Tuesday, 25 January 2011

We also serve who stand and Tweet?

I've been following Egypt's 'Day of Rage' (live here), designed to reproduce Tunisia's revolutionary situation. Did you know that Egypt's a dictatorship?

nearly half of Egypt's 80 million people live under or just above the poverty line set by the United Nations at $2 (£1.27) a day. "Poor quality education, healthcare and high unemployment have left large numbers of Egyptians deprived of basic needs," 

Far too many people holiday in repressive places, lulled into acquiescence by a pina colada and cheap exchange rates, unaware that their money doesn't help those in need.

There's been a lot of talk about the positive and negative effects of new media on protest. The jury is - of course - still out. But I do worry that our hyperreal condition (read your Baudrillard) weakens the possibility of full-on, successful resistance. Take a look at this photo.

What I see are brave men and women facing down the security forces. But if you look closer, there are at least half a dozen mobile phones and assorted cameras in use. Where once they would have clenched their fists or clutched petrol bombs, they're now engaged in a process of recording, rather than participating. Evidence collection and propaganda are certainly important, but I worry that we no longer feel something's real unless we've captured it: photos, Tweets, status updates and texts.

That said, I'm protesting on Saturday (Manchester: be there) and I'll be taking my camera. Meanwhile, take a look at these witty New Media takes on classic WW2 Information War posters by Brian Moore, who most definitely knows the score. I couldn't reproduce my favourite, 'Somebody Blogged'…

Ignore him: Wikipedia is cultural misinformation on a grand scale

1 comment:

Sinéad said...

I particularly like the woman in red who could be using an old fashioned camera, or checking the picture she's just taken, but really looks like she's fixing her lipstick in a compact mirror... wouldn't do to be shown on FB at a protest without looking lovely! A potential employer could see me without my make-up!!