Long Form

Imagining a New State: Image and Activism in Iran

Both visual production and network activity around the Iranian election protests reflect the increasing agency of individuals in dictating ideological objectives of their states and molding public perceptions of their states as represented in the media. Here, I talk about the visual imagery of the Iranian Revolution with a particular emphasis on how the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, captured on cellphone videos and distributed via YouTube, became a turning point in the media framing and coverage of the protests in Tehran and around the world.

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No Easy Answers: M.I.A. and the Politics of Pop

It has been argued that M.I.A., the London-born Sri Lankan Tamil rapper, should not have to explain why her art contains references to the internationally known terrorist organization familiarly known as the Tamil Tigers. But in a 2009 interview, M.I.A. called the civil war in Sri Lanka a genocide and compared its history of ethnic conflict to Nazi-Germany. What lies behind M.I.A.’s contentious claim?

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Globalization in Action: Avaaz

Currently clocking in at 3.4 million members, Avaaz has built its membership – drawn from every country in the world – based on a very simple mission: “to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.” Based on an internally coherent ideoscape, Avaaz represents an alternate reading of globalization as a force in shaping the 21st century and applies a model informed by the modern technologies of network and hybridized identities to pursue its mission.

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Kyocera Will Save Your Soul

This print ad from Kyocera, a Japanese mobile phone company, uses stylish graphics, Japanese symbols, and Western art references to create a powerful visual counterpoint to their message of East meets West. But that's not all -- mobile devices are often marketed as lifestyle products, and the myth underlying this striking image may surprise you.

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