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 Madianou assesses 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 she observes 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 she has termed ‘polymedia events’ can potentially extend beyond the limitations of SNS communication by opening up the space for reflexivity and dialogical imagination.
About the 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 was organized by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford, co-convened by Dr Iginio Gagliardone and Dr Mark Graham.
About the speakers
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.