Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Friday, July 27, 2012

"So Many Africans in Greece" and Other Flattering Images

 
"with so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will be eating food from their own home" - Translation of the tweet that got Voula Papachristou, Greece’s triple-jump champion, barred by the Hellenic Olympic Committee from competing in the London Olympic Games. But when you consider the tweet against the backdrop of the European financial crisis, a TechCrunch commenter had the perfect rejoinder:


No matter how much Edward Said or Stuart Hall you throw at perceptions of Africa impressed on people by the overrepresentation of the sorriest aspects of the continent, you still have to contend with how the amount of economic power a nation wields determines how its image gets treated. For example, a recent LA Times article about the changing tide in Hollywood's portrayal of China attests to images and representations being reframed in order to flatter China's new found economic wealth - and muscle. In a similar way, will we start seeing subtle changes in the Portuguese when it comes to images and perceptions of Angola and Angolans?  Too soon to tell. Old speculations -- here and here-- on how television and advertising will flatter and glamor up blackness--in turn affecting how we think of it--in selling to an emerging black upper class with plenty of disposable income to burn. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rwanda: Kagame on Twitter



Paul Kagame
:
No, the point underlined is that while some in UN,Human rights grps n media criticise,they r not without serious flaws..!
Flashback to a similar excerpt from his second inauguration
speech - here.

AP:
Kagame appears to closely monitor Twitter for any mentions of Rwanda. His official feed is dominated by notes of thanks to others who have tweeted Rwanda-related developments. "It is great (Kagame) engaging with a critic like me on Twitter," Birrell noted. "Just shame he doesn't allow such debate in Rwanda with his own people."
London Dispatch:
But you have to give credit to a man who feels so passionate about his country that he is willing to take on any critic of his on the ground, at home, away from home and in the air (read cyber space).... You begin to see the reason why PK behaves the way he does. He has been made to believe that he is Rwanda’s savior, Stephen Kinser even referred to him as the Man Who Dreamed Rwanda’s Rebirth. Bill Clinton has showered him with all sorts of prizes for excellently guiding Rwanda out of the rubble to a respectable status as a nation...
A View from the Cave commenter:
Rwanda needs to look at NGOs as partners and address their criticism with valid points. Saying everyone who dares speak against the regime and its president is "out of touch with Rwanda and Rwandans" does not address any of the problematic issues. If you tell me that I'm not a professional photographer because you see me using a point and shoot camera, I won't just point out your being out of touch with photography, I will tell you why I chose to use that particular camera. Might be its features, need for subtlety, etc. Same with Kigali, they need to say, for example, that the tabloids were banned because of A, B, and C. That the investigation into the murder of Rwisereka is ongoing, closed, or in some other phase. That Ingabire and other political prisoners are held because of plausible reasons. Based on what I have observed, however, the reasons given by the Rwandan regime don't add up so they seek to attack and marginalize whoever dares raise questions about them. If this is what progress for Africa is, I don't want it and there are many who don't want it either. True progress will come from empowering the people and not hoodwinking them.
Kigaliwire... on the technology, the exchange and Rwanda's soft skin:
I can’t recall seeing a similar Q&A exchange between a head of state and a journalist on Twitter. I’m not sure Twitter is the ideal place for tit-for-tat arguments on substantial questions – 140 character messages leave little space for nuance or depth. In addition, while I see engagement in general as a largely positive step on Rwanda’s behalf, I do worry that Rwanda spends an unusually large amount of time responding to critics across social networks, blogs, newspapers and other media. Criticism aside, the geek in me likes the fact that both the President and the Foreign Minister tweet from Blackberry phones… It’s also worth noting that since April, 2011, you can tweet in Rwanda from SMS text message. It’s been surprisingly useful in traffic jams, during power outages and Internet downtime in the capital.
Sky and Soil...on foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo's performance:
Kagame didn't actually answer any of the questions posed by Birrell about his government's silencing of political and media opposition. Instead it was a slinging match in which the foreign minister, Louise Mushikwabo also got involved. In a rather strange move, she protected her tweets the very next day as if it was an act of self-protection from a threat, but its an act of hiding. Doesn't she know protecting your tweets only restricts who can see them, but those already following you, can still interact with you and retweet your tweets for others to see? Restricting dialogue won't stop truth-seekers and critics, nor does it advance the democracy and openness which Kagame claims his government does, in the YouTube interview.
More links over at View from a Cave  + Kagame actually said the exact same thing in a Q&A after giving the Oppenheimer lecture at IISS in London last year and this was what we thought.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Africa: History of the Souls of Black Folk on Twitter

We already heard Magareth Atwoord's take, over at BigThink, about the older guises of twitter: as in the diary, telegraph machines, Morse code... way back to African tribal drums.



Duke University's Mark Anthony Neal in his TED talk takes the trace to the next level. He retraces the African American ability to convert various things into social media technologies so black people can always be in communication with one another - from field songs to DuBois's Souls of Black Folk--"... the first mixtape?"--to the phonograph to turntables ... and now twitter.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Libya: The Spin Wars - No-Fly Zone, Cont'd



Al Jazeera's Nazanin Sadri reports on Free Libya, a new satellite television channel just launched in in Qatar and which recruited staff by putting ads on facebook.

And earlier in March, the picture below showed up on the facebook page of Al Manara, a popular Libyan expat news service based in the UK. Whoever posted the picture assumed the symbol on these 81 mm illumination shells was the "star of David" and therefore captioned it, "Israeli industry against the Libyan people." The assumption even showed up on Al Jazeera Arabic.


NPR's Andy Carvin retraces on storify the crowd sourced investigation, using twitter and social media's hive mind, it took to find out who made the weapon and what those symbols really stand for.

Still on the information wars being waged by all sides in Libya, Amnesty International posted this video of a detained Syrian journalist being grilled on Libyan television:



This Al Jazeera Listening Post episode from earlier in March looked at war over information, spin, rhetoric and semantics being waged over Libya:



H/T: Boing, allAfrica

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday



Doubling down on is old claim that as far as formenting a revolution is concerned, twitter and facebook ain't shit are not that revolutionary, author Malcolm Gladwell aligns closer with Evgeny Morozov's take on activism, repressive governments and social media. Morozov recently got the RSAnimate treatment:



However, this Frontline indepth look explains just how much prep, training and wisdom from the Serbian students who brought down Slobodan Milosevic was passed on the Egyptian protesters and to Egypt's spontaneous revolution. It supports Gladwell's argument that social media or no social media, formenting revolutions have always required a ton of other stuff and neither facebook nor twitter are going to change that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Egypt: How it Started - Frontline on the #Jan 25 Revolution



"Revolution in Cairo" - breakdown of the revolution like only PBS Frontline can. The doc's premise is that revolutions, though they now pack that twitter-facebook feel of spontaneity, are transferrable only through long preparations and well trained activists. In short, revolutions do not come out of nowhere.

Due to rights restrictions the Frontline doc is streaming only in the U.S. Go figure. Even as interesting--and probably more accurate-- is Zeinobia, over at Egyptian Chronicles, aggregation of how #Jan 25 went down.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Egypt: Watching Twitter and Facebook O.D on Mubarak Crack

More and more analysis pours forth-- or stories like techcrunch's recent translation of an Arabic newspaper report  of an Egyptian man naming his new born girl "facebook"-- about the larger role social networks played in the Egyptian revolution. While the no-revolution-comes-via-social networks pundits like the Evgeny Morozovs have recalibrated or fine tuned their arguments and the Malcolm Gladwells haven't issued anymore ill timed rants (more here and here), we are still sticking to our social media, Fukuyama and "struggle for recognition" thesis, even as the new media hard data pouring in from Egypt continues to enthrall.


Alexis Madrigal breaks down the graph above from ShareThis, that company that makes those little icons under every post you read, which tracked hour-by-hour sharing via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook on day 18 of the egyptian revolution (February 11):
What's interesting here is that the lines don't look as much like each other as you might think. While the Twitter and Facebook shares have the same rough shape, the details are interesting. Twitter sharing is much spikier, possibly driven by subevents in the overall narrative. And during the key hour in which Mubarak resigned, Twitter and Facebook sharing came very close to intersecting. Turning to the Facebook graph, you realize how big a beast the site really is. Its pattern conforms roughly to U.S. web traffic as a whole, peaking around 1:00 p.m.
That part about Twitter being "much spikier, possibly driven by subevents in the overall narrative" can actually be seen in realtime in an amazing visualization from Andre Padisson over at the Gephi blog, where he/she explains connecting, via a web server, the Gephi Graph Streaming plugin to the Twitter Streaming API, allowing the plugin to show twitter users as nodes and their retweets as links over the hour of February 11 when Mubarak stepped down. Watch:



Details - here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Egypt: A Luta Continua - #Jan 25 (Day 2)


Heart the pic. Caption it, 'Argh! Egyptian protester-Hulk smash puny Mubarak police.' NYT's Robert Mackay has you covered on day 2. We are all pondering how much Tunisian inspiration #Jan 25 has in the tank; Issandr El Amrani draws one parallel between both uprisings - they are organized, yet leaderless:
This movement, for now, has no leadership. Some opposition personalities participated, but it was mostly organized on Facebook by the campaign in memory of Khaled Said, the young Alexandria killed by police last year. The Muslim Brotherhood did not back it. Mohamed ElBaradei did not back it. The Wafd party did not back it. It appears to be largely a movement of young people inspired by the Tunisian example and the culmination of over six years of activism and rising resentment against the regime, the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak and the apparent acceleration of the project to have Gamal Mubarak replace his father in the last six months. It is also, of course, a protest against an increasingly unaccountable and uncontrollable police state, which is why Police Day was chosen (Mubarak must be kicking himself for making it a public holiday last year).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tunisia: Bouazizi, Sidi Bouzid, Social Media and the 'Struggle for Recognition'

Kareem Fahim profiles for NYT the 26 year old and dusty town that sparked a revolution. Excerpt:
His first name was actually Tarek, but he went by Mohamed. He was not a college graduate, as earlier reports had said. He had been a vendor since he was a teenager, and had worked odd jobs since he was 10, his relatives said. His father, a construction worker in Libya, died of a heart attack when he was 3, said his mother, Mannoubia Bouazizi. She later married Mohamed’s uncle. Mr. Bouazizi made it to high school, but it was unclear whether he graduated: a cousin said he devoured literature and especially poetry, but his mother said he preferred math. He had a girlfriend, but they had broken up recently. He was a soccer fan and spent much of his spare time at the Fustat cafe downtown, engaged in the local diversions of smoking and playing cards. Despite his struggles to work, he was easygoing and liked to laugh. His relatives saw no hint of depression, and though they said Mr. Bouazizi refused to pay bribes, they could not recall any time where he had made such an unyielding stand.
Al Jazeera points out that in relation to the use of social media in Iran's "Green Revolution" in 2009 and Egyptian protests in '04 and '05, what's different this time around ...


...is how much the relationship between mainstream and social media has matured. FP's/George Washington U's Marc Lynch observes:
If you go back to Egypt in 2004 and 2005, you had many of the same things you saw in Tunisia. You had activists who are using blogs, forums and various kinds of internet sites, including facebook, and you had AlJazeera and various other satellite stations covering the protests and really helping to feed this notion of a dramatic change in Arab politics. So the raw material is the same, but this time there was a much tighter integration between the 2, with AlJazeera regularly and frequently using user-generated content and rapid interaction between the two. You need to have a framing process. It's not just the pictures. It's what people make of the pictures.
And Nawaat's Sami Ben Ghabia breaks down for Riz Khan what Lynch referred to - that evolution of a "much tighter integration" ...



... between social and mainstream media this time around in Tunisia:
...The Tunisian government [which had successfully integrated ICT in education] was very successful in preventing people from within the country to access information but in the meantime they managed to create a new generation, entire youth, who are skilled at using conventional technology to bypass the filter to get access to information - that's the big irony that played during the last month... The social media aspect to this played as a way of bridging the gap between people on the ground taking [the] footage and uploading it on their facebook accounts, another team [making sure the information was accurate]. We've seen tens of facebook pages with the 'Tunisian Streets News Agency' who were [making  the information accurate]; correcting the dates, the places. And you have people who are the taking the information out of facebook and putting it on dedicated blogs, translating the information and putting it into context and making that ready for mainstream media to pick the story up - that's what AlJazeera was doing; that's what France 24 was doing. So you have multiple nodes of activists online and each of those nodes [implementing its own] strategy - you have people who are translating, people who are putting stories in context, people who were trying to build hubs with the mainstream media and pushing them to write about Tunisia. And that's when we reached an information cascade and that information cascade helped convince the Tunisian people to go into the streets.
And on why the American media missed the boat on Tunisia's revolution or why, when they finally did get a boat, they went with "twitter/facebook revolution" angle instead, Lynch boiled it down to "pre-existing narratives":
It didn't fit anyone's pre-existing political interest... Twitter and Facebook fits the pre-existing narratives about technology. I think it is a sign of the fact that very few people in Western media really understand what's happening in Tunisia.
And finally, one could also argue that the same fundamental or dynamic that motivated a 26 year old fruit seller in an impoverished corner of the world to light himself up is, on another level, the same dynamic that makes a revolution, in its bid to matter, tap into social media to bypass mainstream gatekeepers in a "... struggle of recognition." Back in The End of History and the Last Man, Fukuyama, standing on the shoulders of Hegel, explains this oft ignored driver of historical process:
Much of human behaviour can be explained as a combination of the first two parts, desire and reason: desire induces men to seek things outside themselves, while reason or calculation shows them the best way to get them. But in addition, human beings seek recognition of their own worth, or of the people, things, or principles that they invest with worth. The propensity to invest the self with a certain value, and to demand recognition for that value, is what in today’s popular language we would call “self-esteem.” The propensity to feel self-esteem arises out of the part of the soul called emos. It is like an innate human sense of justice. People believe that they have a certain worth, and when other people treat them as though they are worth less than that, they experience the emotion of anger. Conversely, when people fail to live up to their own sense of worth, they feel shame, and when they are evaluated correctly in proportion to their worth, they feel pride. The desire for recognition, and the accompanying emotions of anger, shame, and pride, are parts of the human personality critical to political life. According to Hegel, they are what drives the whole historical process.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tunisia: A Revolution by Any Other Name...

Issandr El Amrani on why it shouldn't be called a "Jasmine Revolution":
But there's another reason to stay away from "Jasmine Revolution." It was the term that deposed President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali used in 1987 to describe his own takeover, in those initial years of his reign that offered some hope for a democratic transition. To reuse Ben Ali's propaganda phrase at this point seems perverse — whereas something like the Sidi Bouzid Revolution, marking ground zero of the movement that led to the dictator's downfall, seems so much more appropriate.
And enough with the twitter and wikileaks revolutions, please, writes Luke Allnutt over at RFE's Tangled Web. His diagnosis of the rush to label:
Twitter revolution narratives are popular because rather than being about Tunisia, they are often really about ourselves. When we glorify the role of social media we are partly glorifying ourselves. Some of us are not only praising the tools we know and love and use every day, but also the tools we build and have stakes in. To proclaim a Twitter revolution is almost a form of intellectual colonialism, stealthy and mildly delusional: We project our world, our values, and concerns onto theirs and we shouldn’t. We use Twitter and so must they. In our rush to christen the uprising, did we think to ask Tunisians what they wanted to call their revolution?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday

Apparently QTip took to twitter to knock Michael Rapaport's trailer for Beat, Rhymes and Fights: A History of a Tribe Called Quest and it has since been taken down from YouTube. But thanks to the S&A crew:



Update spotted over at TNC's - Rapaport says the doc is still in post:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Africa: The Tribal Drums of Twitter

... or at least author Margareth Atwood's (who is one of the more active literary rockstars on twitter with a rabid following) way of wrapping her head around how twitter fits into the timeline of human communication:


Money quote:
So for me, anything that happens in social media is an extension of stuff we were already doing in some other way. So, it’s all human communication. And the form that most closely resembles the “tweet” is the telegram of old, which also was limited because you paid by the letter. And so short communications very rapidly sent. So all of these things, the postal service, et cetera, they’re all improvements, if you like, or modernizations of things that already existed earlier in some other form. Even African tribal drums, for instance, could send very complex messages over great distances. They were very rapid, they were very well-worked out and communications could just go like wildfire using that medium of communications. So all of this stuff is what we do now, but it’s not different in nature from what we have always done, which is communicate with one another, send messages to one another, and perform our lives. We’ve been doing that for a long time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Libya: Sharia . ly


Are you following the whole Libya domain registry versus the offensive to sharia law face of the URL shortening site - Vb.ly?

Overall gist from Techcrunch - here. Atlantic Wire args everything else -  here. Owners Metcalf and VB's side of the story  here & here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Africa: Ethan Zuckerman on Widening Our Web - TED Global 2010



Ethan Zuckerman (My Heart's in Accra...) on geeky big white Americans, twitter demographics, segregated conversations, soccer, Brazilians on twitter, world isn't flat; it's lumpy, global traffic ≠ global connections- infrastructure, American media bias, distorted (Alisa Miller) maps, Afrigadget, new media lazy activism or Morozov's Ipod liberalism, global airline traffic flow, imaginary cosmopolitanism, Global Voices, Madagascar's Fuku club, wisdom of the flock, xenophiles and bursting out of your Twitter filter bubble. Whole presentation + slides - here. Youtube - here.

...couldn't help smiling when he used the "blogger=DJ" metaphor (it's a great metaphor - i've also used it; pinched it here), and he admits that he is pretty much convinced that bloggers--i.e. pointers to cool infomation--are  increasingly going to be the "bridge figures"--not to be confused with Nick Kristof's "bridge characters" ;-)--through which our worlds are going to be made more global via the widening of the web. Knock on wood.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Africa: Twitter Journalism - Digital Wildfires, Cont'd


We want to file this under digital wildfires along with the story of the sms hoax about an alien invasion in Ghana or when it turns riot accelerant in Jos. Either way, expanding mobile phone coverage in Africa puts new wheels and a faster engine on word of mouth information. Add the blackberries of foreign correspondents and other African elites to mix and the even bigger ocean of twitter awaits.

After BBC's Jonah Fisher tweets about getting marching orders from ANCYL's Juluis Malema at Limpopo house last week, The Guardian's David--our man in Havana--Smith gives his take on the twitter aftermath. His thoughts on twitter "journalism" and the African twitterverse:
...Malema himself appears to have more than one Twitter identity, but the youth league has pointed out they are all fakes. Its spokesman, Floyd Shivambu, said recently: "It's set up by people who are crazy, people who are mad, and we have no interest in that." But people are tweeting across Africa, particularly in South Africa and Kenya. Every day I see messages from aid agencies, embassies, marketing firms, media organisations, NGOs, politicians, journalists, citizen journalists and countless others with access to phone or computer. In countries such as Zimbabwe, it has become one more valuable weapon in the war against state censorship. For foreign correspondents on the road, Twitter has come at a time when mobile phone coverage is expanding into the unlikeliest corners. I've tweeted from a boat in the Okavango Delta, the forests of southern Madagascar and a military convoy in the hills of the Democratic Republic of Congo. I've also used it to file quotations from press conferences, reviews of theatre first nights in 140 characters, and web links to African articles, photographs or multimedia that seem worth sharing.
So it is intersteing to see how foreign correspondents fit into Africa's own twitter real estate or what Siena Anstisa calls a "unique trust system based on complex virtual and face-to-face relations [which] is becoming a stop-gap for the potential fabrications that come with unregulated information."

And, btw, a while back something we posted on Malema got picked up on his twitter feed here. Let's just say that "fake" Malema twitter feed gets some very serious traffic. Tssiuuuuuuuu!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kenya: The Making of...


... Just a Band's Ha-He music video otherwise known as Makmende kills the internet:



Keeping the meme going, below is an excerpt from Steve Bloomfield's article at the Monocle on how the interactive marketing push came about :
No one is more surprised about the sudden popularity of Kenya’s newest fictional hero than the men who invented him. Just-a-Band, whose second album, “82″, was one of the most popular releases in Kenya this year, had not planned any sort of online campaign for the video short of putting it on their Facebook page. “I honestly don’t know how we ended up here,” said band member Jim Chuchu, who also co-directed the video. “As soon as I saw Makmende jokes from fans online I said let’s do a Twitter and Facebook page for him. Everyone said ‘really?’ They thought it was overkill.”
 Chuchu was keen to buy makmende.com but “all of us were broke so we couldn’t do it.” Someone else has though and is planning to sell T-shirts with some of the most popular slogans. Just-a-Band can do little to stop them.
 Not that they are short of opportunities to cash in. The video is a fake trailer for Makmende the Movie. The Nation Media Group has now asked them to turn it into a television series while the band has received offers from businesses wanting to use Makmende as a marketing tool.

And to answer Kemibaro's fears about who owns Makmende, Just a Band's official statement.

H/T: My Hearts in.../ Kenya Christian

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Africa: Red Faced Twitter



Yesterday was World AIDS Day and Twitter, in partnership with product (Red) campaign, hoped to remind everyone of Africa's HIV/AIDS problems by automatically turning the word "Africa" in all tweets red. TiA thought it was a bad idea:

Twitter, this is a fail. It is downright offensive to equate the African continent to HIV/AIDS. It also ignores the fact that 1/3 of HIV/AIDS cases occur elsewhere, and that the likely future spread of this disease will be in China, India, and Russia. I appreciate the effort at awareness-raising. It's good for more people to be aware that HIV/AIDS is a problem in our world. But ignoring the continent's beauty, diversity, positive steps towards development and prosperity, and - it must be noted - approximately 980 million Africans who do not live with HIV/AIDS is inexcusable.
Ah. The never ending struggle between those who think what's happening in Africa renders the ethics of representation null and void and demands that they raise money (or awareness) to save African lives at any cost. Versus those who think the stereotypes being created and the dignity of Africans being stripped away as a cost of the process of raising awarness and saving lives in Africa ends up strengthening the wrong stereotypes, burying the positive representations--or worse, making them seem inconceivable-- and ultimately undermining the future of the continent as a whole.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran: You've Come A Long Way Baby



(Photo: A supporter of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi shouts slogans during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009. By Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty.)

In the 1.11 PM post, Sullivan is struck by the number of Iranian women in the trenches of this revolution. NY Times' Roger Cohen, who is on the ground, concurs:
I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.
Already the pictures/video of the woman shot by the Basij has iconic written all over it--think Killing at Kent State or Accidental Napalm --and whatever becomes of this revolution, Ahmedinejad, Khamenei, the Sepah and the Basij's days are numbered. As one of Sullivan's readers puts it, "...way I see it, that truly horrific footage of the conservatively dressed woman bleeding out...

... will do more damage to Ahmadi and Khamenei than any military strike ever could."

The role of iconic images in the way people relate to the idea of the state or any collective identity is well captured in this essay by Robert Harriman and John Lucaites, where they argue:
We want to go a step further to suggest that the public sphere depends on visual rhetorics to maintain not only its deliberative "voices," but also its more fundamental constitution of public identity. Because the public is discursively organized body of strangers constituted solely by acts of being addressed and paying attention, it can only acquire self awareness and historical agency if individual auditors "see themselves" in the collective representations that are the materials of public culture. Visual practices in the public media play an important role at precisely this point. The daily stream of photojournalistic images, while merely supplemental to the task of reporting the news, defines the public through an act of common spectatorship. When the event shown is itself a part of national life, the public seems to see itself in terms of a particular conception of civic identity.
Twitter and YouTube afford the protesters, unlike no other time in the history of human communication, the ability to create the necessary "collective representations" that instantaneously add up their individual acts into an identity and is constantly feeding that identity being constituted into the discourse of a growing rhetorical shift we see transpiring right before our eyes. What is, however, trippy about these images is how they serve as legitimating and constitutional materials for not only the Iranian protesters but for the Obama age of foreign relations and for Obama supporters in America -- the interdependency and coexistence of this new and old bloc is fueling the creation, consumption and distribution of these visuals and, hand-in-hand, creating the hunger for the overall rhetorical exertion still in progress.

On this side of the ocean, the West welcomes and have technologically enabled the visual rhetoric coming from Iran, which oddly turns out to be the affirmation of the fight--and continuing liberal struggle--for the new identity American voters rolled the dice on less than a year ago. On the Iranian side of the fence, the images they are creating and which their leaders want suppressed, also feed into that particular conception of Islam, modernity and of the collective identity they desire and are in fact dying for right now on the streets of Tehran.

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