LOLs of Nations

SXSW Follow-Up: Understanding Global Memes and the LOLs of Nations

The second day of SXSW I spoke on the panel, The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes, looking at the role of memes in civic life around the world, focusing specifically on Azerbaijan, Mexico, Romania, Uganda, and Kenya. I joined Andres Monroy-Hernandez, who discussed Mexican memes and Elena Agapie, who »

My first trip to SXSW.

Journalism and Citizens: Reflections on Lessons Learned at SXSW

Spending a week in Austin, TX for my first SXSW conference was exciting, but the opportunity to be a panelist discussing social change memes around the world alongside accomplished scholars and researchers was thrilling. Our panel, The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes, was a great success, and a recap »

pastorlokodomemeimage

Recent Protest Memes and Music in Uganda

With the recent passage of the Anti-Pornography Bill and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, memes and art have emerged quickly online.  The Civic Beat writers An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine recently contributed a couple articles to Hyperallergic looking at the responses: From An Xiao Mina: Nkoyooyo Brian, aka Brayo Bryans, »

selfie

Year of the Selfie: Why Owning Our Self-Representation Matters

Editor’s Note: You might remember Ben Valentine’s take on the “protest selfie”, a look at how the selfie has been used as a form of political expression around the world. We thought it would be great to look more closely at the selfie in context, and why 2013 really has become »

From left to right: An Xiao Mina, Dorothy Santos and Ben Valentine at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

The Honeymoon’s Over: Reflecting on Internet Utopianism and the Arts

A couple weeks ago, Ben Valentine and I had a chance to speak at the Yerba Buena Center’s Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival alongside arts/tech writer and researcher Dorothy Santos.  Our topic was, simply, “The Honeymoon’s Over—Arts and Culture Criticism in the Age of Networked Power”, a look at utopian »

ProtestSelfie_lg

A Survey of the Protest Selfie

The Protest Selfie is one of the most common means of identifying with a movement today. The Protest Selfie is the easiest coupling of text or image with one individual; this is how we tell our network, “This is me, and I am for this.” While a selfie is usually »

New York Daily News

Shut Down All the Things: Looking Back on Memes and the US Gov’t Shutdown

Like Roy from the IT Crowd, we’ve seen this script before. An intractable political dispute that is only resolved by a hard reboot to the political system. Whether it be the 1994 government shutdown, the economically costly 2011 dalliance with default, or the fiscal cliff, it seems that only through »

Source: http://www.troll.me/images/home-simpson-panic/ingen-fika.jpg

But What About Second Breakfast? A Look at Sweden’s Fika Memes

The British drink tea, the French drink coffee, and the Spaniards eat merienda.  And the Swedes?  They have fika, an essential snack between meals. Remember that scene in Lord of the Rings when the hobbits ask about second breakfast? Think of fika as second breakfast, second lunch and third lunch all fit together in one »

EyeToEyeYoutube

Eye To Eye: The Music Video Taking Over Pakistan’s Social Media

ISLAMABAD– A few days ago, local artist Taher Shah released a music video, which went viral on social media. It is worth mentioning here that despite the recent nationwide ban on YouTube, this video became viral and both #EyeToEye and Taher Shah were a top trending topic in Pakistan for »

statueliberty

Red, Pink, and the Prop 8 Blues: the Overwhelming Online Support for Marriage Equality

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA– After years of struggle in the battle for marriage equality, LGBT activists and supporters are all dressed up for their big day. The wedding whites will have to wait (for now) but gay marriage supporters are wearing red—at least on their Facebook profiles—to show support for the »