Protest as Medium – Media of Protest
Researching Media Use of Social Movements
The transnational movements against neoliberal globalisation, known through protests like those in Seattle, Genoa or Davos, emerged as the most prominent social movement coalition of the present. Since 2004, a flexible organisational recombination of specific protest groups took place along the line of precarizised living and working conditions. In the academic field of social sciences, flexibilisation and precarization of postfordist labour relations have been explored since the late 1980s. Presently, these phenomena are being taken up, further developed and made public by social protest movements. This process is most visible in the annual Euromayday Parades, which up to 2009 were organised in more than 40 European cities. The format spread beyond Europe in 2007, when a Mondo MayDay for the Precariat was organised in Tokyo.
What is the research about?
This research project explores the actual use of media within this current protest movement in connection with the general social and medial function of protest itself. On one hand, the project focusses empirically on the practical use of (counter-)media - media of protest - using discourse analysis as well as an ethnographic approach. On the other hand, it analyses the general functions of protest as medium from the perspectives of media theory, political sociology and political theory.
What is the Euromayday Online Archive?
The protest format of the Euromayday parades generates a wealth of mediated materials, printed, filmed, sprayed, recorded and spread across countless websites. As part of the research, a searchable multi-media archive was developed to collect and preserve material around Euromayday (mobilisation materials, reports) in text, image, video and audio formats. A comprehensive indexing system allows both for academic evaluation and use of a wider public.
How is this project funded?