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Combining historical avantgarde theory and contemporary meme studies, this paper describes how images of conflict become iconic not only by repetition (spreadable media), but in a process of constant remaking (emergent memes).
It has the photograph taken by Sigrid Nygaard of the man who spit on immigrants and refugees walking on the on the E47 motorway on their way from Germany to Sweden, as its subject (named “spyttemanden” or “rodbymanden”). It describes the rapid spread and the reworking of the image, the shifts of meanings and context, and in this also interrogates the role of the image during the so-called refugee crisis.
Furthermore the paper explores the premises of its own analysis. It points out a number of challenges to libraries and other institutions, which archive photographs from the internet and for historians in the future reconstructing the flow and significance of images in the meme culture of the past.
23 nov. 2018
5TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY & THEORY: Photographies and Conflict: Archiving and Consuming Images of Strife