The Gendered Visual Culture of Human Rights Activism
This chapter explores how visual documentation of civil crises in the Global South reinscribe a digital colonialism, focusing on the representations of gender and sexuality in videos about the Oaxaca teachers' strike of 2006 and the Myanmar protests of 2007. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Internet has become the preeminent medium from which international human rights campaigns have been publicized. Indeed, many human rights organizations now consider the Internet as the primary venue for exposing human rights abuses and mobilizing public opinion against them. Digital media generate among viewers the capacity for flexible attachments to more than one community. They facilitate a cosmopolitanism that asserts and abstracts “universalism” and a form of activism, which corresponds with key principles of neoliberal capitalism.
Keywords: digital colonialism, Oaxaca teachers' strike, Myanmar protests, human rights campaigns, human rights organizations, digital media, cosmopolitanism, universalism, activism, neoliberal capitalism
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