International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings

A decade after the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, what remains of the political promise of “cameras everywhere” to permit activists and protesters in the region revived forms of agency, self-expression and connectivity?

Guest-edited by Kari Andén-Papadopoulos,this Special Section on Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings aims to provide a better understanding of what the opportunities and constraints are for practices of grassroots digital image activism within emergent political and media landscapes in the Arab world.

The authors present critical case studies from Syria, Egypt and Palestine that track the current conditions of possibility for Arab digital image activism to actualize counter-dominant practices of capturing, mobilizing and archiving visual documentation of people’s struggles for justice in the region. Where traditional media studies tend to focus on activist and citizen image making as content rather than as embodied and embedded practices, these articles bring into critical view a range of concrete, contextual and innovative repertoires of activist video and photography practices in the wake of the Arab uprisings. The authors’ analyses specifically call attention to the decisive struggle between resistance and control, between efforts to maintain the radical potential of grassroots forms and practices image-making in the region and the renewed hegemonic threats and pressures of co-optation, commodification, and censorship.

Together, the contributions to this Special Section suggest inventive avenues to understand the political possibilities of camera-mediated Arab activism beyond the reductive lens of “citizen journalism” or the neoliberal rhetoric of “empowerment” in which Arab eyewitness image-makers are viewed as select representatives of a victim community who can transmit their distant suffering to a Western humanitarian gaze.

We invite you to read these articles that published in the International Journal of Communication on September 21, 2020. Please Ctrl+Click on the article titles below for direct linking to the papers of interest.  We look forward to your feedback!


Producing Image Activism After the Arab Uprisings ‒ Introduction 
Kari Andén-Papadopoulos

Refiguring the Aerial in Human Rights Activism: The Case of the Palestinian-Bedouin Village of al-Araqib
Hagit Keysar, Debby Farber

Challenges in Codifying Events Within Large and Diverse Data Sets of Human Rights Documentation: Memory, Intent, and Bias
Jeff Deutch

The “Image-as-Forensic-Evidence” Economy in the Post-2011 Syrian Conflict:
The Power and Constraints of Contemporary Practices of Video Activism

Kari Andén-Papadopoulos

The Augmented Archive: History in Real Time. An Archaeology of Images of the Egyptian Revolution
Kaya Behkalam, Knut Ebeling


Larry Gross                                                      

Arlene Luck
Managing Editor

Guest Editor
Kari Andén-Papadopoulos

According to the latest statistics from Google Scholar, IJoC ranks 3rd among all Humanities, Literature & Arts journals, and 5th among all Communication journals.