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Activism Through Testimony.pres

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Eileen Mary Holowka (MA Concordia)
@elmahka

Published in: Social Media
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Activism Through Testimony.pres

  1. 1. Activism through Testimony: Narratives of Sexual Trauma in the Digital Age Eileen Mary Holowka (MA, Concordia University) eileenholowka@gmail.com Twitter: @elmahka
  2. 2. Narrating Trauma Online  Importance of trauma narratives. Empowerment in having narrative control.  The dangers of expecting a trauma narrative to fit into a cultural narrative.  Risks of narrating trauma online.  Internet as more inclusive, but still exclusive.
  3. 3. What #GamerGate is Talking About  “GamerGate spends more time tweeting negatively at game developers than at game journalists” (Taylor Wofford)
  4. 4. Benefits of Narrating Trauma Online? Social Media as Archive of Experiences and Feelings  “[The internet offers] something different and promising that can more closely reflect the fragmented, shattered, volatile and often incoherent, experience of trauma and the attempts to describe it. It offers a nonlinear, distributed format which can contain narrative but is not itself narrative. It can contain things—photographs, mementoes, letters, video clips, maps, simulations—and also, crucially, human voices offering testimony.” (Paul Arthur 69)  Instagram search results for #sadgirl
  5. 5. Hashtag Activism and Trauma Narratives  Examples of the Twitter hashtags in response to the Ghomeshi trial.  HuffingtonPost image representing some #BeenRapedNeverReported tweets.
  6. 6. Ann Cvetkovich: What does creating an Archive of Feelings do?  “Words like "original" and "authentic" are so loaded for us because we were taught to be suspicious of them, but the archive of feelings gives us permission to turn down the volume on the voice of critique and pay attention to the strong feelings that get attached to things [... To] say: ‘These personal feelings are important enough to be made public.’ ” (Cvetkovich in Tammy Rae Carland)
  7. 7. The Value of these Archives

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