Be the first to like this
The paper starts from an apparently simple point of view: on the one hand catastrophes and disasters are relevant visual phenomena, on the other hand scholars must observe Social Network Sites – as Twitter – that are environments based on images sharing.
As we know, nowadays, during the environmental disasters, we are witnessing the emergence of a particular attraction to an idea of fatalism that inevitably belongs to the overwhelming events of the nature. This explains why the catastrophe is an experience that leads to many practices of symbolic reinterpretation.
Now, one of the social spaces in which finding these practices of reinterpretation are the users' images of the natural disasters shared on SNSs.
The paper presents the results of a qualitative research conducted on a sample of 4256 images uploaded on Twitter during the first day of the earthquake that happened in northern Italy May 20, 2012. On the basis of this analysis, a taxonomy of images is built to confirm the hypothesis of the work: that is, during catastrophic events, the image has not just a function of refero, i.e showing the drama, nor exclusively of religo, i.e building social bonds. The images shared through SNSs, instead, aim at giving a symbolic meaning to catastrophe, turning the dramatic experience into an evidence of our vulnerability to the arrogance of human civilization and an opportunity to establish new rituals of socialization and collective regeneration.