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Social Networking in Iran

November 20, 2009

via Social Text

Facebook updates, Twitter “tweets”, cellphone camera photos and video and SMS instant messages were ubiquitous in the media coverage of this summer’s post-presidential election crisis in Iran. But is the medium ever the message? Inaugurating our new regular online-only feature Social Text invited pieces from scholars of Iran, new media, and visual culture, and asked them to think through the contradictory promise of technology. Annabelle Sreberny places new technologies in the context of prior political uses of small media in Iran. Hamid Dabashi explores the sociological and religious resonances of “social networking,” proposing that it was not Facebook that saved the Iranian civil rights movement, but the movement that saved Facebook. Nicholas Mirzoeff reads the politics of the circulation and archivization of death as spectacle on the internet. And Elijah Saxon closes with a cautionary note about the enthusiastic embrace of technologies built for surveillance more than social activism.

Read on…

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