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Video activists from Aleppo and Raqqa as modern-day Kinoks? : An audiovisual narrative of the Syrian Revolution

Wessels, Josepha LU (2017) In Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 10(2-3). p.159-174
Abstract
The popular uprising that began in Syria in 2011 generated an unprecedented number of YouTube videos recording events in Syria; this emphasized how the social media platform had become an important alternative space for news and information, a space beyond the control of the government. In this article, I address the role of Syrian video activism in the Syrian revolution, and pay particular attention to why young Syrian anti-regime protesters started recording and uploading their videos on YouTube. As such, I do not focus on technology or the medium per se, but on the peoples’ motivations—what led them to upload digital video content as testimonies of revolutionary events and violence. Based on observation of verified YouTube clips, field... (More)
The popular uprising that began in Syria in 2011 generated an unprecedented number of YouTube videos recording events in Syria; this emphasized how the social media platform had become an important alternative space for news and information, a space beyond the control of the government. In this article, I address the role of Syrian video activism in the Syrian revolution, and pay particular attention to why young Syrian anti-regime protesters started recording and uploading their videos on YouTube. As such, I do not focus on technology or the medium per se, but on the peoples’ motivations—what led them to upload digital video content as testimonies of revolutionary events and violence. Based on observation of verified YouTube clips, field visits to Turkey and Syria and semi-structured interviews with Syrian video activists between the years 2014 and 2016, I suggest that Syrian video activists can be seen as revolutionary filmmakers similar to the twentieth-century ‘Kinoks’, or kino-ki, that formed part of Dziga Vertov’s Soviet filmmakers collective whose radical experiment aimed to bridge social revolution and realist cinematic practice (Tomas 1992) and document reality ‘As It Is’. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Video Activism, YouTube, Syria, Revolution, grassroots movements, film and reality, realism, witnessing
in
Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
volume
10
issue
2-3
pages
16 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85026916551
ISSN
1873-9857
DOI
10.1163/18739865-01002005
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
dbe54e4e-7eec-4c24-97d1-454ec1a884b7
alternative location
http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/18739865-01002005
date added to LUP
2017-06-18 23:59:20
date last changed
2017-09-03 05:23:39
@article{dbe54e4e-7eec-4c24-97d1-454ec1a884b7,
  abstract     = {The popular uprising that began in Syria in 2011 generated an unprecedented number of YouTube videos recording events in Syria; this emphasized how the social media platform had become an important alternative space for news and information, a space beyond the control of the government. In this article, I address the role of Syrian video activism in the Syrian revolution, and pay particular attention to why young Syrian anti-regime protesters started recording and uploading their videos on YouTube. As such, I do not focus on technology or the medium per se, but on the peoples’ motivations—what led them to upload digital video content as testimonies of revolutionary events and violence. Based on observation of verified YouTube clips, field visits to Turkey and Syria and semi-structured interviews with Syrian video activists between the years 2014 and 2016, I suggest that Syrian video activists can be seen as revolutionary filmmakers similar to the twentieth-century ‘Kinoks’, or kino-ki, that formed part of Dziga Vertov’s Soviet filmmakers collective whose radical experiment aimed to bridge social revolution and realist cinematic practice (Tomas 1992) and document reality ‘As It Is’.},
  author       = {Wessels, Josepha},
  issn         = {1873-9857},
  keyword      = {Video Activism,YouTube,Syria,Revolution,grassroots movements,film and reality,realism,witnessing},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2-3},
  pages        = {159--174},
  series       = {Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication },
  title        = {Video activists from Aleppo and Raqqa as modern-day Kinoks? : An audiovisual narrative of the Syrian Revolution},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/18739865-01002005},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2017},
}