Humanitarian campaigns in social media: network architectures and Kony 2012 as a polymedia event

Dr Mirca Madianou

Wednesday 13 February 2013 16:30 - 18:00

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS

Please email your name and affiliation to events@oii.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1865 287210.

This event is part of ICT4D Seminar Series

Abstract

In early March 2012 the Kony 2012 viral video took the world by storm. Attracting over 70 million views in less than a week from its release it was equally criticized and admired as an example of the power of social media. In this talk I will assess the optimism surrounding the opportunities that social media offer for humanitarian action. Drawing on the analysis of the phenomenally popular and controversial Kony 2012 campaign I observe that the architectures of social networking sites orientate action at a communitarian level which heightens their post-humanitarian style (Chouliaraki, 2012). However, an emerging new genre of reporting and commenting which I term ìpolymedia eventsî can potentially extend beyond the limitations of SNS communication by opening up the space for reflexivity and dialogical imagination.

About this series

This seminar series gathers leading scholars and practitioners to reflect on the influence of new communication technologies on development processes. The seminars will focus on the dramatic changes in citizens' ability to coordinate and mobilize for political action, on global migration and its relation to digital media, and on how international and national actors are seeking to shape the applications of technology and communication. The series provides a focus point for academics and non-academics in Oxford who are interested in the challenges and opportunities of employing new communication technologies in development contexts.

The series is organized by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford and co-convened by Dr Iginio Gagliardone and Dr Mark Graham.

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About the speaker

Dr Mirca Madianou

University of Leicester

Mirca Madianou is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. Her research examines the role of new communication technologies in the context of migration and transnational families in particular. She is the author of two books and several journal articles on new media and long distance relationships; migration and transnationalsm; media and nationalism; audiences (particularly the audiences for news media); and the role of emotions in mediated communication. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, ESF, the Mellon Foundation and CRASSH, Cambridge.

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