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Journalism, Activism, Community - Online solidarity and its limitations

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P424, 4th Floor Parkside Building

Birmingham City University

5 Cardigan Street

Birmingham

B4 7BD

United Kingdom

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Dr. Miriyam Aouragh (University of Westminster) - Solidarity and the "refugee crisis": Engagement beyond Affect

An extraordinary shift in perception occurred when the photo of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi broke all media headlines in 2015. The dramatic picture of a drowned and washed-up toddler provoked a truly global public outcry that led several EU states to open their borders. The reaction to this image stimulated solidarity. In many popular and academic reflections the power of the image was vital and the force of viral dissemination a recurring explanation; the "refugee crisis" itself was often framed in relation to the use of digital devices. We take a similar moment a year later to deconstruct this reality, namely with the equally mass-disseminated photo of the Syrian child Omran Daqneesh rescued during a bombing raid in Aleppo. Caught on camera whilst sitting in an ambulance in an eerie state of mind, the impact of this photo enforced a serious reconsideration behind the assumptions about the power of digitally mediated images. The problem was not a lack of sympathy, the affect so often credited to digital media. But that it was ‘ineffective affect’ because it wasn’t sustained by grassroots initiatives.

Dr. Adrija Dey (BCU) - ‘Silence No More’: An In-Depth Cyberconflict Analysis of the Nirbhaya Rape Case and Digital Gender Activism in India

I will speak about my PhD research which I am currently converting into a book. I will also tie it in with my other ongoing research projects around gender and digital activism.

About the speakers:

Dr. Miriyam Aouragh is Leverhulme fellow at Communication And Media Research Institute. Since 2011 she follows, and writes about, the complex revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world with special interest in the impact of the internet. In 2013 she was awarded a Leverhulme fellowship to develop this into a critical study of new media in the paradoxical context of revolution and counter-revolution.

Dr Adrija Dey is currently a Lecturer in Media at Birmingham City University. Previously she worked as a Research Associate in the Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme. She completed her PhD in Media, Culture and Society from the University of Hull. Her research interests lie in the field of digital activism, feminist media studies, cyberconflict and surveillance, digital narratives, transnational activism, intersectionality and masculinity. Her research draws on insights from a wide range of disciplines, including media movements and radical politics, social movement studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies

While pursuing her Masters in Creative Systems from the University of Sussex, she developed a strong interest in interdisciplinary research particularly related to social media and digital technologies. Originally from Calcutta, India, Adrija has been associated with political and gender activism as a student and that has greatly influenced her research interests. Apart from her research, Adrija is passionate about theatre and has been connected to the professional theatre for more than a decade.


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P424, 4th Floor Parkside Building

Birmingham City University

5 Cardigan Street

Birmingham

B4 7BD

United Kingdom

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