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Digital Activism has been an important trend in contemporary social movements, amid an era marked by rapid technological change. From the 2011 movements of the squares, to the Gilets Jaunes and the 2019 anti-government protests from Chile, to Ecuador and Lebanon have seen the use of new social media tactics, using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for purposes of organisation and mobilisation. The 2020 coronavirus crisis makes digital activism even more important. Due to lockdown measures, citizens cannot engage in traditional physical forms of protests, such as demonstrations, pickets, sit-ins, etc. However, the need to social action is not diminished, given the need for social solidarity amidst this crisis, and the emergence of new grievances, related to the economic effects of the crisis, which unveiled the enormous injustice at the heart of our societies. Thus, in the last weeks, we have witnessed new forms of collective action organised online. This range from collective flashmobs such as #clapforourcarers in the UK and similar ones in other countries, which call citizens to express their solidarity towards doctors and nurses to all sorts of actual protest organised online such as ‘caceroladas’ (banging pots protests) called on social media, to the use of memes and other forms of online propaganda to express dissent at the way governments are managing the crisis.
This webinar will bring together activists and social movement scholars around the world, to discuss the new forms of online activism that are developing in this difficult period. It will ask how activists are using the Internet and social media to mobilise against the injustices revealed by the crisis, and how activists are using online organising tool to cope with the isolation produced by lockdown measures.
- Paolo Gerbaudo (Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society)
- Mengying Li (Former PhD student in the Department of Digital Humanities)
- Marisa von Bulow (Associate Professor at the University of Brasilia)
- Winnie Wong (Activist and senior adviser to the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign)
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