on the other. the older materials formed a supplementary dataset. and materials copied from historical archives  especially library ephemera collections  which dated back between 30 and 40 years. and 116 images from 11 websites. stem cell research. with a further 105 images from 32 items. The ‘‘arguments. To provide historical context. consequently. Conservative Christian groups  notably the Australian Christian Lobby  also support pro-life campaigns. as do a small number of politicians standing on family-values. conservative Christian platforms. In Australia. and some local organizations provide assistance to pregnant women. although ‘‘[m]any people may have thought that the arguments over abortion had been resolved. I compiled a dataset of 221 representations of the fetus.

images and materials have been highly derivative. It also constitutes an important resource for future study (see Halfmann & Young. it was not used for quantitative analysis but to identify dominant ideas and ways of representing the fetus. The images themselves and the arguments being used have remained almost entirely the same. for some people. chosen to illustrate the range of pro-life activities. from stylized to shocking. The writing on the fetus’ placard. as the Australian constitution does not deal explicitly with rights. strikingly so. Hence. All the tactics were used or promoted in other contexts. Analysis of the material was guided by principles from the social science literature on the study of visual culture and visual methods. Throughout this time. 1977) and election flyers from 1979 (held in the State Library of Victoria’s ephemera collection). protests outside medical centers providing abortion in Queensland. The internet allows many more images to be used. Informed by the broader survey I undertook three case studies of tactics used in three different Australian jurisdictions: a government-mandated information booklet in the Australian Capital Territory. Technology has had some impact: the quality of pictures. and all of the images of the fetus appeared in multiple other sources in the datasets. even being printed in the United States. Though they show this range. 2010). and the range of pictures themselves. Collating such materials is useful. most importantly. In fact. These were selected as most different cases. and links to international websites effectively expand the ‘‘gallery’’ of materials provided. The survey was constrained by what materials had been kept and made available to researchers. both the survey and the case studies demonstrated that visual materials using images of the fetus have changed very little over four decades. ‘‘I demand my constitutional rights. and leaflets and internet-based campaigning against abortion law reform in Victoria. ‘‘reading’’ an image means reading both the content  the ‘‘internal narrative’’  and the context in which it is ‘‘read’’  the ‘‘external . because their circulation has been quite uneven  common in some areas.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 87 that were not accompanied by images and of articles and items discussing the use of images of the fetus and abortion politics. This means that. neither the tactics nor the images used are outliers. conservative Queensland Senator Ron Boswell used a cartoon of a fetus holding a sign that was almost exactly the same as a newspaper advertisement from 1977 (Stop Abortion Fund. the use of color. and in some cases. and the media employed have all changed markedly. during the 2007 election campaign. Nonetheless. For instance. and absent in others. the discourse is mostly static. too!’’ (emphasis in original) clearly derived from an American context.

the two should not be thought of as entirely distinct: ‘‘the notion of discourse is central [with] y its emphasis upon the integral relations of meaning and use’’ (Evans & Hall. in short. which focuses attention on the practices through which images are created and communicated. This pamphlet (Department of Health and Community Care. Visual theorist W. CASE STUDIES OF AUSTRALIAN PRO-LIFE REPERTOIRES AND MATERIALS As noted. it can be considered one of only two pro-life ‘‘victories’’ over the past decade and a . 1996). The Act also required that a ‘‘coolingoff’’ period of 72 hours be observed before consent for the procedure could be given. T. can help guard against ‘‘disembodying’’ images by treating them as just another text (Armstrong. that is.88 KIRSTY MCLAREN narrative’’ (Banks. This distinction. reviewing Newman. Gillian Rose argues that visual images possess an ‘‘irreducible’’ visual character (Rose. the Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Act ACT 1998 required that women seeking an abortion be provided with a government-produced pamphlet. framed by the social and political context in which they are created. the cases selected for close study encompass the full range of tactics and types of image disclosed by the survey and are sourced from different States and Territories. pp. The Health Regulation (Maternal Health Information) Act From 1999 to 2001. 1996). the material form of an image. material form of the image. The Act constitutes the most recent instance of legislative change placing constraints on access to or the practice of abortion. rendered as pictures for particular uses. Though my analysis considers both elements. the first being from the Australian Capital Territory. shown. such as the captions and language used alongside them. Hence. and seen. 10–11). 1998. 3). Indeed. as a visual image. illustrated with images of the fetus. the analysis considers images of the fetus. has limited otherwise excellent analyses of visual images of the fetus (see Park. the analysis attempts to pay attention to the particular. Similarly. p. insufficient attention to details which frame images. Mitchell (2005) draws a distinction between an image and a picture. 1999) included information on fetal development. 2007) that should not be elided by subsuming them into the broader category of texts. Indeed. 2001. 1999. J.

irrefutable. distinguishable. The Act was the culmination of much maneuvering in the ACT’s Legislative Assembly. recognisable truth that these pictures show. 1998).The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 89 half (see the pro-life view presented in ACT Right to Life Association Newsletter. empower women  to make an informed decision. As a result. pp. which is elected through a proportional representation system.’’ and ‘‘Foetus at 14 weeks’’ (Department of Health and Community Care. If I were pro-abortion. Though the legislative success was unusual. and some medical services refused to return copies of the first edition or to use the second (see Jackson. the expert committee charged with creating the prescribed pamphlet decided that pictures might be unhelpful or distressing. a Member of the Legislative Assembly who had supported the amendment of the prescribed information. The other was the failure of Senator Natasha Stott Despoja’s campaign on pregnancy counseling advertising. 1998). Australian parliamentarians hold more conservative views on abortion than the general public (Betts. with the defeat of the Transparent Advertising and Notification of Pregnancy Counselling Services Bill 2005 and the cross-party Pregnancy Counselling (Truth in Advertising) Bill 2006. 1998. captioned ‘‘Embryo at 8 weeks. yI believe that the pictorial information will enable women  in fact. 1999. This was led by Paul Osborne. undeniable. the legislators’ views were less so: typically. in an Assembly where ‘‘he had the numbers. Legislative Assembly. 2004. however. Debates. Pro-life MLAs then rectified this. clear. and pictures were presumed to be a more powerful medium for evoking such a sensibility.1 There was. They are pictures of unborn human beings. (Australian Capital Territory. 2007). Some of those who argued . passing regulations specifying that the information booklet include a description and images of fetal development. thought the pictures irrefutable. an independent MLA with a platform of Christian and family values. Initially. Speaker. p. 2000). 2838) In the debate about the Act. ‘‘spirited community and Assembly debate’’ about the change. Mr. 11–12). Supporters of the regulatory change felt that visual images were especially important.’’ ‘‘Embryo at 9 weeks. a timeline of development milestones was added. accompanied by three images from the photography of Lennart Nilsson. ‘‘informed consent’’ came to imply a sensibility of the enormity of abortion. I would not want my arguments in favour of abortion clearly and easily undermined by the simple. These pictures are of the young unborn. with 10 of the 17 Members broadly opposed to abortion’’ (Canberra Times. see also Pringle. Brendan Smyth.

The three pictures used in the booklet are photographs by Lennart Nilsson. Alternatively. by turns a human and a not-quite-human form. precious – emphasizes the value of the subject being represented. For instance. The most striking element of these three images is the fetal body itself. can be found in libraries. and its form as a kind of human body. This sense of awe is compounded by the interpretation of the images as showing ‘‘new life. because women already make informed. that the parts of the fetal body which most resemble those of a child or adult – hands. Good Weekend: The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine. It is disproportionate in ways that signify weakness and fragility: its limbs are spindly. some argued that it was unnecessary. Hence. are usually presented as providing a rare entry to a realm of wonder and amazement (see. Traces of the origins of the images can still inflect how they are read. Nilsson’s work explores the beauty and wonder of life. 2006.90 KIRSTY MCLAREN against the information pamphlet. although copies of the first version. 1990). the images retain both an aura of scientific authority and traces of wonder: this is a genre in which wonder is an expected response. the very fact that the fetus is hidden and rare  that mere images of it are treasured. supreme examples of documentary photography. and is clearly not that of a child or an adult. published in a well-known Life magazine photo essay and multiple editions of a book. while others pointed out that the quality of women’s decisions did not have any bearing on their right to make those decisions.’’ Indeed. showing the entire fetal body is extremely significant. although the originals are in full color (Nilsson. the entire fetal body is shown. Condit argues that pro-life images often function as tropes. which did not contain any pictures (published in April 1999). Petchesky (1987) notes how ultrasound was presented as opening up new horizons. . his photos. on the grounds that images of the fetus might cause distress. were using the same premise as those supporting the bill: that images of the fetus have some innate emotional power. 2003). for example. its body is hunched. p. There are few copies of this booklet remaining. Indeed. 1965. all three images show how much development is yet to be completed. and its frame looks underdeveloped in the way of a malnourished child’s. sending pictures from previously unknown worlds. This sense of crossing new visual frontiers is invoked by many images of the fetus. This is not the case here: instead. considered decisions. 32). feet. and face – represent the whole (Condit. for its form is also quite different from the adult human form. Though the text explains the developing capabilities of the fetus.

appearing in a vacuum makes it appear unprotected. The fetus has skin which is almost translucent. signifies simultaneously that it exists and that it cannot fend for itself: the fetus needs protection. for instance. The sequencing of fetal development pictures pulls the familiar baby back into the early stages of growth. fragile and vulnerable. as an official government publication. the impact seems to have still been similar. which collapses time and creates a sense of inevitability in fetal development. Thus. strange forms to later. Although the intentions of the pamphlet’s creators. correct images. pro-life activists have rejected these feminist arguments and presented the fetus as a delineated body of its own  ‘‘an individual organism of the human species’’ (Shanahan. boxy skull of the first picture is rendered recognizable. were quite different from pro-life pregnancy counselors’. Pregnancy Counseling Australia. somewhat more recognizable body. First. the most prominent pro-life counseling service attempting to reach women considering abortion. uses similar visual material (see. Thus. p. the emerging humanity of the fetus is established by the developmental sequence. 2009. the official character of the publication makes it more authoritative. heightens the impression that these are objective.). the fetus appears in a vacuum. The failure of Senator Stott Despoja’s truth in advertising bill was hence a significant ‘‘victory’’ in the very same arena as the Osborne bill. Moreover. This cluster of characteristics combine to reinforce the duality of the fetus’ embodiment: the body which is simultaneously discrete and complete. Indeed. . The message of frailty compounds the air of wonder in so many of these images. in these images. 9). Furthermore. While feminists have argued for women’s control over their own bodies. n. a matter emphasized by feminist criticism.d. and encourages the viewer to note the trends connecting early. The ACT’s information booklet ended up resembling the materials used by pro-life crisis pregnancy counseling services. In Australia.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 91 This ambiguity  that the fetal body is both human and not human  does not diminish its significance. And this is not merely a distinct body: it is a vulnerable body. these images present the fetus as a special moral subject. The scientific authority of the pamphlet. to which we owe greater care. Pregnancy Counselling Australia. constrained by regulation. the strange. surrounded by empty space. This image excludes the woman’s body. This is a consequence of Nilsson’s methods: he created most of his images by suspending the embryo or fetus in saline in a glass container and photographing it. at best sometimes surrounded by the almost transparent wisps of tissue that are the amniotic sac in Nilsson’s photographs.

2000). has been arrested for failing to move on. 2003). including a large number of ‘‘aborted fetus’’ pictures. ‘‘Preston was greeted with a plastic model of a fetus and a hug from wife Liz. Pro-life activist Peter Erbacher. They are holding placards with a stylized fetal form. in July 2003. 6. 2003a. The fetus seems to be lit from behind by golden light. 2003c). 2003. there are also strong religious connotations to these pictures. where symbols must be recognized by the viewer. 2003. including Festival Focus Queensland.d) posted photographs of a protest on the American website ‘‘AbortionTV. In the protest photographs posted. These pickets aimed to attract additional attention. and the admiration of a team of placard-waving supporters’’ (Lill. the placards include bright colors and illumination of the subject. and the picture looks as though it has been painted. means that these pictures are simultaneously showing a natural wonder and a religious wonder: the illumination of the subject takes on new . The civil disobedience has included spending weeks in custody awaiting his hearing rather than agree to stay away from the clinic as a condition of bail. and refusing to pay fines for several years (Herald Sun. Graham Preston. the ambiguity of visual images. but also as part of supporters’ response to court appearance. 2003b. in protests involving. see also Courier Mail.’’ The website features a plethora of images of the fetus. Since 2002 they have staged dozens of small nonviolent protests.’’ they explicitly modeled their behavior on the American organization Operation Rescue. sitting ‘‘in a doorway holding a plastic fetus and color photos of abortions’’ (Lill. p. The light streaming from behind the fetus’ body is a strong marker of the sacred nature of the symbol. a number of people are sitting in the doorway to the clinic. 2005). Yet as well as these characteristics of documentary images. Images of the fetus appear not just as components of the original protest.’’ In recent years. Calling these actions ‘‘rescues.92 KIRSTY MCLAREN Protect Life Sit-Ins The second example comprises the occasional pickets of clinics performing abortions by a small Brisbane group called ‘‘Protect Life. For example. by breaking the law to raise awareness of a moral issue (as explained in newsletter articles. being fined and released. In this way. Protect Life has moved its protests beyond the footpath outside clinics offering abortion services. p. of a few people trespassing onto clinic grounds and sitting in doorways with placards (see ABC News. The most frequent participant in the sit-ins.2 Like the Nilsson photographs that were part of the last case. for instance. (n. 6).

and also quiet and subdued. both scientific and religious. e. in one of the few articles on the Australian pro-life movement. and even contradictory. 1993. it is rather quite normal to construct multiple arguments using multiple frames: Given the fact that. Religion has not been replaced by science in pro-life images. p. 2001) includes prayer. y most ordinary people’s beliefs are vague. 108–110) that is ‘‘Life Itself’’ (Haraway. the varying. and as a challenge to the public. a repository of a multiplicity of ideas. & Tilly. and to some extent. and internally contradictory. Zajac. 2008. The silhouette of the fetal body is the focus of the placards. This behavior is both defiant  in blocking an entry. p..’’ the fetal head and eyes. The coexistence of scientific and religious ideas is easily understood through the combination of two sets of connotations. 2009. Wyatt and Hughes. while stronger or greater in mind and spirit. The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants is one widespread example (see. images are only part of the overall visual scene: the protesters’ behavior frames the picture of the fetus. the placards. shifting. 4). but rather has melded with it: the contemporary. 2006).The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 93 meaning in a context where many people’s opinions are based on religious beliefs. 1997) is indistinguishable from the sacrum that carries religious import for pro-life believers. scientific ‘‘sacrum’’ (Duden. and silent or nonconfrontational vigils. Resembling in this way the archetype of the sensitive. The placards are presented as an explanation. why should we expect that people will put a premium on clarity and consistency in the messages they attend to and believe? (Polletta. describe how pro-life activists invoke both religious and scientific arguments. attributes of the fetus make it even more richly significant. In short: the fetus is a complex icon. Despite its ‘‘underdevelopment. its chest. Tarrow. Susan Sontag’s (1978) discussion of the wasting consumptive). religious hymns. . Each set of connotations may be more evident or more meaningful for different audiences. but religious and scientific themes can be simultaneously significant for the same viewer. Finally. a motivation. diverse. Though they view this coexistence as paradoxical (Wyatt & Hughes. are oversized and emphasized. Small groups of people have been doing this regularly for decades around Australia. the fetal body depicts a person who is undersized and weak in the physical body. ethereal invalid (cf.g. 245). pp. It is useful to think of these as vigils rather than demonstrations: this repertoire of ‘‘contentious behavior’’ (McAdam. Rather than diminishing its power. These are precisely the body parts that communicate personal identity and where we locate the mind and the heart – the soul.

2008). to carry out a ‘‘radical new campaign’’ (in the words of the email seeking interested people). I have had difficulty obtaining a copy of this flier. formal divisions like this protect major pro-life organizations from financial risk and negative public perception. The Board viewed the advertisement and agreed that the images were extremely graphic and had the potential to cause alarm and distress. 2008). p. 2. 2008). shocking images  has been a fraught issue for the pro-life movement in Australia. emphasis in original) Many of the complaints and the media reports emphasized that children could encounter the images. . and Gippsland (McArthur.94 KIRSTY MCLAREN The Tell the Truth Campaign This third example focuses on more grisly images of aborted fetuses. In envelopes marked ‘‘To the adult householder’’ and ‘‘Viewer discretion advised’’ were fliers with graphic images of aborted fetuses (Jackson. there are many older examples of this tactic (see Roberts. During February and March 2008. by an activist who played a role in that formation. and a former campaign director for Right to Life Australia was an active member of both organizations. and distressing. Tell the Truth delivered letters across Victoria. a separate organization was set up. The Tell the Truth Coalition was established when it became clear that a bill to legalize abortion would be introduced to the Victorian parliament. From the Melbourne networks of Right to Life Australia. 1984). of Right to Life Australia. 2008. The fliers were described in the media as ‘‘[d]epicting images of a 24-week-old dead baby soaked in blood. Moreover. In upholding the complaints: The Board noted the complaints’ concerns about that the images portrayed in this print advertisement were graphic. but have been able to collect a similar flier distributed in central Melbourne shortly before the Tell the Truth Coalition formed. The mail out was the subject of complaints and an investigation by the Advertising Standards Bureau. They also contained descriptions of ‘‘what organs and body features have developed by the stage of most abortions’’ (Brown. frightening. As in the case of Protect Life. an aborted 8-week-old fetus and the hands of an aborted 11-week-old fetus’’ (McArthur. (Advertising Standards Bureau. The connections with other groups were still close: the Tell the Truth website was registered in the name of Margaret Tighe.3 Again. Bendigo. while interlinked organizations may pool resources. Strategy  and particularly the use of graphic. or that women who had previously terminated a pregnancy could experience distress. including in Melbourne. 2008). individuals can still choose in what kind of activism they are or will be involved.

abortionno. 1984) distributed a leaflet titled ‘‘Life or Death. Thus. The leaflet carries the politicians’ [sic] photograph: ‘‘Is this to be his 2008 legacy to you?’’ (Bachelard.priestsforlife. As well as attempting to influence public opinion. 2008). mutilated corpse. Tell the Truth contacted parliamentarians and staged demonstrations.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 95 The leafleting and letter-drops were accompanied by other tactics. but which took the user to the Centre for Bioethical Reform (http://www. For instance. This contrast is a very common way of presenting the pro-life argument. violation. These markers of atrocity are found in bodily destruction. which seek to construct the viewer’s emotional reaction as a sign of the significance of the fetus. . Tell the Truth’s website also featured graphic content. Mr. the media reported that politicians received graphic or emotive correspondence from other groups: The representative of the Coalition for the Prosecution of Prenatal Child Killers. Likewise. The viewer’s flinch becomes proof of a violent act. is transformed in ‘‘post-abortion’’ images into a and Priests for Life (http:// www. These featured images labeled as aborted fetuses. and video of a curettage being performed. Powell recently sent leaflets to state politicians depicting a late-term abortion in cartoon form. The fetus that Petchesky described as ‘‘chaste’’ (1987. Flesh is a marker of destroyed significance. The visceral reaction to blood and flesh and violence is a deliberate aim of such pro-life campaigns.’’ it reads. and hence require an imagined fetal body to be destroyed. p. available in the Victorian State Library’s ephemera collection). Blood and flesh are usually internal matter which should remain hidden. The website used links to piggy-back on the resources of American sites: the home-page featured links formatted as though they were pages within the site. the pairing of images of an aborted fetus and a healthy baby. The flier distributed by the Tell the Truth Coalition depicts a modern barbarity. To expose innards requires violence. as in the flyer distributed earlier in central Melbourne. showing evidence of the wrong of abortion. and Mrs. exposed. the ‘‘secretive’’ creature glimpsed in breathtaking shots with advanced technology. J. and links to sites with graphic content.’’ which featured the same juxtaposition of images of a baby and of a bloody aborted fetus (published by Dr. and pain. ‘‘The child killer jams scissors into the baby’s skull. images highlighting the preciousness and vulnerability of the fetus make images of fetal slaughter even more powerful. a Sydney campaign against a local politician (Roberts. of a destroyed moral subject. During the Parliamentary debate. 263). 1975. C. is not just illustrating the logical contention of the text.

Visual images may fix this confrontation of the viewer more forcefully. visual images are an important corrective to the misleading and manipulative communications of the modern world. using images of violence. This is emphasized by confrontational tactics. The pictures are meant to evoke wonder and awe to illustrate the wonder of life.g. ‘‘for centuries vision  sight  has been a privileged sense in the European repertoire.96 KIRSTY MCLAREN That is. The very act of holding images up is a challenge: look at this and tell us you do not feel anything. and they are meant to evoke shock and horror at the violence. The discourses involving pro-life images of the fetus also position the viewer as being confronted by the visualized fetus. but that the act of depicting it is also rather horrific. excessive. we are recognizing the destruction of something of significance. but pictures reveal the truth. p. Visual images are a medium well suited to such a claim. they are meant to prompt recognition of the human form of the fetus and evoke empathy or a sense of protectiveness for it as a person. Hobart Mercury. words deceive. and horrifying. 1987. According to this narrative. Once we see desecration. for while a reader can choose not to visualize something. 2001). p. social theorists and other cultural critics’’ (Banks. in the case of Tell the Truth. in the case of Protect Life. e. . 2001. a viewer (we believe) usually can only reject what he or she has seen. there is a strong link between vision and voyeurism in this opposition: a chaste glimpse of the wonder of the hidden fetus (Petchesky. 276) is a rarely afforded privilege. That is. or not to keep reading. As Marcus Banks writes. Pro-life visual materials are part of a discourse in which images reveal truths concealed by a deceptive modern society (see. but the exposure of the blood and flesh and gore is violating. a point well-established by philosophers. 7). To look at and expose the mistreated corpse is a violation which implicates the viewer as an accomplice of the ‘‘abortionist. THE EMOTIONAL MEANINGS OF PRO-LIFE VISUAL REPERTOIRES These cases involve images of the fetus which encapsulate and communicate three themes. a public desecration of a body. These three themes are all dependent on a fundamental claim: that images of the fetus show a powerful reality.. and blocking entrances.’’ It is not just that the mistreatment of the fetus is depicted.

the fetus’ being places a moral duty on pro-life activists because of its incapacity. or feeling empathy for its pain in the more grisly images  is an intersubjective act. This emotion of care  feeling protective of the fetus. with the implication that the viewer should identify with the fetus as human. desire. 2005. we regard images as objects of emotion. it is not the only mode of visuality available. Thus. Those forces are sufficient to make the fetus akin to a subject. images of the fetus try to evoke emotion. Jenny Hockey and Janet Draper analyze how traces of the material body enable the social constructions of persons before birth and after death (Hockey & Draper. ‘‘what a picture wants’’: it presents a way of constituting the act of seeing. in John Berger’s (1972) famous phrase. emphasis in original). visually embodying the fetus makes it easier for the viewer to think of it as a social subject. Conceptualizing the life course is ‘‘a social institution’’ (p. 47). the viewer’s (presumed) reaction to seeing the fetus establishes the fetus as a subject. and power (2005). though. and also feel protective of it as a frail and vulnerable human. 44). constitutes an especially potent challenge to the maternal character of the woman . As Mitchell argues. a way of positioning the viewer and meta-level epistemological assumptions. There is power in that positioning  relations and positions that are implied and must be accepted or resisted. 44. This embodiment bolsters images’ claims to a relationship with the viewer. p. Images portraying the wonder of life  whether evoking life as a scientific or a religious quality  are presenting life as wondrous and awe-inspiring. This reaction is construed by pro-life campaigners as a natural and irrefutable indicator of the moral connection between our society and the fetus. a challenge to the humanity of the viewer. and cast that emotion as evidence of the significance of the fetus. The philosophical conceptualization of personhood (in which capacity and autonomy are usually necessary) is not relevant in this moral landscape.The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 97 This close connection between seeing and feeling is central to the meanings of the images. This is not the only ‘‘way of seeing’’ the fetus. anchor practices. Hockey and Draper argue that material traces of the body. are the visualities with which it can be seen. it is implied. such as ultrasound. Moreover. affection. One source of the power of images of the fetus is that they present the fetus as an embodied subject. this claim. should evoke horror and outrage. That is. Built in to an image. The fetal body is shown as both human and not-quite human. Images of violence to the fetal body are shown as evidence of actions which. in Mitchell’s (2005) conceptualization. and ways of thinking that create  that are  ongoing interactions and relationships (p. That is. This is.

The spaces with the reader or listener must jump  where connections are left unsaid  make the conclusions more persuasive. Thus. Francesca Polletta (2008). originating in the audience rather than being a product of the manipulation of the speaker of writer. One prominent conservative commenter recently claimed that ‘‘even at the most visceral emotional level’’ we recognize the place of the fetus in natural law (Shanahan. visual images are an especially effective medium for emotive arguments. Moreover. Throughout this time. or our dominant ways of seeing (Berger. suggests that ambiguity is crucial for a persuasive story. Political scientist and reproductive rights activist Rebecca Albury (1999. Indeed. The exhortation to care resonates with this equation. When looking at images. 2001).’’ Whether vision is socially constructed as such. There are strong parallels between our understanding of sight as unmediated or more immediate than other senses. 166–168) describes the equation ‘‘women=Woman=Mother’’ as a powerful force in the politics of reproduction. more innate or instinctive (though sometimes also inferior). 1984). may be a medium particularly suited to creating moral shocks. which are not constrained by linear grammars or logics. what we see is framed as ‘‘natural. The interaction between our assumptions about vision and assumptions about emotion are particularly persuasive. the ambiguity of visual images. In this way. 1972). Similarly. motherhood has dominated the politics of abortion. indeed. examining storytelling as a form of social movement argument. again. that the ambiguity of stories makes them more powerful. matters less: we understand it to be thus. The . This is fundamental for a successfully emotive argument. and the expectation of care and emotional involvement is particularly heavy for women (see Cannold. CONCLUSION: THE VALUE OF VISUAL ANALYSIS OF PRO-LIFE POLITICS The visual repertoires of the Australian pro-life movement outlined in this chapter provide insight into the motivations of long-term activists. and our understanding of emotion as prior to reason. as feeling or empathy must be seen as authentic. visual images may be especially powerful. the artifice involved in producing visual images is often perceived to be less in written descriptions. but also that viewers may be more persuaded by what the images suggest.98 KIRSTY MCLAREN viewer. and one which can be almost impossible to escape (see also Luker. pp. means that they can communicate multiple themes. or innately so. it seems that sight. 2009).

There is much to be examined. in turn. These actions constitute participants as acting from conscience. as both emotion and visual culture have historically been neglected by social movement studies (Goodwin. futilely standing outside presents the protesters as keeping a vigil. describing the ‘‘rescues’’ as a Christian duty (Protect Life. I would suggest that future work on the visual dimensions of social movements would benefit from continuing to explore the connection between the visual and the emotional. these strategies  which have changed little in the last four decades  do not seem to be effective. is a defiant challenge to a duplicitous society. 2000). For instance. and concluded that there was no discernible effect on voting patterns (1983). Jasper. and invite the empathy of the viewer. representing a group of beings with special moral status and strong emotional meaning. visual repertoires are central to expressive politics and . but rather matters of emotion and symbolic action. of holding truth aloft. First.d. Second. The visual culture of pro-life politics suggests that this is precisely because these are not instrumental or strategic endeavors. unless it provides new insight or theoretical perspectives (see Tilly. Indeed. demonstrate this. and from care for a hidden or forgotten victim. the act of holding placards. explain the futile gesture as a performance of care for what is seen as a fellow moral subject.). so small that the description of ‘‘social movement’’ can seem overblown. Moreover. 2003).The Emotional Imperative of the Visual 99 Australian pro-life movement is extremely small. & Polletta. images of the fetus are significant and powerful. Protect Life’s ‘‘rescues’’ or pickets. Many Australian scholars describe the pro-life movement as simply part of reactive conservatism. Thus. Though many of the practices. the activism itself continues. Yet they also emphasize the fragility and the vulnerability of the fetus. in Australian pro-life politics. arguments. which combine two powerful symbolic acts. In the case studies discussed above. Relating these two lines of inquiry is likely to be productive. political scientist John Warhurst studied the impact of pro-life letter-drops in the 1970s and 1980s. They provide evidence of the fetus’ substance and enable its social embodiment. and. Images of the fetus. images of aborted fetuses prompt a visceral reaction and thus demand empathy. obeying a duty to bear witness. There is little value in describing different dimensions of social movements – or any other aspect of politics  for the sake of it. and even materials documented here have remained static for many years. The Protect Life website explains this. that intersubjectivity demonstrates the moral significance of the fetus for the pro-life viewer. n. This empathy is fundamental to the intersubjective connection created between the fetus and the viewer.

Retrieved from http://www. I would also like to thank the two anonymous referees for their invaluable feedback. The photographs can be seen at http://www. It is A4. and an Enlargement. They are in color but with a blue tint.lennartnilsson. Retrieved from http:// spring98. the ‘‘Embryo at 14 weeks’’ is a version of Nilsson’s ‘‘Spaceman (13 weeks)’’ photograph. Hard copies of this version of the booklet (i. The disparity in the number of weeks in the captions reflects different ways of determining the ‘‘age’’ of the fetus. Accessed on July 20. The included images come from the photography of Lennart Nilsson. which greatly improved the chapter. the question: ‘‘What are you doing to help these children?’’ REFERENCES ABC News (2005). NOTES 3. titled ‘‘24 week abortion’’ is posted by the American Centre for Bioethical Reform. in color. Osborne Bill passed by the Assembly! Special supplement to Spring 1998. The images were accompanied by some ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Marian Sawer and Norman Abjorensen for their helpful comments and The image captioned ‘‘8 weeks’’ is a photograph titled ‘‘7 weeks’’ by Nilsson. This picture.htm?site=news. at with the images) are extremely or the duration of pregnancy. which was not suitable for reprinting.cfm?ID=29. It can be seen at http://www. at the bottom of the page. . 2.abortionno. flipped on its vertical axis.100 KIRSTY MCLAREN provide compelling evidence of how emotions animate and sustain social movement activity. See http://prolife.100abortionpictures. being held by a gloved hand. and a fetus. with the title ‘‘Why not protect them both?’’ It is illustrated with two pairs of pictures. This flier is quite graphic. The first pair comprises a picture of a premature baby and a picture of an aborted Police called to move anti-abortion protesters. and. with the head separated from the body. I am aware of a low-resolution digital copy The second pair comprises a smiling. and has not been reproduced here. A practically identical image  though it is rotated  is used to illustrate a 2011 blog post by Prolife New Zealand. Accessed in older baby.e. also separate. ACT Right to Life Association Newsletter (1998).

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Engaging with some implications of this Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. This chapter suggests how agency and meaning travel back and forth between offline and online spaces of activism. to examine how death is used as a visual trope to signify the ultimate prize of taking to the streets. Volume 35. This chapter provides one such alternative angle by probing how ‘‘visual protest materials’’ are creatively used in activists’ own videos to pass on stories of communion and contestation. putting on display the ‘‘spectacles of death’’ punctuating each of these events. in particular the work of Barthes (1981) and Zelizer (2010).PROTEST MOVEMENTS AND SPECTACLES OF DEATH: FROM URBAN PLACES TO VIDEO SPACES Tina Askanius ABSTRACT Much scholarship has looked at how radical politics and its symbolism are framed and distorted by the mass media. The analysis draws on social semiotics. 105–133 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. Conflicts and Change. while less attention has been devoted to how the symbolic imagery of violence and death is used in activists’ self-representations. It interrogates how activist video practices mirror the continuum between physical places and mediated spaces in political activism by analyzing a thread of videos circulating on YouTube that commemorate people who have died in connection with three protest events across Europe.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035009 105 .

We are faced with a transitory landscape. Even technology is attacked by an obsolescence that renders it old instantly.1 In commemoration videos on YouTube. regardless of the different circumstances of their deaths. it demonstrates how the cityscape is recruited to document and dramatize the spectacle of death as part of a larger struggle for semiotic resources within the protest space and over media representations of social movements more generally. (Olalquiaga. video activism. The streets of these cities thus become not only arenas for radical politics. are inscribed into a consecutive and still ongoing narrative of martyrdom. we may raise questions about how YouTube forms spaces in which . where new ruins continually pile up on each other. Confronted with their own technological images. This chapter takes as its empirical starting point videos documenting the events in the three cities as places. spectacle of death. who ‘‘occupy’’ and reclaim the host cities with mass demonstrations and counter-summits. From these places. contesting the political agendas of the leaders of the world economy.106 TINA ASKANIUS interplay. In Genoa in 2001. World Trade Organization (WTO). Video replaces the personal diary. Keywords: Protest movements. urban culture is like a hall of mirrors. Finally. 1992) In the past decade. It is amid these ruins that we look for ourselves. the recurring political summits of the G8/20. geographies of resistance. its reflections reproduced to infinity. Images of their deaths are woven into those of past. the chapter argues that. these men. body and city can’t be recovered by means other than those that displace them: they must be recorded or registered anew. YouTube INTRODUCTION Yet scattered and fragmented under the weight of technology. in Athens in 2008. but concurrently settings for spectacular and colorful cultural expressions of the struggle for voice and access to public spaces in an urban environment. the mass demonstrations had a deadly upshot since three men were killed in confrontations with police. and World Economic Forum (WEF) have attracted a large number of political protesters. tensions between fact and fiction emerge in the creative appropriation and remixing of images. with the urban space forming the backdrop against which their dead bodies are depicted. and future political mobilizations. in the quest to document truth and induce realism and immediacy. and in London in 2009. the city and the body become ruins. present. Made up of images. commemoration.

the literature devoted to the interplay between media and movements is briefly reviewed. The next sections of the analysis are dedicated to understanding the various ways in which tensions between fact and fiction emerge in the creative appropriation and remixing of images of the three events. identifying a pronounced scarcity of audio-visual analyses of social movements. verbal. and in how the tropes of semiotic disobedience take center stage in video documentation of the protests. In a semiotic analysis paying specific attention to ‘‘the voice of the visual’’ (Barthes. By exploring the continuum between offline and online practices. and collective trauma. critical concerns are raised about the ethical frameworks involved in recruiting the aesthetics of death for purposes of political mobilization. 2010) in these images of violence. I take a particular interest in representations of the city as a site of struggle for visibility and symbolic resources. I raise questions of how representations of the ways in which activists alter and redefine urban landscapes by means of cultural expressions and protest artefacts such as graffiti. Zelizer. first: how is the spectacle of death in three distinct protest events staged through the multimodal orchestration of written. the initial analytical effort establishes how the commemoration videos interweave the individual deaths and martyrdoms of the three men into a depiction of an anti-capitalist movement’s collective struggle. death. In so doing. Against this backdrop. the last section asks how the cityscape is recruited to document and dramatize the spectacle of death by exhibiting the commemorative rituals and symbols spread across the city as part of a larger struggle for semiotic resources within the protest space and over media representations of social movements more generally. street jamming. aural. As a point of entry. this study asks.Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 107 videos documenting the events and commemorating the people who were killed link up with one another. The chapter is structured as follows: first. 1981. . The analysis finally establishes the importance of the city as a protest space in order to open up the analysis of the video representations of these spaces. and vernacular street memorials are (re)mediated in online videos calling for future mobilizations. this chapter interrogates the continuities of practices and collective rituals from physical urban places to representations in online spaces. and visual modes? And second: how does the architecture of participation in YouTube shape meaning-making practices around these online videos? By the notion of the ‘‘spectacle of death’’ I mean to signal certain elements of performativity and dramatization in the way that these commemoration videos stage the protest events through narratives that move beyond record and strict documentation. 2004. In this context.

2012). scholars of social movements rarely recognize visual methods (Phillips. I pay specific attention to a thread of videos commemorating people who have died in connection with protests across Europe in the past decade. 2012) that constitute semiotic resources within the ‘‘urban space of resistance’’ (Pile. mailings lists. and media on the other. Kavada. newspaper coverage. 2007. 2005). 2012. Doerr. 2010. 2002). Eastman. Within this thematic cluster of activist videos. della Porta & Mosca. newsletters. & Duncan. participatory cultures of online video. Staggenborg. An extensive body of literature has addressed the analysis of websites. has primarily provided insights into the textual representations and articulations of social movements (for some exceptions to this rule. Perlmutter & Wagner. 1997) and draw attention to the aims and orientations of activists during the protests take on new meaning when remediated in the open-ended.. while the so-called ‘‘visual turn’’ has slowly secured a foothold in many areas of the social sciences. 2010. Chitrapu. and more broadly the role that the distribution platform YouTube has come to play for contemporary protest movements. 2005. 2005. 2005. Evans. Cammaerts & Van Audenhove. In so doing. Schwartz.108 TINA ASKANIUS CONTEMPORARY PROTEST MOVEMENTS AND THEIR VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS Whether dealing with questions of social movement media or social movements in the media. e-zines. Thus. Graeber. Building on past research on this particular genre of radical video (Askanius. it demonstrates how the ‘‘visual protest materials’’ (Philips. Mattoni & Doerr. 2007. Juris. I begin this endeavor with an analysis of a particular genre of video that has emerged on YouTube: those documenting protests and mass direct actions against neoliberal globalization around the world. & Mwesige. 2004. 2007). putting on display the ‘‘spectacle of death’’ that came to punctuate each of these events.g. 2012). political debate forums. Paine. Cottle. .. e. e. In a contemporary mediascape where new forms of visibility have become inextricably linked to new forms of action and interaction (Thompson.g. 2009. 2005. Rauch. Kutz-Flamenbaum. manifestos. research on the relationship between collective action and political identities on the one hand. thus privileging the written word at the expense of visual and audio-visual representations and practices (see. Kurtz. this chapter focuses on how the politicized space of the city is recruited as one of the storytelling devices of the commemoration videos. etc.. this chapter is a response to a gap in the literature on political activism concerning video representation specifically. see. 2008. surveys.

activists practice what Juris (2005) refers to as ‘‘performative violence. 2001. feminism. human rights activism. depicting them as dangerous criminals or terrorists. In a contemporary media environment driven by a media logic in which violence both travels and sells well.’’ providing activists with valuable symbolic resources for the conveying of political messages. 2005. and at times. Gothenburg. Juris. 2008). disregarding performative violence as a means of communicating and dramatizing certain social values and political alternatives (Donson. and Toronto. see. in Gleneagles. 2005. peaceful protests often go unnoticed. Smith. Rosie & Gorringe. which effectively derailed and ultimately shut down the WTO meeting. The large-scale demonstrations in Seattle in 1999. 2004. Furthermore. London. Graeber. received extensive media coverage and were followed by a number of high-visibility demonstrations in cities such as Prague. Munck. and Genoa. for example. teargas. 2005. the global justice movement convenes at regular intervals in social forums and counter-summits targeting the symbols and institutions of neoliberal globalization. for a comprehensive overview. 2005. Copenhagen. e. (There is of course a vast literature dedicated to the global justice movement and its recurrent counter-summits. Gitlin. activists seek to hijack media attention around issues of social justice and political alternatives to global capitalism and neoliberal governance. A great deal of scholarly attention has thus been dedicated to questions of how .. & Tickle. and activists hurling themselves at heavily militarized contingents of riot police make instant headlines (Juris. Nice. della Porta & Tarrow. Engaging in spectacular. larger mobilizations have taken place.g. 1980. mainstream media have been known to frame the events as random acts of senseless violence. and to prosecute activists in the legal aftermath of demonstrations (Juris. 2009).Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 109 Documenting Counter-Summits Bringing together single-issue campaigns stemming from environmentalism. Montreal. 2007.) The physical gatherings of the global justice movement are heavily policed and over the years have seen a number of violent clashes between protesters and authorities. These gatherings usually involve a number of organized and preplanned direct actions and a series of large-scale demonstrations contesting the high profile meetings of those considered by activists to be the self-appointed leaders of the world economy. violent displays of protest and civil disobedience. anti-capitalism. 2007. 2008. However. In so doing. p. Welsh. while the iconic images of burning cars. More recently. theatrical. Chesters. 414). these same images are used by police and government officials to delegitimize protesters. and anti-war movements.

snippets of film. I focus on a small thread of videos that stage three distinct protest events as ‘‘spectacles of death’’ by means of these practices of bricolage or mash-up which have come to characterize contemporary forms of online video. water cannons. focusing on the social processes constituted and enabled by the media. the videos combine the shaky. a short text is usually added on-screen or as part of the video’s presentation.. encoding a sense of presence and immediacy. In an era where the ever-wider availability of technology and the proliferation of free and easy-to-use online platforms makes it relatively effortless for anyone taking part in or witnessing a demonstration to record and disseminate images. In these ‘‘bearing-witness’’ videos. has made camcorders and camera phones an essential part of any demonstration. Demonstrating amateur editing skills. e. YouTube has become a popular platform for disseminating. The majority of videos on YouTube documenting protests consist of little more than raw. sirens. 2005. Perlmutter & Wagner.. This approach starts not . a range of different modes of documentary are put into play. with slowmoving slideshows of photographs set to music. as well as to provide visual evidence of police brutality. 2004).g. and generate affective ties within political communities (see. In the more creatively sampled and edited videos. Similarly.110 TINA ASKANIUS (militant) political activists enact performative violence in order to communicate political messages. 2005. and teargas. text. construct identities. while less attention has been paid to how the symbolic imagery of violence is used strategically in the context of alternative media and activists’ self-representations. and artwork in endless combinations. Rauch et al. unedited footage depicting the events in an often chaotic audio-visual swirl of shouting protesters. often with a more explicitly stated political motive. The awareness among activists of the imperative for the visual documentation of a protest event in order to bypass the gatekeepers of mainstream media and/or counter-spin their representations. 2008. music. Juris. the abundance of protest videos uploaded on YouTube by users across the world makes for a motley and cacophonic blend. In the following analysis. Sullivan. graphics. a number of studies have looked at how militant actions and their symbolism are framed and distorted by the mass media (Juris. 2007). handheld footage taken from within the crowd at a demonstration. ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY This study is anchored within the sociology of media. viewing. and archiving videos documenting protest. 2004. indexing the place and time of the demonstration or direct action event. mixing still images. In recent years.

1981) and specifically in what he refers to as an image’s third meaning. 1997) and the spatial legacy of protests (Vradis & Dalakoglou. 2011). the conceptual framework of social semiotics informs and operationalizes the qualitative analysis of the video material. Considering visual meaning-making as an open-ended social process. addressing the photographic message and its ability to move the viewer and to travel across different contexts. in an attempt to understand the appropriation of images of death and how this trope is used pervasively in the videos.. a semiotic vein of inquiry similarly guides the analysis of how performative violence and the staging of death in the cityscape form part of a broader semiotic struggle over signs and symbols in media representations of social movements. 2012). 2010. Mattoni. Routledge. 2004. 2012). the . 2011) to guide me in the analysis of how the cityscape is used in the videos as a canvas for the protesters to tell their stories of police brutality and injustice. First. Video Selection Within the abundance of videos that deal with the deaths of the three men circulating on YouTube. without making generalizing claims concerning its ‘‘effects’’ or impact on viewers and their agency (Couldry. YouTube attracts and supports a number of specific (in this case political) practices which are addressed as situated and contingent dynamics. For these purposes. the signifying practices around the three deaths in these videos are seen to revolve around a multimodal ensemble of semiotic resources (Kress. Kress & van Leeuwen. the methodological framework links the concern for human signifying practices in social semiotics with a focus on media-related practices in the study of political activism (see. I seek assistance and inspiration in the work of Barthes (1977. especially in these nonprofessional contexts. I use the notions of geographies of resistance (Pile. A practice-based approach helps us to discriminate between distinct uses of YouTube and modes of engaging with video. Although genres are flexible and unstable entities. 2012. e.g. with the notion of practices at the hub of the study. but with media-related practices (Couldry. In this manner. Semiotics thus provides me with two sets of analytical lenses for approaching the material. Second. 2001).2 Applying the work of Barthes to the study of contemporary news journalism. 1997. I was interested only in those that could be described explicitly as commemoration videos. Zelizer (2010) provides a semiotic framework for analyzing and understanding the aesthetics of death and dying in a contemporary mediascape.Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 111 with media texts or institutions. McCurdy. From an analytical viewpoint.

’’ ‘‘RIP. Also. Laurier. His murder sparked a wave of school occupations. guided by a strategy of purposive sampling to identify cases judged to be typical of the population.g. Rather. ANALYSIS On the afternoon of July 21. With this explorative approach. a 15-year-old boy named Alex Grigoropoulos was shot dead by police in an Athens neighborhood. 1999). only the videos explicitly entitled. I subscribe to the interpretive tradition in qualitative visual methods which aims to provide depth rather than generalizability (see. from the mobilization video which explicitly calls for action. Knoblauch. is united by purpose.. or video presentations as guidelines. .’’ or ‘‘mourning the death of’’ were included in the final set of 36 videos. Baer. Seale. The emerging analytical categories of commemorative modes of video are thus equally distributed across the three cases. & Schnettler. 2008. Rather. In this way. in the process of selection. mixing snippets of broadcast news with archival and user-generated footage. and as distinct from the witness video. Petschke. while allowing for an understanding of these as part of a distinct genre that.112 TINA ASKANIUS commemoration video can be seen as a distinct genre within the melange of videos documenting protest movements. and from videos featuring alternative news of protests. titles. The final population of selected videos is thus by no means exhaustive of the genre. e. the approach is not focused on an explicit comparison between the three events. despite variations.’’ Seven years later. and form. the purposeful sample provides me with a substantial range of video material that demonstrates the contingency and variety within the thematic cluster of videos. tagged or presented with expressions such as ‘‘in tribute to. While the empirical framework builds on three cases of protest events distinct in space and time. Against a set of relatively fixed parameters. Images of the dead body of Carlo Giuliani on Piazza Alimonda continue to haunt accounts of what would become known as ‘‘the battle of Genoa.’’ ‘‘in memory of. a series of brutal clashes between Italian riot police and fractions of the broad coalition of G8 protesters gathered in Genoa culminated in the shooting of a 22-year-old man. the commemorative genre was established by using the user’s own tags. 2001. priority was given to videos made by producers who explicitly stated their affiliation with or support for the counter-summit protests on their channel or video presentation. I consider the different cases as cumulative materials providing similar contexts where parallel practices take place. practice.

2010. the men are martyred and brought together in coinciding representations of their ‘‘spectacles of . put on trial for manslaughter. Sotiris. The trial began on June 18. caught in the ‘‘kettle’’ on his way home from work. After a series of questionable investigations by the UK Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and contradictory forensic reports.3 the police officer was finally. OF MYTHS AND MARTYRS The lives and political trajectories of these three men never crossed. only Carlo Giuliani can be said to have been involved in the global justice movement and to have actively participated in its mass direct actions. Within a short time. in June 2011. The preceding inquest ruled that the officer unlawfully killed Tomlinson. 2012. His death was swiftly attributed by the police to natural causes. with no access to water or toilet facilities. Counter-summit protesters were contained in a small area of the city. On September 17. Here. this time in London. their individual stories are woven together in particular and creative ways through videos that fuse political contestation with vernacular commemoration. and massive street battles between protesters and riot police. In their online afterlives.Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 113 commemoration marches. especially in the rich city centers (Petropoulou. suddenly collapsed and died.’’ The newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson. Public outrage at state repression and police brutality quickly fused with anger at the flawed economic system at the heart of the burgeoning financial crisis. 2010). and of the three. 2012 officer Simon Harwood was fired from the Metropolitan Police Service with immediate effect after a disciplinary hearing found he had committed gross misconduct. however. but a trial jury acquitted him of manslaughter in July 2012. the story of a meaningless police killing became part and parcel of a broader struggle against capitalism and precarious labor conditions. culminating in a general strike by Greek unions and mass demonstrations targeting the symbols of neoliberal globalization and consumerism. by police using a technique known as ‘‘kettling. Fast forward to April 2009. The case would have probably ended had it not been for a snippet of shaky video footage taken by a witness. and the leaders of the G20 convene once again. accidentally capturing Ian Tomlinson’s fatal encounter with a member of the Metropolitan police minutes before his death and showing him being struck repeatedly with a baton and pushed violently to the ground. which was dramatically affecting the lives of ordinary citizens in Greece.



death,’’ claiming access to the past and promising insights into the future in
various ways. Thus, although they contemplate and revisit the past, the
videos do not only point back in time but more notably point forward and
inscribe the names and images of the men in future mobilizations. While
strategies of sequence construction and combinations tie the three men
together visually, the connection between the events is sometimes made by
comments left about videos, such as ‘‘viva carlo viva alexis, u r my brothers’’
(see appendix, Item 4), or by a video being given a certain title or tag. One of
the many ways of linking the death of Alex Grigoropoulos to the aims and
struggles of the global justice movement has been ‘‘jamming-by-tagging,’’ a
practice typical of the opportunities offered by YouTube for individual
expression and influence over how a video is framed and found (van
Zoonen, Vis, & Mihelj, 2010, p. 255). A video entitled ‘‘Another world is
possible – start the riots!’’ (see appendix, Item 16) does not itself address the
death of Alex Grigoropoulos or the riots in Athens as such, but consists of a
short documentary about the global justice movement. This catchphrase
used by and associated with the movement is accompanied by a call for
action to spread the riots beyond Greece and the immediate social struggle
taking place there. Only in the tags and in the textbox presenting the video
is the story of Alex Grigoropoulos raised and construed as part and parcel
of the larger struggle to make ‘‘another world possible’’:
The death of an innocent 15-year-old Greek boy by Police as well as the consequtive (sic)
deaths of several Pakistani migrant workers by racist cops, sparked a mass movement
against police brutality. The Movement for Justice and Equality still goes on. Youth,
students, workers, immigrants – all have taken to the streets to protest against the
conservative Greek government and racist Police Force. (See appendix, Item 16)

When searching online for videos of Alex Grigoropoulos, the user is sure to
find this short documentary in the initial pages of results. As a statement
indicative of how one might respond to the concrete incident and the riots
that took place in Greece at the time, joining the movement is construed
as a possible way of taking action against the injustices witnessed on the
screen. Further, the video ‘‘Fight Capitalism! Block G8!’’ (see appendix,
Item 35) is an example of how the names of both Ian Tomlinson and Carlo
Giuliani are used as tags in a mobilization video for the 2009 G8 summit
taking place in L’Aquila, Italy, some three months after Ian Tomlinson’s
death in London. In YouTube’s wedding of technology and commerce,
jamming-by-tagging becomes one small way for activists to make sense of
what is essentially an apolitical and chaotic platform and to navigate in the
biased search algorithm, which favors commercial content partners over

Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death


user-generated content (for a critique of the use of YouTube for social
activism, see, e.g., Gregory, 2010; Juhasz, 2008). Further, in the video
comments subtle signs and indications of a shared frame of reference
densely saturate the viewers’ responses. This is done by means of short and
simple statements, often in the form of abbreviations such as ‘‘ACAB’’ (All
Cops Are Bastards) followed by a reference to the specific event as
illustrated in this commentary to the video commemorating Grigoropoulos:
‘‘ACAB! 6.12.2008 – We will never forget’’ or as in yet another comment
stating ‘‘A.C.A.B. B Belgium – thnx for your support!! Anger has no
borders y RIP AlexXxXx’’ (see appendix, Item 27). These and similar
comments are markers of both mourning and collective identity, pointing
toward the ‘‘we-ness’’ of a group. In this manner, the death of three men in
different locations across Europe is interwoven in online modes of
commemoration and they are constructed as martyrs fallen prey to the
same enemy. Further pursuing this narrative, I now turn to a more detailed
visual reading of how the dying/dead bodies of the three men are put on
display in the videos.

Dying the ‘‘Street Side Death’’
Zelizer (2010) argues that, in a Western media context, images of death are
controversial and subject to taboo and nuanced regimes of social ethics.
Western societies find it legitimate to portray people in their suffering, but
not in their death. The about-to-die mode represents this distinction, as
news journalism tends to represent death through this visual trope alone
(Zelizer, 2010). In a similar argument, Tait (2009) notes that, while Western
mainstream news media conceal the corpse from public view, the Hollywood
aesthetic of cinematic death is spectacular and entertaining designed to be
enjoyed and consumed. In recent years, however, digital technologies and
online distribution platforms have blurred this distinction, as a new hybrid
genre of documentary imagery of death has emerged online (see, e.g.,
Christensen, 2008; Mortensen, 2009; Papadopoulos, 2009; Tait, 2009). In a
media-saturated society, digital camera technologies and a plethora of
online distribution forms rupture and complicate previous distinctions and
ethics of representing death. In online spaces such as YouTube, Live Leaks,
and Vimeo, global audiences have access to the images of mutilated bodies
and graphic death that have otherwise been censored and withheld from
public gaze, creating what Tait (2009) terms a novel regime of post-mortem



In mainstream media coverage of the deaths of both Carlo Giuliani and
Alex Grigoropoulos, no images of the actual dead bodies were published
(see Perlmutter & Wagner, 2004, for a detailed analysis of press
photography used in the coverage of the Genoa protests). In the
commemoration videos, on the contrary, the graphic nature of these images
is shown in an uncensored form in a media environment where the so called
‘‘breakfast cereal test’’ of mainstream journalism (Zelizer, 2010, p. 19) does
not apply to what or how much is put on display for the viewer to see. In
this manner, whereas the sanitized mainstream media representations tend
to reduce coverage to the ‘‘as if’’ of death, alternative video representations
stage not only impending death or the about-to-die moment, but also
‘‘certain death’’ (Zelizer, 2010, p. 173) in all its ugliness and messiness. The
video representation of what I here term ‘‘the street-side death’’ is one of
certain, rather than impending, death. Using Zelizer’s (2010) vocabulary, it
moves the ‘‘as if’’ to the ‘‘as is’’ of an image.
In some images the spectacle of death and the spatiality of the geopolitical context in which it took place are fused in quite explicit ways. In a
digitally manipulated image, the pool of blood flowing from Carlo
Giuliani’s head has been given the shape of Italy. In addition to indicating
how the life of a young man was lost, this remaking of the iconic Reuters
press photograph suggests to us how an entire nation can become ‘‘a
wounded place that embodies the pain of others and an unreconciled past’’
(Till, 2008, p. 108). Tait (2009) argues that today’s visualizing technologies
have made graphicness a contemporary signifier of realism and authentic
performance. In a sense, putting the dead body on display in its most
uncensored and graphic form seems to be part of the original motive for
making the video and telling the story. This is the real or full story of what
happened in the streets. For this purpose, graphicness is used to encode
realism and as a signifier of veracity, enabling viewers to access the story
that was never fully recorded or conveyed to them. In this manner, a
discourse of truth and authenticity saturates the videos and the way they are
presented in user profiles. However, the videos seem to traffic between fact
and fiction in an elision of the boundaries between the fictional and
documentary aesthetics of death. Not only do the digitally manipulated
photographs, as exemplified above, bring into question where the ‘‘real,’’ the
‘‘as is,’’ of death ends and the digitized ‘‘as if’’ of death and its artistic
reproduction begins. More notably, the amateur cinematographic skills –
the compiling of images within a storyline, cutting and mixing footage, and
adding musical scores to cue the viewer on significant sequences – ultimately
contribute to the fictionalization of the documentary image of death.

Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death


Therefore, in the process of telling the story, providing facts and a fuller
picture, a level of interpretation and creativity is added and the eyewitness
gaze loses it power. Digital reproduction has often been seen to complicate
the evidential claims about visual representations of the world and political
realities, prompting scholars to refer to this as a ‘‘crisis of the index’’ (see,
e.g., Gaines, 2007; Juhasz & Lerner, 2006; Landesman, 2008). Digital visual
technologies and the online video practices of playing with the tenets of fact
and fiction destabilize the already highly contested status of video as truth,
evidence, or document. In this manner, we may want to ask ourselves what
the dual processes of digitization and dramatization do for truth claims and
political aspirations to document and reveal uncensored reality on a
platform which is designed (what is more) to entertain and serve the
corporate imperative of bringing eyeballs to advertisements. Entertainment
draws on fiction and creativity, and in this case is not just a ‘‘neighboring’’
context to political activism, but may well be seen to affect the messages and
knowledge that are outsourced from the platform. This is an example of an
area where the blurring of boundaries between fact and fiction deserves our
continued attention. Let us therefore move on to a consideration of some of
the ethical implications of dubiously situating representations of death at
the juncture of these two modes of address.

The Ethical Witness
In Western cultures, images of death are embedded in an ethical frame of
bearing witness (Chouliaraki, 2006; Zelizer, 2010). Conflicting accounts of
the moral justifications for showing and watching death switch between the
viewpoints that, on the one hand, witnessing a graphic and physically
horrific death lends itself to a voyeuristic or pornographic perversion of
the public, and, on the other, watching and engaging with death may be
considered a moral obligation and a practice in which the media encode the
spectator to watch and act upon what is seen (Papadopoulos, 2009; Tait,
2009). Although the act of putting on display uncensored images of death is
a defining feature of the videos, the commemorative discourse is coupled
with that of political mobilization. The discourse of mobilization is often
made explicit in the final sequence of the video, which contains a direct
address to the viewer and points to a space of potential action: take to the
streets! join this group! look up that website! The images thus make an
appeal for people to do more than just watch and bear witness to death.
Putting on display and watching the graphic deaths of Alex Grigoropoulos



and Carlo Giuliani is construed as a moral duty, with the aesthetics of death
embedded in a sequence of actions and actors in order to emotionally and
morally move the viewer from passive spectatorship into action. From the
perspective of a human rights activist, Gregory (2010) has called attention to
the need to define a new ethics of video practice that address the challenges
of the online remix ethos. In a contemporary mediascape marked by the
ubiquity of camera technologies and mash-up video aesthetics, online videos
that appropriate existing visual representations of public trauma respond to
the immense ethical responsibility the image is burdened with (p. 202).
Endless possibilities of remixing, reappropriating, and recirculating images
encumber the principles of ensuring the integrity of the victim as well as the
role of ‘‘the ethical witness’’ (Gregory, 2010). The remix practices of online
video pull the material farther and farther from its original source testifier
and the point of display. While this transformation may increase the chances
that the footage will actually find an audience, it also beckons the
responsibility of the witness to represent death with ethical integrity
(Gregory, 2010; Guerin & Halas, 2007).
Returning to the 2009 images of the collapsed body of Ian Tomlinson on
Cornhill, a street in London’s financial district, these tell us a different, less
graphic story of death. With no blood or signs of death on the body, death
evades visual representation (Zelizer, 2010). In videos paying tribute to Ian
Tomlinson, the visual language seeking to compensate for the invisibility of
death is built up around images of street memorials at the site of his
collapse and of the memorial rallies and speeches around London in the
aftermath of the G20 protests. Although a few videos include images of his
collapsed body, the narrative primarily focuses on a meticulous documentation of the minutes preceding his death, providing eyewitness accounts as
well as a space for the voice of the grieving family (see, e.g., appendix,
Items 31, 34, 36). In this manner, the story of Ian Tomlinson becomes a
story of empowerment through video. By furnishing visual evidence, the
videos direct renewed attention to a long-standing campaign against police
violence and the criminalization of peaceful protest in Britain. Within this
national campaign, his name is added to the list of people who have died
in recent years in confrontations with, or custody of, the British police
(see, e.g., appendix, Item 29). In the short term, by putting on display Ian
Tomlinson’s death on a London street, the videos facilitate multiple
responses to the local G20 protests of 2009 and bring insights to the
national controversies over British policing tactics. Over time, however,
as the images leave their original context and the immediate debate
they spurred, their recycling in new videos engages viewers in a broader

Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death


struggle for social and economic justice beyond the borders of the United

Fictionalizing Facts
The iteration of images and the commuting of meaning between the three
events demonstrate what Zelizer (2010) terms the contingency and
changeability of certain representations of death, indicating how meaning
does not necessarily settle at an image’s original point of display. Carried by
the voice of the visual, meanings tend to alter over time when put to multiple
uses in new contexts by different people who reactivate and adapt them to
an updated political context. By this token, the images of the three men in
their about-to-die, dying, and post-mortem moments travel across
circumstances. They are transformative, playful, and hypothetical, and
sometimes even internally contradictory (Zelizer, 2010, p. 12). These insights
may assist us in understanding the way in which Alex Grigoropoulos’ death
is associated with counter-summit protests despite the fact that his death
and the subsequent uprisings in Greece (at least in the beginning) had
different origins and aims. Similarly, they may help to explain why Ian
Tomlinson – who was no activist, let alone an anarchist – is commemorated
in the name of anti-capitalism. Critical observers might claim that this is a
case of opportunistic (ab)use of images of dead people and their
posthumous reputation; that these are videos in which random bystanders
are mobilized as martyrs. While this claim may be specious, the aim here is
in any case not to put forward a critique of the (at times) dubious modes of
deploying the images. Rather, from an analytical perspective committed to
understanding the mash-up practices that typify contemporary online video
cultures, what is of concern is not so much the legitimacy of the rationale by
which heroes and epics are constructed, but rather the various creative ways
in which the connections between the three men are made and their stories
told, and by which meaning travels between distinct events and spaces.
We see cases where the factuality of the documentary modes of representing
these events and the broader political struggles they feed into are
jeopardized in order to dramatize and magnify their political implications
and future directions. Death is used as a powerful visual trope to signify the
ultimate price of commitment to a political cause and as a rallying cry for
future mobilization. But, put to a political test, do these images include
instances where video documentation degenerates into propaganda or a
‘‘pornography of grief’’? (Lule, 2012). We have seen examples of how the



digital manipulation of the photographic image of a dead body can
destabilize its status as testimony, while continuing to produce political
augmentation. Again, we may ask whether the dramatization of the
spectacle of death devalues its poignancy and undermines the claims to
veracity made in the videos. These critical questions might encourage a
reading of the staging of dead bodies as apolitical sensationalism, dubiously
preying on the victims and their representational afterlife. However, death is
not detached from context, nor from knowledge. By providing the viewer
with the broader context of their political martyrdom, the videos give
purpose and add sense to the ruthless and graphic portrayal of death and
the publicizing of intimate scenes of grieving families (as exemplified by the
images of the families of Ian Tomlinson and Alex Grigoropoulos at the
funerals and at public memorial rallies). Crying out against the injustice of
these men’s deaths and the illegitimacy of the political system that killed
them, a crime scene is simultaneously charted and tampered with; a crime
both proven and fictionalized. We may consider the emotive and
dramatizing modes of video documentation to be aligned with the
productive overstatement and melodramatic hyperbole that support and
foster the possibility of and hope for action and change. The affective
aesthetics of entertainment should not thus necessarily be seen to deflate the
political efficacy of the video testimony. On the contrary, emotions can
enable action, and the indexical critique inherent in the videos is made ‘‘all
the more poignant through a paradoxical supplement to their apparent
microscopic factuality’’ (Gaines, 2007, p. 9).

The Punctum
As a final consideration of the powers at play in the ‘‘about-to-die’’ image
and the emotional, contingent, and imagined appeal it wields in relation to
the viewer, let us revisit the videos paying tribute to Alex Grigoropoulos.
These videos present the viewer with a slideshow of photographs of what
appears to be a carefree, smiling schoolboy with his whole life ahead of him,
taken in the time preceding the December riots. By situating him in a spatiotemporal setting, unaware of his impending demise, the photograph acts as
what Barthes (1981) has described as the punctum within the stream of
images presented to the viewer in this particular video montage. A certain
poignancy and immediacy is thereby added to the photo and the viewer is
‘‘poked’’ (Barthes, 1981, p. 26) by the certainty of knowing what is
irreversibly to come.

Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death


Rather than relating to any physical or factual details in the photograph,
the punctum points to the more elusive dimension of temporality. The
photograph becomes evidence of what has ceased to be, rather than proof of
what is real. Verisimilitude is downplayed in favor of the subjunctive and
imaginative, the ‘‘as if’’ of the image, by coaxing the viewer into considering
how the story might have ended differently in a scenario of his not being
dead. The punctum is then situated at the junction between a photo’s
symbolic meaning and the purely personal and subjective dimension of an
image that establishes an emotional relationship between the viewer and the
person depicted – the one emotional detail in the image that succeeds in
touching the viewer.
By considering the online afterlife acquired by some representations of
death, we have seen how an image can animate wideranging engagements
with the ‘‘as if,’’ inviting subjunctive considerations of the person depicted
as still alive, or of how his life might have evolved had he been still alive. In a
recent Indymedia posting marking the third anniversary of the Greek riots,
an anonymous author reflects:
I never knew you. I only ever encountered you through your commemoration, from the
very first hours of that Saturday night over 1,000 nights ago up until now. I often try to
imagine what could have become of a life I never crossed paths with. You would
graduate from school. You would perhaps enrol in some university. You would consider
migrating, just like so many of us do. I think you would ponder about the Occupy
movement, too. You would excitedly watch videos pouring in from Tahrir, from
Madrid, from New York and from Oakland. You would say aloud that you
never thought you would live to see such a thing as an Oakland Commune, and
deep inside you would know this is the sweetest of revenge, that none of this would
have ever happened if they hadn’t shot down Oscar Grant. None of this would have
happened if they hadn’t shot down you. I wish you were here to see what the flame
of a candle is like after the candle is blown out. I do miss you, kiddo. (Indymedia,
December 6, 2011)4

This confessional posting, like a letter to the dead boy, bears on Zelizer’s
(2010) ideas of how the third meaning of an image, the ‘‘as if,’’ carries a
person’s posthumous existence into art, poems, short stories, etc. In this
poetic statement, Alex Grigoropoulos’ death is allied with that of Oscar
Grant, a young Afro-American shot dead by police in 2009 in front of
numerous witnesses and a dozen camera phones. Their lost lives are
presented as important pieces in a larger puzzle and as a necessary sacrifice
to the sequence of political events that were to follow in the current wave of
protests taking place throughout the world, from the European austerity
protests to the global Occupy movements.

In liberal democracies. in order to understand how the spectacle of death is staged in the videos through signs and symbols within the cityscape. p. on the other hand. including pacifist and militant ‘‘black bloc’’ tactics (Juris. In this regard. a protest-free ‘‘red zone’’ is set up around the summit venue and other strategic sites considered to be possible targets of militant protesters. which largely function through ‘‘non-verbal spectacular forms of iconic display within the city’’ (Juris. To many of the youth revolting in Athens and beyond. p. especially in city centers (Petropolou. In this sense. To Harvey ‘‘the right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city’’ (Harvey. . 415). While police use tactics such as the partitioning of space. divide the urban terrain of resistance into different spaces to accommodate diverse forms of political expression. Counter-summit protesters.122 TINA ASKANIUS RECLAIMING THE CITY: THE CITY (SCAPE) AS A TERRAIN OF ANTI-CAPITALIST STRUGGLE Having examined how the videos stage the dead/dying body in very explicit ways. 2005). During a global political summit. what was shot down in the student neighborhood of Exarcheia that night in December 2008 was not just a 15-year-old student. In his recent account of how the current financial crisis refocuses politics on the city as a terrain of anticapitalist struggle. Since 9/11. Klocke. 1). 2008). & Gillham. and the use of less-lethal weapons (Noakes. we must first understand the importance of the urban terrain of resistance to the practices of contemporary activism. the rearranging of protesters. Harvey (2012) reminds us that long before the emergence of groups such as Reclaim the Streets or the recent wave of protests by the Occupy movement. I now turn to how death is represented implicitly through the commemorative rituals and symbols spread across the city. as well as the symbolic–expressive aspect of violent performances in protests. However. 2005. but the freedom of all to stroll in the city and their freedom of expression in public spaces – their ‘‘right to the city’’ (Harvey. 2008. 2010). the management of populations and the exercise of power are primarily achieved by controlling the collection of metaphors and messages that dominate urban space. modern cities were central sites of revolutionary politics. the management of space is central to both police and protesters. European cities have become increasingly monitored and citizens experience an extensive policing of everyday life. issues of the spatial manipulation of signs and symbols are essential to understanding the dynamics between resistance and dominance.

This double articulation of the city is reflected aesthetically in the videos by conflicting images of the dystopian. pp. These images of the politicized body summon the notion of body genres as a doorway to understanding the commonalities of visual work engaged with the ‘‘production of outrage’’ to galvanize the spectator into action and mobilize body work (Gaines. Cityscapes in Videoscapes If we then start to chronicle in more detail just how these spatial and bodily practices are recruited as visual tropes and storytelling devices in the videos. Juris (2005) has drawn attention to how newspaper coverage of the demonstrations against the G8 summit in Genoa represented the city predominantly as a victim of wanton destruction. 2007).’’ ‘‘a war torn city. cities parade the cultures of consumer capitalism: these are the targets of the protesters and their destruction or vandalization form recurring tropes in the videos. on the one hand. 92). p. 1999. in which the city is a site of agency and empowerment. p. using the aesthetics of performative violence and its symbolism to drive the narrative forward. body genres are characterized by the way in which the evidentiary status makes its appeal through what Gaines (1999) terms the ‘‘pathos of fact. scenes of bodies clashing and bodies moving as a mass pass by on the screen.’’ ‘‘a depressed and humiliated city’’ (Juris. postmodern city which has succumbed to global consumer capitalism. others are suffering. this innocent victim can be saved if only something is done’’ (Gaines. protesters’ tactics often involve trying to take back the fenced-off areas to set up a peoples’ assembly in a ritualized siege of the red zones. 424–425).’’ In these commemoration videos. the pathos of fact tells us: ‘‘this happened. Within the wider array of activist videos. In image slideshows. and the cityscape construed as a site of resistance and emancipation. the city is personified and lamented. The incessant ideological struggle between the official and the banished. In newspaper headlines such as ‘‘Genoa in a state of death. people died for this. on the other. . Visually. many took to the streets. subaltern city thus becomes particularly evident at the time of global political summits during which cities are showcased as official host venues yet at the same time besieged by protesters strategically targeting their symbols of power and capital (Ibrahim. 2005. These representations stand in startling contrast to how the city and its functions in direct actions are presented in activist videos. 2007. and resistance is crafted through the amalgamated body of the protester and the city. 50).Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 123 2005).

p. In strategies of sequence construction and linking. the videos are part of the ‘‘spatial legacy’’ (1997.’’ In the videos. An alley is designated as a public restroom by protesters corralled and detained during the G20 protests in London. images of these practices take center stage. literally inscribing the power struggle into the material texture of the city. stickers. This visual protest material (Philips. photographs exhibit the messages left by protesters tagging the streets with names. and street memorials to banners. protesters alter the urban landscapes. the videos augment and dramatize the territorial tug-of-war that unfolds in public spaces during demonstrations. From this perspective. tags. Documenting and distributing the images online therefore becomes a way of preserving and archiving the ephemeral ‘‘writing on the wall. The showcasing of these urban spaces in the videos suggests how activist practices seek to simultaneously occupy both the physical and the representational spaces of the protest event – and how online video is used to sustain attention and commitment to the struggle long after the dust has settled in the streets.78) of protest events and form one small component in the wider struggle to contribute to and contest the symbolic meaning of their representational spaces. or a date of death. 1997).124 TINA ASKANIUS we see how some of the most commonly depicted motifs are the residues left by the activists within the cityscape: the various material marks that the demonstrations and their deadly upshots have left around the cities. and stencils are always swiftly removed by the authorities. In the videos. a building facade becomes a message board for recording and testifying to what happened in the street. using the city as a canvas for projecting the spectacle of death. and fly-posters flagging up the names and faces of the victims. The material texture of the city is put to use in a variety of creative ways to build street memorials against large . often at the site where death occurred. tagged commercial billboards. By these means of civil disobedience and semiotic playfulness. Archiving the Ephemeral Street Memorial Representing yet another type of ephemeral visual artefact of the protest event are the many vernacular memorials set up spontaneously in the city. graffiti. initials. These visual expressions in the inner city can fruitfully be seen to map geographies of resistance in urban riots and mass demonstrations (Pile. Threatening the ‘‘spotlessness’’ of dominant ideas. ‘‘jammed’’ street signs. and generally considered as vandalism. 2012) ranges from images of graffiti. In the city.

and collective trauma concurrently become a story of how protesters alter and redefine the urban landscapes of the cities. death has left its marks around the city. 2005). for a short time. and in comment-postings viewers leave ritualized commemorative markers resembling those left on street memorials in offline settings. In the shifts between off-screen and on-screen practices. which inscribe themselves in the long history of political dissent and unrest in that country’s post-dictatorial era. By this token.Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 125 blank walls or fences that. 1996. Within this massive explosion of signs. and pavements in Genoa. formed by candles. death. the global counter-summits in Genoa and London fuse with the localized struggles of the Greek riots. The three place-specific protest events are thereby given broader relevance and a transnational audience on YouTube. and spatial texture. the stories of violence. there is an immediate continuation between the makeshift tombstones and their online appropriations when viewers leave online comments such as ‘‘6-12-08 – never forget’’ or ‘‘RIP – fuck the new world order.’’ echoing the graffiti scattered across the city. Geographically circumscribing the terrain of struggle and carving resistance into its walls. where the streets become sites of radical politics and urban spaces the backdrops against which the men’s dead bodies are depicted. they point to the imagined boundaries of a community and provide indications both of the ‘‘we-ness’’ of a group and of who constitutes the external enemy of this ‘‘we’’ (Melucci. In this manner. Similarly. coordinated demonstrations against global economic summits and associated political elites may be the physical and most visible . written on the walls. CONCLUSIONS While large-scale. but left the spectacle of death engraved into the urban space in which it took place. laid in flowers. these images indicate how the events not only left scars of a trauma inflicted upon a political community. reverberate in the video comments. or engraved into the pavement. In the videos these memorials are recurring features. But as they travel from offline to online spaces. are turned into shrines. Within the videos.’’ scrawled on walls. exclamations such as ‘‘Carlo vive’’ or ‘‘the struggle continues – never forget Carlo Giuliani. posters. these visual territorial markers are used to delineate space between red zones and free zones and to project thoughts onto the urban landscapes. Mouffe. In fact. pavements. In the city. the names of the three dead men are spread across the landscape. they turn from markers of territory into semiotic resources in the symbolic representation of the events.

politics and performance. a semantic drift takes place. and planning of key events takes place online (see. they are removed from their physical location and origin. moving from one space to the other. and events. ambiguity. In the process of becoming signifiers. and given new meaning in online contexts. the cityscape is used as a canvas upon which the protesters tell stories of violence and death. tensions between facts and fiction. obliterated. In this interplay between the events and the online modes of engaging with them. but similarly take on an afterlife in the trails of audio-visual documentation they leave behind in online settings. Protest movements have been situated within a constant struggle between dominant media frames of protester violence versus police violence. so to speak. With the notion of the spectacle of death as a prism for addressing questions of how meaning travels back and forth between representations of three distinct. currently most notable on YouTube. scholars have demonstrated how much of the activity. the analysis demonstrates how the subjunctive voice of the visual can carry an image beyond its denotative and connotative impulse to engage with other contexts. which may otherwise have been rebuffed. recycled. Offering a small window onto broader debates concerning contemporary struggles for visibility and spaces of alternative media practices. emerge. Kavada. and forgotten. For these purposes. protest events across Europe. the images of localized and situated protest events are embedded into a narrative of global resistance in which the original point of display of an image is of little importance to the broader story it seeks to convey. De-territorialized. these commemoration videos seek to challenge trivializing or sensationalizing representations of protest movements by providing street-level accounts of police brutality and repression. as the signs leave the walls and pavements to become embedded in multimodal representations and online mash-up cultures. . viewers. organization. In the ‘‘YouTubification’’ of the events.g. this study demonstrates how YouTube constitutes a key arena in the production. are archived. These digital visual trails took center stage in an analysis demonstrating how the ephemeral visual expressions produced in protests.126 TINA ASKANIUS manifestations of the global justice movement. The playful orchestration of multimodality and the creative appropriation of images adds subjunctive aspirations. rearticulated. 2009). yet interconnected. 2005. e. In this ongoing struggle. remixed. This study demonstrates how protest events not only have a lengthy online trajectory that runs prior to mass direct actions. and emotive layers of dramatization and entertainment to the videos that work concurrently to fictionalize and advance the political struggles unfolding on the screen. della Porta & Mosca..

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P 6/12/2008).youtube. uploaded by user ‘‘ uploaded by user ‘‘ 12. Chris Geo-Greek Revolution/ Riots December 2008 – Alexandros Grigoropoulos. REVENGE!!! BEAT THE BASTARDS (ALEXIS R. uploaded by user ‘‘ktziavos. uploaded by user ‘‘ 8.’’ 4. uploaded by user ‘‘refuseResist7.).com/watch?v=tjqR-8LK4HM 2. uploaded by user ‘‘ a song for Alex’ uploaded by user ‘‘AndreasLovely. riot in’’ http://www.’’ http://www. uploaded by user ‘‘madmanishigh.’’’’ http://www. ALEXANDROS GRIGOROPOULOS tribute: Candle in the Aby – To tragoudi tis monaxias (tribute to alex). ALEXIS GRIGOROPOULOS ANARCHY IN Mourning the death of response ..I. uploaded by user ‘‘crystalpurple.P. Alexis Grigoropoulos R. 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos shot by greek police. ena tragoudi grammeno gia ton Alexi(R.Protest Movements and Spectacles of Death 131 APPENDIX 1.I. uploaded by user ‘‘arxitekton1.’’ uploaded by user ‘‘djchrisgeo.’’ http://www. Alexis Grigoropoulos Official song.’’ http://www. uploaded by user ‘‘mylekadapress.’’ Goodbye Alex! (Aleksandros Grigoropoulos).’’ http://www. Alexis Grigoropoulos uploaded by user ‘‘omlain2542.’’ http://www.’’’’ 6.Grigoropoulos of 10.

youtube.’’ http://www. carlo giuliani – sadness and 19. uploaded by user ‘‘ BV_YRZ0 A tribute to Alexandros and to everything that took place after his unfair death. A Carlo (Blob G8 2001).’’ http://www. Javaspa – Carlo Giuliani. Long Live Brad Will) uploaded by user ‘‘crayrail’’ (Video taken down. uploaded by user ‘‘ JaY uploaded by user ‘‘ .’’ http://www. dedicato a Carlo Giulianiyper non 23.132 TINA ASKANIUS 14. uploaded by user ‘‘mouloukos.’’ uploaded by user ‘‘SirioMc. MUST 22.’’ http://www. 20 luglio 2001–Genova – l’omicidio di Carlo Giuliani. Moving speech at Ian Tomlinson Memorial 16.’’ http://www.’’ http://www. uploaded by user ‘‘seank231. uploaded by user ‘‘PostFactMedia. In memory of Carlo Giuliani (Channel taken down. Alexandros 6-12-2008 – a` sa me´ Stin mnimi tou alexandrouy. uploaded by user ‘‘westclub4’’ (archived 24 02 2009) 17. ermordung Carlo Giuliani uploaded by user ‘‘ LFwGZLPc 15. archived 24-02-2009) 27.’’ http://www. Our First Martyr (Long Live Carlo 20. uploaded by user ‘‘xoroxronos. Italy: A history of 24.’’ 26.’’ http://www. uploaded by user ‘‘meatman. Carlo Giuliani / Los Muertos de Cristo.’’ Tribute to Alexandros Grigopoulos. uploaded by user ‘‘ uploaded by user ‘‘videan99. uploaded by user ‘‘GRAFFITARAS.’’ (Channel taken down) Another world is possible – start the riots. archived 24-02-2009)’’ http://www. Conflict – Carlo Giuliani.

Fight capitalism! Block G8!.youtube.’’ uploaded by user ‘‘G20meltdown. uploaded by user ‘‘G20meltdown. Please don’t forget Ian Tomlinson uploaded by user ‘‘Pantherand politics. Ian Tomlinson’s son speaks. Ian Tomlinson RIP – Police 31.’’ uploaded by user ‘‘bax109ma. uploaded by user ‘‘ Movements and Spectacles of Death 133 30.’’ http://www. Interview with two Eyewitnesses of G20 Death.’’ http://www. Death of Ian Tomlinson – London G20 protest – ‘This is not a democracy’.com/watch?v=WTCwQt3zBq8&feature=feedf 33. uploaded by user ‘‘G20meltdown. uploaded by ‘‘PostFactMedia.’’’’ http://www.’’ 36. G20 Meltdown Death of Ian 32.




the chapter suggests some line of reflections on the production and use of images in social movements. in fact.WHAT WE CAN DO WITH VISUAL ANALYSIS IN SOCIAL MOVEMENT STUDIES: SOME (SELF) REFLECTIONS Donatella della Porta ABSTRACT The chapter starts with some reflections on the different ways in which scholars (implicitly. the choice of logos for research centers. Conflicts and Change. Moving from these experiences to some empirical analysis of the images collected in the place where young activist Carlo Giuliani was killed during a police charge at the counter summit against the G8 in Genoa in 2001. Volume 35. Keywords: Social movement studies. the selection of pictures for presentation slides. protest. or the designing of covers for books all signal not only esthetic tastes but also specific conceptions of their object of studies. 137–144 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. visual analysis Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035010 137 . For social movement scholars. if not explicitly) perform visual analysis in their own work.

if not explicitly) perform visual analysis in our work. Without denying that all decisions referring to symbols can be based on a different mix of instrumental and esthetic reasons. While previous didactical instruments. is the cognitive from the affective. When she delivered several (very beautiful) drafts. the need to find a logo that would testify – even more than any formal institutional decision – to our existence emerged.0. my own experiences made me think that the two aspects are often difficult to disentangle – as. It only became clear to me then how much my esthetic judgment had been influenced by the conception of social movements these logos reproduced. like overhead projectors. I spent the afternoon looking at them all. but also the composition of the consortium. again and again. as they blur the borders between producers and consumers of information. nor purely instrumental: visual images and visions of movements had simply merged into each other. Apparently. is indeed another path of thinking that could be better investigated. with its opportunities and limits. This resonated very much with my current vision of movements as nets of ‘‘explosive’’ streams. Moreover. and met with her to explain my choice. ‘‘explosive’’ picture seemed to reflect the cosmopolitanism of the consortium: the acronym ‘‘Cosmos’’ reflects not only the (increasing) cosmopolitanism of social movements (at least. Another example which came into my mind was the use of pictures about social movements in presentation slides. were somehow hostile to pictures. I asked a Greek artist to design it for us. my choice had been neither purely esthetic. the multicolored. showing how much photos or drawing can communicate by capturing attention and transmitting messages.138 DONATELLA DELLA PORTA Just a few hours before the editors of this special issue reminded me of my promise to contribute a short comment on it. After we founded the Centre On Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) at the European University Institute. If the Web 2. I had a (for me impressive) chance to reflect on visual images. After. from the center out. That new technologies favor images over words. Even the detail of the gradually merging colors at the borders seemed to resonate with my vision of contemporary movements as characterized by the creation of multiple identities in action. The designs showed a sort of explosion of colors in all directions. the ones we have studied most). others have argued. with a few dozen social movement scholars from a few dozen countries. My self-reflexive mood led me then to think about how often we as scholars (implicitly. I chose two. then. recent techniques allow us to take advantage of the synthesizing power of images. does indeed facilitate the spread of information transmitted via images even more than .

A sort of memorial site quickly developed on the square where Carlo died. offered I think a perfect . Once again. to find an appropriate cover for my forthcoming book on clandestine political violence.What We Can Do with Visual Analysis in Social Movement Studies 139 words we can expect different styles of communication – especially in those movements and among those movement activists that use new technologies more. but none hinted at what my analysis in the book was about – long lasting processes. This happened to me. The more general reflection from this experience. when I was approached by Italian colleagues to write a short piece on the ‘‘Piazza Carlo Giuliani. looking at potential candidates from movement and copyleft websites is gratifying: one is often (positively) overwhelmed by the number of pictures. commitment. When searching under ‘‘political violence’’ the images which abounded were of guns. more recently. ragazzo’’ and delivered there). It was much more difficult. hopes y It is not difficult to find pictures of marches in the street or. This I fortunately found later on not in a picture. Furthermore. even those of us who are not specialized in visual analysis sometimes find a topic of research in which visual images are so overwhelming that it is impossible not to consider them. Those images. and linked to this. a square devoted to the memory of the young activist killed by a policeman during the protest against the G8 in 2001 (della Porta. Especially when dealing with progressive social movements. but in a drawing that a social movement scholar and artist kindly agreed to share with me and that indeed graphically reproduced the multiplicity of conflicts from which violence emerges. this seems a line of investigation that can easily be expanded from the scholar-looking-for-cover-image field to how activists address the challenges of transmitting some particular messages through visual images. and some activists took pictures of all the materials left by thousands of visitors (or even sent to ‘‘Piazza Carlo Giuliani. ragazzo’’ in Genoa. fire. for instance. The links to various collections of photos the press had sent did not provide what I was looking for. conflicting motivations. complex relations. A third observation drawn from personal experience: another (often very rewarding) occasion during which even those of us with no special expertise in the field do perform visual analysis is in the selection of cover images for a forthcoming book. blood. occupation of spaces that talks of all these themes. however. carefully reproduced and catalogued. 2005). but also their capacity to transmit messages one wants to convey with the research: pleasure in action. is the different degree of challenges one faces when looking for an effective visual representation for different messages. beyond the already mentioned mix of esthetic and instrumental reasoning.

but ballads by singer-songwriters such as Fabrizio De Andre´ (‘‘it was not death that killed you. a sort of secular shrine to Carlo. died after being hit by a bullet fired by a military policeman. In Genoa – and in Carlo Giuliani Square – some characteristics specific to that thousands-strong movement also emerge.’’ not ‘‘cool’’. The moving and poetic material gathered in Carlo Giuliani Square says much about this movement. First. in their own ways and forms that differ from those used in the 1970s to remember Roberto and Franco. 19–21 July 2001. The many and varied things left in Piazza Carlo Giuliani are extremely telling about some characteristics of the movement. not ‘‘Comrade Carlo’’ but a ‘‘sweet child’’. The warrior is a Gundam warrior drawn with a child’s hand. This is what I wrote then: Genoa. In that collection of visual pieces – which mixed different images and words – I found many insights into the culture of the movement. but I cried for you’). in choices to remember Carlo. Francesco Lo Russo. and the youth participation in it’’ (ibid. 148) The creation of a sort of memorial on the site a protestor was killed is certainly nothing new. often called ‘‘a boy. As I noted. they pay testimony to a movement that does not celebrate violence: flowers and hearts are the dominant symbols. Carlo is ‘‘Carletto. and of a new generation that became socialized in it. The memory of Carlo is ‘‘a memory of a normal person’’. ‘‘For many of them. Their names – Roberto Franceschi.140 DONATELLA DELLA PORTA picture of the characteristic of the emerging movement. The G8 protest is remembered as the first moment of massmedia visibility in Europe of a movement that emerged in the United States with the protests against the WTO in Seattle in November 1999.’’ a ‘‘little prince’’ but not a warrior prince.’’ or even ‘‘Carlettino’’ (‘‘little’’ or ‘‘baby’’ Carlo). and Giorgiana Masi among them – are still recalled and their memory is transmitted by books and songs.’’ ‘‘tender’’. guns are absent.’’ (della Porta. Pietro Bruno. particularly in Italy where so many demonstrators have been killed by police officers or right-wing radicals. In the square where Carlo was killed a place of remembrance was created.’’ not with a clenched fist. he is bid goodbye ‘‘with a kiss.’’ The accompanying music is not military marches. but two bigoted guardsmen y’’) or Ligabue (‘‘Certain . he is a ‘‘little friend.’’ ‘‘affectionate. Franco Serantini. 23 years of age. not a soldier but ‘‘sweet. we dedicated university lecture halls and social centers to them. the same laments were composed and the same tears shed as those described in the notes left in Carlo Giuliani Square (‘I didn’t know you. y on 20 July a military police (Carabinieri) charge against one of the processions authorized by the police marked the beginning of hours of violent clashes between demonstrators and police forces during which Carlo Giuliani. Francesco and Giorgiana. the boy.). p. a ‘‘very good guy. a ‘‘sweet prince.’’ not a great hero. 2005. of ‘‘a guy like us.

There is the occasional circled anarchist A. life ‘‘is a dream’’ (not a mission).’’ even if that something will then be lost or covered up: ‘‘the hat that I left on New Year’s Eve must have blown away. While nonviolence prevails as an ethical or tactical choice in the documents of movement organizations. a train ticket. dignity. hope.’’ In these images.’’ A visual analysis of the objects collected where Carlo died also show a movement centered more around values than ideologies. The values recalled are justice (and Carlo’s death ‘‘is not fair’’) and peace.’’ For this reason. ‘‘Between easy things and difficult things I choose things that don’t yet exist. the movement represents itself as a meeting of many individualities that wish to recognize but not dissolve themselves in a collective. a flyer y The railings are visited to ‘‘leave something. spontaneous but harmonious. Those who mention the (then emerging) global justice movement do not present it through references to big theoretical constructions.’’ and to ‘‘be at peace. passion are illnesses. and democracy. hope for a better world. ‘‘Reclaim our right to dream a different.’’ No vendetta is sworn for Carlo: he is wished to ‘‘be well. Where someone reminds us that ‘‘Carlo lives and fights alongside us. this comes through as an internalized value.’’ A faded rose is brought for Carlo: ‘‘I’m writing these two lines. slipping on my shoes and bringing this to you. who died a violent death. ‘‘They try to make us believe that dreams. not even the GIR sticker is here anymore. generationally mixed. and apologies offered for tardiness (‘‘I’m here tonight. to subjectivity. these lines will fade. on Carlo’s railings ‘‘Do not place hope in our violence’’ was written. he is brought a note ‘‘between one train and another.What We Can Do with Visual Analysis in Social Movement Studies 141 nights seem like bad habits you don’t want to quit y’’). This attention to individuality.’’ Dignity and justice are invoked more than socialism or anarchy.’’ Everyday objects are left for him – a greeting scrawled on a CD.’’ those who fight are in any case ‘‘a small people. in messages to Carlo.’’ it seems this will be the result of individuals’ constant and daily efforts rather than taking the palace (or the actions of the ‘‘8 shits’’). dignity. While the idea that a new world could come from revolution and guerrilla tactics was widespread among the generation of the 1970s. 6 days late’’). but many more drawings of flowers. utopias. in equality and solidarity. the promise that ‘‘We won’t make a monument to the memory of you y because you weren’t a paper hero.’’ hugged ‘‘with all the other citizens of the world. wherever you are. faith. better world y’’. the 99Posse and Guccini. but rather by recalling the founding values of justice and peace. is reflected in the offering of words and symbols that recall the everyday. If ‘‘a better world is possible. Meetings are arranged with Carlo.’’ but also the symbols of the fragments of their own subjectivity: .

the diversity of a movement of many souls is also celebrated – ideological and religious. especially. occasionally they agree. occasionally they part ways. and religious communities). in this city that may not be mine. The movement presents itself as multilingual – ‘‘Wir sind alle Carlo Giuliani.’’ a trade union membership card or that of a sport’s club. considered a positive value.’’ there are ‘‘greetings from a Macedonian Rom and all the Rom present all over the world’’ and from ‘‘a Peruvian girl. and the square has become a place to stop. who was lucky enough to study.142 DONATELLA DELLA PORTA ‘‘my father’s certificate of participation in the Resistance.’’ ‘‘El poder corrompe las consciencias. This has always been the case: symbols are particularly important for movements as they need to build identities as well as capture the attention of the media and the public.’’ ‘‘I came from Ostuni. Next to the celebration of ideological diversity is that of the meeting of languages and territories. a place and a temporary non-place – ‘‘I like to stop here. This is all the more so the case now that new technologies have multiplied the chances of producing images and. generational and ethnic diversity. these diverse points of view speak to each other. old redand-blue heart y ’’. At movement meetings and in campaigns.’’ ‘‘Reclaim the World. as Olesen and Askanius’ contributions in this volume underline. but maybe is. one can learn a lot about social movements by analyzing the content of their visual production.’’ ‘‘I came from Rome. ‘‘In the name of Allah. ‘‘courage.1 Origins in many different territories are underlined: ‘‘I came from Florence. Certainly different from the past is the emphasis placed on heterogeneity. the clement’’. Along with the visible subjectivity in all that is gathered in the square.’’ This illustration shows that visual images (and artifacts) offer precious materials to understand cultural (and not only cultural) characteristics of social movements: social movements are formidable producers of visual symbols. The diversity of ideological references is demonstrated in the many membership cards and symbols of belonging left on the railings (CGIL and Padre Pio. Young Communists and Anarchists. On the websites of social . and difference.’’ People arrive in Piazza Carlo Giuliani from many places. multiplicity. visual products perform a most important function. As the interesting pieces included in this edited volume demonstrate. As social movements need and praise visibility.’’ Those who write want to represent themselves in their diverse subjectivities – ‘‘I am Buddhist and I will pray for your peace every day’’. the multiplicity of references seems to pay testimony to contamination rather than appropriation. the merciful. football fan clubs. On the railings in Carlo Giuliani Square. for circulating them.

Not only. In conclusion. 2010). Given their semantic openness (Doerr & Mattoni. The visual analysis of Carlo Giuliani Square also indicates the importance of pluralistic methodological approaches. it is extremely useful for stimulating a more conscious and self-reflective use of visual products in our work. are important topics for further research. the football team Carlo supported. more and more symbols are a collective – choral – product. NOTE 1. Also. visual symbols are easier to agree upon than discourses. even if at the same time demonstrating the importance of acquiring specific knowledge. but are also an instrument of. as Doerr and Teune (2012) argue. or the bridging of social movement studies and semiotics (see Tina Askanius’ chapter in this volume). . but the visual and the written seem to be strictly connected in social movements’ production of symbols – and their combination contributes to the construction of meaning (see also Doerr. Doerr. Even if it will not make all its readers expert visual analysts. esthetic preferences change along with social movements’ cultures. is understanding enhanced by the collaboration of sociologists with art historians.. but may also then constrain them in their actions (Calhoun. visuals are also somewhat vulnerable and open to different interpretations. as for instance the piece by Priska Daphi. this volume shows the richness. 2010). Also. and are easier to synthesize diversity in a common vision. Some strong symbols – such as the statue of liberty for the Chinese student movement in China – contribute to activists’ reflections about themselves. As Luhtakallio’s chapter in this volume illustrates so well. but also the complexity of visual analysis. and Anja Le in this volume shows.What We Can Do with Visual Analysis in Social Movement Studies 143 movement organizations the logos of various campaigns testify to. A reference to the colors of Genoa. The ways in which the different availabilities of specialized skills in different movements and generations impact on this process of symbolic production. the different processes of production of visuals in different social movements form an extremely relevant theme for investigation (see. as Kirsty McLaren’s chapter in this volume clearly illustrates. a ‘‘logocentric’’ approach to visuals can distort both social movements’ actual visual choices. 1994). 2013). e. how it can potentially create or diffuse power structures. and scholars’ interpretations of them. It gives us clues about the how-to-do-it well question. however. Additionally. As the Carlo Giuliani Square illustrates. networking. Peter Ullrich.g.

Politicizing precarity. In K. Berkeley. Wong (Eds. Accessed on 30 January. Klimke. Towards a visual analysis of social movements.144 DONATELLA DELLA PORTA REFERENCES Calhoun. & Teune.). Neither gods nor emperors: Students and the struggle for democracy in China. The imagery of power facing the power of imagery. politics and protest since 1945 (pp. M. A. Fahlenbrach & E. New York. Art. I messaggi di Piazza Alimonda e la nascita di un luogo di identita` collettiva. Stiaccini (Eds. N.qualitative-research. J. NY: Berghahn Books. . Werenskjold. 2013. London: Palgrave. Sivertsen (Eds. resistenti. 30.php/fqs/article/view/1485. Doerr. Scharloth & L. Doerr. The revolution will not be televised? Media and protest movements. CA: University of California Press. Il Movimento in Piazza Carlo Giuliani. 11(2).). (1994).net/index.. The ‘Establishment’ responds: Power. producing visual dialogue on migration: Transnational public spaces in social movements. In F. K. N..). Caffarena & C. Terre di Mezzo (pp. Forum Qualitative Social Research. & Mattoni. Milano. C. S. (2012). Doerr. della Porta. Available at http://www. 43–55). Public spaces and alternative media networks in Europe: The case of the Euro Mayday Parade against precarity. In R. 148–151). (2010). Fragili. D. Fahlenbrach. (2005). (2013). N.


Marc W. Steinberg and Patricia Ewick
In his later works Charles Tilly extended his analysis of contention by
scrutinizing the dynamics of contentious performances and the enactment
of identities through them. Complementing these investigations he
analyzed the centrality of trust networks in sustained challenges to
authority. On a somewhat detached track Tilly developed an examination
of reason giving in social life and more particularly the ways in which
people do critical transactional work through stories, often with the
assessment of credit and blame. In this chapter, we quilt these various
pieces to offer an analysis of how storytelling is vital to the construction of
trust and blame in contentious performances, both in the face of threat
and opportunity. We explain how these later works on storytelling,
identities, and trust can be integrated fruitfully with his many writings on
contention to expand the analysis of its culture dimensions. We draw on

Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements
Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Volume 35, 147–173
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ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035011




three years of field work with a chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, an
organization of Catholics that formed in the wake of the priest sexual
abuse crisis, to exemplify this integration of Tilly’s work. Using data from
field notes and interviews we demonstrate how chapter members engage in
the telling standard stories of origin, legacy and transformation, and trust
in their pursuit of change and in maintaining internal solidarity. We
conclude that our integration of Tilly’s later work can be added to other
perspectives on narrative to broaden the cultural analysis of contention.
Keywords: Charles Tilly; narrative; storytelling; trust;
collective identity

Sitting with Shirley in her well-appointed dining room, we listened to her
account of how she joined the St. Erasmus chapter of the Voice of the
Faithful (VOTF). The VOTF, which we discuss in more detail below, is an
organization of self-defined ‘‘faithful Catholics’’ that originated in the
Boston area in response to the priest sexual abuse crisis in 2002. Shirley was
particularly animated when she recounted her path to becoming one of
St. Erasmus’s more active members in the pursuit of institutional change.
Recalling her initial reactions to the stories in the Boston Globe in early 2002
that ignited the crisis she emphatically noted, ‘‘I believe anything that’s
going on that’s infecting my Church is an aberration. And it’s not the
Church. It’s not what I consider the Church. All of these things that
happened in the Church, I don’t consider it the Church.’’
In recounting her history of participation she drew a bright line between
what she saw as a corrupt hierarchy and faithful Catholics. Her story of her
path to participation was quite similar to the other autobiographical
accounts that we heard both through interviews and in our observations of
chapter meetings over three plus years of fieldwork. These accounts took the
form of what Charles Tilly termed a standard story, which he argued does a
great deal of interactional work in social life including drawing identity
Tilly’s theoretical frameworks on collective action and contention, from
his initial programmatic statement in From Mobilization to Revolution
(1978) to his artful refinements in his perspective on contentious repertoires
in Contentious Performances (2008a), have been a touchstone of collective
action research for decades. Scholars have drawn on his corpus particularly
to find insights into the complex material, structural, and organizational

The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy


dynamics of contention. For all of its centrality scholars have been less
inclined to turn to Tilly’s work to understand the cultural dimensions of
contention; and some might well puzzle over our reference to his work in
discussing Shirley’s autobiographical account above. Indeed, a group of
critics have argued that Tilly paid insufficient attention to the cultural
processes of contention (cf. Goodwin & Jasper, 2004).
In this chapter, we present Tilly’s framework for a cultural analysis
of contention, though we find it in a series of writings that have little to do
with the subject. It is true that Tilly did not pursue extensively an analysis of
the cultural and symbolic work in contentious performances. However,
during his final highly fertile period of publishing he offered pieces of an
analytic framework in writing that did not focus on collective action.
Putting these pieces together can provide significant theoretical insights on
the cultural dynamics of contention. Tilly did not identify this latter work as
providing such pieces, and he might not readily recognize this extension in
the way we assemble them. In this later work he developed a number of
insights on the cultural and cognitive dimensions of political engagement
and social interaction more generally that can serve to expand his longstanding research agenda on collective action. These analyses, such as those
that focus on storytelling and trust, were part of a larger program of
relational realism which he was creating in concert with other sociologists
(Mische, 2011).
We make the case that in a series of books and papers Tilly produced a
theoretical framework on cultural processes that can be braided with his
work on contentious politics to provide a fuller understanding of collective
action and social movements. To date, virtually no social scientists have
made the connections between this body of work and his writings on
contention, nor have they discerned how it offers a fuller cultural dimension
to Tilly’s program for the analysis of contentious politics. Our goals in this
chapter are to present how this work offers insights for the cultural analysis
of contention, as well as to extend some aspects of this framework into areas
not raised by Tilly himself. We focus on Tilly’s writings on storytelling and
trust networks and demonstrate how his discussions of political identities
serve as a bridge between this writing and his corpus on contention. To
fortify this framework we draw on the theoretical insights of other
sociologists who have taken a ‘‘narrative turn.’’ We illustrate these additions
through an analysis of ethnographic fieldwork on the St. Erasmus chapter of
the VOTF. In our analysis we demonstrate how Tilly’s work on identity
processes, storytelling, and trust shed light on the origins and continuing
dynamics of the chapter.

p. and technical explanations. he observed. The specifics of this framework are found outside of his work on contention. His engagement with stories was both based in an epistemological critique of the narrative turn in the social sciences. and commitment on the part of participants. We see his discussion of standard stories as explicitly adding a cultural dimension to such processes that he had not previously discussed. Of course. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK ADDING ONE TILLY TO ANOTHER1 As Tilly deepened and reworked his analysis of contentious politics he was separately developing a largely new intellectual agenda in the analysis of reason giving generally and the role of stories in social life more particularly. p. was accomplished through storytelling by which. 9). coordination. and tend to create path-dependent models that both enable and constrain contentious performances. hence at least by implication what forms of action and interaction would be impossible. desirable. We suggest that members of challenging groups.2 In our analysis below we map out and expand on Tilly’s framework. Such stories. bystanders. and interaction with other actors also winnow and channel. Reason giving exerts important . or ineffectual. By providing wellformulated visions of what is justifiably possible and actionable standard stories partly focus and direct challenges. undesirable. aid in the coordination of participants. but also in an increasing interest in the ways in which storytelling facilitates and constrains political action. and even objects of collective claims’’ (2002. Political actors accomplish much of this interpretive work through standard stories that draw on readily recognizable emplotments to organize people and activities. the other three being conventions. Stitched into networks standard stories clarify boundaries.150 MARC W. opportunity/threat. y create we-they boundaries. and efficacious. are one of four rhetorical devices used to provide reasons. as well as the political entrepreneurs who organize and coordinate them. Stories. y political organizers spend a significant part of their effort on the creation and broadcast of collective standard stories that will facilitate communication. ‘‘embody ideas concerning what forms of action and interaction are feasible. and maneuver to suppress competing models’’ (2003. are also involved in the process of generating these stories. 612). throughout his extensive analysis Tilly also argued that resources. internal organization. ‘‘political entrepreneurs draw together credible stories from available cultural materials. codes. The construction of political identities. activate both stories and boundaries as a function of current political circumstances. Tilly informs us in Why? (2006). allies.

Their core concerns are the material.’’ and contention rarely concerns the simple and perfunctory (2006. emphasis in the original). within which people set valued. Tilly provides several hints for why stories play an outsized role in contentious action. it makes sense that the critical identity work of commitment and the evaluation of risk is . structural. or failures of others’’ (2005a. People develop and maintain these networks in part through transactional commitments which are most successfully maintained when actors ‘‘mark. p. long-term resources and enterprises at risk of malfeasance. and more specifically the dynamics of de/democratization. maintain and monitor sharp boundaries between insiders and outsiders’’ (2005a. 109). His primary concern in Trust and Rule (2005a) and Democracy (2007) was to map the transactional politics between rulers and ruled. A call for justice ‘‘concentrates on knitting the offended community back together’’ (2008b. the importance of which he had discussed elsewhere in analyzing the dynamics of political identities (1998. competence. in Tilly’s conception. This discussion of boundary work echoes in Tilly’s analyses of trust networks which he published during the same period. Most generally he notes that. 15). and repair these relations or in the creation of new ties (2006. Through stories we assign credit. 173). and responsibility in recognizable accounts. All these in turn support his examination of contention performances in unstated ways. 12. Yet his analysis of trust networks resonates with his inquiries into storytelling and the dynamics of collective identity. p. In these works contentious performances and political identities are certainly broached. negotiate. 27). stories take over the bulk of relational work. and in the case of contention more importantly blame. 57). Thus storytelling. but their cultural dimensions are not a focus. 2003). p. and thus lend themselves to moral evaluations’’ (2008b.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 151 effects on social relations through its capacity to confirm. consisting mainly of strong ties. ‘‘When life gets complicated. mistakes. p. p. Trust networks ‘‘consist of ramified interpersonal connections. While it is possible that actors accomplish some of this boundary work through conventions and codes. Here discussions of political identities and blame fold into one another. More specifically stories ‘‘include strong imputations of responsibility. and interactional dynamics of state politics that are hallmarks of Tilly’s wideranging analyses on this topic. p. Stories also mark a ‘‘membership in a shared community of belief’’ (2006. centrally involves the construction and maintenance of a collective identity necessary for contention. by assessing agency. p. consequential. 21). as Tilly notes in the latter case that stories of blame sharpen us/them boundaries in the search for justice. or challenge.

Others. 608). focus on material changes. 182). He was not concerned with their etiology. However. repairing. concentrate on the changing patterns of interaction. His analyses do not detail how members of trust networks communicate their sense of boundaries and mutual attraction. Tilly’s work on standard stories and storytelling provides important keys to these cultural processes. First. 59–60. and as he argues identity is communicated through ‘‘a set of stories about the boundary and the relations’’ that compose it (Tilly. and stories about the whole ensemble’’ (2005b. p. mitigating the sense of risk members may have in joining with unfamiliar others and participating in a contentious group. we can surmise that the viscosity of trust internally in part varies by the standard stories challengers relate to themselves to demarcate clear boundaries and a collective identity. 2003. As he notes elsewhere. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK accomplished through stories. These represent analytic continuity with his prior huge corpus. such as the sequestering of resources. p. Integrating and expanding on Tilly’s work we maintain that the evaluative aspect of stories makes them an important vehicle for establishing. they also organize social relations on each side of the boundary. . It also involves how individuals and groups assess what he notes in many of his works on contention is the balance between opportunity and threat as actors chart the territory of contention. Tilly raised but did not systematically pursue these cultural processes. Some. Heightened trust requires the regular sharing of standard stories. emphasizing mostly the mechanisms that change the scope and character of trust networks. Tilly’s focus on trust networks largely started with the assumption of their existence among a delimited group engaged in public politics with authorities. such as the dissolution or insulation of dyads and cliques. As we have noted above shared membership is about drawing boundaries. His efforts focused on shifts in recurrent patterns of interaction to explain variations in trust. and maintaining trust. ‘‘When people put a political boundary in place. and this brings to the forefront perspectives that we are developing in his later writings (2005a. We see these processes operating both internally in interactions among challengers and externally in their interactions with powerholders. from Tilly’s discussion of contentious politics. pp. relations across the boundary. or the creation of a charismatic leader – highlight shifts into the symbolic dynamics of recognition. the enhanced connections with supply sources and the increase of available resources.152 MARC W. the reason giving they use to clarify and simplify the complex interactions through which trust is maintained. a matter of identity. But a third group – including the sharpening of boundaries. that is. 71–76). heightened mutual attraction.

This work on trust and storytelling thus provides the gateway for using Tilly’s insights beyond the realm of state politics. concern the rise of modern social movements and the pursuit of reform (see Tilly. his writing on storytelling extended the analysis of repertoires of contentious performances further into the cultural realm. By bringing together Tilly’s work on stories. in the assignment of blame and the pursuit of justice. and commitment. capital. To the degree that the challengers’ goal is to recuperate relations with powerholders – that is. Yet many of his most significant conceptual and empirical works. and trust networks. engage in a reform agenda – storytelling can signal opportunities for change as well as remind them of shared risks. This is the case in terms of creating collective identities necessary for internal solidarity. It explained how storytelling facilitates strategic interaction with powerholders.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 153 Second. pp. As Emirbayer and Goodwin (1994) have observed. His attention is not on how challengers engage in collective action for the purposes of re-establishing trust with powerholders on a new footing (2005a. As we noted. not the least of which is his classic Popular Contention in Great Britain. 30–43). a comprehensive analysis of network dynamics requires an understanding of how cultural and social structures interanimate network action. 2004 for an overview). The recognition of risk activates an understanding of the possibilities for betrayal. which in turn can motivate a recuperation of ties through the establishment of trust. 1758–1834 (1995). reason giving. enabling and constraining relations . and in efforts to negotiate or repair relations with powerholders. challengers can attempt to recuperate and reconstitute relations that were axiomatically constructed as benevolent. We also wish to extend this perspective on trust. While Tilly centered his work on state politics (for which he was critiqued by other scholars). identities. Under assumed benevolence the risk of malfeasance is essentially unrecognized. Standard stories provide a framework to discern opportunity/threat in interactional politics with powerholders. As we explore in our analysis below. In these key works he details the development of new repertoires of collective action through which mass challenges pursue reform politics and inclusion in the polity. we suggest that the construction of trust is a frequent concern of contention in other aspects of associational life. we show how this integration further extends cultural analysis within his relational realist perspective on contention. Tilly explores the ways in which trust networks can be configured within different political regimes based on coercion. This in part is accomplished by generating new bases for trust between challengers and powerholders.

Francesca Polletta highlights the ways in which activists are constrained by the social organization of storytelling. 3. Codes. Ewick and Silbey in their work on narratives of resistance. However. 2006. the institutional rules that govern the process. A growing number of scholars have focused on the ways identity construction is accomplished through narrative. pp. Owens. 31). Polletta proposed that through the emplotments in the stories activists create and sustain continuity of collective identities (Polletta. 1998a. 1998b. 2004b) has documented the ways in which storytelling was a vehicle for transnational solidarity among Catholic peace . 614). STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK between actors (see also White. argues that through the processual and relational process of narrative. 664.154 MARC W. 2002. 13. 24–25. 169. pp. 2007. and perhaps even technical explanations can also be part of transactional work giving meaning to trust networks. p. p. see also Davis 2002. 2009. 140–141.3 Sharon Erikson Nepstad (2001. ‘‘people construct identities (however multiple and changing) by locating themselves or being located within a repertoire of emplotted stories’’ (1994. p. and the stock of available canonical emplotments through which activists can make sense of contention (Polletta. 34. note that ‘‘narratives exist and have meaning only within networks of storytellers and audiences’’ (2003. pp. 2008). p. We agree and further suggest that the conceptual framework offered by Tilly on storytelling. Margaret Somers. pp. p. for example. PARALLELS BETWEEN TILLY’S WORK AND OTHER NARRATIVE ANALYSTS In his analysis of the decline of the Amsterdam squatters’ movement. 424. identity. finds parallels with other work on narrative to expand the analysis of contentious performances. Similarly. Sociologists who analyze the role of narrative in social life emphasize the degree to which the stories we tell are social processes that are bounded both by social structures and cultural schema. p. 8. 22. This resonates with Tilly’s conception of standard stories and their relational bases. 25–26). In her analyses of narratives and social movements. p. Loseke. Lynn Owens suggests that Tilly’s work on reason giving dovetails with his own perspective on how narrative is centrally involved with social movement decline (2009. conventions. 35). it seems likely that from Tilly’s perspective storytelling is often the main process linking the cultural dynamics of reason giving and identity and boundary setting to the dynamics of networks and contentious interaction. and trust networks. in her discussion of ontological narrativity. 1342). 2002.

Tilly’s insights on storytelling. 2002. 1341. opportunity. much as Tilly’s simile of contentious performance as improvisational jazz. 1995). Somers. p. and they can be combined in a framework that . audiences and institutional settings. and trust share many of these ideas. Polletta. Adding to his framework we observe that these evaluative viewpoints have a temporal progression that can align a past injustice with a prospective resolution.4 Drawing in part on the work of Hayden White. 1995. 1343. 2003. ‘‘Stories thus change in the course of interaction to reflect the experiences and interpretations of others. 26. or the transposition of external narratives to challenge or discredit the dominant storyline. pp. Poletta. 172–176). p. 133.5 In Ann Mische’s (2009. 1998) terms. 12. p. Godart & White. 28. that provide reasons for contention. 2009. Owens. as Owens observes. Fine. 579. 31). their invitation to participation and their recognition of the flow of time stories call forth more tellings. Emirbayer & Mische. p. 2003. storytelling in contention involves projectivity. 33. 17). p. 2009. 1995. 2002. p. 2003. identities. 264. Owens. 2010. In these and related arguments social scientists explore how storytelling provides a framework for animating social networks and structuring groupness. and signals boundaries through which collective claims and decision making can be mapped (Davis. 2007. are vehicles for assigning credit. and threat. 12–14. 2007. Polletta notes that within specific institutional contexts the ‘‘gap between story and reality is likely to be seen as a ground for mobilization’’ (2006. p. 1995. 2002. and more importantly blame. p. 2006. pp. p. 19. 1994. Narrative change is ongoing because stories are rarely told once or to only one audience’’ (Ewick & Silbey. these sociologists also emphasize that stories convey moral reasoning (Davis. p. 130. etc. p. 666. Ewick & Silbey. Challengers’ stories are keyed to strategy.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 155 activists. Loseke. 2002. 29). p. Finally. p. see also Fine. the social work groups do to imagine a future. boundaries. However. Mische. reason giving. Stories in this sense. In these cases the perceived failings of powerholders’ canonical institutional stories invite revision of these narratives. pp. 617. 201. 25– 28). and the boundaries of recognized emplotment that are found in standard stories. pp. identity processes. To be a coherent guide to contention they must have a stickiness that anchors constructions of moral reasoning. pp. In these instances ‘‘hegemonic tales’’ can be reworked into ‘‘subversive stories’’ (Ewick & Silbey. Through their ambiguity. storytelling as a transactional and contextual practice involves retelling and sometimes reinterpretation. ‘‘narratives can only bend so far before they break’’ (2009. 133. as Tilly argues. Loseke. see also Davis.

Our point in this chapter is not to provide a comprehensive typology of the possibilities. There are many possible resolutions sought by challengers. p. In these cases challengers might tell stories of trust. narratives of how relations with powerholders could be or are being recuperated. Much of the contention that we study is understood through such stories. Their storytelling collectively projects a possible future in which betrayal has been overcome. one such subset being the rebalancing and reparation of ties with powerholders noted in our discussion of trust. They tie narratives of the past and those of present troubles to an imagined resolution.6 Stories of legacy and transformation are the retrospective and projective narratives which give emplotment to action into the future. To rework Tilly’s consideration of standard stories and reason giving just a bit we can envision many types of stories told during contention. Stories of origin.’’ transforming them into ‘‘subversive stories’’ as we discussed. we suggest how Tilly’s later work can be integrated into a coherent analytical framework and used to advance and extend discussions of the dynamics of narrative in social movements in fruitful ways. since they offer these foundational cultural components. Generally there are what Owen terms origin stories. TELLING STORIES We pursue the cultural framework we have identified in Tilly’s work through an analysis of the observations and stories that we have collected in . transformation and trust by no means exhaust the range of narratives. setting out a standard account of the bases for the groups’ existence (2009.7 This is the process of projectivity we mentioned above. Rather. Challengers can tell these stories to reorganize their interactional politics with powerholders on a reformulated and reformed basis. They provide the seedbed for other stories during contentious action. We concentrate on a few here. These are stories of trouble that prompt action.156 MARC W. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK offers additional insights into the cultural work of contention. 44). They are narratives of inequity or injustice in which the identities of protagonists and antagonists are clearly distinguished and morally marked concerning an issue that requires resolution. One way of telling such stories is the appropriation of standard institutional stories that function as ‘‘hegemonic tales. Some of these stories involve a ‘‘history of the present’’ in which current efforts and hopes for the future are embedded in an alternative history providing legitimacy and continuity.

pp. (b) to aid priests of integrity (those who spoke out against the abuses and cover-up and support reformers). It was like a virus infecting your home y I was so angry when all of this happened. and a smaller group of 30–40 regular participants stabilized (Patricia. France. 2004. Erasmus. The Globe coverage served as what James Jasper (1997. It’s just something that you can’t tolerate in an institution you want to claim. At the suggestion of the widely acknowledged leader of the nascent group it met weekly.8 In May the pastor of St. 2011. at another point in our interview with us. 60–61). ‘‘born amidst an explosive mixture of heartbreak and rage’’ as one of its founders. and (c) to pursue ‘‘structural change’’ within the Church (Muller & Kenney. but the meetings coalesced into a VOTF affiliate and the group took on the three planks as its focus. The origin stories that we have heard concerning the chapter emphasize the immediate emotional response to the Globe coverage. 2002). members’ initial reasons to participate were based in a strong sense of moral violation. Change the Church. As we noted a number of Boston-area Catholics coalesced quickly in early 2002 in response to the Globe series on serial priest abuse of children and the coverup by the archdiocese (Bruce. sensed the well of emotions among his parishioners. In February informal discussion sessions. p.9 He responded to the requests by several people who would become critical to the VOTF chapter. passionately observed. Sarah). These initial sessions drew perhaps 200 people.’’ Repeatedly we heard . it was an outrage. and started a series of listening sessions for the laity to express their concerns. Shirley.’’ had settled on three broad goals that have remained its cornerstones. 56). 2004.10 According to the origin stories of the group. As Victoria recounted to us ‘‘Basically people came and they vented.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 157 three plus years of fieldwork on a chapter of the Voice of the Faithful. ‘‘And this type of thing was just. describes it (Muller & Kenney. and were a somewhat stormy forum for expression. terribly raw feelings. Within six weeks of its formation the organization. involving hundreds of area Catholics. 2004. 1995) has termed a ‘‘moral shock’’. were started at St. Affiliates began to proliferate around the region. The VOTF emerged quickly from these discussions. and many chapters emerged throughout New England and New York. both of the national organization and the affiliate we are studying: (a) to support survivors of abuse. a parish in suburban Boston. James Muller. Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe.’’ In these initial meetings long lists of concerns and grievances were compiled. John the Evangelist church in Wellesley. Jasper & Poulsen. a public event that be culturally condensed into readily interpretable account that calls for change. And people ranted and cried y just terribly. Shirley. whose motto became ‘‘Keep the Faith.

it has become a standard story in Tilly’s sense. . 2011). always were held in very high esteem. a simple injunction that ‘‘It must never happen again’’ (Meetings June 2.’’ (Loretta) ‘‘I just can’t tell you how outraged I was. St. These were to expose and prevent any further violation of children by corrupt Church authorities and. who during meetings recalled her motivation for involvement. characterized herself as part of the ‘‘clean-up crew’’ and received nodding assents by others in discussions (Meetings January 8. The origin stories that we have heard at the group’s meetings and in interviews share several features.’’ (Grace) In these origin stories. Erasmus VOTFers describe how they experienced a kind of gutpunch that prompted action as much or more in the immediacy of the moral emotions than the news provoked as reasoned response:11 ‘‘Just you know. April 5. with priests that you know. and then in a nascent VOTF chapter broadly focused on the three planks in an effort to repair the damage to their beloved institution. 2008. the moral outrage of faithful Catholics became a foundation on which they developed activist identities. to save ‘‘their Church’’ that was central to their lives. 2009. To the extent that the large majority of members tell some version of this story.158 MARC W. Both VOTF leaders and the chapter’s members produced a standard story that provided boundaries for identity and justifiable reaction. Almost all of these stories highlight the ways in which previously unconnected Church members coalesce first in the listening sessions. they drew clear boundaries between themselves and the corrupt priests and hierarchy who violated the sanctity of ‘‘their Church. From the Globe’s revelations in early 2002 onward. Most offer a storyline of a faithful and quiescent Church member spurred to action by moral outrage and by the sense that ‘‘something’’ must be done. Members are portrayed as being motivated by a resolve. Several members have articulated the moral impetus of the group and the continuing purpose at its heart.’’ (Nancy) ‘‘Something should be done to change the church. y I mean I was really angry. in the process. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK other St. 2009. As we quoted Shirley at the beginning of this chapter (and as members have recounted their participation to us and expressed themselves at the weekly meetings). and that it is also recounted by leaders past and present. horror. November 10.’’ Another member. May 9. Disgust that this kind of thing could go on you know. January 12. Erasmus VOTFers confronted moral cleavages and created origin stories that were previously unimaginable. 2010).

Erasmus VOTFers draw between themselves and other lay members is complex and shifts over time. We still have all the other things and that’s the key. As Nancy reflected on her transformation. ‘‘I was essentially a passive Catholic before. First. In her narrative Sarah expressed such sentiments. ‘‘We still have all the prayers. 2011). 2009 Meetings). despite the fact that many filled public roles in parish life over the years. They were not well-connected with those who would eventually become their activist community. That being faithful Catholics I think. They sharply distinguish between themselves and their allies and those who perpetrated and concealed the abuse. And part of our strength that we haven’t given that up. many offer a before-and-after representation of themselves. However. Erasmus. November 10. These comparable accounts of how the revelations individually gave members impetus to join highlight both how the . and obey’’ Catholics. with early 2002 representing a critical temporal demarcation. pray. A number emphasized that they did not have the inclination for activism nor a personal history of it. most St. the divisions that St.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 159 There are several facets of the social work that members accomplish through these origin stories worth emphasizing. The tragedy pushed us’’ (Meeting. 2008. February 2. This marked boundary has been fortified over the years as new cases of abuse and cover-up have been revealed. This standard story serves as a maker of personal and collective transformation in what Somers terms an ontological narrative. Victoria. Erasmus members draw clear boundaries concerning their individual and collective identities in at least two ways. in their reflections on their VOTF participation and their Catholicity more generally. through our three plus years of observations they continually returned to their origin story to draw a bright line between themselves and the corrupt authorities in the Church who they hold responsible. In this sense these origin stories articulate a ‘‘membership in a shared community of belief’’ in Tilly’s terms. As Phil noted during one meeting. And at various times (both during interviews and in meetings) these VOTFers express this temporal division by noting that they previously had been ‘‘pay. but not a shared interpersonal history. 2008). June 2. November 10. ‘‘I’m not a joiner. okay? But we’ve reintegrated or transformed y a lot by the tragedy.’’ Many members note a shared history of parish participation at St. Additionally. I’m definitely not. In a similar vein most of these VOTFers note in their stories that they made their initial forays into the listening sessions alone. Then y you just did the pay. As we argue elsewhere (Steinberg & Ewick. pray and obey thing’’ (also Phil. We still have all the rituals. cementing the veracity of their origin story.

into a cohesive agentic group. Over the three years of our fieldwork we have noted the strong ties between St.160 MARC W. Silbey. the origin stories articulate a moral and institutional efficacy for members as ‘‘faithful Catholics’’. Polletta. There has been some shift in content toward issues of governance and its transformation. cultivating faith and spirituality. And as Tilly observed standard stories are vital in establishing and maintaining networks. By the time that we arrived the working group meetings were on the wane. Erasmus members and their external networks to both other locals and national activists. They assign responsibility for the crisis to a set of transgressors and delineate the moral reasoning through which their actions are assessed. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK institutional Church had pacified them through individuation prior to the revelations. To start. Third. and current issues. and efficacious’’ both in defining the group’s identity and the concerns on which it is founded. We see these origin stories as a cultural process through which this cohesion has been developed and maintained as Owens. as Tilly suggests. and have since disappeared. Nepstad. and others have argued in similar fashion. as Phil termed it. Most members express no detailed plan in the founding of the group beyond coalescing around the three planks of the VOTF. Second. As we saw over the three plus years of field work. and as members have told us about the first six years of the group’s existence. Ewick. the group had a monthly rotation of group activities focusing on working groups concerned with the three planks. the origins stories have consequences through their openness. The open-endedness of the origin stories provides the group with latitude for changes in their activity and even for its prospective accounts of its mission and purpose. within limits it offers the opportunity of pursuing a changing agenda without transgressing the principles of the group’s origins. For the first several years. allowing for the improvisation that Tilly argues is part of repertoires of contentious performances. the stories are flexible enough to bend with the changing context. placing them squarely within the boundaries of mainstream Catholicism. the boundaries of what is ‘‘feasible. As importantly. these stories provide. As Owens. The internal ties activists point to as part of their transformation and the reason for their nine-year existence. the content of the group activities has shifted over time and it continues to do so. and other narrative analysts argue. desirable. but remain a strong channel through which to envision the . and how they have since been pushed by the tragedy. The ambiguity in these origin stories facilitates ongoing participation and cohesiveness in a couple of respects. Representatives from the national office and other speakers to the group have noted that they are a model for all VOTF chapters in this regard.

In so doing they produce legacy stories that are congruent with their stated mission and actions. It is possible to argue that the origin stories offer members a level of ambiguity that both creates an indeterminate horizon and militates against the perceived need for a specific enduring agenda beyond the three planks. 2008). Only one member offered a temporal horizon for the group (she hoped that its work would be finished five years hence) and none provided us with a specific agenda or set of future activities. As Thomas suggested to us in his account of the group: ‘‘We shine light on the truth. Shirley. which we heard occasionally discussed informally or in steering committee meetings. Erasmus VOTFers we have heard or interviewed are deeply committed to this individual and collective identity. Probably no two of whom agree on what it is we need to do. But we still say it’s a situation that has to be addressed. Tricia Bruce (2011) argues that members seek a delicate balance between portraying themselves at the same time as change agents and ‘‘faithful Catholics. We suggest that the ways in which individual and collective identities are constructed through the standard story of the group’s origin allows members room for accommodation and maneuver. Meeting. and the history of Vatican II – to establish a narrative continuity .The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 161 justifiable and the feasible. And not well and we don’t know how to respond to it. And we come together as a group of people. Erasmus VOTfers have noted unease among those core activists who are most centrally concerned with assisting the survivors and those who gravitate toward the other planks (particularly structural change) (Grace.’’ By returning to the origin story and the group’s purpose to ‘‘shine the light on truth’’ they outwardly reaffirm common goals as they informally navigate their differences. March 12. you know? The appropriate and adequate response doesn’t exist yet.’’ At various points some St. During the three years we observed their weekly meetings a number were devoted to retelling Church history – including the origins of Christianity. Thomas. These have never become public divisions or seriously tested the cohesion of the group. One way in which this identity can be articulated is through the retelling of Church history. During our interviews we asked members what they saw as the future or the VOTF and what they anticipated that their chapter would be doing in five years. The openness of the origin stories provides some leeway to navigate internal differences within the group.’’ The substantial majority of St. In her analysis of the VOTF as an intrainstitutional movement. But {we} come every Monday. the history of the American Church. These focus principally on the balance of emphases between the three planks and the substantive meaning of ‘‘structural change. They depicted subterranean tensions that never actually surface in the weekly meetings.

2011). These stories are partly appropriated and refashioned as legacy stories that legitimize challengers’ activities. February 2. Typically they raised Vatican II to observe that they follow their mission in the Church as baptized. November 26. For these members the history of the Council became a ‘‘history of the present. in which the passive obedience to the hierarchy expected in their early years was indeed a thing of the past (Meetings October 29. adult responsible laity. May 9. 2007). In this sense the gap between official history and stories of recent events opened possibilities for alternate interpretations of institutional standard stories of Church history. They highlighted the ways in which the Council had defined all within the Church as the ‘‘People of God’’ and noted their responsibility to exercise informed. Legacy stories of these ‘‘golden years’’ are told by these long-time parishioners to mark a historical congruency with their present activities. Erasmus activists had been members of the parish from its inception in the 1960s during the tenure of its first pastor. In doing so they also constructed a history. Monsignor Valance. The meetings provided a number of different types of programs to this end. the Constitution of the Role of the Laity in the Modern World. the members’ present. Over the course of three years of fieldwork we heard members at meetings regularly invoke these aspects of Vatican II to define their actions and identities as mainstream given this recent past. A number of members highlighted such ‘‘educational’’ events as highly valuable to them. Retelling this history was another means by which the participatory vision and practice of Vatican II justified their actions. October 1.’’ which partly focused on the transformations emanating from Vatican II (Meetings September 17. 2010. During one meeting Grace warmly remembered the participatory community fostered . Legacy stories marked members’ efforts as congruent with an institutional history and the recent scandal as an aberration. January 5. and their desired future into a whole cloth. they had not been particularly caught up in the transformation (also Meeting July 16. Discussions included the refashioning of the doctrine of Ecumenism.’’ a means of linking their activism with a legitimate institutional past. In the fall of 2007. independent judgment.12 A number of core St. September 15. Many were young mothers whose foremost concern at the time was childrearing. 2008. 2009. August 19. sometimes implicit. April 5. Erasmus VOTFers we interviewed told us that while they were generally aware of Vatican II. A majority of the St. and the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church. 2007). The history of Vatican II was invoked through this process. a former priest and VOTF activist led a series of three meetings to view pieces of a documentary ‘‘The Faith Revolution. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK that knit together the Church’s past. 2007.162 MARC W. for example.

most members arrived to the nascent formation of the group individually. There were ‘‘dialogue homilies’’ during which parishioners could rise and engage the priest. Owen’s. was a usable past through which these activists established the continuity of their current activism and quest for voice. shared by parish members and nonmembers alike. even some who had not been parishioners during that era (Ann. On at least two occasions a church historian from a local college provided an overview of the history of the American Church and its democratic origins (Meetings June 12. First. June 23. In this case Polletta’s. and Silbey’s work provide insights into how standard institutional stories can be appropriated for challenge. Noting the particular history of St. and ‘‘home masses’’ which involved considerable lay participation. Finally. Erasmus as being a reason for the activism in her group Shirley (who was not a parish member) conveyed to us the legacy story she had heard about the opening of the parish: ‘‘They said Monsignor Valance stood in front of the community and said. As we noted.’’ During our interviews a number of other members referenced this history as their understanding of parish participation. Joe. and noted that the early establishment of the Church’s institutional infrastructure was predicated in the idea that bishops should be elected. Let’s talk about how it’s going to be done. In this case Church history is reworked to create a legacy story at variance with the dominant concept of hierarchy in the institutional Church. Barb. not through extant networks which . Polletta argues that a gap between a story and perceived reality can lead activists to create alternative stories. Grace. ‘This is my first parish that I’m pastor of and we have a lot of leeway. Here we extend Tilly’s framework on trust in state politics into another institutional realm. He highlighted the beginnings of American Catholicism in lay control because of the scarcity of priests. Several other parishioners recalled these masses with fondness. At that same meeting Joe recalled how another parish priest had invited parishioners to a seminar on Humanae Vitae and allowed them to engage in a discussion of ‘‘heretical positions’’ on the issue of birth control (Meeting October 1. This parish history. As we noted. we consider two dimensions of storytelling and trust.13 These lectures normalized the VOTF’s quest for greater lay voice in Church governance within a long arc of institutional history. 2007). The St.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 163 by the first pastor. 2007.’ And he involved the whole community. 2008). Eramus chapter participated in the construction of an alternative legacy story of the American Church that was motivated by the gap between the institutional history with which they were long familiar and the institutional crisis to which they were responding. Sarah). there is the issue of how trust developed internally between members of the group. Ewick.

oh my gosh. Now I’m always going to be thinking. Erasmus VOTFers engaged in important transactional work that engendered trust to overcome their uncertainty. in this case trust stories that envision transformation. This repertoire provided members with a transactional process of sharing and solidifying their activist identities and the boundaries around them. as we mentioned. though St. most understood structural change as a process by which the laity could have a ‘‘seat at the table’’ (August 6. but I had no dealing with any of these people. A second dimension concerns storytelling for purposes of reconstituting ties with powerholders. In Tilly’s terms they heightened and equaled mutual attraction that increased the long-term viability of the group. September 15. the pursuit of voice for almost all was anchored in their understanding of themselves as ‘‘faithful’’ and ‘‘mainstream’’ Catholics.164 MARC W. that person said such and such. I was happier when it was quiet. As several members told us. As we heard repeated in meetings and interviews. . A second response focused on the regularity of meetings themselves as inducing commitment over time. including the origin and legacy stories we have analyzed.’’ Many experienced emotional and at times acrimonious listening sessions. ‘‘I recognize some faces. To these we add a repertoire of storytelling. As Grace recollected. In contrast to their placid parish existence prior to the revelations they found themselves in an uncertain territory. periodically there was perception of tension between those members whose primary focus was supporting survivors and those more focused on other issues. ‘‘I remember going home from those listening sessions saying I wish I hadn’t known what people were thinking about. parish life. In addition.14 In sharing accounts of the origins of their participation. and to others in the room who they knew at best only formally from parish participation. One focused on the presence of a strong leader during the first five years of the group. they carried some uncertainty and apprehension concerning their commitment to the organization generally. and cementing confidence in one another. who put tremendous energy into the chapter. When we asked members to explain the remarkable endurance of this group and their weekly meetings we typically received a couple of responses. Erasmus VOTFers sought change. As we noted previously. When you could kneel down next to somebody in church and didn’t know what they were thinking.’’ These VOTFers saw their relative unfamiliarity and the newly charged atmosphere as a potential impediment to continued participation. Sarah echoed the sentiments of others in remembering her initial reaction in the first sessions that. their Catholic biographies and participating in the accumulation of a useable past St. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK they could activate readily to challenge authorities.

I was really nervous.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 165 2008 Meetings). So he was defensive y So Peter says. The members arranged a potluck for the meeting. Well tell us what you hear. VOTFers ‘‘struggle to be an active part of the Church they love. I never felt before like I was wearing a target on my chest. Two stories circulated in many meetings and interviews that hallmarked increasing trust between the group and powerholders. Francis. though in themselves they did not signal the dissolution of the division of the ‘‘faithful’’ and the ‘‘corrupt. 2007. ‘‘he said you know I’d love to meet with you again. was able to put out an invitation to the bishop for a dinner with six members of the chapter. In Tilly’s terms they represented a shift in opportunity/threat that suggested cause for further reformist action. in all my years as a Bishop. 2009). ‘‘he said. He said I really didn’t want to be here. December 1. a key member involved in issues regarding structural change. who had a long-standing relationship with the bishop. We’re not going to be able to talk to each other unless we know what’s bothering you and you know what’s bothering us. The arrangements were made with the assistance Fr. It was therefore quite important for many members that they had a story to tell of some progress in re-establishing trust between themselves and the institutional Church. 2009). the parish pastor. which they perceive regards the VOTF with a great deal of suspicion. one of the people at the table said you know. And I said I know you hear a lot of things about Voice of the Faithful. Erasmus (Meetings November 19. This was a really good meeting y The last meeting he said he’d be willing to talk to [one of the Cardinal’s key administrators]. well I have news for you. I’d like to hear what it is you want from .’’ and this required dialogue so their voices can be heard (May 12. He said I just felt like everybody was aiming at me. As Shirley recounted. until the then recognized leader of the group steered the discussion toward a dialogue on substantive issues.’’ One critical story was of a series of three meetings with an auxiliary bishop. Bishop Ferrer. And he says. which transpired in the St. As Shirley. But I have to say that I think you’re good people and I think you’re sincere. January 12. noted at one anniversary meeting. at the end of the first meeting. Sister Brigette. I never felt like I was so evil that everyone wanted to get me. As Shirley recounted: And I think it was Peter. who was an administrator of the region encompassing St. Grace told us that at the end of the first meeting. Erasmus rectory. to find out what’s going on. Through these stories St. we were really nervous to talk this meeting to talk with you. September 15. well I wasn’t looking forward to this evening. 2008. a core member. Erasmus VOTFers constructed a shared sense of an opening. well that’s why you should be talking to us. too. As the story is told. There was nervousness and tentativeness on all sides. He said.

We got seven of our members on Parish Council. Drawing on Grace’s account of Bishop Ferrer’s reflections. and commenting. They’re serving Communion. projective emplotments in which risk-taking – in terms of their activism and its impact on their standing in the Church as ‘‘mainstream’’ Catholics – generates increased trust and openness with authority. moving beyond the betrayal that they experienced.166 MARC W. departed and were unsure as to how they would be received by their new pastor. They are stories of trust and transformation. since it was the anniversary of his assassination.’’15 Telling these stories is one means through which members can speak to themselves (and perhaps outsiders) concerning a path of reparation that can be pursued. how does he know we’re not a threat to him? My suggestion was. there was a significant warming of relations over time: So we said. Monsignor Valance.’’ Closer to home many members discuss the growing bond between their chapter and Fr. let’s get on this Parish Council. ‘‘It was amazing. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK me.’’ Toward the end of this session she recalled Bishop Ferrer reflecting on the life of Archbishop Romero of El Salvador. And some of the members of that church said to Father Francis. Francis. These stories narrate a possible path of conciliation which facilitates the ‘‘voice’’ so vital to many of the group. They’re taking care of my church. One member noted during an interview that he at first seemed somewhat wary of their activities. It was just extraordinary. However. For many (though not all) members they provide a horizon in which the capacity to reach out leads to a possible growing rapprochement and confidence between Church authority and VOTFers. but they also stretch into the future. those people from Voice of the Faithful are filling my pews. These stories certainly are important for the group to signal its legitimacy vis-a`-vis authority over its history.’’ She also recollected of their final meeting. They’re doing my lectors. ‘‘I pray that I have the courage to step out and to put myself in an uncomfortable position and consider things that I should be considering. Several members expressed to us that they had some concerns over the conservative drift of the parish after the first priest. He was installed after the establishment of the affiliate. finding the ‘‘courage’’ to put . we really don’t want to be in your church because you’ve got those people from Voice of the Faithful there. I’m not getting rid of them. We had a church that was going to be joining with us. as Shirley recounted one of a number of versions of the story. So Father Francis said.’’ And she observed that with accumulation of interactions ‘‘He fell in love with us. Put your names in for the Parish Council. though he had a lesser presence for some years prior. And by the third meeting he was really genuinely glad to see us again.

and the role of narrative. First. boundary making and the development and maintenance of trust that are all vital to the collective action. We offer these not as a complete typology. can be used to analyze how activists projectively reconstruct relations with powerholders as they envision and pursue reform. It provides for the analysis of reason giving. We have focused on the openness of narratives as a means of negotiating group ties. We have sought to broaden this integrated perspective in two ways. In this work we found a program for a fuller cultural analysis to complement and extend Tilly’s substantial corpus on the dynamics of contention. These stories thus illustrate how Tilly’s work on storytelling and trust can be used with and further develop his insights on opportunity/threat. legacy. in conjunction with the work on identities and stories. social movements. Relatedly. we suggested that this writing. . and transformation and trust as conceptually separate (if sometimes empirically overlapping). but as a basis for and an invitation to others to further consider the types of standard stories activists deploy. demonstrating how activists create shared cognitions of risk and opening as they pursue a path of institutional engagement and reform. and trust can be integrated fruitfully with his many writings on contention to create an expanded analytic framework. We see stories of origin. we elaborated on Tilly’s concept of standard stories to think through distinctive types of transactional work accomplished through them. how they can offer a ‘‘history of the present’’ and a projective capacity. More particularly.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 167 themselves in ‘‘an uncomfortable position’’ will have its rewards. and the ways in which standard institutional stories can be appropriated for transformative ends. we observed that Tilly’s focus on trust networks should be extended beyond political regimes to other aspects of associational life where we find contention. addressing particular aspects of the cultural work activists seek to accomplish through storytelling. identities. Second. We have drawn on these perspectives to refine and extend Tilly’s arguments on the work stories do in contention. and their development of and improvisation within repertoires of contention. Tilly proposed a focus on standard stories that activists create and retell as cultural workhorses behind some of these transactional dynamics. This later work is congruent with other sociological work on resistance. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION We have argued that Charles Tilly’s later works on storytelling.

By selectively appropriating the institutional Church history. The staying power of and sense of community in the St. their activism becomes embedded in a much longer flow of what they construct as a ‘‘mainstream’’ history that accords with their activism.168 MARC W. by retelling these stories over the years members have solidified ties of trust internally. Through various programs the affiliate has also constructed a history of the present through which their claims and actions are normalized. By the time we began our fieldwork the St. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK In our analysis of VOTF activists we illustrated this integration and our extensions. and by telling the story of their own parish. Erasmus VOTF had developed a repertoire of standard stories. Through their weekly meetings members circulate these stories. Members have bemoaned their inability to attract younger parishioners. which as Tilly argued is characteristic of repertories of contention. 2010) or ‘‘group styles’’ (Eliasoph & Lichterman. but perhaps one is that the stories they tell do not resonate with younger people. Origin stories figure prominently in this ongoing interactional work. dampen such recruitment. since they provide a template for engaging authority and the future possibility of powerholders listening to their voice. There are many reasons for this mobilization problem. First. 1995. Erasmus chapter over 10 years are found in a complex processes that involve far more than their stories. while providing for members’ continued cohesion. Legacy and transformation stories offer members both a temporal continuity and ‘‘history of the present’’ and a projective component that provides for an envisioned future. In addition. Second. the circulation of these stories involves trust in two respects. creating a repertoire that slowly changes as the context of action changes. which Tilly argued are central aspects of contentious action. and perhaps not to younger parishioners who they claim have a different orientation to the Church. 2003) of a particular activist . It is possible that these stories. perhaps revealing its dialectics. Many have a particular historicity that speaks to members’ generational experiences and understanding of Church life. We have highlighted how storytelling was important interactional work within the regular performances of the group. and a cohesive collective identity constructed through boundary making. stories of trust with the bishop and the pastor are also stories of transformation. In both cases we observed that storytelling is a way of navigating and imaginatively negotiating opportunity and threat. Through them they articulated their moral reasoning by which credit and blame can be assessed and recuperation pursued. There are also some cautionary tales about storytelling dynamics in this analysis. This raises the question of the extent to which ‘‘idiocultures’’ (Fine.

We hope that others will further pursue possibilities for consolidation of Charles Tilly’s extraordinary range of scholarship and consider these and other questions as well. Throughout our fieldwork and interviews we have heard many members express a sense of ambiguity concerning structural change and its pursuit. and are there particular types of stories that have greater tenacity? These are some of the fruitful questions we believe that our integration of Tilly’s work raises. actionable planning and the openness of stories. Bruce argues that VOTFers walk a fine line trying to maintain their identities as ‘‘faithful Catholics’’ as they seek changes in the institutional Church. the telling of stories is embedded in the larger temporality of a group’s history and ongoing activities. and the anonymous reviewers for their comments. That Tilly had distinctive research agendas that were not fully connected is not a new observation. but the projective capacity of these stories is also diminished by this quality. How long can a trust story be told before its projection of possible progress toward reform wanes in the eyes of activists. We also thank the members of the St. Sidney Tarrow (1996) observed that Tilly’s work on nation-state .16 Finally. is whether there is an inverse relationship between concrete. and their effective shelf life is not clear. Ann Mische. As we noted. Erasmus VOTF for their generous and ongoing cooperation without which this research would not be possible. as practiced through stories.The Work Stories Do: Charles Tilly’s Legacy 169 group. then. In addition. We have presented what we see as the foundation for an integration of Tilly’s distinct projects that offers to extend his work on contention. NOTES 1. This case raises the issue of whether stories of trust must have a particular temporality to tie trust networks to authorities. The openness of their origin stories has positive benefits in this regard. Francesca Polletta. Mayer Zald. The stories of trust told concerning Church authority are in a sense date-stamped. the openness of their origin stories – while providing a capaciousness to negotiate differences among members – might have a cost. One possible question this case raises. We invite others to explore further additional possibilities. can be a limiting factor on recruitment or establishing exterior ties. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Jeff Goodwin.

10. since abandoning a narrative can undermine the reason giving that has given collective action its purpose (2009. such as indigenous peoples or feminists y’’ (2001. see Tricia Bruce’s The Faithful Revolution (2011). Elsewhere Tilly (1998) makes a strong case for analyzing the importance of analyzing the social construction of political identities. Most of the St. attend mass regularly. have had professional careers. In their work on narratives and social movements both Owens (2009) and Polletta (2006) note that origin stories often present initial participation by activists as a feeling of being swept up in larger forces. 9. We find parallels between this narrative approach to identity and other discussions of how social ties are activated culturally for contention. pp. 20). The logic of narrativity can be substituted in both cases while maintaining the substance of these arguments. For a thorough analysis of the origins of the VOTF as an intrainstitutional social movement. which is the same thing that happened at Vatican II. 7. p. It would be worth exploring the extent to which the time frames of origin stories determine the temporality of stories of transformation. stories are media through which identities are negotiated’’ (2003. in his signal work on networks and insurgency. 58). p. pp. ‘‘y contentious politics always involves the social construction of politically relevant categories. Characteristically they are college-educated (many having been educated within the Catholic educational system).170 MARC W. Roger Gould. 5. 91–92). 3. Erasmus members are retirees. You had all of . Tilly and Tarrow note in a discussion of culture and identity in contention. ‘‘stories people tell about themselves and their lives constitute and interpret those lives. Brubaker and Cooper argued that a feeling of togetherness is necessary to make groupness actionable (2000. 1341). In refining Tilly’s early work on catnets. whether stories of long-enduring problems lead to prospective stories of the long haul for change ahead. In Dynamics of Contention McAdam. that is. 12. We view his analysis of standard stories and storytelling as providing additional insights as to how these processes work in the cultural realm. 11. STEINBERG AND PATRICIA EWICK formation and that on collective action were what he termed ‘‘Two Tillys’’ because of their lack of integration. 8. As Ewick and Silbey (2003) emphasize acts of resistance are extended temporally and spatially when they inhere in stories. Owens also suggests that activists sometimes stick with such narratives even as they face concrete challenges to them. In our interview with Phil he noted parallels between the formation of the VOTF and the course of Vatican II: ‘‘These were all people talking together and sharing ideas. 2. All identifications are pseudonyms. 15–18). and a number have been members of the parish since its opening in the mid-1960s. are active participants in their parishes and express a deep faith in and commitment to the Catholicism. 4. Relatedly Ewick and Silbey observe that. Erasmus members is similar to that established by a national survey national membership by William D’Antonio and Anthony Pogerelc in 2004 (2007). 6. We discuss the significance of this below. The collective profile of the St. p. maintained that ideological schematics need to be overlain on social networks to make them recognizable as cleavage lines on which contention occurs (1995.

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These variables were all suggested by Tilly’s regime theory. consistent with theory. I analyze two conflicting theories on the selection of contentious tactics: Tilly’s regime theory and Lichbach’s substitution model. Franklin ABSTRACT This study uses Tilly’s concept of repertoires of contention as a lens to examine the utilization of eight distinct contentious tactics. the level of primary school enrollment (measuring state capacity). the range of tactics within campaigns is limited. I develop a measure of tactical fractionalization of 62 contentious campaigns in Latin America. Conflicts and Change. ranging from nonviolent demonstrations to rebellion. 1981–1995 James C. Finally.REPERTOIRES OF CONTENTION AND TACTICAL CHOICE IN LATIN AMERICA. The prevalence of the three repertoires depends a great deal on the regime type in place. compared to the range of tactics found in the country or region as a whole. and the generalized level of repression. and rebellion. Volume 35. and I find that. Contentious challengers show Advances in the Visual Analysis of Social Movements Research in Social Movements. Using an original dataset on Latin America. strikes. Second.1108/S0163-786X(2013)0000035012 175 . 175–208 Copyright r 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0163-786X/doi:10. an examination of the sample shows that the eight contentious tactics tend to coincide into three separate repertoires of contention: protest.

place a great deal of importance on the tactical choices facing challengers to the status quo. This study moves beyond previous efforts in two ways. An examination of the timing and location of the different contentious tactics shows that they tend to coincide in three distinct repertoires: protest. which contradicts the substitution model. I analyze two conflicting . repertoires of contention. strikes vs. Keywords: Contentious politics.’’ One contribution of this paper is to develop a general. relative to the range of tactics used in the country or region. even if we can conclude that tactics of contention are constrained into strong repertoires there is still the question of why particular tactics are used in different times and places and how this changes over time. and rebellion. FRANKLIN no sign of shifting tactics in response to repression of that tactic in the past. Studying eight forms of contention. he lamented that ‘‘[d]espite my repeated calls for empirical verification. This concept is based on Tilly’s observations that contentious actions within any particular time and place tend to focus on a few particular forms that are quite limited compared to the wide range of actions that are theoretically possible. contentious tactics are still not well understood by social scientists. I begin with an assessment of the repertoires of tactics so that we can concentrate the analysis on the most fundamental tactical choices (in this case protest vs. systematic method to assess Tilly’s claims. or falsification of the repertoire idea. and scholars of nonviolent action (see Sharp. Each contentious action takes a particular tactical form out of a broad range of possibilities. Latin America INTRODUCTION Ennis (1987) argued that tactics ‘‘are the essence of collective action’’ (p. First. strikes. I find that challenging groups do tend to specialize in particular tactics. rebellion). yet in the preface of his last book. modification. However. This idea gained traction. social movements. Contentious Performances (2008). Furthermore. 520). Second. This method is applied to an original dataset on contentious challenges in Latin America.176 JAMES C. such as Che Guevara (1998). Charles Tilly (1977) offered the most-cited concept for understanding the types of tactics used by contentious challengers – repertoires of contention. 1973) and practitioners of guerrilla warfare. no one responded with evidence in hand.

1987. 1982. this study is about contentious collective action. 2009. 1983. 2009. does not share Jasper’s discomfort with formal modeling. but he is skeptical of the assumptions underlying this approach and calls for a new approach focusing on strategic dilemmas. Olzak & Uhrig. particularly mobilization. Kowalewski & Schumaker. they typically are referring to the form of contentious collective action that is being applied in a particular event. 2004). Soule. Gamson. and when scholars refer to a contentious tactic. O’Keefe & Schumaker. etc. 2011). 1990. 1981. of course. but you would never know this from the scholarly literature’’ (p. 2003. Stephan & Chenoweth. Smithey. it can take a wide variety of forms. and the best known theory of contentious tactics that focuses on the choices of contentious groups is his substitution model . McCammon. Lichbach (1998) makes a similar division in the literature between a structuralist political opportunity approach and the rational-choice approach of the collective action research program. 1983. occupation. 1976. which encompasses social movements. 1983. 2008). Lichbach (1987) argued that groups shift away from tactics that have been repressed. Shin. Schock. Shorter & Tilly. so much so that ‘‘[p]articipants in social movements make many choices. riots. protest. 1997). 2005. 2009). McAdam. 1983. Snyder & Kelly. Franklin. there is a central conflict between those that emphasize structural factors and those that emphasize agency (Jasper. strike waves. 2008) developed a theory that the patterns in tactics are shaped by regimes. TACTICS AND REPERTOIRES OF CONTENTION Broken down to its essence. Lichbach. Jasper asserts that game theory is the only theoretical approach to address strategy directly and consistently. Olzak & Uhrig. Testing both theories. The study of tactics has been secondary to other topics. 1971. McAdam & Su. 2001. Lichbach. Among explanations for the contentious forms or tactics used. 1987. armed attack. Thus. There are numerous studies that examine tactics as factors that explain overall levels of protest (McAdam. and revolutions (Tarrow. (Ennis. such as demonstration. Jasper argues that the dominant paradigm in social movement theory has essentially been structural. 2002. 2). within the contentious politics literature (Smithey. rebellions. 2001) or protest outcomes (Colby.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 177 theoretical accounts for this variety. The objective of this study is to trace which contentious tactics are used in different situations and explain these patterns. Tilly (2006. the results largely support Tilly’s regime theory and clearly contradict Lichbach’s substitution theory. strike.

each significant pair of actors has its own repertoire’’ (p. as Tilly hypothesizes that ‘‘overwhelmingly public collective contention involves strong repertoires’’ (p. Fourth. 15). ‘‘the more connected the histories of actors outside of contention. Smithey (2009) also identifies these two approaches. and tested. and actor to actor. 2008) argued that contentious actors choose tactics from among a relatively limited and familiar repertoire of contention that varies from place to place. At one end of the continuum is a rigid repertoire in which participants repeat the same routines over and over. This theory will be discussed further. 2006. but they do not allow us to directly determine to what degree contentious actors utilize distinct strong repertoires. There are studies that examine the incidence of different forms of contentious challenges. Tilly identifies seven criteria of strong repertoires. This is not to say that scholars have completely neglected contentious tactics. the more similar their repertoires’’ (p. while the term ‘‘repertoire of contention’’ is often cited. 2006. which he calls the structural paradigm and interactive conflict paradigm. Ekiert & Kubik. proposed by Charles Tilly. Tilly (1977. 60). below. 1987). ‘‘within a set of connected actors. 60). Jasper (2004) recognizes cultural approaches. these patterns are consistent over time. The best known approach to understanding contentious tactics is repertoires of contention. measured at the country-level. Finally. Tilly (2008) lamented the lack of close empirical analysis. particular tactics are preferred in particular times and places. either because challengers pick the most efficient tactic or because they simply follow the emotions of the moment. and sometimes crossnationally (Aminzade. Brockett. Sixth. Smithey also adds a cultural paradigm. with the latter being theoretically the most important. 1989. First. As mentioned above. At the other end is no repertoire. with only gradual change. These help us to understand how and why preferences for contentious tactics vary and change. in which one performance does not predict the next. and Tilly. 2005. Fifth. In between these two are weak repertoires and strong repertoires. Beissinger. nor what . and from this he particularly calls for studying the reciprocal relationships between collective identity and tactics. 2002. Tilly (2008) distinguished four levels of constraint on contentious tactics. over time. Second. 2008). Tarrow. FRANKLIN (Lichbach. 1998. new types of tactics arise from innovation of previously familiar types. which holds that opposition groups change tactics in response to governmental repression. Third. certain tactics that are within the technical reach of groups never occur. contentious actors show that they are conscious of the choice of tactics. 1995. 1995. 1998. 1984. but asserts that they can be just as constraining of agency as structural factors. Lopez-Maya.178 JAMES C. 1978. time to time.

His model suggests that opposition groups will shift away from a tactic that has been repressed. sit-ins and other innovations in the civil rights movement (McAdam. as presented. the analysis presented here moves beyond previous studies by considering competing theories for how groups choose contentious tactics. 2003). the Lichbach theory. again. analyze why particular repertoires prevail in certain times and places. substituting the other contentious tactic. This research moves beyond previous research to determine whether the patterns of contentious tactics in seven Latin American countries are consistent with Tilly’s expectations regarding strong repertoires of contention. While it is possible to combine these overarching paradigms. This will also allow the determination of which tactics tend to be combined in contentious repertoires for these countries. suffrage parades in the U.S. Tilly’s concept of strong repertoires represent something of a compromise between structural and strategic choice perspectives. then. women’s suffrage movement (McCammon. These theories and the corresponding analysis will be further discussed below. I will. and shantytown protests in the U. student divestment movement (Soule. Still. they do not answer the larger question of whether it is the norm for contentious groups to specialize or what the primary repertoires are.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 179 tactics tend to go together in repertoires. first. Tilly’s (2006. Second. but they are not based on an assessment of which tactics combine to form repertoires for contentious actors. There are more focused studies that examine the introduction and diffusion of particular tactics. 1983). while the lack of a repertoire would allow full sway for strategic choice in the selection of contentious tactics. Rigid repertoires imply that tactics are completely determined by structural characteristics. I will. 2008) explanation for why certain repertoires of tactics tend to prevail in particular times and places is structural. Ennis (1987) cites this systematic interrelation of tactics as an important but largely unexamined topic. emphasizing the type of regime in place in a country.S. 1997). The country-level studies of tactics cited above trace the preference for different tactics over time. offers conflicting expectations in regard to the choice of contentious tactics. These are useful for understanding the innovation and specialization involved in repertoires. but. This clearly represents what Smithey (2009) calls the interactive conflict paradigm. . 1995). examine systematically whether particular contentious groups in particular places specialize in particular forms of contention. such as barricades in France (Traugott. Lichbach (1987) developed a formal model of contention that assumes a single opposition group that rationally chooses between two tactics: nonviolent protest and political violence.

The focus of this study. or making demands that require government action. An innovation in this dataset is the gathering of data on individual challenges.1 Indeed. A particular contentious political challenge was identified here as having the same basic demands. and form of contention. and waves of strikes. Brazil. Collective acts involve at least two people. its policies or personnel. The term challenge used here is akin to a contentious ‘‘event’’ (Olzak. such as campaigning for elections and contacting representatives or officials. . such as a campaign. pro-democracy protests. and Venezuela – between 1981 and 1995. contentious political challenges refer to collective.180 JAMES C. this sample offers great diversity in regime types. unconventional actions taken by inhabitants of a country against their government. 1989) or ‘‘contentious gathering’’ or ‘‘contentious performance’’ (Tilly. the data analyzed here allow a more direct assessment of repertoires of contention than other datasets on contentious politics. versus a country or region as a whole. FRANKLIN CONTENTIOUS POLITICAL CHALLENGES IN LATIN AMERICA This investigation of tactics and repertoires uses an original dataset of contentious political challenges that occurred in seven Latin American countries – Argentina. organizers. and a variety of contentious campaigns including civil wars. economic conditions. Naturally. Nicaragua. and for as long as this remains the same (without at least a 24-hour break) it is considered the continuation of the same challenge. The concept of repertoires of contention assumes a more constrained variety of contentious tactics at a more specific unit of analysis. as defined below. Unconventional acts take place outside of the commonly institutionalized methods of policy making and conflict resolution. as described below. Mexico. Chile. The countries were randomly chosen to allow a variety of contexts and avoid relying only on high-conflict cases. Thus. separating challenges in this way depends on how they are described in news reports. while also coding multi-challenge campaigns that share similar challengers and demands. Guatemala. we can assess the presence and content of repertoires by examining the tactics used across multiple contentious challenges. Each of these contentious challenges will take on a particular tactical form. This allows us to determine whether the variety of tactics used in contentious challenges within a campaign are actually limited compared to the country as a whole. 2008). Therefore. This variety in regimes both within and across countries is especially favorable for testing Tilly’s regime theory.

This was based in part on distinctions made in the literature on contentious politics and in part on my attempt to capture the variety of contentious forms found in the news accounts. 1998. I developed an initial typology of eight different forms of contention. DEFINING FORMS OF CONTENTION Before we can study patterns in the use of contentious tactics we must define the different forms of contention to be analyzed. There were many reports in my media sources of additional protests. Violent protests tend to use nonmilitary style weaponry. between violent protests and violent attacks. tactics. weekly or monthly totals of such events were reported. related in part to the stealth versus publicity dilemma. I found 1. . I also used two news archives.. strikes. demands and specific government responses to allow analysis in this and other empirical studies. such as rocks and Molotov cocktails. For this project. there is a fundamental distinction. and in any case these cases would have been omitted from the analysis anyway due to missing data on key variables. it does not indicate the true number of contentious events. Brockett (2005) reports similar problems in his study of Guatemala and Nicaragua using domestic news sources. Helping to guide this is Jasper’s (2004) identification of the two main dilemmas concerning contentious tactics: ‘‘naughty or nice?’’ and stealth versus publicity. but this was highly inconsistent. Among violent contentious actions. 1987). which were reported in only the vaguest manner. In some cases. Lichbach. whereas Sharp (1973) identifies 198 distinct forms of nonviolent action.g. Facts on File and Keesing’s Record of World Events. but echoing Koopmans’ (1998) argument. some scholars analyze violence versus nonviolence (e. Beissinger. Including these cases would have produced a larger sample but it would not necessarily have been more representative of the true frequencies of different types of contentious challenges.319 contentious political challenges that were reported with enough information on actors. or attacks.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 181 Information on contentious challenges was gathered primarily from several full-text news wire services indexed on LexisNexis. and are public. As with all such datasets based on media sources. The most fundamental distinction in terms of ‘‘naughty or nice?’’ is between violence and nonviolence. I believe that it does sample enough events in a consistent way to permit comparison of trends and differences across the sample. On the parsimonious side. Reading every relevant news story that could be found in these sources. There is no single accepted typology.

the property destruction occurs in two different contexts. FRANKLIN meaning that challengers gather in public places in full view of onlookers and authorities. such as calling for government relief from rising food prices. challengers impose sanctions on the targets of their protest by deliberately withdrawing their labor or patronage. In the challenges studied here. and the factor analysis. this only includes strikes that focus on government policy or demand some type of government action. but which I refer to as strikes and boycotts. If people are injured or killed during these sorts of actions. the action must accompany some type of political complaints or demands. First. they are vastly outnumbered by strikes. In violent attacks. attacking a target and then attempting to escape. often announcing grievances or demands. but the vast majority of cases could be clearly distinguished. without hurting any people. Acts of sabotage are clandestine as opposed to the more open. Since the focus of the dataset was contentious political challenges. there are destructive protests that involve destruction of property (typically setting cars or buses on fire) or looting. News accounts typically describe these as riots or protests with clashes. in what Sharp calls noncooperation. supports this division. Some challenges do not physically harm people but deliberately destroy property. strikes by public employees automatically qualify. any hostages taken are eventually released. These are called forceful seizures. in which small groups. In the case of looting. For example. but there are still varying levels of disruption. in terms of actually causing physical harm to people. and they typically act clandestinely. public destructive protests.182 JAMES C. at least for these countries. First. or strikes by employees at private firms that demand an end to austerity policies or an increase in the legal minimum wage. participants use military-style weapons. for the sake . To further break down the ‘‘naughty or nice?’’ continuum. Thus at times. often linked to militant organizations. to be considered a contentious political challenge. The remaining challenges are nonviolent. use explosives to destroy buildings or infrastructure. discussed below. The second form of destructive challenge is sabotage. but instead threaten to use violence. which is relevant again to the ‘‘naughty or nice?’’ continuum. which refer to the seizure by armed challengers of a building and/or hostages without causing any reported physical harm to anyone. There are some contentious actions which combine elements of violent protest and violent attacks. Sharp (1973) distinguished three main types of nonviolent action. To fit this category. they are coded as violent attacks. some challenges fall short of being violent.2 While this category includes boycotts.

with violent attacks being most disruptive and demonstrations being the least. these actions will be referred to simply as strikes. Fearon & Laitin. challengers impose sanctions by intervening in some type of established pattern or institution. If participants in any protest engage in violence. nonviolent occupations often follow a march and feature some elements of demonstrations.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 183 of brevity. Therefore.g. which does not impose any direct sanctions against the target. so I include them under the category of nonviolent intervention. DO CHALLENGERS SPECIALIZE? Tilly’s first. challenges were coded according to the most disruptive category of contention that applied. This was especially the case for strikes that were accompanied by one or more demonstrations. the challenge is considered a violent attack. While hunger strikes are not as directly disruptive. if armed militants take hostages (without reports of injuries or deaths). they were coded as separate events. second. If armed militants hurt or kill people. I refer to these with the more common term demonstrations. and fifth criteria of strong repertoires suggest that a relatively limited range of contentious tactics will be used in particular settings and by particular groups. Furthermore. Second. and blockades of roads. as long as the news story gave sufficient information on the participation in and government response to the strike versus demonstration. The vertical location of tactics in Table 1 is assumed to indicate the relative disruptiveness of actions. each contentious challenge was defined as using predominantly one of these eight tactics. it is considered a violent protest. If the information in news stories allowed a clear distinction. Here. in nonviolent intervention. Sharp considers them to be a method of psychological intervention. 2003. . Sharp’s third type of nonviolent action is nonviolent protest and persuasion. We can assess this by using the Herfindahl–Hirschman concentration index that is commonly used to measure ethno-linguistic fractionalization (e. and the distribution is displayed in Table 1. One important question was what to do with challenges that fit more than one category. This includes sit-ins. nonviolent occupations of public buildings. Where there was not enough information. Thus. but are coded as the more intense category of nonviolent intervention. the challenge is coded as a forceful seizure. but is rather more symbolic in nature.. such cases were divided into separate challenges.

8% 0 0.0% 1 0.1% 12 17.70 4 3. Table 1. Sambanis. 1981–1995.0% 70 100% 0.77 Note: Data gathered by author from multiple media sources.0% 5 7.66 29 18.1% 21 30.5% 12 9.1% 1319 100% 0. Here we see that the tactical fractionalization for the entire sample is 0.9% 71 25.5% 133 47.9% 0 0.6% 24 9.4% 58 46. discussed above.0% 1 1.1% 41 33.9% 7 2.9% 0 0.4% 45 29.3% 2 1.3% 38 13. Contentious Tactic Violent attacks Violent protest Forceful seizures Sabotage Destructive protest Nonviolent intervention Strikes and boycotts Demonstrations Total Tactical fractionalization Arg Brz Chile Guat Mex Nic Ven Total 12 9.0% 36 11.3% 4 1. JAMES C.3% 12 9.0% 20 13. such as a particular contentious campaign.77.79 185 70. also displays the tactical fractionalization scores for each country and for the entire sample.1% 261 100% 0.5% 11 0.8% 132 10.7% 122 100% 0. Here.8% 10 7.71 440 33.4% 0 0.9% 10 3.53 3 4. showing that if we randomly selected two of the 1. and pk indicates the share of tactic k within a particular unit of analysis.3% 281 100% 0.0% 126 100% 0. as it measures the probability that two randomly selected challenges use different forms of contention.48 3 1.0% 6 2.4% 8 2.1% 22 1. 2001) and the distribution of votes or seats among political parties (Taagepera & Shugart.8% 39 25.9% 9 3.3% 27 8.3% 6 3.2% 0 0.319 contentious challenges.8% 1 0.69 204 66.0% 13 8.6% 57 46.8% 305 100% 0.184 Table 1.5% 0 0. The formula is as follows: 12 k X p2k k¼1 where challengers choose among k tactics.0% 151 11.3% 6 2.4% 133 10. 1989). or set of countries.0% 15 4.3% 28 40. country.0% 2 1.9% 2 0.7% 59 4.7% 1 0.2% 154 100% 0.5% 371 28. and it has the advantage of familiarity and an intuitive interpretation.6% 5 4.9% 32 25. there is a 77% probability .8% 1 0. we can call this a tactical fractionalization index.7% 12 4.3% 21 8.1% 25 8.0% 0 0. FRANKLIN Distribution of Contentious Tactics by Country.

Indeed. listed in the appendix. It would also strongly suggest that groups avoid certain tactics that are within their technical reach. Argentina and Brazil showed a higher relative prevalence of strikes. while nonviolent intervention was especially likely in Mexico. Following these definitions resulted in the identification of 62 separate campaigns. While this examination of the distribution of tactics across countries and the entire sample provides a necessary baseline. The other five countries are relatively high in terms of tactical fractionalization. while different groups in different settings will specialize in a different repertoire of actions. and a period of at least 12 months with no challenges marks the end of a campaign. which is significantly below the 0. Violent protest was more common in Chile and Venezuela.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 185 that they would use different forms of contention. This shows that civil war tends to ‘‘crowd out’’ the wide variety of public protest tactics. we see that the main distinction is the far lower tactical fractionalization for the two countries experiencing civil war: Guatemala and Nicaragua. Tilly’s strong repertoire framework predicts that tactical fractionalization would be far lower for specific campaigns than for all of the challenges in a particular country or certainly the whole sample. Looking at the patterns for countries. This would show that particular actors in particular places and times tend to prefer a limited range of tactics. to truly assess the presence of strong repertoires. 121). relative to what we see across the entire region for the entire time period studied. the evidence strongly indicates that groups specialize in limited repertoires of contentious tactics. I identified a contentious challenge as being part of a campaign if it was one of at least three challenges focused on the same demand type.3 Furthermore. campaigns must cover more than a single day. but we can still see different patterns in which types of contentious tactics were most common. Coding the groups involved in contentious challenges is difficult since there may be multiple organizations involved in particular contentious actions.4 Furthermore. The mean tactical fractionalization across all campaigns is 0. or sometimes no formal organizations are mentioned at all in descriptions of challenges. I focus here on particular contentious campaigns. Therefore. leading to a more limited repertoire. every one of the 62 campaigns has a tactical . including at least some continuity in the groups involved.41. coordinated series of episodes involving similar claims on similar or identical targets’’ (p.77 figure for the entire sample of challenges or any of the country-level tactical fractionalization scores. Building upon this. we need to examine whether particular contentious groups in particular settings consistently favor certain contentious tactics. Tilly (2008) defines a campaign as a ‘‘sustained.

3 or greater. as violent attacks. This includes campaigns that exclusively used demonstrations. since they load negatively on both factors. Another characteristic of strong repertoires mentioned by Tilly (2008) is that for a particular set of actors and issues. then. If contentious campaigns have strong repertoires.03. strikes. destructive protest. Virtually all the variance in the distribution of tactics is accounted for by two factors. FRANKLIN fractionalization less than 0. Fig. the tactics used will change relatively little over time. and demonstrations load at 0. Only 3 of the 62 campaigns had tactical fractionalization higher than the corresponding country fractionalization. nonviolent intervention. Once again. Ten of the campaigns have a tactical fractionalization score of 0. and forceful seizures all load highly. allows us to observe which forms of contention tend to occur in the same time and place. using a dataset listing the number of each of the eight forms of contention that occurred in a particular country in a particular year. 1 clearly displays the three separate groups of tactics. WHICH TACTICS GO TOGETHER? There is very little research on which tactics go together to make up repertoires. a public protest repertoire. I conducted a factor analysis of the eight forms of contentious challenges. We can examine this by analyzing the relationship between the duration (in years) and tactical fractionalization of contentious campaigns. whereas all the other factors have negative loadings.7 . the evidence supports the presence of strong repertoires. or nonviolent intervention. indicating that all the associated challenges fit into the same tactical category. This supports the notion that the patterns of contentious actions shown in these seven countries can be grouped into three repertoires: a rebellious repertoire.5 This. and a strike repertoire. The first factor appears to indicate tactics of rebellion.77.6 This leaves strikes and boycotts in their own separate category.186 JAMES C. as duration of a contentious campaign is weakly negatively correlated with tactical fractionalization of the campaign with a Pearson’s r of 0. then we would not expect tactical fractionalization to increase substantially with the duration of the campaign. sabotage. The second underlying factor is public protest. since violent protest. Ennis’ (1987) study of a nuclear disarmament campaign in Massachusetts remains one of the only examinations of this issue. We get similar results if we compare tactical fractionalization among campaigns with the country that they occur in.

and sabotage. is that demonstrations are usually part of campaigns that feature strikes. Examination of campaigns reinforces the sharp division between rebellious tactics and the rest. Indeed.2 Fig.2 –0.6 0.6 0. One distinct finding here. and the rebellious tactics of armed attacks. One of these attests to the difficulty of coding differing forms of violence by prison inmates protesting overcrowding in Brazil. We can gain additional insight on which tactics go together by looking specifically at the 62 contentious campaigns. among the 49 campaigns that include demonstrations.8 1 1.187 Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 0. as the various protest tactics.4 demonstrations 0.1 –0.8 Another mixed campaign involved Argentine military officers that demonstrated publicly against human rights trials before certain military factions carried out mutinies focused on the same issue.2 0. forceful seizures.8 0.2 0. tend to coincide within campaigns. on the one hand. 1. due to the much higher incidence of demonstrations. However. Table 2 shows how often tactics coincide within campaigns. of the 62 campaigns.7 nonviolent intervention destructive protests 0.3 violent protest 0. The three campaigns that most deliberately crossed this line . This table largely reinforces the findings of the factor analysis.2 Factor Loadings for Contentious Tactics.1 0 –0.5 factor 2 0. only 5 combined both rebellious and nonrebellious forms of contention. on the other. 53% of those include nonviolent intervention and only 4% include violent attacks. For instance.4 sabotage forceful seizures violent attacks strikes & boycotts –0. 0 0.4 factor 1 0.3 –0. though. only 39% of campaigns that include demonstrations also include strikes.

holding mass rallies. Finally. and strikes do not so easily or organically spin-off from demonstrations. the contras of Nicaragua began as a group using armed violence to oust the Sandinista government. In sum. and then shifting to ‘‘armed nonviolence’’ in which they kept their weapons but focused more on issuing declarations. In addition. The EZLN is well known for beginning their campaign with armed seizure of cities and towns across Chiapas. any group can stage protests. there is a distinct strike repertoire that typically couples strikes by workers with demonstrations supporting their demands. the factor analysis shows that strike waves have often occurred in different times and places than prominent protest waves in these countries. FRANKLIN Table 2. as well as nonviolent intervention. but strikes tend to be organized by workers. clash with police. or occupy a public space. The latter three forms can easily spin off of demonstrations. but after a peace deal.188 JAMES C. Tactic and Incidence Percentage of Campaigns that also Include Following Tactic dem dem 49 strike 22 nvint 29 destprot 3 vioprot 28 sabotage 5 seiz 3 vioattack 10 86 90 100 82 20 0 20 strike nvint destprot vioprot sabotage seiz vioattack 39 53 36 6 0 10 47 41 52 67 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 4 40 4 0 7 0 11 100 100 36 0 32 0 0 0 100 54 20 33 20 7 0 0 0 0 33 30 67 50 30 Note: Incidence refers to the number of the 62 campaigns that include that tactic. there . While there is overlap here between demonstrations and strikes. Likewise. and taking part in other nonviolent contentious activities (Bob. former contras who felt that they had not received the promised benefits mixed familiar violent attacks on military troops or farming cooperatives with violent protests and nonviolent occupations. 2005). as demonstrators may set fire to cars. involved the Zapatista Army of National Liberation [Eje´rcito Zapatista de Liberacio´n Nacional] (EZLN) of Mexico and two campaigns by former contras of Nicaragua. Coincidence of Contentious Tactics within Campaigns. violent protests. the data presented so far indicate three primary contentious repertoires in Latin America from 1981 to 1995. and occasionally destructive protests. First is the public protest repertoire that includes most prominently demonstrations. Furthermore.

2008). Ekiert & Kubik. Beissinger. This suggests that the . This is largely captured by a democracy versus nondemocracy continuum. Tilly’s theory corresponds with what Smithey (2009) called the structural paradigm and Lichbach corresponds with the interactive conflict paradigm. 1984. 2002. which affect their ability to repress or facilitate opposition tactics. but as presented they offer sharply divergent predictions based on different theoretical assumptions. 1989. Tilly (2006. 1998. 2005. and strikes. Indeed. Lopez-Maya. 1995.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 189 is a rebellion repertoire that includes mostly violent attacks by armed rebels. Brockett. prior studies mentioned above do not provide an analysis of competing theories that explain the use of different repertoires. 2008) asserted that different types of regimes show different patterns in the types of tactics that they repress. such as taking hostages. 149). Second. There are so many potential tactical forms of contention. Tilly. Since we know that challengers in the countries studied here tend to specialize in certain repertoires of contentious tactics. As mentioned above. tolerate. Tarrow. I will focus on the choice of tactics from the three primary repertoires identified above: protest. Following the above analysis. 1998. Regimes also show different state capacities. Tilly’s Regime Theory Tilly (2008) argued that ‘‘repertoires tend to become uniform within regimes’’ (p. 1995. an empirical basis to determine which tactics to study. first. The logic of these theories could be combined to give greater insight into tactical choice. there are previous studies that trace changes in tactics over time and sometimes cross-nationally for a variety of countries (Aminzade. the literature offers a prominent theoretical contrast between Tilly’s regime theory explaining repertoires of contention and Lichbach’s (1987) substitution model of tactical change. What is missing from these studies is. WHY DO CHALLENGERS USE A PARTICULAR SET OF TACTICS? Another important issue is why particular sets of tactics are used and how this changes over time. an important first step is to examine the most fundamental tactical choices. and facilitate. the most fundamental tactical choices are between these repertoires. 2006. rebellion. but also includes acts of sabotage and forceful seizures.

p. Soifer and vom Hau (2008) argue for using Michael Mann’s . Tilly (2006. electoral semi-democracy. with five indicating the worst abuses (Gibney. 2008) assigns countries to high capacity or low capacity categories without formally measuring the concept. 76) though the magnitude of violence should be lower than in low capacity nondemocratic regimes. H2: Countries with high state capacity are less likely to experience rebellion than countries with low state capacity. Alvarez. Cornett. He asserted that low capacity nondemocratic regimes are most likely to experience civil wars. State capacity is a complex concept. This suggests the following hypotheses:9 H1: Countries with democratic regimes are more likely to experience protest and strikes. but when it does occur it takes the form of ‘‘covert use of tolerated performances such as public ceremonies or by deliberate adoption of forbidden performances such as armed attacks’’ (2006. Tilly (2006. FRANKLIN contentious tactics used in a country should be strongly related to the extent of democracy and state capacity. but Vreeland (2008) warns that it partially measures political violence. Cheibub. Since Tilly (2006. The Polity index is often used to measure democracy in quantitative studies.190 JAMES C. including higher levels of violence than high capacity democracies. torture. and murder within a country on a five-point scale. positive correlations with the Polity index and the Przeworski. 2011). while countries with nondemocratic regimes are more likely to experience rebellion. Tilly expected that high capacity democratic regimes would experience the nonviolent tactics typical of social movements. & Wood. I also analyze the Political Terror Scale (PTS). The PTS ratings used here were coded from Amnesty International country reports and measured for the prior year relative to the other variables. High capacity nondemocratic regimes can better repress contention. which measures the degree of political imprisonment. I measure democracy here using Smith’s (2005) annual classifications of Latin American countries as electoral democracy. This indicator shows strong. 2008) asserts that repression is a critical part of the effect of regimes. Low capacity democracies would experience a wide variety of tactics. or nondemocracy. making it unsuitable for this study. and Limongi (2000) scheme for measuring regime type. 2008) also offered more specific predictions based on four fundamental types of regimes.10 I will refer to this aspect of political repression as macro-repression to distinguish it from the micro-level repression considered by Lichbach (1987) and discussed below.

such as Fearon and Laitin (2003) use GDP per capita to measure state capacity. to have an indicator of state infrastructural power that is likely to be less affected by civil war. indeed.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 191 concept of state infrastructural power. extent of road network. and one that is not closely tied to the state’s response to rebellion. This indicates a country’s total enrollment in primary education. Furthermore. then. He assumes that groups choose between two tactics: nonviolent protest and political violence. Moore (1998). divided by the population of the corresponding age group. the opposition will substitute political violence. Soifer (2006). indicating that this category of tactics corresponds with what I refer to as rebellion. Furthermore Mason and Krane (1989) and Goodwin (2001) argue that repression of nonviolent tactics . he develops a formal model of contentious tactics. then. This indicates. Lichbach cites terrorism and military operations by guerrilla movements as examples of political violence. It would be useful. I have chosen primary school gross enrollment ratio to measure state infrastructural power. but Soifer (2008) criticizes this for being a vague and indirect indicator. Substitution Model Lichbach (1987) presents a theory that posits far more frequent shifts in contentious tactics. based on a careful assessment of government responses to previous challenges. regardless of age. 5). and primary enrollment ratio does this by assessing how much of the total school age population is reached by public schools. as described in Franklin (2013). the capability of the state to provide what is virtually a universal duty of modern states. Lichbach hypothesizes that when governments increase repression on nonviolent protest. and vice versa. Most notably for this study. Mann (1988) defined infrastructural power as ‘‘the capacity of the state to actually penetrate civil society. I found that these indicators are positively correlated with the number of armed attacks in the country. found support for Lichbach’s substitution hypothesis. Some authors. Assuming a single opposition confronting a regime. these indicators may actually be higher in states responding to an insurgency than in high capacity states that do not face such a challenge. in a study of Peru and Sri Lanka. Indeed. Soifer (2008) argues for assessing the territorial reach of the state. size of armed forces. However. military aircraft. and government revenue. Goodwin (2001) operationalized this with military expenditures. uses primary school enrollment to measure state strength in Latin America. and to implement logistically political decisions throughout the realm’’ (p.

. discussed above in connection to Tilly’s regime theory. Previous rebellion repressed indicates whether the previous challenge in the country was a rebellious attack that was repressed. In contrast to macro-repression. FRANKLIN encourages oppositions to opt for armed rebellion. In this case. 1981. O’Keefe & Schumaker. 2009. This is micro-repression. Here. Kowalewski & Schumaker. does not specifically discuss strikes. in this case. Lichbach is referring to repression used in response to specific contentious actions. The making of tactical adjustments in response to government repression is not necessarily incompatible with Tilly’s regime theory. Shin. so it stands to reason that challengers will consider this in their choice of tactics. 1983). I coded three dummy variables. 1983. Previous protest repressed indicates whether the previous challenge was a form of protest that was repressed. there is ample evidence that governments often calibrate their responses to the types of tactics used by contentious challengers (Franklin. To test these hypotheses. Moore (2000) turned Lichbach’s substitution model around. While Lichbach. the same logic could apply. Lichbach (1987) is the most prominent alternative to Tilly’s regime theory.192 JAMES C. the substitution hypothesis suggests that the subsequent challenge would be a protest (or perhaps a strike). However. If this was the case (coded as 1). which is in clear contrast to the predictions from Tilly. Lichbach’s theory proposes rapid shifts between tactics that I have found to represent different repertoires. whereas the macrorepression indicators summarize the level of repression for an entire year and change much more gradually. which fluctuates greatly across contentious actions and over time. H4: Challengers will take part in rebellion when a previous protest was repressed. Previous strike repressed indicates whether the previous challenge was a strike that was repressed. the expectation is that the subsequent challenge would be a rebellious challenge (or perhaps a strike). we would expect that the subsequent challenge would be a protest or act of rebellion. like Tilly. as previous repression of strikes should cause challengers to switch to either protest or rebellion. More broadly. arguing that governments choose between repression and accommodation based on how challengers responded to their previous action. H3: Challengers will take part in protest when a previous act of rebellion was repressed. Furthermore.

were the setting of major protest campaigns demanding greater democracy. multinomial logit regression is the appropriate technique.90 (0. adjusted for country-level clustering.75) 34.00 (0.26) 0.88 0.01) 0.62 (0. Multinomial Logit Regression Results for Choice of Contentious Tactics.16) 1.30 (0. Brazil. we have at best partial support for hypothesis 1.01. and strikes.11 Since the dataset has multiple challenges per country. These Table 3. controlling for the others. Since there are three categories of this nominal dependent variable. The regression coefficients are shown in Table 3. and Mexico.33 (1.32 73.7 1.  po0. the standard errors were adjusted for country-level clustering.70) 28. Chile. with Protest as Baseline Category Variable Primary School Enrollment Democracy Political Terror Scale t–1 Previous protest repressed Previous strike repressed Previous rebellion repressed Constant % correctly predicted % error reduction n Strikes Rebellion 0.193 Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America Analysis The analysis examines the choice between the three main types of tactics emphasized earlier in the analysis: protest. Table 4 displays changes in predicted probabilities of choosing the three tactics for each independent variable. as mentioned above.95 (1.94 (0.35 (.09) 0.14 (0.  po0. as measured by the primary school enrollment ratio.83) 5. Contentious Tactic.02) 0. Indeed. two-tailed. The tactics of contention used do seem to be shaped in part by the type of regime and the capacity of the state. Thus.07) 0. .19) 2. but the effect is not statistically significant.12 Democracy somewhat increases the probability that challengers will use protest.07 (0.4 51. rebellion. two-tailed.319 Note: Number on top in each row is the multinomial logit coefficient and number in parentheses is the robust standard error.21 (0.57) 0. To facilitate interpretation of the relationships.96 (0.05. 45% of protests in the sample took place in high capacity authoritarian regimes in Argentina.21) 17. which.

6 8.0 24.4 49. The results in Table 4 show that rebellion is 26. In Guatemala. Schirmer (1998) asserted that due to the brutal massacres of 1982.0 45. and then by placing a more legitimate government nominally in charge. and protest increased.2 57. the trends in rebellion in Nicaragua were also very much shaped by actions in Washington DC as President Reagan and Congressional Democrats clashed over funding for the contra rebels (Walker & Wade. rebellion mostly declined.9 26. In Nicaragua. through repression. However. FRANKLIN Changes in Predicted Probabilities for Contentious Tactics.4 13.5 13. 61).1 71.2 2.  The 95% confidence interval for the estimate excludes 0. However. . first. The results for rebellion are more clearly supportive of Hypothesis 1. Both Schirmer and Jonas (1991) see the elections of 1985 as part of the Guatemalan military’s strategy for defeating the insurgency. JAMES C. 2011).8 27. The military retained significant power.9 Note: These probabilities are calculated holding all other independent variables either at their mean or at 0 for dummy variables. relatively to nondemocracies. with the establishment of democracy. obligating both the guerrilla and the population to flee to the mountains (or to Mexico)’’ (p. but the move to semidemocracy did open new opportunities for protest. which rose as rebellion waned.9 14. Variable (Range) Primary school enrolment Democracy Political terror scale t–1 Previous protest repressed Previous strike repression Previous rebellion repressed Change in Predicted Probability of Contentious Tactic Resulting from Shifting Independent Variable from Minimum to Maximum Value Protest (%) Strikes (%) Rebellion (%) 75.194 Table 4.4% less likely in democracies.3 18. The transition to semi-democratic regimes in Guatemala in 1985 and Nicaragua in 1984 coincided with a decline in rebellion and an increase in protest tactics. the ‘‘subsistence and surveillance base for the guerrilla was destroyed. it would be overly simplistic to say that a regime opening causes challengers to change tactics.4 3. extremely high levels of repression succeeded in lowering the level of rebellion more than two years before elections were held. campaigns peaked under authoritarian regimes and then fell sharply after democratization.3 33.6 93.4 24.

the more likely that challengers will take part in protest and less likely they will use rebellion. . Chile experienced lower rates of strikes in the mid-1980s under an authoritarian regime. and. and rebellion almost 94% less likely in countries at the highest level of primary school enrollment ratio. results point. Here the focus is on micro-repression: repression responding to particular contentious challenges. also supports the strong repertoire concept. and previous repression of rebellion increases the probability that challengers take part in rebellion by 72%. show that challengers are highly likely to stick with the same tactic despite previous targeting of government repression. which predict that repression a particular tactic will impel challengers to change to the other tactic.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 195 The results for primary school enrollment are strongly supportive of Hypothesis 2. measured by the political terror scale. Finally. since economic conditions were much better during this period. but the basic logic suggests that challengers will switch tactics away from strikes after a strike has been repressed. This finding is novel. However. controlling for other factors. relative to the lowest level. Table 4 shows that protest is 75% more likely. The findings. in contrast. Guatemala had by far the lowest mean primary school enrollment ratio (73. to continuity of strikes despite previous repression. which shows that. again. such as strikes. since Tilly did not make specific predictions about strikes as distinct from other forms. This period also saw highly fluctuating GDP growth rates and high inflation in these countries. This is supported by Table 4. mostly after the end of authoritarian regimes. the harsher the repression faced by the country in the previous year. as opposed to responding to fluctuations in micro-repression. Lichbach did not theorize a third tactic. Most of the rebellious challenges in the sample studied here occurred in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Especially large strike waves in Argentina and Brazil occurred in the mid-1980s. and did not experience a surge in strikes after democratization in 1989. strikes are 13% more likely in democracies than in nondemocracies and over 18% more likely in high capacity states. Lichbach (1987) offered a contrasting model that holds that dissidents will shift tactics more frequently than the concept of strong repertoires would lead us to expect. Strikes tend to occur in high capacity democracies. The finding that challengers adjust their tactics to the generalized level of macrorepression.09).6) in the sample and Nicaragua was also generally below the sample mean (100. However. Indeed. indeed. The results clearly contradict Hypotheses 3 and 4. repression of a previous protest increases the likelihood that challengers will choose protest tactics by 33%.

sabotage. FRANKLIN CONCLUSIONS This study offers a preliminary analysis of the tactics that contentious challengers in seven Latin America countries used between 1981 and 1995. sabotage. The analysis here is largely though not completely in support of Tilly’s theory. The next task of this chapter was to explain why groups use particular contentious tactics in particular situations. I began by specifying eight distinct forms of contention: violent attacks. Lichbach (1987) introduced a substitution model which posited that repression of protest will lead a group to switch to political violence and repression of political violence will cause a group to switch to protest. This analysis focuses on the most fundamental tactical differences  the different prevalence of the three repertoires found above. To the contrary. Tilly’s concept of strong repertoires suggests that groups in particular times and places should specialize in certain forms of contention. demonstrations. Contentious challengers show no sign of shifting tactics in response to repression of that tactic in the past. nonviolent intervention. I test this by calculating the tactical fractionalization for 62 contentious campaigns that took place in the countries and years studied here. and forceful seizures). A factor analysis gives clear evidence of three distinct repertoires: protest (including demonstrations. First. and the generalized level of macro-repression. the methods used here should be extended to other datasets covering . forceful seizures. violent protests. 2008) sees shifting of regimes as a major factor in gradual shifting of repertoires. These variables were all suggested by Tilly’s regime theory. and violent protests). and the results clearly contradict the hypotheses. relative to what is available. This research has established interesting and theoretically sensible patterns in the use of contentious tactics. Following Lichbach’s substitution model. the level of primary school enrollment (measuring state capacity). This reveals that the range of contentious tactics used in particular campaigns is. The prevalence of the three repertoires depends a great deal on the regime type in place. The second issue addressed is which tactics tend to coincide in particular times and places to make repertoires. destructive protests. indeed. and rebellion (including violent attacks. strikes. nonviolent intervention.196 JAMES C. I also examined the effect of repression of particular previous contentious tactics. Tilly (2006. and destructive protests. challengers tend to stay within the same repertoire even when those tactics have been repressed. but further research is necessary. quite limited relative to the range of contentious tactics seen in the country or sample as a whole. strikes.

the concept of repertoires of contention assumes that tactical choice is structured. further theorizing is necessary to fully understand the choice of contentious tactics. There appears to be too great a gulf between these tactics to make them realistic substitutes. there might be some other choice-centered theory that better explains tactics. Lichbach (1998). I used Stata to choose a global random sample of countries. gathering data on the seven Latin American . Second. and the anonymous reviewers for RSMCC for their helpful and insightful comments on earlier manuscripts. Tilly’s theory is incomplete. As the immensity of the data collection project became apparent. and most importantly. more focused studies of contentious groups would illuminate more subtle differences in contentious tactics or aspects of tactical decision making that cannot be analyzed in a study of hundreds of contentious groups and challenges. NOTES 1. how do groups decide on a tactic within the protest repertoire? Lichbach (1987) presented his theory as determining the choice between nonviolent protest and rebellion. However. since the actions of police. but there is still variance within a repertoire. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Sidney Tarrow. 2008) and Lichbach (1987) offered contrasting theories. Knowledge of the repertoires and their structural factors provides a basis for the next steps in research on contentious tactics and repertoires. Joseph Young. as Jasper (2004) asserts. Alternatively. This could also further consider the relationship between identity and tactics (see Smithey. I focused on the region I am most familiar with. Whitney Franklin. Indeed. Lichbach’s substitution model could help explain choices within a repertoire. or a radical fringe of protesters can quickly turn a demonstration into a violent melee. Finally. An additional consideration in future research is to what extent organizers can determine tactics within the protest repertoire. At the outset of the project. Tilly (2006. This would help to determine the broader applicability of the methods and the generalizability of the results. For example. However.Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America 197 different countries and regions. Jasper (2004). pro-government thugs. and Smithey (2009) all noted limitations with structural models of contentious politics. and Tilly’s theory was more consistent with the data. 2009).

Factor loadings of 0. 1994). While this suggests further testing. I was satisfied that the seven-country sample produced great variation in terms of regime. The death lotteries were coded as violent attacks (analogous to assassinations). 1994). the Dominican Republic. and Panama. 9. The choice of indicator for state capacity is highly consequential for the results. such as peasants or students. human rights reform. If GDP per capita is used instead of primary school level of development. though in this case it could alternatively be seen as a violent public protest. prodemocracy. 10. FRANKLIN countries chosen in this process. 11. which produces a biased sample (King.’’ 8. education policy reform. This separation between protest and rebellion was also found in an earlier study (Bwy. as discussed above. deadly protest. has a negative. . 3. economic benefits. These occurred at the same time period as an upsurge in strikes that were defined here as political. The main exception was strikes by workers at foreign-owned car factories in Brazil demanding wage increases.politicalterrors cale. I thank Mark Gibney for making the data available at www. these results show additional problems with alternative measures for state capacity. For the mean tactical fractionalization at the contentious campaign-level. The multinomial logit model assumes the independence of irrelevant alternatives.3 or greater are typically seen as significant (Kline. 12. ‘‘Groups’’ here could mean specific organizations. Since this prevented testing of the competing theories. Models with interactive effects were tested using a multiplicative term and using dummy variables. 1968) in an analysis of 65 provincial units spread across Brazil. or similar social groups. Prisoners staged a violent. democracy is no longer a significant factor in explaining rebellion over protest. the analysis was limited to additive models. but we find that rebellion is actually somewhat more likely in countries with a higher tax revenue. though Bwy used the terms ‘‘turmoil’’ and ‘‘internal war. with orthogonal varimax rotation. 2. This is probably due to the greater intercorrelation of democracy and GDP per capita. Hausman and Small-Hsiao tests show no signs that this assumption has been violated. revolution. and then followed it up by murdering two inmates in a ‘‘death lottery’’ to protest the overcrowded. I used the principal factors method. If we use tax revenue as a percent of GDP in place of primary school enrollment. democracy. The vast majority of strikes described in any detail were political. and social reform. 6. population. Cuba. Random selection avoids the fairly common practice of choosing cases based on values of the dependent variable.47. Brockett (2005) noted similar patterns in media strike coverage for Guatemala. unsanitary conditions. The nine demand types are anticorruption. the upper 95% confidence interval is 0. statistically significant relationship with rebellion. again. 7. 4. as defined here. economic policy. 5. One could also test these effects as interactions between democracy and state capacity. and presence of civil war.198 JAMES C. & Verba. environmental protection. Before proceeding with data collection. thus providing a relatively unbiased sample for the region. Keohane. which suggests it is not actually measuring state capacity. but both had estimation problems that prevented the estimation of standard errors for certain variables.

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67 0.202 JAMES C. demanding information Protesting economic conditions Democracy.18 0 0.54 Political parties. youth Argentina Brazil State employees Workers. demanding wage increases Justice for those responsible for HR abuses Opposition to HR trials Against pardons for HR abusers Higher salaries Opposition to IMF and austerity measures End of military rule. sometimes CGT Protesting disappearances. especially UCR and/or Peronists CGT Argentina Mothers. other HR groups Argentina Military Argentina HR groups. end of military rule 0.59 0.44 .38 0.38 0 0.12 0. other human rights groups Labor unions. call for direct presidential elections Protesting prison conditions and mistreatment 0. FRANKLIN APPENDIX: CONTENTIOUS CAMPAIGNS Country Argentina Argentina Argentina Argentina Actors Goals/Demands Tactical Fractionalization Mother of the Plaza de Mayo.28 Protesting austerity policies. sometimes PT Brazil Opposition parties Brazil Prison inmates 0.

44 0. from 1984 on it is mostly Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front Leftist opposition parties. copper miners’ union Unions Leftist rebels.203 Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America Appendix (Continued ) Country Actors Brazil Labor confederations Brazil Brazil Brazil Public employees Port workers Opposition parties.64 0 0.41 . MIR often named at first.54 Release of union leaders.5 0 0 0. unions. often including Goals/Demands Tactical Fractionalization Opposition to economic policies Pay increase Pay increase Impeachment of President Collor de Mello Opposition to economic policies. particularly privatization Pay increase End of military rule 0. students.49 0.71 End of military rule 0. workers Workers. often Democratic Alliance. protesting repression against unions Anti-government 0. leftist parties Brazil Brazil Chile Chile Chile Chile Oil workers’ union Opposition parties (including centrists).

28 0. replacement of Education Minister Protesting austerity policies 0. but without centrist support Various Chile Women Chile Workers confederation CNT Leftist rebels Political prisoners and their supporters Chile Chile Guatemala Guatemala Guatemala Mexico Mexico Leftist guerrillas Mutual Support Group for the Appearance Alive of Our Relatives (GAM) Teachers and students Peasants. university staff. independent Workers’ Union Teachers. Goals/Demands Tactical Fractionalization Protesting murder of 3 PCCh members Denouncing repression Economic reforms and antiPinochet Anti-military Demanding release.64 0 0. protesting their trials Revolution Information on disappeared 0.41 0.44 Pay increase.6 0.204 JAMES C.69 Pay increases. FRANKLIN Appendix (Continued ) Country Actors Chile Popular Democratic Movement (MDP) alliance.57 . protesting 0.44 0. workers. students.56 0.

Peasants and Students of the Tehuantepec Isthmus Students.61 0 0. Coalition of Workers.67 Commemorating 1968 massacre. leftists Mexico PAN Mexico Various groups Mexico Students at National Autonomous University Mexico Farmers.38 .205 Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America Appendix (Continued ) Country Actors Goals/Demands planned closure of teachers’ college Mexico National Education Workers’ Coordinator Workers at governmentowned uranium company COCEI. opposition to plans to shut down company Struggle with PRI over who will govern town of Juchitan 0.63 0. Chihuahua Peasant Mexico Mexico Tactical Fractionalization Pay increase. protesting repression Protesting fraudulent local and state elections Demanding relief and investigations following earthquake Opposition to reforms to increase fees and use standardized admissions tests Protesting low food prices offered by 0.64 0.32 0.

calling for electoral reforms Opposition to new policies that cut pensions and delay retirements Social and electoral reform.206 JAMES C.58 .44 0.67 0.64 0.36 0. FRANKLIN Appendix (Continued ) Country Actors Goals/Demands Mexico Organizations Front Opposition parties Mexico Leftist parties Mexico Oil workers’ union Mexico Teachers. antiNAFTA Tactical Fractionalization 0.5 0 0.63 0. dismissal of leadership of official teachers’ union Protesting fraudulent local and state elections Protesting fraudulent elections. dissident teachers’ union (CNTE) Mexico PAN Mexico PRD Mexico Teachers Mexico EZLN and its supporters government food company Protesting validity of 1988 presidential election Protesting fraudulent local and state elections Protesting arrest of union leaders Pay increase.

13 0.2 0. censorship. and their supporters Sandinista-backed union Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua Overthrow of Sandinista government Overthrow of Sandinista government Anti-government. improved working conditions Maintaining Sandinista economic reforms. Democratic Coordinator.64 0. auto mechanics. or ARDE Upset about peasant uprising and land invasions Lower interest rates Wage increase Mexico Nicaragua Nicaragua Miskito opposition groups Nicaragua Opposition parties. FDN. protesting repression. wage increase 0 0. including Social Christian Party Families of draftees.57 . constitution Opposition to draft Higher wages.44 0.44 Mexico El Barzon debtors’ movement Power workers and sympathizers Contra rebels. opposition parties Construction workers.207 Repertoires of Contention and Tactical Choice in Latin America Appendix (Continued ) Country Actors Goals/Demands Tactical Fractionalization Mexico Ranchers.67 0. farmers 0. opposition to new economic policies.44 0.

38 . demand their release from prison or better conditions 0. resignation of President Perez Share their criticism of government.42 0. FRANKLIN Appendix (Continued ) Country Nicaragua Nicaragua Nicaragua Actors Goals/Demands Tactical Fractionalization Former contras (sometimes including former Sandinistas) Former contras (sometimes including former Sandinistas) Former Sandinista soldiers Demanding benefits promised in peace deal Demanding benefits promised in peace deal Demanding benefits promised in peace deal Protesting transport fare increases and repression of earlier student protests Opposition to austerity measures announced on 2/27/89 Opposition to economic policies and repression.32 Venezuela University students Venezuela Variety of citizen groups Venezuela Students.61 0.52 0 0.61 0. teachers.208 JAMES C. opposition parties Venezuela Supporters of coup plotters 0.

Collective Identity Across Borders: Bridging Local and Transnational Memories in the Italian and German Global Justice Movements. Donatella della Porta is professor of sociology in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute. Her recent work within this area has been published in international journals such as Journal of E-politics. Palgrave.) Democracy in Social Movements. Cambridge University Press. (Ed. Anti-Austerity Protest. Her recent publications include: (2013). Sweden. Voices from the valley. (with Massimiliano Andretta. Oxford University Press. The global justice movement. and Interface: a journal for and about social movements. Among her recent publications are: (with M. Priska Daphi has an MSc in political sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA summa cum laude from the University College Maastricht in the Netherlands. Approaches and methodologies in the social sciences (with Michael Keating). Caiani). Understanding European Movements: New Social Movements. Global Justice Struggles. 2009. Social movements and Europeanization. (2011) Soziale Bewegungen und Kollektive Identita¨t. Routledge. Lorenzo Mosca and Herbert Reiter). Her research addresses processes of cooperation and collective identity construction across geographical distance and socio-cultural difference. Journal of Electronic Governance. Paradigm. 24(4).) Another Europe. (Ed. London/New York: Routledge. Voices from the Streat Berghan. In Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen. Germany) and holds a scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation. Forschungsstand und Forschungslu¨cken (Social Movements and Collective Identity: State and Gaps of Research). 2009. particularly in social movements. Currently. (with Gianni Piazza). 2009. Her research concerns social movement media practices with a particular focus on contemporary forms of video activism in online environments.). In: Laurence Cox & Cristina Flesher Fominaya (Eds. 2008. she is a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (Humboldt University of Berlin. Globalization 209 .ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS Tina Askanius is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Communication and Media at Lund University. 2007.

2nd edition. law. Feminist Review. including Comparative Political Studies. Among her writings in these areas include the books. Anja Leˆ. interactions between the (natural) sciences and art. Berliner Debatte Initial. and Law. Social science. Patricia Ewick is professor of sociology at Clark University. Social Movement Studies. Nicole Doerr is currently assistant professor of international relations at Mount Holyoke College. Harvard University. Her principal research areas include deviance. gender studies. ideology and consciousness.210 ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS from below. She has also been a Marie Curie Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California. Journal of International Women’s Studies. Ashgate 2006. He has published articles in various journals. She was previously a democracy fellow at the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Irvine and did her PhD at the European University Institute in Florence. Blackwell. 2006. Her writings have appeared in Mobilization. Franklin is associate professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University. has studied art history. Kriminologisches Journal. Rowman and Littlefield. political repression. and social control. The policing transnational protest. culturally heterogeneous public spaces. Most recent publication: Bilder der U¨berwachungskritik. and on discourse and visual analysis in multilingual. with regional interest in Latin America. Ullrich). She has published extensively on legal consciousness among ordinary American citizens in order to identify how. The University of Minnesota Press. and Partecipazione e Conflitto. . European Political Science Review. One of these publications was named the best article in PRQ for 2009. and why people come to define their everyday disputes and troubles as potentially legal matters. (with Abby Peterson and Herbert Reiter). and democratization. (with Sidney Tarrow). Doerr’s work focuses on democracy and political translation in social movements. His primary areas of research include contentious politics. and Political Research Quarterly. James C. International Studies Quarterly. Social movements: An introduction. MA. and social control in early public housing. 112–130 (with P. Her main research interests are modes of representation in modern and contemporary arts. (with Mario Diani). 43. 2005. FQS. when. 19th century photography. Transnational protest and global activism. and educational sciences at the Universities of Hamburg (Germany) and Vienna (Austria). Social policy and law. The common place of law.

methods. and Gianni Piazza (Franco Angeli. Alice obtained her Master of Research and PhD in political and social sciences at the European University Institute. His current research focuses on activism. Aarhus University. 717–734. is the author of Practicing democracy: Local activism and politics in France and Finland (Palgrave Macmillan. 2012). Among her recent publications are: Media practices and protest politics. 59(6). She is a co-convenor of the standing group ‘‘Forms of Participation and Mobilization’’ of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) and a co-editor of Interface: a journal for and about social movements. How precarious workers mobilise (Ashgate. 54(2). Alberta Giorgi. Recent publications include: Thomas Olesen (2012) ‘‘Televised Media Performance for HIV/AIDS Sufferers in Africa: Distance Reduction and National Community in Two Danish Fundraising Shows. Thomas Olesen (2011) ‘‘The Transnational Complexity of Domestic Solidarity Campaigns: A Cross-Time Comparison of Burma Debates in Denmark. She is specialized in research. 139–159.’’ Acta Sociologica. sociologist and research fellow at the University of Helsinki. 99–119. Kirsty McLaren is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University.’’ Thomas Olesen is associate professor at the Department of Political Science and Government.’’ Communication. 2010). and symbols. PhD. co-edited with Loris Caruso. Alice Mattoni is a research fellow in the Center on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS) at the European University Institute. political. Alla Ricerca Dell’Onda. Thomas Olesen (2011) ‘‘Transnational Injustice Symbols and Communities: The Case of al-Qaeda and the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. and Critique. and cultural sociology. Steinberg teaches sociology at Smith College. Nuovi Conflitti nell’Istruzione Superiore. Finland. Marc W. Her MPhil was titled ‘‘Imperative Images: The Use of Images of the Foetus in the Australian Abortion Debate. 1998–2009. Before joining COSMOS. Denmark. 5(1). 1988 & 2007. She is also a research associate with the research project Mapping the Australian Women’s Movement. 2012) that analyzes the local politicization processes in two cultural contexts.About the Contributors 211 Eeva Luhtakallio. His book Fighting words . solidarity. and theorizing of comparative. she has been a postdoctoral associate fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.’’ Current Sociology. His previous work focused on class struggle in 19th-century England. Culture.

He studied cultural sciences. and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and anti-Semitism. language. Protest in an entangled Europe (Berghahn. He works at the Social Science Research Center and is part of an initiative to establish an Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies (www. He is a founding member of the research network ‘‘New perspectives on social movements and protest’’ of the German Research Council. Israel and Palestine. Simon Teune is a sociologist based in Berlin. qualitative methods. Leipzig 2003. Berlin 2008. Teune’s recently finished PhD dissertation focuses on the public channelling of action repertoires during the anti-G8 protests in Germany 2007. Dr. Protest under (self)control. and governmentality approaches). sociology. among them: Begrenzter Universalismus [Bounded universalism]. Nahostdiskurse in GroXbritannien und Deutschland [The Left. historical class formation. surveillance studies. labor and England’s great transformation in which he analyzes the role of law in labor control in Victorian England. He is the author of several books. Israel und Pala¨stina. 2010). He co-edited several volumes. cultural. Berlin 2010. Die Linke. Dr. is visiting researcher at the Social Science Research Center Berlin. He is coeditor of Nur Clowns und Chaoten? (Campus. and ideology. phil. Peter Ullrich. most recently: Prevent and tame.. His main fields of research are social movements (discursive. in early 19th-century English working-class history. and German language and literature. Germany. Middle East discourses in Great Britain and Germany].212 ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS concentrates on collective action. med. Gegner der Globalisierung? Mobilisierung zum G8-Gipfel in Genua [Opponents of globalisation? The mobilisation to the G8 summit in Genoa]. .protestinsitut. Berlin 2007. 2008). a book that unpacks the media event of the Heiligendamm protests. rer. and editor of The transnational He is currently finishing Law.